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Broad coalition launches new global alliance to prevent violence

Ministers of health and other officials from countries around the world are today laying the foundation for the Global Interpersonal Violence Prevention Alliance (GIVPA). GIVPA will bring together national governments, United Nations agencies, academic institutions, civil society groups, and philanthropic and corporate foundations to advance the goal of preventing violence and reducing its adverse health and social consequences.

“Interpersonal violence kills 1,400 people every day and causes untold injuries and suffering," said WHO Director-General, Dr LEE Jong-wook. “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.”

The creation of this alliance comes 15 months after the global 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.

Governments around the world have already taken action on the report — undertaking violence prevention activities in more than 40 countries. National reports that examine specific country situations have been initiated in at least 10 countries. 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 international fora including major meetings of the WHO, the African Union, the United Nations 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, WHO 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 Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Germany, Jordan, Mozambique, South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 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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For more information contact:

Ms Laura Sminkey
Telephone: +41 22 791 4547
Mobile phone: +41 79 249 3520
E-mail: sminkeyl@who.int