October 25, 1997
Proposed in connection with the visit of the Uranium Tour of Indigenous Peoples to the European Parliament in Bruxelles, October 1997.
Considering the rights of Indigenous Peoples as recognised in the ILO Convention 169 and the Covenant on Social, Economical and Cultural Rights as well as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and that Human Rights recognise Indigenous Peoples as groups of human beings with the right to be treated as such, rather than just groups of non-persons,
Whereas 70% of the world's uranium resources are located on the lands inhabited by Indigenous Peoples in Africa, Asia, Australia and North and South America.
Whereas for each ton of uranium oxide, approximately 40,000 tons of 'tailings' remain behind as low level radioactive waste. and whereas these tailings hold up to 85% of the ore's original radioactivity, and whereas uranium mill tailings remain highly radioactive for at least 300,000 to 700,000 years,
Whereas mining activities leave dumpsites unprotected enabling the spreading of carcinogenic dust from the tailings to the surrounding water, air and soil, and thus also contaminating agricultural and animal meat by-products and foods for human consumption, as well as human lungs, and whereas proper provision is not made for land restorations and /or reclamation,
Whereas traditional Indigenous Peoples landrights are violated by maldevelopment policies, serving only the interests of transnational corporations and not those of the local communities,
Whereas part of the mined uranium is used in nuclear reactors in the European Union (EU) and has also been used as the raw material for nuclear weapons programmes including nuclear weapons testing, in connection with the defence policy of certain EU Member States, which has led to the injuring of Indigenous Peoples and the productive capacity of their lands throughout regions of the world,
Whereas the mining and concentration of nuclear raw materials produces considerable quantities of greenhouse gases, partly in the country of origin, contrary to the current misconception that nuclear power per se does not produce greenhouse gases,
The European Parliament
1. Calls on the Commission to finance a comprehensive independent study on the origin of the uranium fuel used in nuclear power plants and research reactors within the European Union, as well as an estimate of that used for military purposes, where the study would specify the quantities, mining companies involved, impact on health and environment, and violations of Indigenous Peoples landrights, as well as energy use, CO2 and other waste production at each stage;
2. Calls on the governments of countries and the private companies involved to respect Indigenous Peoples' inherent right to self-determination as well as their right to land, water and resources, including their right to end all ongoing and planned uranium mining activities on their territories or lands, and that the degree of clean-up and/or reclamation be determined and prescribed at the local level and by local people;
3. Calls on the Council of Ministers to abolish the Euratom Treaty (1957) which still promotes the use of nuclear energy, to absorb its safeguard functions into the EU, and to create an EU Solar Energy (*) Treaty for the study, promotion and implementation of renewable energies within as well as outside the EU;
4. Calls on the Member States to take initiatives to reform Article 1 of the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the creation of a new United Nations International Solar Energy Agency, and in any case to repudiate the May 1959 Agreement between the World Health Organisation (WHO) and IAEA;
5. Calls on the Member States and international community to halt the construction of new nuclear power plants and to phase out all existing civilian and military plants;
6. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council, the Member States, the governments of Australia, Canada, Gabon, Kazakhstan, Namibia, Niger, South Africa, and USA and all other nuclear raw materials producing countries, the UN, WHO and IAEA.
* We use the title "Solar Energy" instead of "Renewable or Sustainable" because wind, biomass, ocean wave, and other like technologies derive their energy potential directly from the sun. There is a similar proposal put forward by the NGO EuroSolar.
The Uranium Tour is organized by For Mother Earth.
For more info, contact:
Mrs. Ria Verjauw