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Blood on Our Hands

category national | anti-war / imperialism | opinion/analysis author Sunday December 02, 2007 18:39author by Margaretta D'Arcy - Women in Media & Entertainmentauthor email margaretta at iol dot ie Report this post to the editors

Our Cash Kills Kids

Government hypocrisy has allowed the National Pension Reserve Fund to invest € 500 million in companies that produce weapons of mass destruction.


PENSION FUNDS IN WEAPONS PUT MONEY BEFORE MORALS

The National Pension Reserve Fund (NPRF) has invested € 500 million in companies that produce weapons of mass destruction – notably nuclear weapons, missiles, and cluster bombs. The NRPF will finance pensions for schoolteachers, nurses, prison officers, gardaí and other public servants, after the year 2025. It will also help to fund any social welfare payments made after that date.

This despite the fact that the NRPF was a signatory of the UN Principles for Responsible Investment in 2006.

There is no ethical legislation in Ireland to prevent this kind of investment. Norway, on the other hand, has excluded any firms involved in nuclear weapons and cluster bombs from its similar fund.

Bertie Ahern promised to campaign for a complete ban on the use of cluster bombs. In the Programme for Government, the government said it would seek an immediate freeze on their use. Yet Ireland has nearly € 70 million worth of shares in seven of the world’s main cluster-bomb producing companies.

“DOSSIER OF SHAME.”
The top 10 arms-producing firms, with the value of Irish shares.

BOEING, USA. Aircraft, missiles, etc. € 18,871,586.
NORTHROP GRUMMAN, USA. Aircraft, missiles, etc. € 2,549,571.
LOCKHEED MARTIN, USA. Aircraft, missiles, cluster bombs, etc. € 17,124,321.
BAE SYSTEMS, UK. Aircraft, nuclear warheads, etc. € 14,543,571.
RAYTHEON, USA. Cluster bombs, missiles, etc. € 12,392,445.
GENERAL DYNAMICS, USA: Cluster bombs, etc. € 12,712,947.
FINMECCANA, Italy. Nuclear warheads, etc. € 9,680,018.
EADS, Netherlands. Aircraft, cluster bombs, nuclear warheads. € 19,488,139.
1-3 COMMUNICATIONS, USA. Cluster bombs, etc. € 692,916.
THALES, France. Cluster bombs, etc. € 6,636,170.

(Info from 'The Star,' 27 - 28 Nov 07)

WHAT CAN BE DONE?

Get Questions asked in the Dáil, with a view to a Bill to implement the UN Principles of Responsible Investment at a national level and to exclude (on the Norwegian model) any firms involved in nuclear weapons, cluster bombs, etc., etc.

author by Mikepublication date Mon Dec 03, 2007 19:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Of course if (like most people in Ireland) you work in the private sector and are "lucky" enough to be offered a private pension by your employer youll probably find that you have little choice but to invest in the pension fund selected by your employer. And very few of them have an "ethical" option.

Of course you could opt out and find your own pension scheme but then
1) You almost loose out on the bribe/"matching contribution" that feature in most employers schemes.
2) The very few (if any ???) "ethical " pension funds operating in the Irish market are poorly advertised and difficult to find. There are some good UK based ones but most (all ?) of them wont take on Irish-based clients (probably in breach of EU law RE: single market in goods/services)

We need legislation enabling employees to choose their own pension scheme and requiring employers to contribute to any approved pension scheme chosen by their employees.

author by tomeilepublication date Mon Dec 03, 2007 19:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There should also be a trade union organized academic boycott of all firms and university departments connected to the arms industry . The likes of Raytheon and BAE are reliant on Dr Mengele type scientists for research and development projects .Many of these are prominent in academia and members of trade unions . Anti-war activists should be monitoring all those engaged in the war industry and gathering evidence for future war crime tribunals.

author by Niall - Galway Food Not Bombspublication date Wed Dec 05, 2007 21:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If anyone wants to use this image for publicity material feel free. This issue has to be put to the forefront of Irish antiwar activism, we can pressure TD's and get legislation enacted to prevent unethical investment by government bodies.

investmentflyer.gif

author by Tonypublication date Thu Dec 06, 2007 09:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Bertie Ahern promised to campaign for a complete ban on the use of cluster bombs"
did he also promise to make it a 'top priority'?
We know by now what Aherne's word is worth.

"As Taoiseach, he now intends to sign Ireland up to Nato's so-called
'Partnership for Peace' without giving the Irish people their voice
through the referendum he once promised."

http://indigo.ie/~goodwill/icnd/neutrality/pfpduw.html

 
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