Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs agrees to fund ICBUW research projects
The Norwegian government has had a long running interest in supporting human rights, peace building and disarmament and their foreign policy aims include a world free of nuclear weapons, strengthening controls on conventional weapons and banning weapons that cause undue suffering.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs funds a diverse array of humanitarian projects around the world but is perhaps best known in the sphere of conventional arms control for funding the work of the Cluster Munition Coalition.
ICBUW was invited to bid for funding in late 2007 during a visit to New York. The rapidly developing campaign during 2008 highlighted several key areas where we needed more data. The three most pressing areas for research were then developed into projects, these are:
The Basra Epidemiology Survey: a long-term study investigating the impact of uranium munitions on the civilian population of Basra, Iraq.
Uranium weapons proliferation, manufacture and trade: this three year research post based in Manchester, UK, will investigate which states have uranium weapons, the size of their stocks and assess trade and proliferation routes. Research will also be undertaken on the environmental impact of alternatives and issues of military utility and policy.
Balkan research survey: a survey trip to the Balkans to document the legacy of NATO’s use of uranium weapons during the late 90s.
This research work has been made all the more urgent by the upcoming discussions on uranium weapons at the UN General Assembly in autumn 2010.
"This is a reflection of the rapidly changing political climate surrounding this issue," said an ICBUW spokesperson. "Governments around the world are re-assessing the effect that these weapons have on civilian populations and there is a real thirst for reliable data on their impact and proliferation. The outcome of these projects will add enormously to the debate over the use of DU and we look forward to a fruitful relationship with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs."