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Iraq

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 3rd November 2014.

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Photo of Nick Harvey Nick Harvey Liberal Democrat, North Devon

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how his Department plans to respond to Iraq's statement at the First Assembly of the UN General Assembly, requesting help from the international community for research into and decontamination of depleted uranium.

Photo of Tobias Ellwood Tobias Ellwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

We are aware of the request made by the Government of Iraq during its statement to the First Committee of the UN General Assembly in October for Member States and relevant international organisations to conduct research into the impact of exposure to depleted uranium (DU) ammunition on human health and the environment and possible methods of treatment. We are conscious that some nations, international organisations and individuals are concerned that there may be a link between the use of DU ammunition and certain medical conditions. This is an issue taken very seriously by the Government. Scientific literature, including that of the Royal Society, the European Commission, the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Health Organisation, contains a substantial number of reports which indicate that DU has not been shown to have, and indeed is very unlikely to have, any significant impact on the health of the local population or on the veterans of conflicts in which these munitions are used.

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