On 20 January 2009, ACDN France sent a document to M. Nicolas Sarkozy, President of France, M. François Fillon the Prime Minister, M. Bernard Kouchner, Minister of Foreign Affairs, M. Hervé Morin, Minister of Defense, M. Jean-François Dobelle, France’s ambassador to the Disarmament Conference and M. François Zimeray, France’s ambassador on human rights.
The document was a letter which had been faxed two days earlier to Mr Ban Ki-Moon, the United Nations Secretary-General.
The letter had three signatories:
Jean-Marie Matagne, President of ACDN France;
Paolo Scampa, President of the Association Internationale pour la Protection contre les Radiations Ionisantes (A.I.P.R.I., International Association for Protection against Ionising Radiation);
and Alain Acariès, the father of a UN blue-helmet peacekeeper in the FORPRONU mission (Balkans) who died as a result of nanoparticles caused by the use of Depleted Uranium weapons.
Their letter asks for an investigation to be carried out, possibly under the aegis of UNEP (The UN Environment Program) in the wake of Israel’s "Operation Cast Lead" - a rigorous and objective investigation so as to establish the presence or absence of radioactive materials in the Gaza Strip and the neighbouring countries (Egypt, Israel and Jordan).
Without prejudging the results, the signatories do not doubt that France, "the Land of Human Rights", will be able to put her weight behind this request for an investigation. Namely, if that region does have the misfortune of being affected by Depleted Uranium, there would be an urgent need to take measures to protect the population from radioactivity in their environment.
In addition, ACDN France is convinced that France can herself renounce all the weapons containing Depleted Uranium that she possesses. Unless, of course, the UN Investigation Commission into the effects of DU weapons (created recently despite French opposition) is able to prove that Depleted Uranium is harmless. (See below *)
As President Sarkozy said in a letter he sent on 5 December 2008 to H.E. Ban Ki-Moon, shortly before going to Brazil to sign important arms contracts, France is model of general and nuclear disarmament, and Depleted Uranium weapons, along with nuclear weapons, are weapons which humankind must give priority to getting rid of quickly.
Last Monday the Arab nations, for their part, through their accredited representative in Vienna Prince Mansour Al-Saud, made a similar request for an investigation, to the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) - see Arab states say Israel used ammo in Gaza that contained depleted uranium