Join in the Efforts to Achieve a Global Uranium Weapons Treaty
WILPF invites eNews readers to join in efforts to achieve a global uranium weapons treaty by supporting the work of the International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons (ICBUW). With the support of our U.S Branches we aim to raise awareness of the fact that the U.S Government uses chemically toxic radioactive waste in wars and that time has come for an end to this practice. Uranium weapons, often called “depleted” uranium (DU) weapons, are manufactured from radioactive waste materials produced during the nuclear fuel chain and the production of nuclear weapons.
The Washington DC Branch of WILPF, through a mini-grant from the National Office, is currently sending out information to WILPF members throughout the US with an invitation to promote viewings of the documentary URANIO 238, produced by the San José, Costa Rica Quaker Peace Center. We aim to challenge the United States Government's position on Depleted Uranium as in October 2012 a new resolution will be passed on uranium weapons in the UN General Assembly.
In areas such as the south of Iraq, where uranium munitions were used by the US and the UK, reports of increases in cancers, leukemia and birth defects are appalling. Our tax dollars are responsible for this. (For the latest eNews on where our taxes are going, see - www.fcnl.org).
DU munitions were used in the 1991 Gulf War, and again under NATO command, in the Balkans wars of the mid- and late-1990's. Uranium weapons are not nuclear weapons; they are conventional weapons whose density is attractive to the military, who use them as armour-piercing ammunition. Between the U.S and the U.K, at least 410,000 kg of DU have been used in Iraq and the Balkans.
The U.S position is currently one of denial of the health and environmental impacts of these weapons and opposes the call for transparency from users as well as a ban against their use. They are joined by the governments of France, the UK and Israel in this position in contrast to a majority of countries represented at the UN.
Support of WILPF individual Branches in this effort will have a strong impact. As the U.S. pulls out of Iraq after nine years of war, we also need to present the case for long-term health studies among exposed civilian populations as well as allocating funds for cleanup and health care. For more information and to support this effort, please contact Isabel Macdonald, (202) 333 7294, firstname.lastname@example.org.