Actions at Annual General Meetings



14 of March: The campaign “BBVA without arms” has denounced at the annual share holders meeting of BBVA, that part of the benefits of BBVA come from investments in the arms industry, especially in companies that produce cluster munitions. Members of Cetre Delas from Justicia I Pau in Barcelona, Alejandro Pozo and Jordi Calvo, focused their interventions at the AGM meeting on the investment of BBVA in the arms industry, while Victor Maeso from Setem made an intervention about the investment of this bank on investment on companies that contaminate the environment and that also don't respect the Human Rights in Latin America.

The president of BBVA, Francisco González agreed with the intervention from Alejandro, Jordi and Victor. He said that the policy of the bank is to reduce the amount of investment on arms producers, this subordinated that the rest of the financial institutions adopt the same position. The president committed himself that BBVA will motivate the rest of the financial sector to move in that direction. He was only referring to the investment on cluster munition and not their investment and ownership in these companies. This give a good point to put more pressure on the bank highlighting their connections with the arms industry and other unethical ones.

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Hands Off Iraqi Oil activists made their way to the Shell AGM in London on the 20th of May to warn the company against its attempts to gain access to Iraq's oil reserves. Campaigners dresses as 'corporate pirates' distributed alternative shareholder briefings outside the Barbican Centre, while activist shareholders made their way inside the meeting to question Shell's board of directors.

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On the 7th of May, BAE Systems failed to halt the sharp decline in its reputation despite trying to focus on ethics at its Annual General Meeting in London. The Board faced a barrage of questions from shareholders about corruption and political influence as they struggled to emphasise the ethics report by Lord Woolf that came out the a day earlier. The report, commissioned and paid for by BAE, was criticised for making very limited ethical recommendations without looking at past deals or wider questions such as the ethics of arming oppressive regimes.

The Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) held a peaceful protest outside the AGM while CAAT campaigners staged a photo stunt showing BAE trying to sweep the reality of their business under the carpet, following the Woolf report

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It was another Halliburton AGM at the Houstonian Hotel, Club and Spa. It was a quieter AGM than in previous occasions. Most of the questions were related to the opening of a second headquarters in Dubai. Daver Lesar the coroporation CEO said " Halliburton will continue to have many, many employees in Houston" and remain a U.S. company for tax purposes even though it opened a second headquarters last year in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. However, he maintained it was the "right decision" to establish an overseas base for Halliburton as the oil and gas industry continues to grow outside the U.S. Lesar made the comments in response to a question from a stockholder during what otherwise was a quiet and brief annual meeting of the company's shareholders . The stockholder questioned the motives for the move to Dubai, suggesting it was designed to dodge paying U.S. taxes or escape blame for past wrongs, accusations Lesar denied.

Halliburton remains a target for criticism even though it has spun off its KBR unit, which handles military contracts in Iraq and elsewhere. But it was clear Wednesday that the company is not the lightning rod it used to be.

The company, through its former KBR unit, once had a contract valued at more than $20 billion to support the U.S. military in the Middle East. Some Halliburton critics believe Vice President Dick Cheney, former CEO of Halliburton , helped steer the business to his old employer.


On the 19th of April members of the Critical Shareholders Daimler and the BUNDjugend were present at the Daimler AGM. Jürgen Grässlin, member of WRI's affiliate DFG-VK presented a counter motion to sto the AGM agenda:  "Last year, in many interviews and statements, members of the Board of Management of Daimler AG emphasized that their actions were based on ethics, morals and an awareness of responsibility... Such declarations are not worth the paper they are printed on. In reality, the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS) - whose biggest shareholder is Daimler AG with a stake of 15% - is one of the eight biggest armaments exporters in the world... Once again last year, the Board of Management failed to make any efforts to discontinue doing business with inhumane weapons systems such as submunitions delivery systems. At this point, I would like to quote the example of the involvement in the MLRS (multiple launch rocket system) and the guided MLRS. MLRS rockets are to be produced in enormous numbers. The guided multiple rocket launcher, GLMRS, is designed to distribute approximately 8000 bomblets over an area of up to one square kilometer".

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