CADU Conference

Over the weekend of 4/5th November, CADU (Campaign Against Depleted Uranium) organised an international conference in Manchester Town Hall, with the generous support of Manchester City Council to coincide with the declaration of Manchester as a nuclear weapon free zone city exactly 20 years before. CADU brought together activists from over 13 countries from across the world as well as many from Britain. About 200 delegates gathered to discuss a wide range of topics associated with depleted uranium munitions: the health effects, the testing and manufacturing risks; the effects on health and the environment near the test sites; the whole politics of the development and use of the weapons.

The audience heard of the work done on the links with life threatening health conditions from Gulf war veterans, medical scientists and scientists working on low level radiation. They also heard directly from people who lived where munitions had been used (Iraq, Serbia and Albania) and from areas from where the munitions had been tested (the Puerto Rican island of Vieques, Korea ). The presentations were balanced between the technical on the dangers of the material, particularly in weapons, and the political.

The conference looked at the ways forward for banning the production, manufacture, testing and use of the weapons. Workshops produced strategies for working on the law, for the health effects, the environment, scientific work and for the veterans. It is hoped to publish the papers and set in train shortly many of the conference recommendations. The work ahead is considerable, but the meeting together of so many people from such diverse backgrounds was energising. The campaigns across the world and here in Britain will be strengthened.

Campaign Against Depleted Uranium (CADU) (0161 834 8301)

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© Networking Newsletter (Dec 2000)