$3trn investor group calls for strong Arms Trade Treaty ahead of UN talks

Statement ahead of negotiations this month

A group of 39 institutional investors with a combined $3trn (€2.38trn) of assets under management have called on United Nations member states to support a “strong and comprehensive” Arms Trade Treaty ahead of negotiations in New York this month.

The investors have issued the Global Investor Statement on the Arms Trade, coordinated via the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment’s Clearinghouse engagement forum.

A similar statement last year had the backing of 21 investors with $1.2trn in assets.

Absence of arms control system affects investments

The group argues the treaty is a historic opportunity to develop commonly agreed international standards to prevent irresponsible international transfers of conventional arms.

The statement’s signatories are all also signatories to the UN PRI and include some of the world’s leading institutional asset owners and managers (list below).

“The absence of a global conventional arms control system preventing irresponsible supplies affects our investments by impacting both the global economy and companies in our portfolio,” the statement reads.

Existing arms export control systems are inadequate to prevent the trade and transfers to irresponsible owners, they say.

“With our returns impacted by unsustainable corporate behavior, we have an interest to reduce financial risk from negative social impacts and protect our reputation linked to investment decisions and practices.“h6. Statement signatories:

AEGON Asset Management
ASN Bank
Avaron Asset Management
Aviva Investors
Birch Caring Capital
Calvert Investments
Comité syndical national de retraite Bâtirente
Christian Super
Church of Sweden
Danske Bank
Delta Lloyd Group
F&C Management Ltd
Fédéris Gestion d’Actifs
Florint Capital Management
Fonds de Solidarité FTQ
Governance for Owners LLP
Hermes Fund Managers Limited
ING Investment Management Europe
Legal & General Investment Management
Local Government Super
North East Scotland Pension Fund
Northern Ireland’s NILGOSC
Pensioenfonds Vervoer
Progressive Asset Management
Rathbone Brothers plc
RPMI Railpen Investments
SNS Asset Management
SPF Beheer
Co-operative Asset Management
Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust
Trillium Asset Management
Triodos Investment Management