Video Press Conference, 26 May 2016, The Hague

Video Press Conference, 26 May 2016, The Hague (together with the Nieuwspoort)

Nieuwspoort – is an international press centrum, and a foundation that caters to Dutch politicians, lobbyists, and journalists so they can informally meet. It is a place that holds all the important Dutch press conferences and, most importantly, where the Dutch Prime Minister delivers his weekly address.

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On 26 May 2016, the International Dialogue on Underwater Munitions (IDUM) held its first event at the international press center, Nieuwspoort, where the representatives of the organization in The Hague welcomed many high guests. Representatives of many NGOs such as SeaFirst Foundation, ACCESS, etc., special journalists, and the representatives of the Dutch Government Sector all came to listen about the importance of the monition dumpings, and its consequences on our seas and oceans.

Due to the extensive amounts of work in Canada, the founder of the IDUM, Mr. Terrance Long, could not attend the press conference in person, but managed to convey the important message through the video call. He emphasized that IDUM is collaborating with many International Leaders, and Organizations to better understand the socio-economic impact from years of decaying underwater munitions.

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“Munitions can be found in major quantities in every ocean in the world. They can be found from a reservoir in Jakarta, Indonesia to the pristine lakes of the Swiss Alps at the foot of the Edger to the Great Lakes of North America. In addition to those dumped at sea, a vast number of munitions have been abandoned in rivers, lakes, reservoirs, and inland waterways. Former inland sites remain largely unrecognized, and are today found near many populated areas. In some cases, they share the same waters used by communities for human consumption and irrigation purposes.”

“In the years directly following the World War II, reportedly, ships carrying mustard gas left regularly from Sydney and Halifax for local dumpings. In Argentina, large boats left every two days to dump munitions in the Cabot Strait, for a five-month period.” Engaging with the Dutch public, Mr. Long emphasized that in the North Sea alone lying more than 1700 sites of chemical and conventional munitions.

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In a fruitful discussion with the guests, it was concluded that many activities are already in place to cleanup the munitions, but many more drastic actions need to be taken to leave a clean ocean for our future generations. Most immediate reaction from the guests was taken through signing the petition “Call for an immediate United Nations Conference on Underwater Chemical, Radiological and Conventional Weapons dumped at sea to create a binding Treaty on for the environmentally friendly cleanup of our ocean and seas.” This petition is just one of the ways to get us closer to clean oceans and seas for us all.

If we remove the weapons from our waters, the fish will never miss them…

Please sign the petition: