Campaign Against Depleted Uranium

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Formation of the International Coalition for a Ban on Uranium Weapons

A new coalition of grassroots groups has formed with the aim to achieve a legal international ban on depleted uranium weapons. CADU is one of the founding members of the International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons (ICBUW) and we are hugely optimistic that working together this coalition offers a real opportunity to stop the use of these toxic weapons. Despite being in its early days the coalition already has the involvement of groups from around the world and a draft international treaty has been written. Over the next few months we will be working hard to establish a proper organisational structure, funding and functioning teams. So far there have been two planning meetings and a coalition headquarters has been set up in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. CADU will act as a focus for inquiries into the coalition in the UK and we will keep our members up to date with coalition developments in CADU News.

Below is the full mission statement of the coalition:
On October 13th, 2003, after a conference in Berlaar, Belgium, grassroots organisations and experts in several disciplines launched an international campaign for a ban on the military use of uranium [1] and other radioactive materials in weaponry. These radioactive and chemically toxic weapons were first used on a large scale by the US and the UK in the Gulf War in 1991, subsequently in Bosnia and Yugoslavia by NATO, and again in the war on Iraq by the US and the UK in 2003. At least sixteen countries have weapon systems with uranium in their arsenals [2].

Because of mounting evidence of harmful effects of uranium on human health and the environment, we call for an immediate and universal ban [3] on the military use of uranium and other radioactive materials. In addition, we call for the cleaning up of all sites contaminated by these weapons along with compensation for all affected populations. We call for a halt to the production, testing, sale, stockpiling, transport and export of these weapons and a decommissioning of all existing stockpiles. We call for immediate medical assessment, treatment and long term monitoring of all those who have been exposed to uranium weaponry. We demand from the accountable governments full disclosure of all locations where uranium weapons have been used as well as the amounts of uranium involved. We call for financial support from organisations and individuals to provide independent medical and environmental investigations of affected countries. Finally, we call on governments to exclude their troops from alliance with any government that uses uranium munitions.

In pursuit of these goals, the organisations below have established the International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons. We announced the start of our campaign in mid-October at the CSC (Christian Labour Union) in Brussels and at the Uranium Weapons Conference held in Hamburg. Within two months of the Berlaar conference, over thirty organisations had given us their support. We call on non-governmental organisations, governments and other interested parties to join us in this urgent effort.

The Coalition encourages and supports direct action, campaigns and the formation of national coalitions to inform and educate the public regarding uranium-its origin, properties, use, and impact on human health and the environment. The Coalition is working on a Draft Convention on the Prohibition against the Development, Production, Possession and Use of Uranium Weapons and is planning to hold an international conference in Brussels in May 2004 to launch a full-scale international campaign.

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[1] 'Uranium' here refers to so-called 'depleted' uranium and to depleted uranium mixed with recycled reactor fuel, which contains plutonium and other fission products. We consider the term 'depleted uranium' to be grossly misleading. However, because it is already widely used in activist and scientific communities, we will use this term or the abbreviation DU, as needed to avoid confusing those already accustomed to it.
[2] Bahrain, France, Greece, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America
[3] On use of the term 'ban' or 'prohibition': Although we believe that the use of uranium weapons is already prohibited by existing international laws, we nevertheless believe that we need to establish an explicit and comprehensive prohibition of production, possession and sale. The fact that such weapons are in active use, despite existing international laws and that warnings supported by independent scientific research have been raised, indicate the need to address this issue clearly and directly leaving no doubt about the will of the majority on these specific weapons. We are also convinced that seeking a comprehensive convention that includes a clear demand for compensation will help to establish the groundwork for eventual compensation of victims.

List of Founding Coalition Partners

Campaign Against Depleted Uranium (CADU), United Kingdom
Campaign Against Radiation Exposure (CARE), Japan
Center for Peace and Justice, US
For Mother Earth, Belgium
Grassroots Actions for Peace, US
International Depleted Uranium Study Team (IDUST), US
German Affiliate of the International
Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW)
Laka Foundation (Documentation and research centre on nuclear energy), the Netherlands
RISQ; Independent foreign policy think tank, the Netherlands
Military Toxics Project (MTP), US
NO DU Hiroshima Project, Japan
Our Common Future, United Kingdom
Stop USA, Belgium
VD/AMOK (Documentation and research collective on the military), the Netherlands
Youth Terminating Pollution, US

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Page last updated: 6th December 2002