Legislation

There are a number of countries that have legislation which applies to investment in nuclear weapons producers.

In New Zealand:

The New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament, and Arms Control Act 1987 states:

5  Prohibition on acquisition of nuclear explosive devices

  • (1)No person, who is a New Zealand citizen or a person ordinarily resident in New Zealand, shall, within the New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone,—

    • (a)manufacture, acquire, or possess, or have control over, any nuclear explosive device; or

    • (b)aid, abet, or procure any person to manufacture, acquire, possess, or have control over any nuclear explosive device.

    (2)No person, who is a New Zealand citizen or a person ordinarily resident in New Zealand, and who is a servant or agent of the Crown, shall, beyond the New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone,—

    • (a)manufacture, acquire, or possess, or have control over, any nuclear explosive device; or

    • (b)aid, abet, or procure any person to manufacture, acquire, possess, or have control over any nuclear explosive device.

In Switzerland

The Federal Law on War Material was amended to include a prohibition on direct and indirect investments in prohibited war materiel, including nuclear weapons.

Article 7 on nuclear weapons reads as follows:

 It is prohibited:

a.  to develop, produce, broker, acquire, transfer to anyone, import, export, carry in transit, or store nuclear, biological or chemical weapons (NBC weapons) or to possess them in any other way;
b.  to incite anyone to carry out an act mentioned in letter a above;
c.  to assist anyone to carry out an act mentioned in letter a above.

2   The foregoing prohibition does not apply to acts that are intended:

a.  to enable the destruction of NBC weapons by the agencies responsible therefor; or
b.  to provide protection against the effects of NBC weapons or to combat such effects.

3   The prohibition also applies to acts carried out abroad, irrespective of the law at the place of commission, if:

a.  the acts violate international law agreements to which Switzerland is a party; and
b.  the perpetrator is Swiss or is domiciled in Switzerland.

Article 8b regarding direct investments reads as follows:

“1. The direct financing of the development, manufacture or acquisition of prohibited war material is itself prohibited.

2. Direct financing within the meaning of this Act is the direct granting of credits, loans or gifts or comparable financial advantages in order to pay or advance costs and expenditures that are associated with the development, manufacture or acquisition of prohibited war material.”

Article 8c covers indirect investments, which are forbidden “where the prohibition of direct financing is circumvented thereby.”

written by

Susi Snyder is the nuclear disarmament programme leader for PAX (formerly IKV Pax Christi) in the Netherlands. She is one of the primary authors of the 2013, 2014, and 2015 Don't Bank on the Bomb reports.

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