After opening a dialogue with their finance director in December, following CAAT’s publication of shareholding figures, Bangor Uni Liberal Democrat Society (BULDS), Bangor Amnesty Student Group and United Nations Youth and Students Association secured divestment and the adoption of an ethical investment policy by their university.
BULDS released the following statement on receiving such a positive and successful response:
We are relieved at the investment commitee’s decision to remove the shares in Cobham and GKN from its portfolio, and furthermore pleased that UWB has joined the ranks of universities such as East Anglia and Edinburgh by formulating a clean investment policy, giving preference to stocks that prioritise sustainability. We would like to thank the commitee for taking the views of fee-paying students into consideration on this occasion.
Looking at the wider picture, the UK earned more from the arms trade than it gave out in international aid between 1998 and 2001. Since Labour came to power we have exported over twenty billion pounds of arms, including over two and a half billion pounds worth to Africa, and over £393 million worth to Indonesia.
During the first three years of the Labour Government, 83% of Indonesia’s arms imports were from the UK. £1.41m worth of arms were exported to Indonesia as late as 2004, despite the events in east Timor at the end of the 1990s, and the continuing atrocities in Aceh and West Papua.
The government too often breaches its own rules on arms exports by issuing export-licences for weapons and military equipment to states known to abuse human rights.
Bangor University Liberal Democrat Society