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USA keeps secret any data on depleted uranium use

one major obstacle is standing in the way of these assessments – the refusal by the US to release data on exactly where the weapons have been used and in what quantities. At present, states that use uranium weapons do not have to disclose quantitative or geographical data about their use – no where, no how much, nothing.

Fallujah birth malformations demand transparency over depleted uranium use By International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons, 16 Aug 2010, Recent research and a tide of media coverage are indicating that something is very wrong in the Iraqi city of Fallujah. The rates of certain cancers and birth malformations seem to be far higher than those of other countries in the region.

Such is the level of concern, that the World Health Organisation is currently undertaking research in the city, elsewhere experts are trying to gauge whether environmental factors may be responsible. One such risk factor could be the possible use of uranium weapons in the US Marine-led assault on Fallujah in 2004

Unfortunately, one major obstacle is standing in the way of these assessments – the refusal by the US to release data on exactly where the weapons have been used and in what quantities.

At present, states that use uranium weapons do not have to disclose quantitative or geographical data about their use – no where, no how much, nothing. There are no norms governing the recording of data and nothing to say that it should be transferred between states. Indeed states are currently under no obligation to assist either each other – or the United Nations’ agencies for that matter – in identifying, marking, assessing, monitoring or clearing sites contaminated by uranium weapons. This is completely unacceptable.

That exposure to uranium weapons has the potential to cause ill health is generally accepted. The main question remaining is how that risk is influenced by military, geographical, social and other factors. More research is urgently needed into civilian populations living in contaminated areas and right now the single biggest obstacle researchers face continues to be the lack of transparency from users.

Transparency was identified as a priority by the UK Royal Society’s Depleted Uranium Working Group as far back as 2003: “The coalition needs to make clear where and how much depleted uranium was used in the recent conflict in Iraq. We need this information to identify civilians and soldiers who should be monitored for depleted uranium exposure and to begin a clean-up of the environment,” said Prof. Brian Spratt in 2003…….

If states are unwilling to voluntarily release data on the use of uranium weapons, it is beholden on the international community to agree to take whatever steps necessary to develop binding rules governing what happens to these weapons once they are fired.

ICBUW is calling for a resolution on this issue at the UN First Committee this autumn

Fallujah birth malformations demand transparency over depleted uranium use » The Comment Factory

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August 17, 2010 - Posted by | Iraq, secrets,lies and civil liberties | , , , , , , , , ,

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