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June 30, 2009


DiNapoli Draws Praise for Divesting From Iran, Sudan

Advocates Laud DiNapoli’s Decision to Divest $86 Million from Nine Companies

Human rights advocates at the local and national level joined New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today in support of his action to divest $86 million from nine companies doing business in Iran and Sudan.

Janice Shorenstein, President of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, said: “The Jewish Community Relations Council of New York ardently commends our NYS Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli for taking the bold decision to implement a Risk Mitigation Plan for the pension funds over which he serves as sole trustee. Redirecting investments from companies doing business in Sudan and Iran is both fiscally prudent and morally wise. Indeed, the repressive regime in Sudan is perpetrating genocidal crimes against its own citizens in Darfur. And the leaders of Iran brutally deny civil liberties to their people, support global terrorism, and are ambitiously developing nuclear weapons capability which would pose a strategic threat to the United States and its allies. It is our hope that this act by Comptroller DiNapoli will lead to other states and municipalities taking similar action, which would protect the hard-earned assets of government retirees while, at the same time, doing what is ethically correct.”

Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, said: “We welcome the action taken today by Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli to assure that New York State funds do not aid and abet companies that are doing business with the extremist regime in Iran and thereby strengthening this major state sponsor of terrorism and violator of human rights, which is moving rapidly toward acquiring a nuclear weapons capacity.  This action sends a strong moral message and has important practical implications. This puts New York once again on the forefront of those who not only espouse a commitment to fostering democracy and international stability but also act on those commitments. I hope the message will be heard by all of those currently doing business in Iran or contemplating doing so. Our thanks and appreciation to the Comptroller and his associates.”

Melany Grout, Director of the Conflict Risk Network, said: “The Conflict Risk Network commends the Comptroller’s leadership in addressing the troubling operations of certain companies operating in Sudan. The Comptroller’s decision to withdraw from certain Sudan-related investments, and to continue to leverage influence with others, sends a powerful message to companies that have failed to respond to stakeholder requests for responsible behavior. We call on institutions to join the Conflict Risk Network, where they can add their weight to the group of investors for whom the Network makes a coordinated effort to encourage responsible corporate behavior in Sudan and other conflict-affected areas. As Network members, they will add momentum to our success in persuading more than thirteen major companies to adopt recommendations for best practices in Sudan.” 


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