Divestment

World Without Genocide supports targeted divestment at all levels from companies complicit with genocide. Targeted divestment was initiated nationally a number of years ago. The following Minnesota institutions have divested: the state of Minnesota (13th of 28 states to date); the cities of Minneapolis, Hopkins, Edina, Winona, Virginia, Red Wing, and St. Paul; the University of Minnesota; and the Minnesota State Bar Association.

World Without Genocide implemented the divestment campaign in Minnesota, was instrumental in Minnesota’s becoming the 13th state in the country to divest, and has assisted several cities throughout Minnesota in divesting. More cities in Minnesota have divested than in any other state.

Why Divest?

Genocide Is An Expensive Venture

The Sudanese government relies heavily on foreign investment to fund its military and the brutal militias seeking to eliminate the non-Arab population of Darfur. For example, it is estimated that 70-80% of oil revenue in Sudan, fueled by foreign direct investment, goes to the country’s military.

The Sudanese government has shown an historic responsiveness to economic pressure, while political pressure and diplomacy alone have largely failed to stop genocide in Darfur.

Targeted Divestment Is Innovative And Effective

Surgically Targets Worst Offending Companies: Targeted divestment affects only companies that meet very stringent criteria; companies that (1) have a business relationship with the government of Sudan, (2) impart minimal benefit to the country’s underprivileged, and (3) have demonstrated no substantial corporate governance policy regarding the Darfur situation.

Engagement before Divestment: Only when a “worst offending” company refuses to change its behavior after a period of shareholder engagement are pension funds required to divest from that company.

Protects Innocent Civilians: Targeted divestment exempts certain companies, industries, and regions that provide benefit to disaffected civilians.

Protects Investment Returns: Targeted divestment exempts certain investments where divestment can be convincingly proven to be infeasible, allowing the pension funds to maintain their prudent investor responsibilities.