Rome (NEV), May 31, 2019 – The Globalization and Environment Commission (GLAM) of the Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy (FCEI) is paying attention to the situation in Yemen and to the position of RWM Italia S.pA., a factory that exports arms to Saudi Arabia, the country who leads the coalition that is intervening militarily and with bombings in Yemen.
On May 28, the Fondazione Finanza Etica, with which GLAM shared the organization of the conference on “Production and trade in armaments: our responsibilities” (Rome, March 1st, 2019), intervened – together with the Italian Network for Disarmament and with the European Shareholders for Change network (SFC), which represents investments for a total of approximately 140 billion euros – as a critical shareholder at the general meeting of Rheinmetall to ask for clarification on the subsidiary RWM Italia S.pA. and its export activities to Saudi Arabia.
In Sardinia RWM Italia S.p.A. is accused by associations and local environmental and pacifist committees of having violated numerous laws and regulations of the Italian State and of the Sardinia Region, in the procedure for the expansion of the Domusnovas-Iglesias plant. For this it will have to appear to justify its work at the hearing of the Sardinia TAR (Administrative Regional Court), set for 19 June 2019.
The critical shareholders also pointed out how the German government decided, in October 2018, a six-month suspension (later extended for further six) of all military supplies to Saudi Arabia while the Italian Government continues to allow the bombs produced in Sardinia – thanks to permits issued for hundreds of millions of euro – to be used in the Yemeni conflict.
Antonella Visintin, GLAM coordinator, recalled that the final document of the conference of last March 1st emphasized “the responsibilities and the role that Italy plays in the international context, the principles contained in our Constitution, the international conventions, the prohibitions expressed in the Italian law 185 of 1990, the criteria of the EU Common Position and the International Treaty on Arms (ATT). On the basis of all these principles we cannot but forcefully renew the request to the Italian Government to block all arm supplies to countries in conflict and where serious violations of human rights occur. We do this with particular attention to the situation in Yemen, the greatest contemporary humanitarian tragedy, as indicated in the “Final report of the group of experts on Yemen” of the United Nations Security Council and in a Resolution of the European Parliament”.