The 25th Alaska State Legislature, 2007 - 2008||
Sponsor Statement: House Bill 287
Divest Investments In Sudan
“An Act relating to certain investments of the Alaska permanent fund, the state's retirement systems, the State of Alaska Supplemental Annuity Plan, and the deferred compensation program for state employees in companies that do business in Sudan, and restricting those investments.”
Posted: January 18, 2008
Status: (H) STA : 2008-01-15
Alaska should not invest money in companies that have a business relationship and are complicit with the Sudanese Government's policy of genocide in the Darfur region of Western Sudan.
More than 400,000 people have been killed, an additional 2.5 million have been forced from their homes, and untold thousands of women and children have been abducted and raped, since Sudan began sponsoring attacks on innocent civilians in Darfur.
On July 22, 2004 the U.S. Congress declared that "the atrocities unfolding in Darfur, Sudan are genocide." This is the first time in history that the United States government has recognized genocide while it's still occurring.
HB 287 mandates targeted divestment and prohibits future investment of the state managed PFD and Pension funds in targeted companies that do business with Sudan. The overall objective of this legislation is to pressure Sudan economically until it ends it's genocide in Darfur.
There are few things an individual state can do to end genocide. Targeted Divestment is one promising strategy to do just that: Pressure the Sudanese government to end itís genocide in Darfur. The State of Alaska can do this with slim to no impact on the fund manager's wise investment mandate to invest principal while maximizing total return.
Alaska has very little invested in Sudan, about 36 million, or 0.1% of total assets and itís important to note that none of the targeted businesses currently operating in Sudan are American.
U.S. Senator Sam Brownback and former republican presidential candidate, said: "We've said often 'never again' and taken up the pledge of 'not on our watch.' We also need to take up the pledge of 'not on our dime.'"
To date, 20 states have already divested assets from companies doing business with the government of Sudan. Alaska is the 49th State to join the union, but it should not be the last to say: "No to genocide, not on our dime."