Lessons & Examples

Lessons from other campaigners

Experiences of ICAN and Cluster Munition Coalition campaigners, offer some helpful lessons:

Collaborate with other NGOs also those who may not be in your traditional network. This is effective and efficient as each NGO brings complementary competencies to the campaign. It also strengthens your call for action when you show that you are representing a broad coalition.

Seek out dialogue and take advantage of opportunities to engage, including private discussions with the financial institutions. It can be helpful to have these conversations before launching a public campaign. The threat of the launch of a public campaign when private discussions do not lead to the expected results can be helpful in shifting policies.

Give a clear schedule with deadlines for financial institutions to deliver results. Consider using the upcoming 70th anniversary of the US atomic bombing of Japan (August 2015) as a hook.

Build up a good level of technical knowledge of the internal workings and technical dimensions of banks, pension funds and insurance companies. This allows for a constructive dialogue on an equal footing. Campaigners don’t need to know every detail, but if a financial institution says that it cannot divest, remember that the burden of proof is on them to show why not (especially as others already have!) It’s okay not to know all the details, and it’s a great reason to partner with a financial watchdog organisation in your country who might have more expertise and bring them into the campaign.

Maintain a clear focus on your specific aim to stop financing nuclear weapon producers. Try not to mix your core message with broader complaints about or attacks on financial institutions. This will be appreciated by the financial institution you want to talk with and may help to achieve better results for your campaign.

Stay true to your principles. Financial institutions have to adopt an explicit policy of no investment in / no financing of nuclear weapon manufacturers. When you’re speaking with them, combine your principled demand with a reasonable degree of flexibility and a realistic approach on the actual implementation of adopted policy. Implementing a policy takes time and financial institutions will appreciate your pragmatic approach.

Be thorough by making sure that 1) the policy adopted by banks and insurance companies covers proprietary as well as third party investment and, more generally, any form of financing, 2) that it becomes a public policy, among other things by being published on the institution’s web site and 3) that it ends up being reflected in the institution’s internal rules or codes of conduct and therefore can be controlled by the internal auditors.

Display public documents by sending copies to be posted on www.dontbankonthebomb.com to increase transparency on the exchanges between NGOs and companies, as well as to raise awareness among the Corporate Social Responsibility community.

Be Creative!

Ban nuclear weapons, stop modernizing arsenals

A treaty banning nuclear weapons will have a direct and powerful impact on nuclear weapons possessing countries, even if those countries do not participate…

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Suggested client messages

Below are some examples of emails and tweets you can send to your bank, pension fund or insurance company. EMAIL TO PROTEST AGAINST INVESTMENTS Dear madam,…

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Global Day of Action on Military Spending

The global day of action on military spending is an opportunity for people worldwide to demand a shift in financial priorities. On this day, 13 April, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute will release its annual report on global military expenditures. The day of action is to call for a shift of from disproportionate military spending to funding real human security needs. Most actions are focused on government spending. But there is another side to the money around weapons, and that comes from investments made by financial institutions worldwide. Read more

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Austrian Campaigners target Erste Bank

Austrian campaigners have started a petition campaign targeting Erste Bank and calling on them to strengthen their policy on the defence sector to prohibit…

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Tweet to your Financial Institution!

Many financial institutions can be reached through Twitter or other social media. This is a non-exhaustive list of twitter addresses for financial institutions…

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German campaigners at Commerzbank

On the occasion of the 100th anniversary conference of the International Fellowship…

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Campagne tegen Wapenhandel

In the Netherlands, public pressure fuelled by media and NGO reporting, has…

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Australia: The Future Fund goes Ballistic

Opinion polls show that Australians overwhelmingly oppose nuclear weapons. So…

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Best Practices: A Swedish Case Study

In Sweden, the first step in the campaign was to contact all of the CEOs of…

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