‘International Conference to Ban Uranium Weapons’
European Parliament, Brussels, 23-26 June 2005
Uranium weapons are conventional weapons that contain depleted or polluted depleted uranium.
Because of the radiological and chemical properties of depleted uranium (DU), remnants of deployed uranium weapons cause long-term damage to living creatures and the environment. Uranium oxide dust particles can be carried away by the wind and can enter the food chain. In 2002, scientific data at the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute (Maryland, USA) demonstrated that DU at ph7 can induce oxidative DNA damage and that it can induce carcinogenic lesions, only by means of its chemical toxicity.
On 13 February 2003 the European Parliament adopted a Resolution in which it stated that:
- “NATO has not banned uranium weapons;
- credible efforts are needed to ensure that any use of such weapons is not in violation of the Additional Protocol I to the Convention on Conventional Weapons;
- international law does not currently provide for compensation for possible harmful effects of such weapons systems;
- EU citizens serving as civilian and military members of peacekeeping and peace enforcement operations could have been, and could yet become, victims of such weapons when engaged in humanitarian civilian and military missions and potentially under future ESDP missions.”
In this Resolution the European Parliament “requests the Member States to immediately implement a moratorium on the further use of depleted uranium ammunition (and other uranium warheads), pending the conclusions of a comprehensive study of the requirements of international humanitarian law”.
Until today the European Member States did not establish these recommendations, due to the fact that some Member States possess uranium weapons and to their co-operation with NATO.
To enforce the aims of the EP Resolution on the political level, the International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons (ICBUW) will organise an international conference in the Brussels building of the European Parliament, from 23 to 26 June 2005. During the first two days Members of Parliament and scientists will be invited to participate in a debate and in workshops. If you need more information about the conference, mail to Ria Verjauw – firstname.lastname@example.org
Financial support requested
Together with ICBUW, the Belgian Coalition Stop Uranium Weapons organise an international conference in the European Parliament in Brussels from 23 to 24 June 2005. We are still seeking sponsors for this important conference. Donations can be paid on Account number 733-0261889-19 of the Belgian Coalition Stop Uranium Weapons. Please mention: 'conference 2005 donation'. For international payments, use BIC-code KRED BEBB and IBAN-code BE397330 26188919.
The purpose of the ICBUW conference in the dialogue with the European Parliament:
ICBUW wants to prepare the ground to reintroduce and to update about the exact state of affairs in the campaign and in the uranium weapons issue.
The European Parliament can take an active interest in supporting the aims of the campaign ‘for a Ban on Uranium Weapons’.
ICBUW would especially want parliamentarians to co-operate in setting up a feedback mechanism with national parliaments, because one of the most important political aims of ICBUW is to gain the support of one or more countries in striving for a ban.
The European Parliament as a whole can encourage this process, by providing a forum and resources for the necessary international debate between the national parliamentarians, NGO’s, experts, victims organisations, soldiers trade unions etc.
Such a forum function would encourage the vital initiatives at the national level.
This process should not be restricted to EU countries, but also reach beyond them to all countries concerned with this issue.
The EP can stress the need for more independent medical and environmental impact research (both long term and short term) and can call on the Member States of EU and NATO to propose that a moratorium be placed on this type of weaponry 'in accordance with the precautionary principle' as defined by Council and Parliament on several occasions. The International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons (ICBUW) expects that the EP has to handle in accordance with their own Resolutions.
ICBUW is founded because governments and many national politicians have deserted the victims.
The fact that situations such as these exist has a profoundly negative effect on policy making, by corroding public trust in science and technology. This public trust can be only restored by - indeed - 'more independent medical and environmental impact research (both long term and short term).' ICBUW welcomes this attitude and is of the opinion that the EP can play a significant role to bring the uranium weapons issue to a higher level.
For more information: ICBUW website
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