Statement from Ruth Messinger In Support of NY State’s Targeted Divestment from Companies Invested in Sudan

NEW YORK, June 11, 2007 – Statement from Ruth Messinger, president of American Jewish World Service, in support of Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s announcement that New York State will participate in targeted divestment from companies invested in Sudan:

“Today New York State took a critical step to ensure that the public sector’s pension funds, one of the largest in the country, are withdrawn from and no longer invested in companies that finance the Sudanese government’s genocidal campaign in Darfur. I applaud Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli for leading this critical effort to send a message to a brutal regime that our great state will not stand by as the death and destruction mounts daily in Darfur.

As a former Manhattan borough president and now as president of American Jewish World Service (AJWS), I am proud that New York State will not remain silent in the face of these crimes against humanity.

Targeted divestment is an absolutely critical strategy for stopping the flow of money that funds the genocide. As a result of divestment campaigns across the United States, four major companies have withdrawn from Sudan to date in 2007 and other corporations have committed to substantial humanitarian programs. Foreign oil companies are among the highest offending businesses that remain in Sudan, and it is oil revenue that is used to purchase weapons and fund the Sudanese military.

AJWS was the first national Jewish organization to endorse targeted divestment. Earlier this year, AJWS launched a multi-state grassroots campaign to promote a nationwide divestment effort. New York is now the fifteenth state to take action on divestment. This national divestment movement tells elected officials that their constituents are concerned and intensifies the pressure on the Sudanese government.

Let today’s action send a strong message to the government of Sudan that the people of New York will not allow their funds to support genocide anywhere.”

– Ruth Messinger, President, American Jewish World Service

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