Australia on depleted uranium - can’t lead and won’t follow
Despite pretentions to playing a leading role in world affairs, the Australian Government showed a complete lack of leadership in the United Nations vote on depleted uranium.
Greens spokesperson for nuclear policy Senator Scott Ludlam said the decision to abstain from the vote on a resolution on depleted uranium weapons was "as inexplicable as it is disgusting".
"This was the United Nations First Committee's most far-reaching resolution on DU weapons to date, and 138 countries said yes - but the Australian Government couldn't find the guts to get off the fence.
"The resolution recalls the positions taken by the UN Environment Programme following their fieldwork on DU affected sites in the Balkans. The Programme called for a precautionary approach to depleted uranium - reinforced by stringent clean-up and decontamination operations, awareness raising measures to reduce the risk of civilian exposure, and for the long-term monitoring of contaminated sites.
"Studies indicate that cancer rates and infant mortality rates increase in areas where depleted uranium armaments have been used. DU weapons should be banned entirely - yet the Australian Government was not prepared to back a moderately-worded proposal on mitigating the impact of depleted uranium."