Violence and Injury Prevention and Disability (VIP)

VIP and the California Wellness Foundation host 2nd Milestones meeting to review progress towards preventing violence in countries around the world


19 October 2005

Governments are becoming increasingly aware of the fact that violence can be prevented and are investing in effective strategies. More than 150 violence prevention experts assessed the advances that have been made at a meeting, 2nd Milestones of a Global Campaign for Violence Prevention, held in San Francisco, California, on 19 October 2005. The meeting, co-hosted by WHO and The California Wellness Foundation, showcased some of the significant violence prevention work underway around the world, and served as an opportunity to chart the future of the Global Campaign for Violence Prevention, including feasibility of a global media initiative against violence.

In a message to the meeting, Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan noted, "My hope is that political, religious and community leaders in my region and beyond will join me in urging more action to prevent family and community violence. ... If we summon the will, if we work together, we can build a global commitment to violence prevention and create a peaceful, safe and healthy future."

WHO reported that since the launch of its World report on violence and health three years ago, there has been significant progress by many countries towards measures to prevent violence. "A few years ago, you could have counted on one hand the number of countries able to spell out the links between violence, public health and prevention," said Dr Catherine Le Galès-Camus, WHO Assistant Director-General for Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health. "Today, more than 70 countries have national violence prevention focal points and more than 50 have initiated policies and programmes focused on addressing the root causes of violence." Important milestones include: the development of national violence prevention strategies in Malaysia, the Russian Federation, South Africa and Thailand; work on strengthening medical and legal care for victims of sexual violence in Jordan, Mozambique, Nicaragua and the Philippines; the release of national reports on violence and health in Belgium, Brazil, France and the United Kingdom; resolutions on preventing violence in the WHO African Regional Committee and in the Council of Europe; and the creation of entities such as the National Commission on Violence Prevention in The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and the Arab chapter of the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect. Many of these milestones are featured in the report Milestones of a global campaign for violence prevention: changing the face of violence prevention released during the meeting.