The Bank of America, JP Morgan and many other global financial institutions have been funding the production of cluster bombs.
The banned munitions are responsible for the deaths of thousands of civilians in Yemen.
Sputnik news reports:
A new report by Dutch organization PAX, titled “Stop Explosive Investments” has accused over 150 financial institutions of helping to fund the development of cluster munitions.
Financial giants such as JP Morgan and Bank of America have been ploughing money into companies that develop cluster munitions, the report says.
Cluster munitions have been widely used by the Saudi Arabian coalition in Yemen, to help combat and fight against the Houthi rebels. However the lives of thousands of civilians have been taken due to the bloody conflict which is why a number of NGOs and campaigners worldwide have called for it to stop.
The report from PAX mentions both US and UK companies.
Many countries including the UK have signed the treaty, titled the Convention on Cluster Munitions, which was developed by the Cluster Munitions Coalition (CMC).
The central provision of the treaty is the ban on the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of cluster munitions. This makes it illegal in every country that joins the Convention for anyone to use cluster munitions or engage in any production or trade of the weapon. Other weapons that have been banned in this way include antipersonnel landmines, as well as biological and chemical weapons.
When human rights campaign group Amnesty International discovered in early June that the UK had sold cluster munitions to Saudi Arabia, it also became apparent that Britain continues to partake in stockpiling and investing in companies that produce the weapons.
In addition to this, on Thursday (June 16), it was announced that the US House of Representatives approved the sales of more cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia despite an international ban on the controversial munitions.
— amnestypress (@amnestypress) June 16, 2016
A key campaigner against the use of cluster munitions is Firoz Alizada, Campaigns and Communications Manager for the CMC.
The Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) and its members in 100 countries have been raising awareness of the devastating impacts of cluster bombs, advocating for a ban, as well as monitoring states’ activities and efforts towards the implementation of Convention.
Firoz Alizada, Campaigns and Communications Manager for CMC, believes that the use of cluster munitions in war is extremely harmful and that financial institutions funding the companies that make them is completely wrong.
“Cluster munitions are indiscriminate weapons that kill and maim civilians, including children. They have been used Syria and also in Yemen since March 2015, especially the CBU-105s Sensor Fuzed Weapon type of cluster munition, which is manufactured by Textron. It is unacceptable that financial institutions such as JP Morgan and Bank of America and all other financial institutions continue to fund cluster munitions producers of this horrendous weapon that maim civilians,” Alizada told Sputnik.
Alizada has also called on these companies and governments to put an end to investment in the production of cluster bombs and on all governments that haven’t joined the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions, to join as soon as possible.
— Amnesty UK (@AmnestyUK) June 11, 2016
When asked about thematization behind the finance, Firoz Alizada believes it is simply down to money.
“Well, the aim of financial institutions is usually to make profit; it is probably this same goal that leads these companies to invest in cluster munitions producers. They put their own profit over harms or consequences their investments might cause,” Alizada told Sputnik.
As conflict in the Yemen continues and thousands of civilians face injury and death due to cluster munitions, CMC — as many other NGOs — believes that the international community can not and should not ignore what is happening.
Some ten states in total have adopted legislation that prohibits (forms of) investments in cluster munitions: Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Samoa, Spain and Switzerland. But will others eventually follow suit?