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Historical archive

The Government Pension Fund - Global and Investments in Conflict Zones

Historical archive

Published under: Stoltenberg's 2nd Government

Publisher Ministry of Finance

- Due to the present situation in Gaza, I have asked the Council on Ethics to give an account for the Council’s work on cases relating to companies with activities in the areas in question, says Minister of Finance Kristin Halvorsen.

- Due to the present situation in Gaza, I have asked the Council on Ethics to give an account for the Council’s work on cases relating to companies with activities in the areas in question, says Minister of Finance Kristin Halvorsen.

According to the Ethical Guidelines laid down for the Norwegian Government Pension Fund – Global, the Council on Ethics shall recommend exclusion of companies from the fund's investment universe, where there is deemed to exist a considerable risk of contributing to among others:

  • Serious or systematic human rights violations, such as murder, torture, deprivation of liberty, forced labour, the worst forms of child labour and other child exploitation.
  • Serious violations of individuals’ rights in situations of war or conflict.

- Investments in companies, who are found to contribute to occupation of territory in breach of international law, or suppression of the population in occupied territory, may be deemed to be in breach of both these alternatives, says Minister of Finance Kristin Halvorsen.

- The Council on Ethics has on different occasions, from 2006 until 2008, considered possible contribution to human rights violations or other ethical norms through investment in Israeli companies. The Council has also looked into whether investments in non-Israeli companies, who have activity in or deliver goods or products to Israel, can constitute contribution to unethical conduct. The Council has so far not recommended any exclusion on such grounds, says Minister of Finance Kristin Halvorsen.

From 2008, the Israel equity market is included in the Fund's benchmark, and thus the Fund have been invested in an growing number of  Israeli companies.

- The Ministry of Finance is conducting a review of the Ethical Guidelines. In connection with this review, we will evaluate whether the Ethical Guidelines adequately addresses questions regarding companies’ contribution to unethical conduct in conflict zones. It is, however, important to bear in mind that it is not the purpose of the Norwegian Government Pension Fund – Global to serve as a foreign policy instrument, says Halvorsen.

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