(NOTE: Pax Christi USA has signed this petition and endorsed the campaign.)
Dear friends, we need your help to help promote this petition calling for the U.S. to stop its opposition to our UN resolutions on depleted uranium.
If you haven’t already done so, please sign the petition today (it takes a few seconds) and then forward to your friends, colleagues and families. For too long the U.S. has blocked international action on Depleted Uranium, and we need your help to remind them that they can no longer go on acting with impunity.
Depleted uranium (DU) weapons are chemically toxic and radioactive conventional weapons designed to pierce armor. They were used by the U.S. in the 1991 Gulf War, in the Balkans in the mid and late 1990’s and again in Iraq in the 2003 occupation. Upon impact with hard targets, DU munitions burn, generating a fine dust that may be inhaled by civilians and soldiers alike. Intact munitions or fragments slowly break down, contaminating soils and groundwater.
Animal and cellular studies have shown that DU damages DNA and has caused cancer in laboratory rodents. The U.S. and other DU users have shown little interest in studying civilian populations but laboratory studies have demonstrated that DU is toxic to the body. Since 1991, reports have come from Iraq of increasing numbers of cases of childhood leukemia and birth defects which may be the result of DU exposure. DU contaminates the environment and is very expensive and difficult to clean up.
These weapons are inherently indiscriminate and need to be banned. Other countries are moving to prohibit the use of DU weapons but the U.S. and other DU users are standing in the way of progress.
The United Nations will vote on a fourth resolution considering their acceptability in October. Even without comprehensive civilian health studies, the failure of states to clean-up contamination, their use against civilian infrastructure in built up areas and the lack of transparency from users over where the weapons have been used clearly demands action to ban these weapons on a precautionary basis.
The United States, Israel, the UK and France are the only four states opposing these resolutions. The International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Veterans for Peace and Pax Christi USA are calling for people around the globe to write to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to ask her to reconsider the United States’ voting position at the UN First Committee this October.
Will you join us? Sign the petition today.
To learn more about ICBUW and depleted uranium weapons, take five minutes and watch our animated short: When the Dust Settles.