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) aim to stop investment in cluster munitions producers and call on financial institutions to put an end to these investments. We also call on states to install national legislation prohibiting investment in companies that produce cluster munitions.
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 is also forbidden as is constitutes as assistance with production. After all, no money means no production. Moreover, it is completely illogical to ban a weapon for the humanitarian harm it causes while permitting investment in companies that produce them elsewhere.
Meanwhile, ten countries have adopted legislation prohibiting investment in cluster munitions. In the Netherlands for example, Dutch financial institutions are prohibited to make direct investments in cluster munitions producers, as of 1 January 2013. Additionally, there are thirty 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 report Worldwide Investments in Cluster Munitions: A Shared Responsibility, documents which of the world's financial institutions invest in cluster munitions producers, which of them have a policy excluding such investment and what states do to prevent such investment. The latest update of the report was published on 23 May 2017.
The report, which was the result of research commissioned by PAX and Flemish NGO FairFin, was first published in 2009. Every year we publish an update. Since 2013 PAX publishes the research, that is partly carried out by Dutch economic research company Profundo.
Since 2007, PAX has critically monitored the investment policies of banks, pension funds and other financial institutions with regard to cluster munitions.
PAX is part of the Dutch Fair Bank Guide and the Fair Insurance Guide that offers consumers information on the investment policies and practices of their banks or insurance company. On the Fair Bank Guide website, consumers can determine how sustainable their own bank or insurance company is and whether it, for example, invests in controversial arms.
A growing number of financial institutions have modified or introduced new policies on cluster munitions as a result of the Stop Explosive Investment campaign. Some of the producers of cluster munitions have stopped the production, which can likely be attributed partly to a reduced availability of international funds.