Note No. 6019
29 June 2006

Note to Correspondents

Inauguration of Small Arms Exhibit at United Nations Headquarters to Feature Concert with Gun-Guitar

NEW YORK, 28 June (UN Headquarters) -- A joint art exhibition entitled "Crush the Illicit Trade in Small Arms" will be inaugurated with a short ceremony followed by a concert on Thursday, 29 June, at 6 p.m. in the South Gallery of the General Assembly Visitors' Lobby.

The opening will include short remarks by Catherine Volz, Head of the Delegation to the Review Conference of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC); Rebecca Peters, Director of the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA); Camilo Reyes, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Colombia; and Nobuaki Tanaka, Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs.

Almaparlantes, a musical group from Colombia, will perform, featuring Cesar Lopez, Colombian musician and peace activist, playing the "escopetarra", part rifle (escopeta) and part guitar (guitarra).

The exhibit coincides with the United Nations Conference to Review Progress Made in the Implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects.  It calls attention to the dangers posed by the illicit trade of small arms, including its humanitarian and social impact, and informs the public about key efforts of the United Nations, its agencies and programmes to address the problem of illegal small arms.

On display are a collection of photographs; bronze sculptures of a revolver twisted into a knot by Swedish artist Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd; an escopetarra, developed out of the "No Violence Campaign" in Colombia to convert AK-47 rifles into electric guitars; and art pieces using replicas of M-16 rifles by students of the School of Visual Arts in New York.

This exhibition was made possible by contributions from the United Nations Departments of Public Information and Disarmament Affairs, United Nations Children's Fund, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, United Nations Development Programme, European Union's Assistance in Curbing Small Arms and Light Weapons, the School of Visual Arts and Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd.

For more information on United Nations exhibitions, call Jan Arnesen, tel:  (212) 963-8531; or Liza Wichmann, tel:  (212) 963-0089.

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