Motion for a resolution - B6-0219/2008Motion for a resolution



further to Questions for Oral Answer B6‑0153/2008 and B6‑0154/2008
pursuant to Rule 108(5) of the Rules of Procedure
by Annemie Neyts-Uyttebroeck and Elizabeth Lynne
on behalf of the ALDE Group
on (depleted) uranium weapons and their effect on human health and the environment – towards a global ban on the use of such weapons

Procedure : 2008/2570(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected :  


European Parliament resolution on (depleted) uranium weapons and their effect on human health and the environment – towards a global ban on the use of such weapons

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on the harmful effects of the use of uranium (including depleted uranium) in conventional ammunition,

–  having regard to UN General Assembly Resolution 62/30 of 5 December 2007 entitled 'Effects of the use of armaments and ammunitions containing depleted uranium', which highlighted concerns about the military use of depleted uranium and urged UN member states to re-examine the health hazards posed by the use of uranium weapons,

–  having regard to the final report to the ICTY Prosecutor by the Committee Established to Review the NATO Bombing Campaign against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and its conclusions on use of depleted uranium projectiles[1],

–  having regard to Rule 108(5) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas (depleted) uranium has been widely used in modern warfare, both as ammunition against hardened targets in rural and urban environments and as hardened armoured protection against missile and artillery attacks,

B.  whereas, ever since its use by the allied forces in the first war against Iraq, there have been serious concerns about the radiological and chemical toxicity of the fine uranium particles produced when such weapons impact on hard targets; whereas concerns have also been expressed about the contamination of soil and groundwater by expended rounds that have missed their targets,

C.  whereas, despite the fact that scientific research has so far been unable to find conclusive evidence of harm, owing in part to the unwillingness of military authorities to allow independent and timely research, there are numerous vivid testimonies as to the harmful and often deadly effects on both military personnel and civilians,

D.  whereas the last few years have seen great advances in terms of understanding the environmental and health hazards posed by depleted uranium, and whereas it is high time that international military standards were brought into line with these advances,

E.  whereas the use of depleted uranium in warfare runs counter to the basic rules and principles enshrined in written and customary international, humanitarian and environmental law

F.  whereas it has made consistent calls:

  • (a)to investigate the use of uranium in conventional ammunition in military operations in    the Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan and other regions and its effect on military personnel    and civilians and their land,
  • (b)to establish a moratorium by all members of the EU and NATO, pending the outcome    of these investigations,
  • (c)to work towards the possible introduction of a total ban on the use of (depleted)    uranium in conventional ammunition,

1.  Urges the Member States to adhere to the commitment made in the framework of UN General Assembly Resolution 62/30 adopted on 5 December 2007 and to submit a report with their views on the effects of the use of armaments and ammunition containing depleted uranium;

2.  Recommends that the EU High Representative include a reference to the need to ban the use of depleted uranium ammunition in the revised European Security Strategy;

3.  Requests that the Council and the Commission undertake thorough investigations into the use of depleted uranium in all regions where European military and civilian personnel have been deployed within the framework of international operations; urges both NATO and the US to engage constructively in offering their support and cooperation in these investigations;

4.  Urges the Member States, the Council and the Commission to provide full information to their military and civilian personnel as to whether there is a probability that depleted uranium has been or might be used in their theatre of operations; requests, accordingly, that sufficient protective measures be taken in the event of hazardous ammunition being used;

5.  Urges the Member States not to use depleted uranium weapons in ESDP operations;

6.  Calls on the Member States, the Council and the Commission to establish an environmental inventory of depleted uranium-contaminated areas (including testing ranges) and to provide full support – including financial support – for projects that could assist victims and their relatives as well as for clean-up operations in the affected areas, should a negative effect on human health and the environment be confirmed;

7.  Calls on all EU Member States and NATO countries to maintain or work towards the imposition of a ban on the use of (depleted) uranium in conventional ammunition, and systematically to halt production and procurement of this type of weaponry;

8.  Calls on the Member States and the Council to take the lead in working towards an international treaty - through the UN or through a 'coalition of the willing' - to establish a ban on the development, production, stockpiling, transfer, testing and use of uranium weapons as well as the destruction or recycling of existing stocks;

9.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, NATO and the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, the UN, Euromil, the International Red Cross, the World Health Organisation and the International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons.