"We have taken this action in response to the deplorable actions of the Sudanese regime. Exerting influence on the companies we hold in our portfolios is a first step in support of the growing campaign to improve the situation for innocent victims in Sudan," said Joanne Dowdell, Vice President of Corporate Responsibility at Citizens Advisers.
According to the World Factbook, (http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/print/su.html), Sudan is the site of an intense ethnic and economic conflict where militias sponsored by the Arab controlled Sudanese government have driven non-Arab Africans from their homes and property. The twenty year conflict has resulted in the displacement of four million people and two million deaths.
Citizens' decision reflects the sentiments of its Board of Trustees, a body of primarily independent representatives of Citizens Funds shareholders. "Citizens shareholders are looking for active ways to participate in the divestment campaign and we wholeheartedly support Citizens Advisers communication to companies doing business in Sudan," said Walter Bristol, Chair of Citizens Funds Board of Trustees. Letters will be sent to the CEO's of approximately 20 companies. A copy of the letter will be posted to Citizens' website and shareholders in Citizens Funds will be invited to write their own urgings to these firms. "We believe that encouraging companies to divest of their businesses in Sudan has the potential to have the same tremendous positive impact as the South Africa divestiture campaign of the 1990s. As investors there are few other options available to address the horrific situation in Sudan," said Ms. Dowdell.
About Citizens Advisers:
Founded in 1982, and with $850M in assets under management, Citizens Advisers has been a thought leader in its approach to investment management and socially responsible investing. With a core focus on strong, long-term performance, Citizens' mission is to generate the best possible returns for shareholders by investing in companies that are fundamentally strong and socially responsible. Citizens' unique investment management approach revolves around its proprietary integrated research that takes into account financials, in combination with all the variables that affect prospects for success and growth over time. For more information, please visit, www.citizensfunds.com.
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