International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons

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German Anti-DU Groups Rally Support in Bundestag

Heidi Winterwold on some of the fresh activities under way in Germany.
22 July 2008 - Heidi Winterwold

Briefing Meeting

Bundestag On April 23, ICBUW and IALANA Germany held a briefing meeting in the offices of IALANA in Berlin. Invitations were sent to members of the German Parliament and other interested organisations. Representatives from ICBUW, IALANA Germany, IPPNW Germany, the Green Party and the Left Party were present in the meeting.

Dr. Angelika Claussen from IPPNW Germany gave a speech about the medical and health risks related to exposure to depleted uranium. Secondly, Manfred Mohr gave a speech on the legal aspects concerning the work towards a ban on ammunition and armour containing depleted uranium. Both presentations were followed by a discussion, where all parties showed interest and motivation to continue the cooperation to raise awareness of the DU issue, especially in the Bundestag and the Federal Government, and the common goal to achieve a ban on DU munitions was established.

The idea of bringing Naomi Toyoda’s photo exhibition to Germany was positively welcomed, and ICBUW will continue the work to get the exhibition displayed in the Bundestag or in a famous gallery café nearby.

DU Questions in the Bundestag

The German Left Party addressed 26 questions to the President of the German Bundestag on April 23, 2008. These concerned research into, and the production and use of DU munitions in Germany, as well as the Bundestag’s general attitude towards the DU issue more generally.

In the context of the UN resolution GA 62/30 and the corresponding report to the UN Secretary General, the questions were an attempt to raise the awareness of DU weapons and included an invitation to the Budestag to put the DU issue on the national political agenda. In its official reply on April 23, 2008, the Bundestag confirmed that the topic of DU munitions and their possible health threats has received increased attention since 1999. Nevertheless, the Bundestag pointed out that to date, there exists no official scientific study that proves a direct causal link between exposure to depleted uranium and illness. However, the federal government emphasised its support for the UN resolution GA62/30.

DU Petition in Bundestag

An independent group of individuals, headed by Dietrich Hyprath and Jens Loewe, organised a petition entitled “Petition to Ban Uranium Munition”, in a symbolic act and a manifestation of solidarity.

Conscious of the harm caused by DU to people, animals, plants, food and water, the group initiated the petition No. Pet 3-16-05-053-033916, which was officially submitted to the President of the German Bundestag, M Norbert Lammert, on December 11, 2007. Official petitions are normally transferred to an expert committee within the Bundestag, who make a statement based on their content. In the case of DU, the expert body could be the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the Ethical Council.

The collection of signatures continues online, on the streets and by post, and a total of 458 signatures have been collected to date.