Switzerland prohibits financing cluster munition

On the second day of the Meeting of States Parties, Switzerland declared to ratify the Oslo-Convention on cluster munitions. It includes a ban on direct and indirect financing of internationally baned weaponry. According to the Federal Council of Switzeland, direct financing includes credits, loans and grants while indirect financing rather refers to holding shares of corporations which develop, produce or purchase condemned weapons.

Handicap International Switzerland criticised that the concept of banning direct and indirect investments which are incorporated in the new provisions is subject to several limitations. While the general prohibition of direct financing was given, indirect financing was only restricted “if it serves to circumvent direct financing” (Art. 8(b2)) which was almost impossible to prove.

Article 35 (b2) stipulates that in case of indirect financing the issuer is not liable, if “he accomodates with the possibilty of an infringement of the prohibition to finance”. In order to limit such possibilties and give effect to a prohibition, Handicap International urges Switzerland to support the adoption of an international list of companies which produce cluster munition.