As a result of the occupation it was agreed that a group of student representatives would meet with the Finance and Investment Committee to present their case. This meeting occurred on 14 July 2009, leading to the committee agreeing that "in principle" it supported the students’ proposal. Finally in 23 September 2010 the committee voted to "revise the College's Statement of Ethical Investment Policy to exclude direct investment in tobacco and armaments where these exceeded 25% of group activity"'
Viyaasan Mahalingasivam, a former student at Queen Mary and involved in the student negotiations, said “Queen Mary's website clearly states that they are committed to working to benefit wider society. We could not see how investing in harmful and destructive companies such as Cobham and Smiths Group fitted in with this. Therefore we took action to pressure the university to sell their shares in these companies. We are delighted they have done so and hope other universities will follow their lead”.
Abigail Haque, Co-ordinator of the Universities Network of Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) said: "This is a good move that can only benefit the university and its students. CAAT believes that students have an important role in ensuring that the university implements the policy and monitors future compliance."
For further information, please contact:
Kaye Stearman or Abigail Haque of CAAT, on 020 7281 0297 or 07990 673 232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
1. Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) works for the reduction and ultimate abolition of the international arms trade. www.caat.org.uk.
2. CAAT's Ban BAE campaign calls for universities to divest from the arms trade for ethical reasons – and ultimately aims to sever the links between education and the arms trade entirely. More information on that can be found here: http://universities.caat.org.uk/
3. The Ban BAE campaign is designed to complement CAAT's Clean Investment campaign, which encourages investors in the world's largest arms-exporting companies to disinvest for ethical reasons, particularly local authority pension funds. More information can be found here: http://www.caat.org.uk/campaigns/clean-investment/