Institutional investors representing US$3 trillion of assets call on UN Member States to support a strong and comprehensive Arms Trade Treaty2012-06-27
Thirty‐nine asset owners and investment managers representing $3 trillion in assets under management are asking Member States of the United Nations to adopt a strong, legally binding and comprehensive Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) when they convene in New York from 2‐27 July for the United Nations Diplomatic Conference on the ATT. The investor coalition has released its final statement with additional investor support to coincide with the negotiations this July.
Investors who have signed the Global Investor Statement on the Arms Trade, who include 39 signatories to the UN‐backed Principles for Responsible Investment, believe that “the absence of a global conventional arms control system preventing irresponsible supplies affects investments by negatively impacting both the global economy and companies in our portfolios.”
According to this coalition of investors, the economy is negatively affected by irresponsible transfers of conventional arms which contribute to insecurity, human rights violations, corruption and the diversion of public resources to destructive activities. Without a stronger system to control international trade in conventional arms, investors believe that companies operating in the defence industry face regulatory and reputational risks, as they may be perceived to be complicit in human rights violations committed by irresponsible end‐users.
These investors urge that:
‐ An ATT should prevent all types of international transfers of conventional arms and ammunitions where there is a substantial risk that these would undermine peace and security, be used in violation of human rights and international humanitarian law, or seriously impair sustainable development.
‐ An ATT should include a comprehensive and detailed list of conventional arms, including small arms, light weapons, ammunitions, and components and equipment specially designed for arms. Member States are encouraged to build on the positive outcomes of the Preparatory Committee sessions held in New York in March and July 2011. “The Chairman’s Draft Paper should be considered as a basis for negotiations at the July Diplomatic Conference, as it represents a clear path for moving forward” stated François Meloche, Extrafinancial Risk Manager at Bâtirente, a Canadian labour‐sponsored multi‐employer retirement system. “We believe that the negotiation process should be open and transparent. Interested stakeholders should have as much access as deemed appropriate to the negotiations, as their perspectives can inform and clarify debates as well as help to identify solutions,” added Bennett Freeman, Senior Vice President for
Sustainability Research and Policy at Calvert Investments, a U.S.‐based investment adviser to a family of sustainable and responsible mutual funds.
The coalition believes the ATT represents an historic opportunity to develop commonly agreed international standards to prevent irresponsible international transfers of conventional arms.
This investor engagement with policy makers and UN Member States has been carried out via the PRI Clearinghouse, the leading global platform for collaborative shareholder engagement. Managed by the PRI Secretariat, the Clearinghouse provides investors with resources and information to share ideas and engage with companies and policymakers on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues across different sectors and regions.
Note to editors: About PRI: The PRI Initiative was established in 2006 after the launch of the Principles to help investors to implement the Principles. Managed by the PRI Secretariat, the Initiative promotes responsible investment and supports investors by sharing best practice and facilitating collaboration. The Initiative is incorporated as a registered charity based in the United Kingdom.
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Media contact :
Extrafinancial Risk Manager, Bâtirente
Phone:+1 (514) 679-6889