Press Releases
Genocide in Darfur- No business with death
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Oct 30, 2007 - 8:37:20 AM

Press release, Zurich , 29 October 2007

Genocide in
Darfur - No business with death

The genocide in
relies mainly on the income of the Sudanese
government from the oil industry. Involved are also Swiss financial
institutions such as UBS or Credit Suisse which in total hold around 6
billion US dollars worth of investments in the controversial oil
companies in
. UBS plans, furthermore, to underwrite PetroChina's
IPO (initial public offering) on the
stock exchange on 5
November, despite massive international criticism. The non-governmental
organisations Society for Threatened Peoples, Berne Declaration,
Genocide Intervention Network and Bank Track demand that the financial
institutions reconsider their investments.

In today's media conference, the non-governmental organisations Society
for Threatened Peoples, Berne Declaration, Genocide Intervention Network
and Bank Track have disclosed the involvement of Swiss banks in
companies engaged in the Sudanese oil industry. Around 70 percent of
's oil income is spent on military purposes. According to Genocide
Intervention Network, PetroChina, Sinopec (China), Petronas (Malaysia)
and the Indian Oil and Natural Gas Company (ONGC) belong to some of the
"highest offenders" and thus are directly or indirectly connected with
the genocide in Darfur. PetroChina is furthermore investing over a
billion US dollars in a pipeline project in
, which will provide
the military junta with an income of 150 million US dollars per year.

A large number of Swiss financial institutions own investments in the
above mentioned oil companies - the UBS group owns investments with a
stock market value of 2.7 billion US dollars and the Credit Suisse group
up to around 2.8 billion US dollars. Several cantonal and private banks
also own investments with a stock exchange value of millions of US
dollars. Above all, UBS Securities Co. is planning to underwrite
PetroChina's IPO on the
Shanghai stock exchange on 5 November 2007
. This
would lead to one of the greatest sales of shares in the region, with an
estimated value of 5.9 billion US dollars.

The genocide in Darfur can only be stopped with the additional use of
effective economic pressure - this is why the four organisations call on
the Swiss banks to urge their business clients acting in Sudan to take
consistent measures to prevent their direct or indirect contribution to
genocide. If the oil companies in question do not react, the financial
institutions should pull back. In this case, the UBS must resign from
underwriting PetroChina's IPO. Christoph Wiedmer, the manager of the
Society of Threatened Peoples demands: "Economic players can no longer
deny its responsibility in regions where human rights abuses of this
dimension are taking place. Either the investors achieve a change of
thinking in the concerned governments and oil companies, or they should
cancel their business relations with the problematic companies."

These financial connections of banks with companies supporting
oil income are only one, albeit grave, example of how banks can come
into conflict with human rights. This is why Andreas Missbach from the
Berne Declaration demands: "The major banks UBS and Credit Suisse must
create substantial, attainable and transparent human rights guidelines,
in order to avoid becoming an accomplice in human rights violations."

For more information contact:
Andreas Missbach, Berne Declaration, Private Finance Programme, +41 (0)44 277 70 07,
mobile +41 (0)79 478 91 94
Christoph Wiedmer, manager of the Society of Threatened Peoples, +41 (0)79 679 01 24

Berne Declaration
Private Finance Programme
Dr. Andreas Missbach

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