UK Local Government (aka Council) Pension Scheme: Divest from the Arms Trade

The following is part of the Coventry Justice and Peace Group campaign to get Councils to divest Pension Fund money from the arms trade, cluster bombs and firms that benefit from Israel’s occupation of Palestine.

Please urge your MPs to sign this Early Day Motion:

EDM 376: UK PENSION SCHEMES INVESTMENT IN CLUSTER MUNITIONS

‘That this House notes that the UK is a signatory to the Convention on Cluster Munitions; believes that the UK should not directly or indirectly support the manufacture of cluster munitions; further notes that the UK pension firms often make investments through third party funds managed by external bodies not bound by UK law; further notes that this includes the Local Government Pension Scheme; further notes that primary responsibility of local authority pension schemes is the return from investment; calls for the Government to investigate providing a framework to advise councils how to approach ethical issues; and calls on the Government to explore ways to prevent UK pension forms investing in the overseas manufacture of cluster munitions.’

32 MPs have signed to date. If you have not yet done so, please ask your MP to come on board. Find their name here and find the names of Scottish MPs here.

• See campaign video about Cluster Munitions, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmEFpgSKx3E

• See the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions, 
http://www.clusterconvention.org

• See CMC Cluster Munition Coalition website,
http://www.stopclustermunitions.org/en-gb/home.aspx

• See PaxForPeace website,
http://www.paxforpeace.nl/our-work/programmes/stop-explosive-investments:

‘Peace organisation PAX is one of the leading organisations in the national and international stop explosive investment campaign. PAX and the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) want to stop investment in cluster munitions producers and call on financial institutions to stop these investments. We also call for national legislation by states to prohibit investment in companies that produce cluster munitions.

‘Situation & Urgency

‘The 2008 international Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) forbids the use, stockpiling, transfer and production of cluster munitions. States may also not assist with prohibited activies, such as cluster munition production. According to PAX, the Cluster Munition Coalition and a growing number of states, this means that investment in companies that produce these weapons is also forbidden. After all, no money means no production, and investment therefore constitutes assistance. Moreover, it is completely illogical to ban a weapon for the humanitarian harm it causes while permitting investment in its production elsewhere.

‘Meanwhile, nine countries have adopted legislation forbidding investment in cluster munitions. In the Netherlands, Dutch financial institutions are forbidden to make direct investments in cluster munitions producers, effective 1 January 2013. Additionally, there are more than twenty-five other countries that, while not yet having adopted legislation, have stated that they consider investments in cluster munitions to be prohibited under the Convention on Cluster Munitions.’
The UK EDM was started by Coventry Pax Christi member Paul McGowan: http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2014-15/376. The information is being re-circulated with additional links by Oban Concern for Palestine.

 

 

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About Oban Concern for Palestine

. . . supporting people in Palestine and Israel who oppose the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. Oban Concern for Palestine are a group of Argyll residents who share an interest in Palestine, a friendship with its people and a deep concern for their welfare. And, for the sake of Israel, we want to encourage the government of Israel to comply with international law. Oban Concern for Palestine believe that the oppression of the Palestinian people is a grave wrong, that the government of Israel is in violation of international law, and that we have a duty to speak up and do what we can to bring it to an end. We welcome new members and supporters. For more information, please contact obanconcern4palestine AT gmail DOT com • +44 7747 300 062 • Oban Concern for Palestine, c/o Stronchriach, Rowan Road, Oban, Argyll, PA34 5TY, UK
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