Small firearms claim 60 lives every hour: Annan
Sixty people are killed by gunfire every hour, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said in a speech Monday, noting that the vast majority of victims are women and children.

Roughly half a million people are killed each year by small caliber firearms, Annan said at the first-ever UN conference against small arms and light weapons, who called the deadly weapons "a global scourge."

Annan said progress in stemming the flow of such weapons has been particularly slow in countries in North Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia.

His remarks were made Monday at a conference aimed at reviewing progress in stopping illegal gun proliferation. The meeting was organized by the International Action Network on Small Arms, which groups 500 non-government organizations in more than 100 countries.