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[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ] EU Parliament resolution against cluster bombs and uranium weapons 1. CONTEXT ------------------ Refer first message to CASI on 2 Dec 2001 - 'Depleted Uranium (DU) Hazards in Iraq and Afghanistan' regarding investigations into new guided weapons with suspected Uranium warheads. Full details in 'Depleted Uranium weapons 2001-2002, Mystery Metal Nightmare in Afghanistan' (January 2002) available at http://www.eoslifework.co.uk/du2012.htm Refer also CASI message on 10 Nov 2002 - 'Uranium weapons and US war plans for Iraq', based on new findings detailed in 'Uranium weapons 2001-2003: Hazards of Uranium weapons for Afghanistan and Iraq (October 2002) http://www.eoslifework.co.uk/u232.htm 2. CONCERN AND ACTION IN THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A number of MEPs have been campaigning against Depleted Uranium weapons for several years. In April 2002 MEP Paul Lannoye questioned the use of Uranium weapons in Afghanistan in the European Parliament (link in References of http://www.eoslifework.co.uk/u23.htm ). In October Green Party MEPs requested a briefing about the new Uranium weapons, their suspected use in Afghanistan and risks for US war plans in Iraq. They included this latest information, including reports of Uranium contamination in Afghanistan, when drafting a new European Parliament resolution with other groups. The hazards of Uranium weapons - radiological bombs - have much in common with international concerns about landmines and cluster bombs. Low level radiation exposure can also maim, cripple or kill civilians, troops and children years after combat finishes. The new EU resolution was debated on Wednesday 12th February. Despite a hostile defence of Uranium weapons by Commissioner Byrne, actually distorting warnings in the Royal Society report, the resolution was passed in Strasbourg on Thursday 13th February - see text at the end of this message. I am grateful to all the MEPs and researchers who have treated this subject with such concern. 3. HAZARDS OF URANIUM WEAPONS IN THE PROPOSED WAR ON IRAQ -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- See new online presentation Last chance to question US Dirty Bombs for Iraq? at http://www.eoslifework.co.uk/Uhaz7feb03/index.htm Unlike Europe, neither the UK Parliament, nor the US Congress or Senate, have had any informed debate about the secret, high density metal used in new hard target guided weapons and sub-munitions. Uranium (depleted or undepleted) is the only economic metal that offers both the high density AND incendiary effects required, but at incalculable cost to human life and the environment. These hard target guided weapons are essential to the Pentagon's 'Shock and Awe' air strike plans for Iraq reported in the New York Times on 2nd February. The suspected warheads contain between 50 and 5000 kg of the secret metal. If this metal is Uranium then these are large radiological bombs. The Pentagon plans include 700 cruise and other guided missiles, 6000 JDAM and 3700 other (e.g. Paveway III) guided bombs. As in Afghanistan I estimate that at least 30% of these will have hard target warheads designed for underground targets and for suspected chemical or biological weapon targets. If the secret metal is Uranium then such a Uranium blitz with US Dirty Bombs may spread 1500+ tons of radioactive, toxic waste across large areas of Iraq. See the online presentation at http://www.eoslifework.co.uk/Uhaz7feb03/index.htm. This scenario will jeopardise the lives of Iraqi civilians, expatriate aid workers and media teams, and of UK, US and other allied troops - friend and foe alike. High levels of so called natural 'background' uranium in target areas may really be contamination from undepleted uranium warheads. Uranium oxide dust is very fine and will stay airborne for weeks or months, re-suspended by vehicles and summer heat. Like the radiation detected in Greece and Hungary during the Balkans bombing, and the "haze over Kabul" during October 2001, a new US bombing campaign in Iraq may spread a radioactive haze over large areas of Iraq. With normal winds this is most likely to drift into neighbouring countries Kuwait, Saudi and Iran. A radiological bombing attack on Iraq on this scale risks causing slow genocide for large numbers of Iraqis and fratricide (friendly fire killing) for allied forces and aid workers. This may already be happening in Afghanistan and for expatriates and refugees who have left since the bombing. Health reports on civilians and troops have been very limited but some disturbing epidemics have been reported see section 9 in the updated analysis at http://www.eoslifework.co.uk/pdfs/Uhaziraq1.pdf The health effects of the 1991 Gulf War in Iraq are already horrific. There is very little time left for citizens, politicians and media to prevent a new Uranium nightmare in Iraq. 4. NEED TO VETO US WAR PLANS & INSPECT SUSPECTED DIRTY BOMBS --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- There is growing evidence of Uranium weapons development. 