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08-50661

4.

It is in this light that Jamaica:

(a)

Encourages Member States to support fully multilateral efforts aimed at

regulating the manufacture and use of weapons which cause gross and unnecessary

suffering;

the

(b) Urges manufacture

the international community, especially members responsible for and use of uranium-based weapons, to adopt the precautionary

principle evidence

in of

relation to the use of depleted uranium munitions the hazards that exposure to these weapons poses

in

view of growing

to

mankind and the

many unanswered questions relating to the health of combatants, civilians exposed to military applications of depleted uranium;

peacekeepers

and

(c)

Is hopeful that the manufacturers and users of uranium-based weaponry

will enable investigations and appropriate information of depleted uranium in military applications;

campaigns

on

the

real

risks

(d) Will recommend re-inclusion of paragraph 2 when the resolution is tabled for review by the General Assembly at its sixty-third session.

III. Replies received from agencies and organs of the United Nations system

United Nations Environment Programme

[Original: English] [11 September 2008]

1.

Depleted uranium, the main by-product of uranium enrichment, is a chemically

and radiologically toxic heavy metal. It is mildly radioactive, with about 60 per cent of the activity of natural uranium. This dense metal is used in munitions for its penetrating ability and as a protective material for armoured vehicles. The health

effects resulting from magnitude of exposure,

depleted uranium exposure depend on as well as characteristics such as particle

the route and size, chemical

form and solubility. Where depleted uranium penetrators, penetrator fragments and jackets or

munitions casings can

have been used, be found lying on

the the

surface or water and

buried at varying depth, leading to the potential vegetation from depleted uranium residue.

contamination

of

air,

soil,

2.

The involvement of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in

studies on depleted uranium started as part of the Programme’s post-conflict work in the Balkans, following the Kosovo conflict in 1999. To evaluate and address the potential contamination of the environment by depleted uranium, UNEP conducted three separate environmental assessments and measurements on sites in the Balkans

between

2000

and

2003.

In

all

assessments

detailed

fieldwork

and

laboratory

analysis in independent solidness of the reports.

laboratories

were

a

key

factor

to

ensure

the

scientific

Kosovo 2000-2001

3.

The overall aim of the UNEP mission in Kosovo was to examine the possible

risks from any remaining depleted uranium contamination of ground, water and

biota,

and

from

solid

pieces

of

depleted

uranium

(i.e.

intact

or

fragmented

A/63/170/Add.1

5

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