Denmark declares intention to legislate on investments in cluster munitions and landmines

The Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) welcomes the news that Denmark’s Business and Growth Minister Annette Vilhelmsen, has declared an intention to legislate on investments in cluster munitions and landmines.

“I will now make sure that Danish investments are not used in the production of these weapons”, Vilhelmsen says. “Personally I would like to be sure that my pension funds are not being invested in cluster bombs,” she added.

Richard MacCormac, Head of Mine Clearance for CMC member organization DanChurchAid, said,  “This is a welcome step”, adding “It’s about time too, when you think that Denmark introduced a ban on the use of these weapons some time ago”.

Denmark is a State Party to both the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions and the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, which comprehensively ban the use, production, stockpiling, and transfer of cluster munitions and antipersonnel landmines respectively, and require stockpile destruction, clearance and victim assistance.

A growing number of states have implemented national legislation to ban (forms of) investments in cluster munitions, namely Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Samoa, and Switzerland. In Liechtenstein a prohibition on direct and indirect investments will enter into force on 1 September 2013. Additionally, there are 23 states that have made interpretive statements that indicate that they consider investments in cluster munitions to be prohibited by article 1(1)c of the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM). Article 1(1)c of the CCM says that States Party are not to “assist, encourage, or induce” anyone to engage in prohibited activities under the Convention.

The Cluster Munition Coalition calls on all States that have joined the CCM to make it clear that in prohibiting assistance, article 1(1)c of the Convention prohibits investment in cluster munitions producers. Enacting legislation prohibiting investment is the most effective means to end manufacture of these unacceptable weapons and to prevent future tragedies.
For more information see the ‘Countries’ Best Practices to Ban Investments in cluster munitions’, launched in April 2013 by IKV Pax Christi (The Netherlands) and FairFin (Belgium) during the Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meeting in Geneva.