Campaign Against Depleted Uranium

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Campaign News - Change in Motion

It is not just the six month gap that makes it seem like a very long time since the last CADU News campaign update was penned. As is often the way, much has happened in that short period of time, some positive, some less so.

At the top of the negative list is the UK MoD’s decision to re-start test firing at the Dundrennan firing range on the Solway Firth. Granted it only lasted for a week, but it was still a most unwelcome move on their behalf. That they show such contempt for public opinion really should not come as any surprise, indeed only this morning I read that the MoD still want to continue their use of cluster munitions, taking a position at odds with global opinion and that of most of the 130 states who are negotiating the Oslo Process.

However, we toasted a half-full glass to the response of MSPs and Scottish journalists to the news from Dundrennan. Both the Greens and SNP rapidly took extremely supportive positions on the issue. As with Trident replacement, it seems that we have allies over the border. It is a shame that Westminster did not cede control over defence matters to Holyrood upon devolution...

As you will have read, we have just returned from another trip to Geneva. We were heartened by the turnout for the ICBUW-sponsored workshop. Last December’s resolution has really raised awareness of the DU issue among state delegations and our wide-ranging discussions with them were very enlightening. We also took the opportunity to meet with individual states such as Serbia, Finland and South Africa. CADU is very grateful for the financial support of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in helping fund the event. We are also extremely grateful to the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom: without whose Geneva office and fine counsel we would have struggled.

The aim of the meeting was to supply states with the information they need in order to submit reports to the Secretary General, in advance of this autumn’s UN General Assembly, where DU will be on the agenda. We hope we put on a good enough show for them as no doubt the UK, US and France will not shy away from submitting their own (mis)information.
This week we have been helping our Green friends in the European Parliament draft another resolution on DU. It’s the most wide-ranging yet and has met with some resistance from the centre-left and ‘liberal’ groupings in the Parliament. We hope that it will lead to the EP submitting its own report to the Secretary General.

Thanks to the Polden-Puckham Foundation, our ICBUW outreach work is on slightly firmer financial footing. The news helped add to a general air of positivity that followed the depressing turn of events at Dundrennan.

We are were also buoyed up by the feedback from Geneva which suggests that we are having an impact. UN bodies such as UNIDIR have taken an interest and I am currently writing a feature for the New York-based NGO-diplomat-journal Disarmament Times.
What next? Our first step is to try and raise some funds for our domestic campaigning work at music festivals this summer. Predictably enough we are praying for sunshine after last year’s mud horrorshow.

After that, we hope to bring Japanese war photographer Naomi Toyoda’s harrrowing photo exhibition to the UK.

Once done, all eyes will be looking west, across the Atlantic to New York where we hope to present the latest legal arguments to delegates at the UN. This will be timed to pre-empt what will no doubt prove to be very interesting discussions at the UN General Assembly, when the DU issue is raised for the first time in a long time.
Onwards and upwards.



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Page last updated: September 30, 2008