Dutch insurance corporations help selling weapons to dictators


This 2011 video from the USA is called Meet the 0.01 Percent: War Profiteers.

Translated from the Dutch trade union federation FNV:

Insurance corporations invest nearly € 7 billion in dodgy arms

18-06-2015

As many as 8 of the 10 largest life insurance corporations invest a total of 6.8 billion euros in 15 companies which supply weapons and military goods, including to dictatorships and corrupt countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and Bahrain. This was found out by research by the Fair Insurance Guide about insurers, active in the Dutch market.

According to a poll of Dutch people 66% of respondents do not think that is acceptable and that 81% of that group would be willing to change insurers because of this.

Cluster bombs

Suzanne Oosterwijk of the peace organization PAX, on behalf of the Fair Insurance Guide: “All eight insurance corporations are investing money in companies that sell or are going to sell combat helicopters, tanks, (cluster) bombs or radar systems to Saudi Arabia. That country still recently used banned cluster munitions in Yemen and is known for its lousy human rights situation. If you are a decent insurer then you would not want to be involved in that?”

Of the 10 insurers surveyed only Achmea and ASR did not invest in such companies. The eight others were found to have financial ties with corporations like Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems and Airbus Group, which in the study period 2010-2014 supplied weapons and weapons systems, including to dictatorships and corrupt countries.

Sweden’s parliament has recommended cutting arms exports to countries that it considers to be undemocratic as part of plans to emphasize the importance of human rights issues in relation to trade. The moves have highlighted the differences between Sweden and other western countries on the issue. Under the proposals, Sweden would be the first country in the world to introduce specific sets of democratic criteria when it comes to exporting weapons, by judging countries individually, based on their civil and political rights, and the nature of their democratic institutions: here.

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