Growing group of countries speaking out against investments in cluster munitions

A growing groups of states are speaking out against investments in cluster munitions. The latest IKV Pax Christi (the Netherlands) and FairFin (Belgium) report “Countries’ Best Practices to Ban Investments in cluster munitions” that was presented today in Geneva shows what action states are taking to prohibit investments in these banned weapons. There are currently eight states that have installed national legislation to ban (forms of) investments: Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Samoa, and Switzerland. Legislative proposals have been tabled in Norway and Liechtenstein. 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).

The report was presented in Geneva where States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions and campaigners from all over the world are gathering this week to discuss the convention’s progress. The Cluster Munition Coalition and IKV Pax Christi called 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. The surest way to prevent money flowing towards producers of cluster munitions is to enact national legislation prohibiting investments in these companies. The June 2012 report “Worldwide Investments in Cluster Munitions; a shared responsibility” by IKV Pax Christi and FairFin shows that 43 billion US Dollar is still invested in companies that produce cluster bombs.

It is vital that more states confirm that article 1(1)(c) includes a ban on investment in cluster munitions. The existing disinvestment legislation in Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Samoa and Switzerland can serve as an example for all states to prohibit investment in cluster munitionproducers by national law.

To find out more about the existing disinvestment legislation, you can visit our Legislation page.