By Chris Giles
Orkney Greens are continuing to campaign for OIC to stop investing in the arms trade and are delighted that the Pension Sub-Committee has decided to discuss ethical investment in its next meeting on November 22nd. The Greens have recently written to all Councillors to ask them to explore the replacement of arms investments with investment in renewable energy and to consult their electorates about their opinions on the issue.
The money put into companies manufacturing and supplying arms totals many millions of pounds and the UK has recently become the world’s second biggest arms trader. In early September, the DSEI arms fair in London attracted buyers from across the world and was the largest arms fair ever held. UK arms companies have sold £3.7 billion worth of arms to Saudi Arabia in the last three years and many of these weapons have been used in the war currently being waged in Yemen, where tens of thousands have died from military attacks and a growing epidemic of cholera.
According to a survey made by Commonweal for the Quakers, 21 of Scotland’s local authorities say they do not invest in arms companies and many Councils in England and some in Scotland include some measure of ethical principles in their investment policies. Orkney Greens welcome the moves made by OIC towards the principle of ethical investment and hope that, in time, in common with many other local authorities, OIC will divest itself from this vile trade.
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