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Worldwide investments in cluster munitions: A shared responsibility (December 2018 update)

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Precipitous drop in cluster munitions investments shows impact of global ban ten years on

Geneva, 3 December – The global ban on cluster munitions is having an extraordinary impact on limiting investments in these weapons, which indiscriminately kill and maim civilians, says the Worldwide Investments in Cluster Munitions report released today. Compared to the 2017 report, the global level of financial investment in cluster munitions dropped from US$ 31 billion to $9 billion - a reduction of 344 per cent, the report finds. This precipitous drop is due in part to the halt in production and delivery of the banned weapon by two major US based manufacturers, Textron and Orbital ATK. Both producers have made public statements to this effect, with Orbital ATK noting, "Cluster Munitions have no place in the arsenal of modern armies".

The Worldwide Investments in Cluster Munitions report produced by the Dutch organization PAX - now in its ninth edition - examines global producers of the banned weapon, investments in these companies by financial institutions and states, and actions taken by private business, civil society and governments to prohibit such investments.

Ten years after the international ban on cluster munitions was signed in Oslo, Norway, the Convention on Cluster Munitions has been overwhelmingly successful, the report finds.

Major findings in the 2018 report include:

  • Seven Cluster munitions producers identified globally in four countries, including three newly included companies.

  • A major decrease in the number of financial institutions found to have invested in cluster munitions producers - 88 compared to 166 institutions identified in 2017 - only seven of which have headquarters in states that have joined the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

  • A massive decrease in the level of funding - from US$ 31 billion reported in 2017 to US$ 9 billion for 2018 - invested in cluster munitions producers.

  • A marked increase in the number of financial institutions explicitly excluding investments in cluster munitions producers - now at 110.

  • A significant rise in the number of states taking steps to prohibit investments in cluster munitions, from 38 to 46.

"These weapons were banned by the international community due to their indiscriminate nature and proven record of killing and injuring civilians. The dramatic drop in both the number of investors as well as the total amount invested compared to the previous report shows how institutions globally are rejecting cluster munitions production,” said Hector Guerra, Director of the Cluster Munition Coalition. "Still, we need to focus on the emergence of new producers as well as the continued investments in cluster munitions worldwide. On this important anniversary of the Convention, CMC campaigners around the world are rallying to raise awareness about the importance of ending all investments in cluster munitions producers.”

Convention on Cluster Munitions

Cluster munitions are indiscriminate weapons that pose a serious threat to civilian populations during and long after an attack. Under the Convention on Cluster Munitions, production, use, stockpiling, and transfer of the weapon is prohibited. December 3, 2018 marks the tenth anniversary of the Convention on Cluster Munition signing in Oslo, Norway. To date, a total of 120 States have joined the Convention.

Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC)

The CMC is the voice of civil society in the diplomatic arena, pushing for changes in government policies and practices on addressing the suffering caused by cluster munitions. CMC members around the world work in a spirit of cooperation with their governments and other partners to ensure countries join the Convention on Cluster Munitions and live up to its letter and spirit.

The 2018 update of the report “Worldwide Investments in Cluster Munitions; a shared responsibility” was written and edited by Cluster Munition Coalition member, PAX (the Netherlands); research company Profundo and Omega Research Foundation provided input and data for the report.