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Depleted uranium Motion tabled in Scottish Parliament

Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) have submitted a motion calling on the UK government to abstain or vote in favour when the UN General Assembly considers the new resolution on depleted uranium weapons.
4 November 2010 - ICBUW

Bill Wilson MSP The Motion echoes the Early Day Motion (EDM) currently before the UK Parliament, which also calls on the UK to support the new UN resolution. The EDM resolution has now been signed by 69 Members of Parliament (see link at the end of this article) from all the main parties.

The Motion's sponsor, Dr Bill Wilson MSP, is a member of the Scottish Nationalist Party and former environmental scientist. He has been deeply troubled by the ongoing reports of birth defects in the Iraqi city of Fallujah.

During the first vote on the new UN resolution at the First Committee last week, the UK joined only the US, France and Israel in opposing the text as 136 states voted in favour. The General Assembly will vote on the resolution at the end of November.

In their explanation of vote at the First Committee, the UK, France and US claimed that it should be up to them to decide if and when information on the whereabouts of the munitions that they have fired is released. Research by ICBUW suggests that the rapid release of accurate data following conflicts is the single most effective means of reducing the risk from the weapons. To date, the US has failed to release information on at least 404,000kg of DU that it used in Iraq in 1991 and 2003. The UK on the other hand has shared data on their use of the weapons in Iraq in 2003, because of this it was hoped that they would support the new draft.

S3M-7332 Bill Wilson: UN Vote on Depleted Uranium
That the Parliament notes various reports of recent increases in the incidence of childhood leukaemia and other cancers, stillbirths and birth defects in Iraq, which also suggest that these are linked to the deployment of depleted uranium weaponry; supports the recent UN resolution calling on countries using depleted uranium weapons to release quantitative and geographical data relating to the use of these weapons to the governments of affected states; notes that the UK Government did not support the resolution at an earlier stage, and expresses the hope that, when the resolution goes forward to the United Nations General Assembly for a second vote at the end of November 2010, it will at least not veto it.

A previous Motion tabled in 2009 by the Scottish Greens stated:That the Parliament acknowledges the European Parliament’s resolution on “Depleted uranium weapons and their effect on human health and the environment - towards a global ban on the use of such weapons”; recognises the serious health concerns about the use of depleted uranium weapons on both military personnel and civilians, concerns that are widely acknowledged by many including the UN General Assembly; further recognises the serious environmental hazards posed by depleted uranium such as the contamination of soil and groundwater, and strongly urges the Scottish Government to offer its moral and, where appropriate, practical support for a global ban on the use of depleted uranium weapons.

Scotland is home to one of the UK's two depleted uranium firing ranges. The site at Dundrennan has been used to fire in the region of 30 tonnes of 120mm depleted uranium tank rounds into the Solway Firth - something that has long been a matter of concern to local people and parliamentarians.



S3M-7332 Bill Wilson: UN Vote on Depleted Uranium