Campaigners in Italy promote disinvestment from cluster munitions producers

Campaigners worldwide celebrate the fifth anniversary of the entry into force of the historic Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM). To date, 117 countries have joined the Convention, committing themselves to a world free of cluster bombs.

In 2008 governments negotiated an international treaty, formally known as the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM), that bans the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of cluster bombs. It entered into force five years ago, on 1 August 2010.

The treaty also prohibits countries that have joined the Convention to assist anyone in any activity banned under the Convention, such as the production of cluster munitions. According to the Cluster Munition Coalition and a growing group of countries, this means investment – a form of assistance with production – is prohibited too. In order to once and for all end the humanitarian harm caused by this weapon it is pivotal to end investments in companies that are involved in their production. After all, no money means no production.

That is why, to celebrate the Convention’s anniversary, the Italian Campaign to Ban Landmines (ItCBL) organized a conference to promote disinvestment from cluster munitions producers. Cluster Munition Coalition member PAX (the Netherlands) spoke about the Stop Explosive Investments campaign and the research findings of its 2014 “Worldwide Investments in Cluster Munitions; a shared responsibility” report.

These findings show that in the period 1 June 2011 – September 2014, financial institutions worldwide invested billions of US Dollars in companies that produce (key components of) cluster munitions or explosive submunitions.

“It is deplorable that financial institutions invest in companies that produce weapons that cause so much civilian harm. Governments that have committed themselves to rid the world of cluster munitions have a role to play in ensuring these investments end. That is why we have started a petition to promote the adoption of an Italian bill to end these explosive investments”, says Giuseppe Schiavello, Director of the Italian Campaign to Ban Landmines.

The conference “No money 4 bombs”, organized in cooperation with the Municipality of Pomezia (Italy) at the Selva dei Pini College, aimed to promote the online “Stop Explosive Investments” petition and to raise awareness. Nicoletta Dentico, advisor with Banca Etica, talked about the importance of transparency by banks and financial institutions in order for clients know what is being done with their money. Mayor of Pomezia Elisabetta Serra shared in her closing words that the disinvestment campaign is an excellent way for responsible consumers to get involved and hold financial institutions to account.

The PAX report shows what action states are taking to prohibit investments in cluster munition producers. To date, 9 countries have installed legislation to ban investments in cluster munitions. Italy a State Party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, is amongst these countries, but the Italian campaign is promoting the adoption of a stronger and more comprehensive bill.

To sign the Italian petition to advance the adoption of the disinvestment Bill, see: