Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2003-02-12-Speech-3-227"
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member; Committee on Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, Common Security and Defence Policy (2002-01-17--2004-07-19)3
"Weapons such as landmines and cluster bombs are a veritable nightmare. Not only do they not discriminate between the military and innocent civilians, but after years of war they are still claiming victims among the population. These weapons must be taken out of the arsenals for good. Unlike cluster bombs, there is an international ban on landmines. It is in part thanks to the European Union that the use and production of landmines is decreasing, trade in landmines has been stopped and that there are fewer victims. However, as long as non-state actors are excluded from the banning process, there cannot be a world free of landmines. That is why it is important that the European Union also targets these groups with its policy and puts the topic on the agenda for the next meeting on the Ottawa Convention. Based on its experiences with landmines, it is good that the European Commission is now also developing strategies and programmes for unexploded ammunition from wars. These new activities must not, however, be carried out at the expense of the campaign against landmines; extra money must be made available for this. Many people also think that weapons containing depleted uranium also pose a risk to public health. The Commissioner referred to research that says that actually there is no reason for this concern but I share the doubts of a number of my colleagues as to whether this is enough to justify coming to the conclusion that we can simply carry on using these weapons. I am not reassured on that point yet. No matter, it is high time that we opened our eyes to the cluster bombs and that we finally woke up from our nightmare."@en1
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