CANSEC sponsor Lockheed Martin rejects stockholder proposal to publish human rights impact assessment reports

Published by Brent Patterson on

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Photo: MaxDefense Philippines.

The Lockheed Martin annual meeting takes place this Thursday April 27.

A resolution has been put forward by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, the School Sisters of Notre Dame Cooperative Investment Fund, and the Benedictine Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica.

Their resolution requests: “Lockheed Martin publish a report, at reasonable cost and omitting proprietary information, with the results of Human Rights Impact Assessments examining the actual and potential human rights impacts associated with high-risk products and services, including those in conflict-affected areas and/or or violating international law.”

It highlights: “Lockheed Martin is the world’s largest defense contractor and is exposed to significant actual and potential adverse human rights impacts resulting from the use of its weapons and defense technologies.”

And it notes: “A company’s human rights responsibility is independent of the state’s export licensing determinations, as reiterated in a recent United Nations note.”

F-16s sold to the Philippines

One of the human rights concerns it specifies is: “In 2021, Lockheed sold nearly $2.43 billion of F-16s to the Philippines, despite congressional opposition related to widespread human rights violations carried out by the Armed Forces of the Philippines.”

Black Hawk helicopters sold to the Philippines

In February 2022, Lockheed Martin also announced: “PZL Mielec, a Lockheed Martin company has signed a contract award with the Philippine Department of National Defense (DND) to manufacture 32 additional S-70i Black Hawk utility helicopters for the Philippine Air Force.”

Lockheed Martin rejects proposal for human rights impact assessments

The Board of Directors of Lockheed Martin has responded to the resolution by stating: “The Proposal is Impractical, Disruptive and Harmful to Shareholder Value.”

Philippines at CANSEC

About 50 international delegations will participate at CANSEC this year.

While CANSEC does not make the list of participating countries public, we do know that Philippines has previously participated at CANSEC.

On June 1, 2017, the Philippine Embassy in Canada posted on Facebook: “Defense Assistant Secretary for Plans and Programs Teodoro Cirilo Torralba III leads the Philippine delegation attending CANSEC held in Ottawa from 31 May to 1 June 2017.”

That post adds: “The Canadian Commercial Corporation, a Canadian government corporation, invited and hosted the Philippine Delegation.”

The Canada Commercial Corporation and CANSEC

In May 2018, the National Post reported: “The Crown corporation [CCC] that helped broker the controversial sales of Canadian military equipment to Saudi Arabia and to the ‘Madman of the Philippines’ gets a cut of the proceeds, prompting critics to warn it has little incentive to scale back its involvement in lucrative arms deals despite a government order to do so.”

That article adds: “The Ottawa-based CCC, which helps Canadian exporters get contracts with foreign governments, came under fire in February after the media learned the corporation had brokered a $234-million deal to sell 16 Bell 412 helicopters to the military of the Philippines.”

It also noted: “’When the Canadian Commercial Corporation is involved in arms deals there often seems to be a lack of rigour when it comes to human rights concerns,’ Alex Neve, secretary general for Amnesty International Canada, has said. For instance, the CCC raised no red flags about the Philippine helicopter deal, though Duterte once boasted he had thrown a man to his death from a helicopter and warned he would do the same to corrupt government workers.”

Protest CANSEC, May 31

Lockheed Martin (Booth 1311), the Government of Canada/Canada Commercial Corporation (Booth 225) and Bell Textron (Booth 113) will be at CANSEC this year.

It’s possible another delegation from Philippines will be there too.

To learn more about the protest against CANSEC, click here.


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