Disarm your degree: report
January 7, 2013
ICAN Australia has published a report titled Disarm Your Degree, which examines Australian public university investments in nuclear arms makers. The campaign conducted extensive research throughout 2012 using freedom-of-information laws. We were able to confirm that four universities do invest in nuclear weapons producers and 12 do not. For the remaining 17 universities, insufficient information was available.
Many of the companies that are heavily involved in the US, British and French nuclear weapons programmes are listed on foreign stock exchanges. Australian public universities – some of which have endowments exceeding A$1 billion – routinely invest in international markets. Any investments in nuclear weapons companies by Australian public universities undermine efforts for a nuclear-weapon-free world.
The use of nuclear weapons has catastrophic humanitarian consequences, and violates fundamental principles of international humanitarian law. Supporting the nuclear weapons industry is both unethical and irresponsible. Divesting funds from nuclear weapons producers is a way for Australian public and private institutions, including universities, to contribute meaningfully towards a nuclear-weapon-free world.
Students can write to their vice-chancellors and financial officers to encourage their universities to divest from nuclear weapons producers. Publishing articles in student newspapers and raising the issue at meetings of student clubs is also an effective way to promote divestment.