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9 November 2020

Broad Allianz supports wartime business initiative

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Media release of GSOA and the Young Greens - The War Business Initiative, which will be put to the vote on 29 November, has broad social support. In the meantime, more than 40 organizations belong to the JA Alliance. The initiative's concern to stop the financing of producers of war material mobilises church circles in particular. terre des hommes schweiz supports the petition for a referendum.

The initiative launched by the Group Switzerland without an Army (GSoA) and Young Greens has been supported by various organisations since the start of the collection of signatures. In recent weeks, this alliance has grown even further. The ban on financing producers of war material is moving people. Jürg Liechti-Möri, pastor and president of the OeME commission of the Evangelical-Reformed Community of Bern, thinks that as a Christian he cannot proclaim a God of peace and at the same time tolerate that his pension fund money is invested in war business: "Our money should serve peace and not war!

If the initiative is accepted, financial institutions such as the Swiss National Bank or pension funds will no longer be allowed to invest in producers of war material. "If the financing of weapons is not guaranteed, their production and use in warfare will also be prevented. The war business initiative is an important step towards a peaceful global community," says Felix Gnehm of Solidar Suisse. Sylvia Valentin of terres des hommes schweiz adds: "Two of the most important reasons for flight are wars and violence. The role of the producers of war material is often overlooked. With the war business initiative, Switzerland no longer co-finances those weapons that force people to flee.

While the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty will come into force in January, Swiss financial institutions are still investing in nuclear weapons producers. Annette Willi of ICAN Switzerland does not understand this: "Nuclear weapons have one goal: to cause as much suffering and death as possible. The fact that our pension fund assets are being used for the production of new nuclear weapons is unsustainable and must change immediately". ICAN was awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize for its role in the making of the treaty.

The initiators* look forward with confidence to the remaining voting battle. Every week, more organizations would join the alliance. The issue has obviously hit a sore spot in the business of war.

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