Investment in companies producing cluster bombs went up last year. This is in spite of the fact that many investors have decided to stop investing in the manufacture of these internationally banned weapons. These are the main conclusions in “Worldwide Investments in Cluster Munitions; a shared responsibility”, a report released today by PAX.
In the past 4 years, 166 financial institutions from 14 countries invested US$ 31 billion in 6 cluster bomb producers. On the other hand, this year the number of institutions with policies excluding investments in cluster bomb producers grew to 88.
Cluster bombs have been banned under international law since 2008. Like landmines, which were banned in 1997, cluster bombs maim and kill indiscriminately. Despite the fact that a growing number of states have joined the cluster bomb ban, total investments have increased from US$ 28 billion in the 2016 report to US$ 31 billion in the 2017 report. Although many banks and other financial institutions now also ban these investments, the number investing worldwide has also increased from 158 to 166 this year.
“Cluster bombs are banned and would not be produced without funding. We have all seen the misery they cause in Syria and Yemen. How can blue chip banks continue to invest in producers of such horrendous and banned weapons - do they simply not care? Companies which produce illegal weapons are unacceptable business partners; from the US to China, banks need to take responsibility with more ethical investments.” said Maaike Beenes, PAX programme officer.
The PAX report examines investments in a shortlist of 6 companies involved in the production of cluster munitions: China Aerospace Science and Industry (China), Hanwha (South Korea), Norinco (China), Orbital ATK (US), Poongsan (South Korea) and Textron (US).
Download the report Worldwide Investments in Cluster Munitions: a shared responsiblity
See also www.stopexplosiveinvestments.org