ICBUW Japan launch series of DU actions with Japanese Campaign to Ban Landmines and Cluster Bombs
The series of events began with a street action and a meeting which took place in Osaka on November 9th. Both the street action and the meeting were organized by the Japanese Coalition (ICBUW-Japan) together with the Japan Campaign to Ban Landmines (JCBL). JCBL is a member of the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) and the centre of the Japanese campaign to ban Cluster Munitions. This day of action was held in honour of the International Day of Action to Ban Uranium Weapons and the Global Week of Action to Ban Cluster Bombs.
Osaka street action
Campaigners of ICBUW-Japan set up a banner: From the Ban on Cluster Munitions towards a Ban on Uranium Weapons! on a street at the centre of the city in Osaka. The campaigners collected signatures for the international petition to ban uranium weapons and gave out flyers to people. One of the ICBUW supporters, Ms. Rumi Morita, a professional soprano, sang songs for DU victims during the action.
At the meeting on November 9th, Prof. Motoko Mekata, a Steering Committee Member of JCBL, delivered a lecture on A Treaty Banning Cluster Munitions: Present Situation and Tasks. Ms. Junko Utsumi, the Secretary General of JCBL, reported on the international conference in Laos in October where countries expressed their support for the Convention on Cluster Munitions. The speakers from JCBL shared their successful experiences in the international and domestic campaigns for banning landmines and cluster munitions. They also discussed the limitations of the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW). Katsumi Furitsu, a Steering Committee Member of ICBUW, made a presentation entitled Global Movements Seeking a Ban on Uranium Weapons: ICBUW's Actions toward the UN General Assembly in NY which included the results of the recent vote on the UN resolution on DU at the First Committee as well as the Japanese domestic campaign to bring pressure on the government.
There were a couple of high-school students from Ban Landmines! International Children’s Committee [BLICC] among the participants. The high school students spoke about their experiences of visiting survivors in Cambodia last summer. BLICC has been active in the landmine campaign since 2003.
The participants recognized the importance of strengthening the solidarity between the two campaigns, as both campaigns deal with inhumane weapons of indiscriminate destruction. At the end of the meeting, an appeal was adopted. The appeal urges governments in the world to sign onto the Convention on Cluster Munitions in Oslo in December and also vote for the UN resolution on DU weapons at the coming plenary vote at the UN General Assembly in New York.
For more information on other Japanese Day of Action events please visit: http://www.bandepleteduranium.org/en/a/200.html
Jointly organized by: the International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons - Japan (ICBUW-Japan) and the Japan Campaign to Ban Landmines (JCBL).
In May 2008, 107 states from all over the world adopted the Convention on Cluster Munitions. The signing ceremony for the convention will take place at the Oslo Conference this coming December 3rd. All the states in the world have been invited to Oslo in Norway to sign onto the convention on that day. We strongly urge the Japanese government to sign the convention together with other states and take all necessary steps to ratify the treaty as quickly as possible.
The process towards the Convention on Cluster Munitions has been promoted by the power of people worldwide, through the participation of people working together in the campaign of the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC). The combined activities of NGOs throughout the world and survivors in the affected countries has increased international public opinion on the issue, which has helped to bring about the treaty. The world has taken a new step towards banning inhumane weapons of indiscriminate destruction following the ban on anti-personnel landmines.
The campaign for a ban on uranium weapons, another kind of inhumane weapon of indiscriminate destruction, is being promoted by the International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons (ICBUW). We will go forward and expand our campaign to ban uranium weapons in solidarity with the campaign to ban cluster munitions.
On October 31st, a second resolution entitled Effects of the use of armaments and ammunitions containing depleted uranium was adopted with the overwhelming support from UN member states in the First Committee at the 63rd session of the UN General Assembly. The resolution will promote international discussion concerning the issue of health and environmental effects of the use of these weapons.
The resolution requires further discussion of this issue in the UN General Assembly where it will be once again on the agenda of the General Assembly in 2010, in two years. This resolution will be a step for further progress towards the banning of uranium weapons. We call for more states to support the resolution at the coming vote of the UN General Assembly at the beginning of December.
We welcome the Japanese government’s vote for the resolution at the UN First Committee again this year. We further request that the Japanese government take a more positive role in promoting the international process towards a ban on uranium weapons. Japan is a country that has experienced the tragedy of nuclear bomb attacks and, in addition, has a peace constitution which states that “all peoples of the world have the right to live in peace”.
Japanese Campaign to Ban Landmines: http://www.jca.apc.org/banmines