The League of Women Voters strongly supports HB 34, which, in the interest of humankind and to demonstrate Hawaii's opposition to the humanitarian crisis presently occurring in the Darfur Region of Sudan, prohibits the Employees' Retirement System (ERS) from investing in securities of companies that have active business operations with Sudan.
The litany of horror in the Darfur Region of Sudan is heartbreaking, and the toll of 400,000 lost lives and 2.5 million displaced people to date is staggering. The United States, the international community, and hundreds of humanitarian and other organizations, have all agreed that genocide is occurring in Darfur. Despite calls from the international community that the Sudanese Government put an end to these atrocities, the tragedy continues. We believe that economic pressure on the Sudanese Government must be applied for whatever traction it may gain in forcing an end to these tragic, unconscionable and inhumane acts.
We agree that prohibiting the ERS to invest in companies that do business with Sudan is but one step that can be taken to remedy this tragic situation. But it is an important step, and one that will show that Hawaii “walks its talk,” taking real action to help bring this human tragedy to an end.
We urge your strong support of HB 34. Thank you for the opportunity to testify in its support.