“Interpersonal violence kills 1,400 people every day and causes untold injuries and suffering. This alliance is uniting a range of organizations and Member States around mutual violence prevention principles and policies and will strengthen our ability to address the problem,” Dr. Lee Jong-wook, Director-General of the UN World Health Organization (WHO), said of the Global Interpersonal Violence Prevention Alliance (GIVPA).The creation of this alliance comes 15 months after the worldwide launch of WHO’s world report on violence and health – the first comprehensive report of its kind to examine violence as a public health problem that causes 1.6 million deaths a year. More than 40 countries have already responded by undertaking violence prevention activities. National reports that examine specific country situations have been initiated in at least 10 others. More than 15 Governments have committed to developing a national plan of action for the prevention of violence. In addition, significant resolutions have been adopted and policy debates have been the focus of several international meetings, including those of the WHO, the African Union, the UN Commission on Human Rights and the World Medical Association. “Our shared understanding of the complex underpinnings of violence is essential to creating solutions that will prevent people from becoming victims and perpetrators,” said Dr. Etienne Krug, Director of WHO’s Department of Injuries and Violence Prevention. “GIVPA will bring together strong partners in research and data collection, training, advocacy and prevention programmes.” “The continuing high trends of violence will not be reversed without this kind of commitment to cooperation and investment in prevention,” he added. At today’s meeting, co-hosted by the Government of the Republic and Canton of Geneva and WHO, leading decision-makers from nearly a dozen countries will examine the progress of violence prevention efforts in the last year and determine ways to continue to turn the report’s recommendations into action.
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