Greek NGOs appeal to parliamentarians to support uranium weapon ban
Campaigners from several Greek organisations have submitted a letter to the Greek Parliament calling on them to ban the use of uranium weapons.
Inspired by the Belgian government's decision to implement a ban on the use of uranium weapons based on the Precautionary Principle. The campaigners are keen that Greece should also take a stand against the use of the weapons.
Like most NATO members, Greece has previously removed DU shells from its naval Phalanx Close-In Weapon System however, like Turkey, it still has anti-personnel mines that contain DU in its arsenal. The international monitoring organisation set up following the passage of the Ottawa Convention, Landmine Monitor, claims that Greece has still not destroyed its stock of 18,000 individual ADAM mines and is in breach of its treaty obligations. Greece blames technical problems for the delay. In the US the mines are destroyed by a process called 'cryofracture' and facilities where the work is undertaken require a licence from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The DU in the mines forms part of the resin that makes up the body of the weapon.
The letter has been signed by the IPPNW affiliate the Greek Medical Association for the Protection of the Environment and against Nuclear and Biochemical Threat, the Observatory of International Organizations, Medecins du Monde and the Marangopoulos Human Rights Foundation.
Greek campaigners have been dismayed by Greece's repeated abstentions at crucial UN votes on the issue and are determined to shift government policy on uranium weapons.
The Greek Medical Association for the Protection of the Environment and against Nuclear and Biochemical Threat has long been against the use of DU by Greece and brought its use by NATO in the Balkan conflict to the attention of the Greek media in 2001. Later that year they forced the Greek government to admit that not only did they have uranium weapons, they were already in use by their navy.