‘Positive example guide’ for states to ban investments in cluster munitions producers

PAX (formerly IKV Pax Christi) presented its latest report on the efforts by states to end investments in cluster munitions in Geneva today. States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) and campaigners from all over the world are gathered this week to discuss the convention’s progress. PAX, together with the CMC, will put the issue of disinvestment from companies that produce these prohibited weapons on the agenda.

Currently, nine countries have introduced legal prohibitions that ban investment in cluster munitions. The existing disinvestment legislation in Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Samoa and Switzerland can serve as examples for all states to prohibit investment in cluster munitions producers by national law. Although not all of these existing bans are detailed enough and/or contain exceptions that weaken the law, they do all contain strong elements. These elements could be of example for other states when drafting disinvestment legislation.

PAX’ latest report ‘Banning Investments in Cluster Munitions producers; national legislation’ serves as a “positive example guide”. It looks at strong components in disinvestment laws in order to encourage other states to create comprehensive legislation to ban all forms of investments in cluster munitions producers.

As the 2013 report ‘Worldwide Investments in Cluster Munitions; a shared responsibility’ shows, a lot of money still flows towards cluster munitions companies. The Cluster Munition Coalition and a growing group of states interpret the prohibition on assistance in article 1(1)(c) of the CCM to include a prohibition on investments in cluster munitions. Investment would amount to assistance with production of cluster munitions, which is prohibited under the convention. It is vital that more states confirm that article 1(1)(c) encompasses a ban on investment in cluster munitions. States should make this explicit by banning investments in cluster munitions producers in national legislation.