UNICEF PULL OUT OF THE BABY SHOW OVER LINKS WITH THE ARMS TRADE
UNICEF have pulled out of The Baby Show, which is taking place this week at Earls Court, because of links with the arms trade.
The Baby Show, is owned by Clarion Events. Clarion recently purchased a defence portfolio including Defence Systems Equipment International (DSEi) – the world's largest arms fair. UNICEF were due to receive money from The Baby Show on a one ticket/one vaccination basis. However, after learning of the link, they stated:
"We have taken the matter very seriously and can confirm we will not be accepting any donation from Clarion Events."
One of the major sponsors of the event, Bounty, have pulled out, and many exhibitors have expressed concern, including private traders and charities. A spokesperson for Vitabiotics stated:
"This information has certainly made a difference as to whether we continue to exhibit at future shows whilst the DSEi link is maintained, which we feel is incompatible.”
The Good Agency, the PR agency who represented The Baby Show, have now resigned from any further involvement with the exhibition.
A spokesperson for DISARM DSEi stated:
"This is fantastic news. DSEi is a marketplace for dealers profiting in death and destruction and this is clearly not compatible with The Baby Show. These companies must, and will, be held accountable for their actions."
Despite having been asked for a statement, Clarion Events have not responded
1)Notes for Editors:The Baby Show, taking place between 17-19 October, is a major event which has been featured on Richard & Judy and Cutting Edge, as well as a range of national radio and printed media.
2)Pampers have agreed to raise their donation to UNICEF to cover the amount of money UNICEF were expected to raise during The Baby Show.
3)DSEi is the world's biggest biennial weapons fair, sponsored by the British government and selling everything from battleships and attack helicopters to cluster bombs and machine guns.
4)At DSEi 2007, there were 1352 exhibitors selling their wares to delegates from a third of the world's countries, many of whom were at war with each other.
5)According to UNICEF, two million children were killed between 1986 and 1996 as a result of armed conflict. A further six million were also seriously injured or permanently disabled, and countless others were forced to witness or take part in violence.6
6)Graca Machel, the author of the report, also recently stated that "wars have always victimised children and other noncombatants, but modern wars are exploiting, maiming and killing children more callously and more systematically than ever."
7)Oxfam have called the arms trade "out of control" and state that " as well as prolonging and intensifying conflicts, the poorly regulated arms trade causes huge levels of waste, corruption and debt.
8)Clarion Events took over DSEi (and ITEC, another defence fair) on 29th May 2008 from Reed Elsevier. Reed Elsevier were forced to sell DSEi after public statements from leading academics, medical professionals and prize winning authors.
9)On announcing the decision to sell, Chief Executive, Sir Crispin Davis stated "it has become increasingly clear that growing numbers of important customers and authors have very real concerns about our involvement in the defence exhibitions business. We have listened closely to these concerns and this has lead us to conclude that the defence shows are no longer compatible with Reed Elsevier's position as a leading publisher of scientific, medical, legal and business content."
10) DISARM DSEi have been organising protests against DSEi since 2001.