Sep 23, 2010

#BDS: Copenhagen city council set to vote on divestment

On 23 September, Denmark's Social Democrat party will have a decisive influence on a Copenhagen city council vote on whether the municipality should divest $2.3 million from companies involved in the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The divestment measure was already voted on earlier this month, when on 7 September the City of Copenhagen's financial committee rejected mayor of social affairs Mikkel Warming's proposal to divest from the 13 companies profiting from the occupation. Copenhagen has a system of governance lead by committees; the finance committee and six other standing committees each have its own mayor and area of responsibility. The committees make decisions relating to their area, but the mayor of the committee can in exceptional cases overrule the committee's decision and take a proposal to the city council. The Lord Mayor of Copenhagen, or the head of city council, is Social Democrat Frank Jensen who also serves as mayor of the financial committee.

The city council investments in question are made through Danske Invest, a fund managed by Danske Bank. The bank states on its website that it holds investments to standards of social responsibility and "are made only in securities issued by companies that do not violate the standards for human rights, arms, working conditions, environment and anti-corruption."

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