ICBUW launches new discussion paper in preparation for UN First Committee
ICBUW has just returned from a research trip to the Balkans. The complete findings will be written up and published by late summer, however in the interim we are using the information we discovered to inform our campaigning as we approach the United Nations First Committee talks in October.
The two most compelling findings were:
Capacity – managing the legacy of uranium weapons contamination to the standard recommended by the United Nations Environment Programme or to the kind of standard expected by your own government is extremely expensive and requires considerable expertise. Of the three states we visited Bosnia, Serbia and Kosovo – only Serbia had the ability to decontaminate effectively. States recovering from conflict do not typically have the capacity to manage uranium weapon contamination and so reduce dangerous civilian exposures.
Transparency – Bosnia had to wait six years for NATO to reveal that it had used DU and where it had used it. In that time civilians were being exposed unnecessarily. Protocol V of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons set standards for the marking and identification of areas where cluster munitions and land mines were used. The same should go for DU – how can sites be decontaminated or fenced off if the authorities do not know where they are? And how can research be undertaken into DU’s health impact without knowing where the weapons have been used?
Iraq is still waiting for the US to reveal where it used DU in 1991 and 2003, yet the US voted against 2008’s resolution calling for more research on the ground – it claimed that enough research had been done to show that DU is safe.
For information on how you can get involved with promoting this paper, please visit: http://www.bandepleteduranium.org/en/i/67.html
- 203 Kb - Format pdfICBUWICBUW 2010 discussion paper on precaution, the lack of transparency from DU users and the limited capacity of states to manage contamination.