With a letter to the UN Namibian ambassador, BKC and SfC engage asked the African country to ratify the biological weapons convention. The engagement is done also on behalf of SfC.
In January Bank für Kirche und Caritas (BKC), founding member of SfC – Shareholders for Change, has started to engage the Namibian government, asking it to sign the UN Biological Weapons Convention. This is the first time that BKC engages a sovereign State.
“We address you today as investors in Namibian government bonds and on behalf of the European institutional investor network Shareholders for Change (SfC). We would like to encourage Namibia to continue on its path towards signing and ratifying the Biological Weapons Convention», reports the letter sent by BKC among others to Selma Ashipala-Musavyi, Ambassador of Namibia to the United Nations.
Bonds from Namibia have long been one of BKC’s bond investments – partly because of their attractive yields. However, since the 1st of January 2020, BKC has revised its exclusion criteria for government bonds adding the criterion “non-ratification of UN Biological Weapons Convention”.
“Actually this would be a clear investment exclusion“, says Tommy Piemonte, head of sustainability research at BKC. “However, it was learned that Namibia is no longer opposed to signing the convention” he adds. In addition, Namibia is well placed with regard to crucial sustainability criteria, such as the respect of civil and political rights, as well as the ratification of UN Convention against Chemical Weapons. “We are not afraid to enter into a dialogue with a State“, adds Piemonte. “If Namibia will show no intention to engage in dialogue and won’t sign the UN Biological Weapons Convention (BTWC) we will have to sell its bonds“, said Piemonte.