Tuesday, 10 November 2009

victory for disarmUCL!

After three years hard campaigning by disarmUCL, UCL has caved in and will shortly sell its shares in the arms trader Cobham plc!

Jason Clarke, secretary to the Ethical Investment Review Committee, said that the committee members were impressed by the arguments laid out in our divestment requests, and confirmed that the committee agreed with us that UCL should dispose of its shares in Cobham because of ethical concerns. UCL's Investment committee raised no objection and the move was confirmed by UCL Council, which met in October.

Just a reminder of what our campaign has achieved: 3 years ago we discovered after a Freedom of Information request that UCL was the largest university investor in the arms trade (with over £1.5 million invested) but there was no way for students to find out about or influence UCL's investments. As a direct result of our student & alumni campaigning we now have transparency over investments, a Ethical Investment Review Committee with student representation, and most importantly, the remaining arms shares in Cobham will be sold!

The situation isn't perfect, as we called for equal student & alumni representation on the committee, whereas we've got one student out of 5 members, and the committee has no remit to consider positive investment or engagement. But this is still a massive achievement! (and don't let anyone tell you its down to the recession!)

Check out The London Student for the full story.

For information about the committee, see http://www.ucl.ac.uk/academic-services/eirc/.
Any 'member of the UCL community' can make a divestment request over any particular investment, and the list of investments are available by emailing alison.woodhams@ucl.ac.uk

well done everyone!