Action

Published on September 26th, 2018 | by Susi Snyder

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Amsterdam Action: BNP Paribas End Support for Nuclear Weapons Production!

Actions around the world challenge the US$8 billion nuclear weapons related investments

PAX as a member of the current Nobel Peace Prize Laureate the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) is using the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons to urge BNP Paribas to withdraw their $8 billion support for nuclear weapons producing companies. The production of nuclear weapons will soon be illegal under international law.

PAX was on the streets this morning in front of the BNP Paribas office in Amsterdam, joining simultaneous protests in more than a dozen countries. This global day of action is urging BNP Paribas to make its policy matter and stop investing in nuclear weapons producers. Though BNP Paribas has a policy restricting investment in companies associated with the production of nuclear weapons, it has provided US$8 billion in financing to 16 nuclear weapons producing companies in the last 4 years.

“The ‘bank for a changing world’ has the opportunity to deliver real change and contribute to a nuclear-free world,” said ICAN Executive Director Beatrice Fihn. “They are investing in weapons that are inhumane and violate humanitarian law and the laws of war. They are neither a sound nor ethical investment.”

Susi Snyder of Pax, who is running the global day of action with ICAN, said: “BNP should immediately publish their exclusion list and increase transparency about where they are and aren’t investing. A leader in sustainable investment shouldn’t have anything to hide.”

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which was adopted by the UN in July 2017 and will enter into force once a further 35 states join the 15 who have already ratified it, bans any type of assistance with the production or manufacture of nuclear weapons –  including financing the companies involved. Another four states will ratify the Treaty today in a ceremony at the UN, bringing the total to 19 and making it on pace to become international law next year.

“If BNP Paribas wants real change in the world, it should fix its policy by referencing complete prohibition on all forms of assistance with nuclear weapons under the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons,” said Ms. Snyder.

The protests today are calling on BNP Paribas to:

  1. Increase Transparency. BNP Paribas uses a list of controversial companies to avoid investment. However, this list is private. As a first step, BNP Paribas should make this list public.
  2. Fix the policy. BNP Paribas already has a policy restricting investment in companies associated with the production of nuclear weapons. However, the policy is a failure. It can be fixed by changing the reference from the Non Proliferation Treaty (allowing them to invest in companies associated with the arsenals of China, France, Russia, the UK, and the US) to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (so they can’t invest in any nuclear weapon associated company, anywhere), and applying the policy to all financial products and services it offers- including things like asset management.
  3. Divest. BNP Paribas has a number of long-term investments in nuclear weapons producing companies, and it can take time to fully disinvest, but it can announce that it will not participate in any new financial relationships with any nuclear weapon producing company and will increase the level of engagement with current companies to encourage them to stop making the key components for nuclear weapons.

More information can be found at: https://bnp.dontbankonthebomb.com/ 

 


About the Author

Susi is the project lead for the PAX No Nukes project, she also coordinates the Don’t Bank on the Bomb research and campaign. She is an expert on nuclear weapons, with over two decades experience working at the intersect between nuclear weapons and human rights. In addition to the annual Don't Bank on the Bomb reports, Susi has published numerous reports and articles, including Banned but Allied: Next steps for NATO Alliance members after the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (2018); Escalating tensions: The perfect time to negotiate the outlaw and elimination of nuclear weapons(2015); Dealing with a ban (2015); The Rotterdam Blast: The immediate humanitarian consequences of a 12 kiloton nuclear explosion (2014); ‘Disarm, dismantle and make a profit: A cost-benefit analysis of nuclear modernisation versus nuclear disarmament’ (2013), and Withdrawal Issues: What NATO countries say about the future of tactical nuclear weapons in Europe (2011). She represents PAX on the International Steering Group of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize winning International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. Susi is a 2016 Nuclear Free Future Award Laureate. Previously, Mrs. Snyder served as the Secretary General of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) at their Geneva secretariat, and she is still President of the WILPF United Nations Office. She was named Hero of Las Vegas in 2001 for her work with Indigenous populations against US nuclear weapons development and nuclear waste dumping. Susi currently lives in Utrecht, the Netherlands with her husband and son.



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