[DU-WATCH] European parliament moratorium on uranium weapons

On Nov. 17, the European Parliament issued for the third time a call for a moratorium on the use of so-called "depleted" uranium munitions.

The resolution regarding depleted uranium is part of an 11-page document entitled, "Texts adopted by European Parliament, on non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; A role for the European Parliament"

The Resolution's section No. 82 says the EP, "Reiterates its call for a moratorium -- with a view to the introduction of a total ban -- on the use of so-called 'depleted uranium munitions.'"

The legal basis for the moratorium was detailed early in the document, which stated that "all European Union Member States are Parties to the major multilateral agreements that make up the non-proliferation regime, namely the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC), the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and the 1996 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT)."

The Resolution made pointed mention of the fact that, "two Member States, the UK and France, are nuclear-weapon states as defined in the NPT, and that U.S. tactical weapons are stationed on the territories of many more Member States: Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Greece, the Netherlands and Belgium and states applying for EU membership, Turkey in particular."

On Jan. 17, 2001 the European Parliament resolved, among other things, to "[Call] on the Member States that are also NATO members to propose that a moratorium be placed on the use of depleted uranium weapons in accordance with the precautionary principle as defined in the Council resolution adopted at the European Council meeting in Nice and the European Parliament's resolution on the subject."

Likewise on Feb. 13, 2003, the EP called on its executive body the European 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 military operations in areas such as the Balkans, Afghanistan and other regions; [especially] on military personnel serving in affected areas and the effects on civilians and their land; [and called] for the results of these investigations to be presented to Parliament .

The 2003 resolution further called for "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."

Nov. 17, 2005:

Feb. 13, 2003