158 financial institutions invested more than US$28 billion into seven producers of banned cluster munitions. This is shown by the update to the PAX Worldwide Investments in Cluster Munitions report. 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 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. Between June 2012 and April 2016, 49 financial institutions invested over US$12 billion in Textron, the report shows.
Hall of Shame
The Hall of Shame lists the 158 financial institutions that invested over US$28 billion in the seven companies researched in the report between June 2012 and April 2016. The majority of the financial institutions included in the Hall of Shame are from countries that have not yet joined the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM), the international treaty that categorically bans this weapon. Of serious concern is that the report demonstrates there are still 20 financial institutions from seven countries which have joined the CCM. Suzanne Oosterwijk, project leader on cluster munitions at PAX: “The fact that financial institutions in countries that have joined the ban are still investing in cluster munitions producers is absurd.”
Hall of Fame
The report also includes examples of good practices. In the “Hall of Fame” and “runners-up” category, 84 financial institutions are credited for having policies in place to (comprehensively) ban investments in cluster munition producers.
Governments showing leadership in ending explosive investments
An unprecedented and positive development is that states are now also legislating against investments in cluster munitions. Ten states in total have adopted legislation that prohibits (forms of) investments in cluster munitions: Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Samoa, Spain and Switzerland. In addition, 28 other states that joined the CCM did not legislate (yet), but stated they consider investments to be prohibited by the Convention.
Although the CCM does not explicitly prohibit financial investments, it can be interpreted as a form of “assistance”, which is prohibited under Article 1(1)c of the Convention. Spain is the latest country to have introduced a ban on the financing of cluster munitions, in mid-2015.
Download the June 2016 update Worldwide Investments in Cluster Munitions; a shared responsibility