March 31, 2005

Aon Corporation, one of the largest insurance companies in the world, has informed the Burma Campaign UK it is terminating all business in Burma.

Aon featured on the ‘Dirty List’ of companies directly or indirectly funding the regime in Burma, which is published by the Burma Campaign UK. The company will now be removed from the list.

Al Orendorff, Aon’s Director of U.S. Public Relations told the Burma Campaign UK: “Neither Aon Corporation nor any U.S. subsidiary does business in Burma, so Aon is in full compliance with U.S. law.  Recently Aon’s management undertook a careful review of whether it should go beyond U.S. law and forbid its non-U.S. subsidiaries to do business there.  As a result of this review, Aon’s non-U.S. subsidiaries will terminate their business in Burma as well.”

The Burma Campaign UK today welcomed the decision by Aon. “Aon have acted responsibly by ending their involvement in Burma,” said John Jackson, Director of the Burma Campaign UK. “We hope that other insurance companies take note and follow their lead.”

Burma’s democracy movement has called on companies not to invest in Burma, pointing to the fact that foreign investment and trade has enriched the regime, but not benefited most ordinary Burmese people. The regime spends around half its budget on the military and just 19p per person per year on health.

Naing Ko Ko , Secretary of International Campaign Dept. for the Federation of Trade Unions – Burma, also welcomed the news from Aon. “We have repeatedly called on insurance companies to end their involvement in our military junta run country. They are not playing a positive role in our economy. They are helping to keep the military in power and so increasing poverty in Burma.”

Democracy organisations are increasingly focussing on the role insurance companies play in facilitating investment in Burma. Lloyds of London was placed on the ‘Dirty List’ in August last year, and activists promise more companies will be named and shamed when an updated edition of the ‘Dirty List’ is published in August.

Aon join a long list of companies that have ended their involvement in Burma in recent years, including British American Tobacco, Premier Oil, WPP, PwC, and Carnival Corporation.

Aon Corporation is an American company. It has significant operations in the UK. It has 48,000 staff in 500 offices in more than 120 countries.

 


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