Campaign Against Depleted Uranium

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Campaign News October 2008

It has been an exciting few months since the last CADU News in May. As we predicted, 2007 was the year that the anti-DU campaign began to move, and 2008 has really built on that momentum – becoming more visible as an issue than at any time since the beginning of the decade.

Shortly after CADU News 28 went to press the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly for an anti-DU resolution. This was the fourth one the parliament has voted for and the strongest yet. Backing up the vote in the UN last December, the resolution urges states to support the UN process, calls for mechanisms to aid clean-up, and for a moratorium and outright ban. The vote was carried by 491 in favour to 18 against, with 12 abstentions, an incredible 94% in favour!

Throughout this year, states have been submitting reports to the UN Secretary-General and, as we have already reported, the response was overwhelmingly against DU. Sadly, it looks that this momentum will not be fully followed through without changes in some of the EU countries. We have support from the majority of countries that make up the Non-Aligned Movement, but there was a clear division in the vote last year between the EU countries which cautiously supported action, and those against it.

After the initial drive to get the new General Assembly motion passed, we will enter a crucial two year period in which we need to bring as much pressure as we can to bear upon EU governments. The UK government are a particularly tough target, as they are locked into the CHARM 3 weapons system, but this is due for replacement. The UK is not imprevious the pressure - and as you can see from our letter ideas, their position is not as strong as they would like to think.

Fortunately, CADU is in a very good position to exert this pressure. A grant from the Polden-Puckham Charitable Foundation has enabled our Development Worker, Doug Weir, to increase his hours to full time for two years.

On top of that welcome increase in capacity, Quaker Peace and Social Witness (QPSW) has placed one of their UK Peaceworkers with CADU for a year. Dave Cullen is employed by QPSW for the year, on a programme where workers are placed within UK organisations as a way of contributing to peace work in the UK. Dave will be mainly working on the UK domestic campaign.

We are determined to make the most of the extra capacity over the next twelve months, and look forward to your continued support for our campaigning in the UK, and continued success internationally.

In the next few months we will be looking to re-vamp our website, and put together a CADU email list to send out regular bulletins to those who are interested. But don’t worry - we are going to resume our quarterly publishing of CADU news, and we promise not to deluge you with a whole lot of information if you are not interested. If you are interested in getting on the list, get in touch with us at the office & let us know.

In the medium term, we hope to forge links with other UK based organisations, and put together a coalition to work on the DU issue. Our first priority is the week of letter-writing on the 10th-14th November - do get in touch with the office if you need any further ideas and to let us know how you get on. In the new year we hope to organise some lobbying events when we bring our photo exhibition over from Europe, which we will be asking for as many of our supporters as possible to participate in.

Dave Cullen and Doug Weir CADU/ICBUW

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Page last updated: November 6, 2008