Campaigning for a ban on Depleted Uranium weapons
News release: MPs call on US to come clean over depleted uranium weapons as Basra opens Iraq’s first children’s cancer hospital
Members of Parliament have tabled a motion that calls for states to release coordinates of where depleted uranium (DU) weapons have been fired – in the same week as Basra opens Iraq’s first children’s cancer hospital.
Early Day Motion 825, sponsored by MPs from all three main parties, urges the Government to support a UN resolution that invites states which have used DU in conflicts to release data on where the weapons have been used, in order to help facilitate monitoring, decontamination and hazard awareness programmes. Unlike the UK, the US has so far failed to provide information on the whereabouts of the more than 400,000kg of DU munitions it fired in 1991 and 2003 to the UN or Iraqi authorities.
Dozens of MPs have signed the EDM, just days after Basra officially opened Iraq’s first specialist children’s cancer hospital last week. Basra has seen a rapid rise in childhood cancers since DU was fired in the city in both the 1991 and 2003 conflicts. Record numbers of children have been diagnosed with childhood leukaemia, which has prompted the building of the hospital.
Speaking to an AFP reporter at the opening ceremony, Dr. Janan Hasan of Basra Children’s Hospital said: “Leukaemia among children under 15 has increased by about four times, most are high-risk cases, which means that they do not have a high survival rate”.
- The full AFP report of Basra’s Children Hospital opening: http://www.tiny.cc/g8f7g
- EDM 825, and a list of its signatories: http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/business-papers/commons/early-day-motions/edm-detail1/?session=2010-11&edmnumber=825
- Background information of EDM 825: http://tiny.cc/2xrceztx4k
- Text of the UN resolution: http://www.bandepleteduranium.org/en/docs/139.pdf
- ICBUW recently released a report on the legacy of uranium weapon use in the Balkans: http://www.bandepleteduranium.org/en/docs/134.pdf