World’s leading financial institutions in Hall of Shame for #investments in #cluster munitions producers

From Canada, CI Financial, Manulife Financial, Royal Bank of Canada and Sun Life Financial are also included in the Hall of Shame. Jointly, these Canadian financial institutions invested US$565 million in cluster munitions producers between June 2012 and April 2016.

The report by Dutch peace organisation PAX was released today in Ottawa, together with the Cluster Munition Coalition and Mines Action Canada, to put pressure on Canada and other governments to put an end to these investments.

“It is an absolute outrage that financial institutions are investing billions into companies that produce weapons which are banned under international law”, says Suzanne Oosterwijk, author of the PAX report. “Canada has also banned these weapons. It is time for financial institutions to stop disregarding the international norm with these explosive investments into producers of illegal weapons that maim and kill civilians.”

Cluster munitions are banned under the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) because they kill indiscriminately. The report looks at investments into a shortlist of seven companies involved in the production of cluster munitions. These are China Aerospace Science and Industry (China), China Aerospace Science and Technology (China), Hanwha (South Korea), Norinco (China), Orbital ATK (US), Poongsan (South Korea) and Textron (US).

Textron produces the CBU-105 Sensor Fuzed Weapon. This weapon, banned under the CCM, has been used by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, reports by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have shown. On 27 May 2016, the United States suspended the transfer of these CBU-105 Sensor Fuzed Weapons to Saudi Arabia because of concern at the use of cluster munitions in or near civilian areas.

Pressure from the financial sector can make a major contribution to a world without cluster munitions. The company Singapore Technologies Engineering announced publically in 2015 that it has terminated its involvement in cluster munitions.