Earth Island News
In 1994, Mary Byrd Davis founded Yggdrasil Institute to consolidate,
continue, and expand her work centering on nuclear issues. Yggdrasil is
currently working extensively with the French organization The Centre de Documentation et de Recherche sur la Paix et les Conflits (CDRPC).
The CDRPC focuses on the French nuclear forces, the weapons industry, and weapons transfers. Publicity on the Center's work on testing led individuals in France who believed they were harmed by their role in nuclear tests, to contact the Center. In June 2001, a number of these people met and founded the Association des vétérans des essais nucléaires français (AVEN), which supports efforts to obtain compensation from the French government.
In January 2002, the CDRPC arranged for a colloquium on nuclear testing and health, which was held in the French Senate. Activists from around the world spoke about compensation to test victims in their respective countries. At its close, participants created the International Paris Network on Nuclear Testing, under the presidency of Senator Lyn Allison of Australia, and French deputy Marie-Hélène Aubert introduced a bill that, if passed, will provide compensation to victims of French testing, including those in Polynesia and Algeria.
The CDRPC is particularly concerned about the modernization of the French nuclear arsenal. In 2002, the French government increased its expenditures for nuclear weapons by 13 percent. To counter this trend, the CDRPC is designing a program whereby France would eliminate its nuclear weapons by stages, which has already begun in the UK. The CDRPC hopes that any reductions in armaments in France and the UK will influence the powers with major arsenals to engage in significant reductions in their own nuclear forces.
You can make donations to the CDRPC at www.obsarm.org. For other information, contact Yggdrasil (firstname.lastname@example.org) or the CDRPC (email@example.com).