Campaign Against Depleted Uranium

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Campaign News Spring 2007

As you will probably gather from this bumper edition of CADU News, it’s been a very busy few months for us. But it has also been an inspirational one. We are all going to remember 2007 as the Year When Things Started to Move.

It began with our lobby of parliament, where we were pleased with the level of interest from MPs - the vast majority of whom contacted us directly requesting material. We will now follow up on this and tell you how we get on. We believe that we now have sufficient evidence to support a call for the Precautionary Principle at the very least. But changes will not happen overnight.

Just a fortnight after the lobby, I found myself in Oslo representing ICBUW at the Conference on Cluster Munitions. Aside from the opportunity to make some fantastic contacts, it was remarkable to be present at such an historic event. It was the first time an independent disarmament treaty process had begun since the Land Mine Treaty was born in the early 90s. More importantly it is exactly the sort of the process that ICBUW hopes to begin in order to ban DU.

What it did was illustrate just how much work we have to do, but it was also a cause for optimism, we now understand clearly what we need to do in order to achieve a ban.

It was that understanding that led us once more to Geneva - the home of the UN Committee on Disarmament. We were heartened by the level of interest in the issue at our seminar and at our meetings with diplomatic staff. However it also became clear that we need to work much harder at propagating reliable information about the science and reality of DU weapons to key decision makers. To this end we had converted our CADU Lobby Pack into an ICBUW Briefing and this proved to be an invaluable tool during our lobbying.

News of Belgium’s wonderful decision to implement a domestic ban - which reached us the morning after the seminar - was also of great help. We are also heartened by murmurings from Belgium that they may support a treaty process if other states come forward too. To that end we have been supporting the efforts of our ICBUW colleagues currently in Costa Rica, where similarly positive noises are being made from a country traditionally strong on disarmament issues.

Our next step will be to try and create a network of sympathetic states across the globe, all of whom can lobby their neighbours. There are limits on the amount of lobbying that NGOs can do and much of it must be done at the government to government level.

It would be foolish to ignore our neighbours in Europe. In spite of Dr Lucas’ free admission at our parliamentary lobby that the European Parliament has little real political clout; their repeated calls for a ban have been another powerful lobbying tool. It is imperative that we work with our European friends to try and build up a political consensus throughout the continent that the use of uranium weapons is unacceptable. This will be made easier by our growing links with EUROMIL - the European ‘union of military unions’ who are strongly against the use of DU. It was the close cooperation between NGOs and the military that is one of my abiding memories of Oslo, and it is a path that we should not ignore.
In May we will be in Brussels to pursue this strategy further, helping ICBUW and the European Greens with an exhibition on DU victims by the fantastic Japanese war photographer Naomi Toyoda. Together with US veterans, Iraqi doctors, scientists and specialists we will seek to increase the momentum for a series of domestic bans in Europe.

So, please forgive us if we haven’t been in the office to take your phone calls or have been slow in answering your letters and emails. As you can see, we have been somewhat distracted of late, but rest assured that real and positive steps towards a ban are being taken by CADU and its coalition partners and we are grateful for your patience and your continued support.

The website has also been a little neglected recently and for that you have my sincere apologies. However this is partly due to my editing of the ICBUW site which is rapidly becoming an excellent source of up to date information on our campaign. Please visit it at

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Page last updated: 6th December 2002