Briefing paper: Banning investment – An explicit prohibition on the financing of nuclear weapons producers
On March 27, negotiations started in the United Nations in New York on a new legally binding instrument banning nuclear weapons. PAX submitted a working paper to the conference on the issue of an explicit prohibition on financing in the new treaty.
The paper argues that although existing conventions and treaties prohibiting inhumane and indiscriminate weapons do not contain explicit prohibitions on financing, there is a growing understanding that financing is a form of prohibited assistance.
This is shown by state practice around the Convention on Cluster Munitions, the rationale behind the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and the practice of financial institutions from countries that have joined Nuclear Weapon Free Zone treaties. Including an explicit prohibition on financing in a nuclear weapons ban treaty will make this understanding explicit, and thereby build on existing international law. It will strengthen and make more effective the nuclear weapons prohibition treaty by limiting the flow of capital to the companies involved in nuclear arsenals of states that remain outside of the new treaty.
It would also be in line with the intents and purpose driving the nuclear ban treaty, so that it not only effectively prohibits these weapons but also extends the logic of outlawing nuclear weapons to the financial sector.
The inclusion of financing in a on nuclear weapons prohibition now would also strengthen the impact of future efforts to reduce humanitarian harm through strengthened application of global norms and international law, and is a cooperative approach to ensuring the creation and maintenance of a world without nuclear weapons.