Manchester, 29 September 2013

Manchester, 29 September 2013

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Monday, December 28, 2009

Rae Street lobbies the world’s governments on uranium weapons in Geneva

Rae Street has returned from Geneva where she has been lobbying delegations at the World Health Organisation to take effective action to deal with the scourge of uranium weapons. The weapons which are often called ‘depleted’ uranium (DU) weapons are manufactured from radioactive waste materials produced during the nuclear fuel chain and the production of nuclear weapons. Rae Street from Hare Hill Road is a member of the UK Campaign Against Depleted Uranium and wants a total ban on all such weapons. She and fellow campaigners from the International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons spoke with delegations from countries including Iraq whose delegates were very supportive of a ban, Australia, Egypt, Israel, France, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Estonia and Macedonia.

Rae Street said,

“Uranium weapons cause widespread and long lasting contamination of the environment. They are radiologically and chemically toxic and many people - innocent civilians especially children, military veterans, industry workers - have illnesses and medical problems, which seem to be due to their exposure to 'depleted' uranium. In areas such as southern Iraq, where uranium munitions were used by the US and the UK, there have been reports of increases in cancers, leukaemia and birth defects. As the Guardian reported earlier this month, doctors in Iraq’s war-ravaged enclave of Falluja are dealing with up to 15 times as many chronic deformities in infants and a spike in early life cancers that seems very likely to be linked to toxic materials left over from the fighting there.

At least 18 countries possess these weapons. They are not yet banned, but, in the view of many, their use is contrary to existing humanitarian law. Therefore the very minimum we want is that governments should exercise the precautionary principle and agree not to manufacture or use them until their full impact is scientifically established.

We need to let governments and the United Nations know that these weapons can have no part in a humane and caring world. We demand an immediate end to the use of uranium weapons. We want all governments, including our own to disclose all locations where uranium weapons have been used and we want them to remove the remnants and contaminated materials from these sites immediately and under strict control. All the people potentially affected – children in Iraq and munitions workers - need health screening, medical treatment and compensation.

In Geneva, we were reminding delegations at the World Health Organization (WHO) that in December 2008, 141 countries supported the resolution at the United Nations’ General Assembly which called on UN agencies to update their positions on the threat to human health and the environment posed by the use of uranium weapons. We urgently need to have an international convention for a total ban in all countries of the world.”

For more information about uranium weapons, please see

For more information about, Falluja please see