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No Future for DU - UNGA briefing paper on depleted uranium ammunition

Depleted uranium will be debated again this year during the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly. The biannual resolution on ‘Effects of the use of armaments and ammunitions containing depleted uranium‘ will be tabled which likely raise new debate over its content. In order to facilitate a proper and informed debate, PAX and ICBUW drafted the briefing paper „No Future for DU“, which provides an overview of the DU topic and discusses the key issues for governments to consider during the Assembly’s debate and vote on the resolution.
12 October 2018 - ICBUW/PAX

Since the last resolution in 2016, there have a been a number of relevant development in areas of health research, military developments and discussion by states which are relevant to the UN debate. The paper provides a short introduction to DU weapons, where they have been used, and what the concerns are. It also examines why transparency is vital in determining the effects of DU and explores why DU is becoming obsolete by examining defence procurement and disposition policies. It concludes by urging governments to move beyond the semantic debates that have dogged the resolution in recent years and take meaningful steps towards the development of post-conflict obligations for managing DU contamination.

PAX and ICBUW encourage states do reflect these concerns in their statements.

You can read the whole briefing paper via the link below.


  • No Future for DU - UNGA briefing paper on depleted uranium ammunition

    1156 Kb - Format pdf
    Key Messages • A lack of transparency from the States that have used DU munitions continues to impede clearance and research into their potential health and environmental risks. • While some States continue to retain DU munitions, it is clear that most recognise their intrinsic unacceptability and are seeking less harmful alternatives. These procurement policies are at odds with the vocal advocacy they pursue in support of the weapons at the First Committee. • Meaningful progress on the biennial First Committee resolution on DU will be impossible until States fully engage with the content of the text and stop using specious semantic arguments to justify their inaction. • The primary objective for States supportive of progress on DU munitions should be the development of formal post-conflict obligations to minimise the potential health and environmental risks that they pose.