Sudan Investment "Screening" at the University of Toronto sign now

The purpose of this brief is to outline reasons for the University of Toronto (U of T) to pursue a long term commitment not to invest in businesses that directly and indirectly contribute to the atrocities being committed by the Sudanese government in Darfur (as outlined by the Sudan Divestment Task Force). We hope that this brief will convince you to sign our petition directed toward the U of T Governing Council.

The Sudanese government continues to wage a campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Fur, Zaghawa, and Masseleit ethnic populations of Darfur, the western region of Sudan. The well-documented human rights abuses include mass rape of young girls and women,i murder of innocents, and destruction of villages. The carnage includes over 400,000 slaughtered, 2.5 million displaced, and over 50\% of Darfurs population now reliant on humanitarian aid. The UN calls Darfur the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today. Despite many attempts by the international community to ease the crisis, the slaughter continues and has now begun to spill over to neighbouring countries such as Chad.

Because Sudans government relies on foreign direct investment, it is pertinent that U of T make an effort to avoid investing in companies that propel the Sudanese governments ability to support its campaign of mass killing. Many North American colleges, universities, states, and cities have already implemented restrictions on investing in companies doing business in Sudan. We cannot allow our institution to invest in companies that may provide funds for the Sudanese government to pursue their ethnic cleansing campaign. Instead, we should use our position as one of North Americas leading and most prestigious educational institutions to influence outcomes in Darfur.

We are petitioning the university to commit to remaining un-invested in any company on the Sudan Divestment Task Forces Highest Offender List. This list focuses on multi-national corporations which operate in conjunction with the Sudanese government or whose revenues clearly help to fund the Sudanese government but fail to deliver a measurable social good to the people of Sudan. Thus, we do not support divestment or screening from companies that provide goods and services that relieve suffering or provide welfare to the people of Sudan.

We recognize the basic investment principle that maximum economic return should be the criterion for the purchase and sale of stock in all normal circumstances. We believe that financial concerns with this screening can be settled. The University of Toronto is currently not investing in any companies on the Sudan Divestment Task Forces Highest Offender List we only ask that U of T make a long-term commitment to remain this way. There is no investment type that is unique only to Sudan; therefore, investments in companies operating in Sudan can be moved to economically equivalent alternatives. Thus, not a single investment type will be excluded from the U of T portfolio in the future. Because economically equivalent alternatives exist, not investing in Sudan Divestment Task Forces Highest Offender List will not hamper U of Ts ability to maximize economic return in its purchase and sale of stock.

The crisis in Darfur has persisted for far too long. We must not be complicit in crimes against humanity.

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Olive OrozcoBy:
HealthIn:
Petition target:
the University of Toronto Governing Council

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