Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2003-02-12-Speech-3-231"

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"Mr President, I have to confess that I am rather concerned and astonished after hearing the Commissioner’s statements. We are on the eve of a war which we seem likely to wage on the basis of a mere suspicion: the suspicion that there may be chemical weapons. I am concerned and astonished at the ease with which our suspicions – the suspicion that depleted uranium might have been used in a number of conflicts and that it might have had serious effects on civilians’ health – are being dispelled. I will mention just three facts. Firstly, Nato has not banned depleted uranium weapons, and the fact that it has not banned them leads us to fear, to believe that they have been used, that they might even have been used more than once. Secondly, a statement by the US Secretary of State for Defence in January last year referred to an increase in radiation emissions from depleted uranium weapons in Afghanistan. Thirdly, a number of medical tests carried out – under very difficult conditions because of the situation – in Afghanistan by a Canadian NGO found depleted uranium levels a hundred times as high as usual, due – it is extremely likely – to the use of depleted uranium weapons. Now, in the light of all this, it would seem to be too easy, too hasty to claim that we do not have enough information to be able to presume to raise our voice and call for these weapons not to be used in any conflict and, in particular, to call for the danger of such weapons being used in Iraq to be avoided. This is the essence of our resolution but, tomorrow, it will be the responsibility of the Council and the Commission not just not to exclude the possibility of this danger being fully prevented once and for all but to demand it."@en1

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