Investors and NGOs aim for biggest ever signatory campaign to back global arms trade treaty

Initiative ahead of UN discussions to kick off next month.

Investors and non-governmental organisations are preparing what they believe could be one of the biggest investor statements in support of United Nations efforts to produce a globally agreed Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) that would establish common international standards for the import, export and transfer of conventional weapons. The UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment, which has support from institutions representing more than $22 trillion, held a webinar on February 1 to gather investor responses to the issue and corral support. At a recent seminar in Paris held by Cheuvreux, the French broker, Helena Viñes Fiestas, Policy Adviser at Oxfam, one of the NGOs backing the campaign, said she hoped the level of investor involvement would break records for the amount ofassets in support. The statement is currently being drafted and investors being asked to sign on before it is presented at the United Nations in New York in March at an initial UN summit discussing the development of the Arms Trade Treaty.
So far, 153 countries have signed the ATT. In 2012 a final negotiating contract will be put forward for ratification for global signing based on existing human rights charters.
The implications for investors in the signing of a global treaty are perceived to be both moral and reputational risk but also financial return. Many investors are invested in defence and related companies whose businesses would be affected by a global treaty.
Link to Features: Backdrop to an investor campaign to regulate deadly arms trade