23 weapon systems are now under suspicion. It is absolutely essential to stop US war plans that rely on these weapons since they may lead to genocide. It is the gravest folly for the UK Government to support US military operations using these weapons, or to commit UK troops to operate in suspected Uranium target zones, until full and rigorous inspections by UN inspectors have been carried out These UN inspections need to be even more rigorous than in Iraq. They need to include evidence of suspected weapon systems dating back to 1985, target areas in Iraq, the Balkans and Afghanistan where they have been used, plus Uranium testing and health monitoring for civilians and troops exposed to bomb and missile target areas. UN inspectors must expect similar delays, denial and deception from the US and other countries as they have experienced in Iraq. Although most of the suspected systems have been developed in the USA, Uranium arms control inspections may need to include up to 20 other countries involved in the development, purchase or use of Uranium weapons. These may include the UK, France, Israel, Pakistan, Russia and China. Uranium weapons proliferation is a potentially very serious international arms control issue. This week's EU Parliament resolution linking arms control for cluster bombs and uranium weapons is appropriate. But suspected Uranium weapons may represent an even bigger and more serious hazard than cluster bombs. The EU resolution to freeze and investigate Uranium weapons needs immediate and rigorous follow up in the UK and many other Parliaments, in the UN Security Council and General Assembly, and in the international media. But can this happen fast enough to veto a major US attack on Iraq? Thank you EU MEPs, and to Alice Mahon and Valerie Davey for brave but brief questions in Westminster recently seeking assurances that Uranium or depleted uranium weapons will not be used in Iraq. I hope that the issue of US Dirty Bombs will be raised in today's protests around the world. The vital issue for rapid international action is whether media editors will be allowed to start a national and international debate about suspected US Dirty Bombs? In concern for peace and humanity Dai Williams, independent researcher Surrey, UK firstname.lastname@example.org ============================================================ EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT Session 1999-2004 10 February 2003 [B5-0116/2003 - B5-0131/2003] JOINT MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION pursuant to Rule 42(5) of the Rules of Procedure by: - Antonios Trakatellis, on behalf of the PPE-DE Group - Jannis Sakellariou, on behalf of the PSE Group - Johan Van Hecke and Bob van den Bos, on behalf of the ELDR Group - Nelly Maes,on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group - Luisa Morgantini, Pernille Frahm and Ilda Figueiredo, on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group European Parliament resolution on the harmful effects of unexploded ordnance (landmines and cluster submunitions) and depleted uranium ammunition The European Parliament, - having regard to its previous resolution on cluster submunitions and depleted uranium ammunition, 1.. reaffirming the need to establish moratoriums on these types of ammunition pending a total ban, 2.. having regard to the work of the Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) on Explosive Remnants of War and Anti-Vehicle Mines, which has been discussing and will begin to negotiate in 2003 on weapons and weapons systems, including cluster submunitions that produce unexploded ordnance, 3.. having regard to the excellent progress that the Commission has made in the area of mine clearance support, 4.. having regard to the ongoing use of anti-personnel landmines and anti-vehicle landmines in many major armed conflicts; whereas landmines are mainly used in conflicts in which both state and non-state armed groups are involved, 5.. recognising that most EU Member States have signed the Ottawa Treaty to globally ban anti-personnel landmines, and hence do not use these types of weaponry any longer; recognising that NATO has de facto banned the use of anti-personnel mines, 6.. whereas cluster submunitions have been and are currently widely used in armed conflicts, 7.. having regard to the use of depleted uranium ammunition in past military interventions, 8.. whereas NATO has not banned these types of weapons, 9.. whereas - whilst acknowledging that international law does not refer specifically to the issue of depleted uranium at present - credible efforts are needed to ensure that any use of such weapons is not in violation of the Additional Protocol I to the Convention on Conventional Weapons, 10.. whereas current international law does not cover compensation for possible harmful effects from users of such kinds of weapons and weapons systems, 11.. whereas, furthermore, states, including EU Member States, are willing to aid in the effort to address