UK and disinvestment from cluster munitions
On 15 May, the UK Sustainable Investment Finance Association (UKSIF) organised an event on disinvestment from cluster munitions for its association of investors, hosted by one of its members, Threadneedle AM in the financial district of London. This was a similar event to one that UKSIF organized 2 years previous.
Roos Boer of IKV Pax Christi gave a presentation on cluster munitions, the CCM and how the prohibition on assistance should be interpreted as a prohibition on investment. Roos gave an overview of the national laws that have been enacted and policy statements from states prohibiting investments, as well as talking about the “Worldwide Investments in Cluster Munitions” report it produces with FairFin.
Terence Berkleef from Sustainalytics, gave a presentation on the new Dutch national legislation that prohibits investments in cluster munition producers, and talked through how investors can put the law into operation.
A British Member of Parliament, Ann McKechin (Labour), recapped the previous government’s announcement to prohibit direct investments in cluster munition producers through a Ministerial statement in December 2009. She also mentioned commitments made in the same announcement, to set up a working group to look at indirect investments and to put in place a voluntary Code of Conduct, but which has not yet happened under the current government.
Laura Boillot of Article 36 said that the UK campaigners would like to see the government start work to prohibit investments through national law, and as a first step towards this,it should follow through on its commitments and set up the working group that includes the financial sector, civil society as well as with government. Laura also spoke about the UK disinvestment actions and engagement with the financial sector, which has been very productive despite a lack of government leadership.