this shortfall by providing assistance, in the form of economic assistance, land clearance, social assistance and medical support, to those affected by such weapons, 12.. whereas EU citizens, civilian and military members of peacekeeping and peace enforcement operations, could have been and could continue to become victims of such weapons, in humanitarian civilian and military missions and potentially under future ESDP missions, 13.. whereas the targeting of civilians in any conflict with any weapon is contrary to international humanitarian law, and the use of these types of weapons might be considered a war crime under the competence of the ICC, 14.. whereas for the EU, in developing its ESDP and deploying armed forces, it is vital to uphold international humanitarian law and arms control to the highest standards, 1. Calls on the Council and the EU Member States to review and monitor the design and development of weapons, ensuring that these are in line with the appropriate international law to meet the highest international standards against technical misuse, misdeployment, mistargeting and malfunction; 2. Calls on the Council and the EU Member States, as well as on NATO and its non-EU Member States, to make a public declaration and guarantee that they will not use weapons or weapons systems that have been banned or are deemed to be illegal under international law in present or future armed conflicts; 3. Calls on the Council and the EU Member States, as well as the applicant states, to fully support the Group of Governmental Experts aiming at negotiating a new or amended protocol, within the 1980 Convention on Conventional Weapons, to tackle the issue of explosive remnants of war, in particular so as to achieve benchmarks for speedy assistance to affected victims; 4. Calls on the Council to fully support the Commission's programmes in the area of mine clearance; emphasises that these programmes should be extended to the broader area of explosive remnants of war; invites the Commission to make a statement on how this could be done; 5. Invites the Commission to issue a communication on this matter outlining in detail how it is strengthening its efforts in favour of projects assisting the victims of anti-personnel mines or unexploded ordnance (primary care or social and economic reintegration projects) and by what means it is encouraging the third countries concerned to set up a national policy towards these victims; 6. Invites the Commission to issue a communication on its assessment of priorities and best practice which might be usefully incorporated into any international legal efforts to address the issue of unexploded ordnance, in order to support the efforts in Geneva with the States Parties to the 1980 Convention on Conventional Weapons; 7. Asks the Commission, in the light of the results of these scientific investigations on the use of DU ammunition, to monitor developments in relation to the possible serious, widespread contamination of the environment, as well as an acute or appreciable long-term hazard to human health, and to keep it regularly informed; 8. Supports the stepping up of the EU contribution to the fight against anti-personnel landmines, and asks the Commission to play a prominent role in fostering cooperation and coordination with the Member States, the United Nations and the US and to support effectively coordination between the main programmes of activities and the partners on the ground; 9. Calls on the Council and the EU Member States to take all necessary steps to promote the universalisation of the 1997 Ottawa Treaty and the 1980 Convention on Conventional Weapons; 10. Calls for a ban of the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of anti-personnel landmines by non-state armed groups; calls on the States Parties to the Ottawa Treaty to incorporate this issue in their forthcoming meeting in Bangkok and to support the efforts of specialist NGOs and international humanitarian organisations in engaging non-state armed groups in the ban on landmines; 11. Calls on the Council to support independent and thorough investigations into the possible harmful effects of the use of depleted uranium ammunition (and other types of uranium warheads) in battlefield operations such as in the Balkans, Afghanistan and other regions; stresses that such investigations should concern the effects on the soldiers in affected areas as well as the effects on civilians and their land; calls for the results of these investigations to be presented to Parliament; 12. Requests the EU Member States - in order to play their leadership role in full - to immediately implement a moratorium on the further use of cluster ammunition and depleted uranium ammunition (and other uranium warheads), pending the conclusions of a comprehensive study of the requirements of international humanitarian law; 13. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the EU Member States, all non-EU NATO Member States, the UN Secretary-General and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk