Statement on Behalf of Antioch New England
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
ExxonMobil Annual Meeting of Shareholders
Good morning, ladies and gentlemen,
My name is Elena Acosta, and I am a graduate student
at Antioch New England Graduate School, in Keene, New Hampshire.
Antioch is an innovative coeducational institution offering scholarly,
practice-oriented graduate study.
I am hereto deliver a statement by AntiochвЂ™s Faculty
Senate which voted unanimously on April 12 to support the ExxonMobil
shareholder resolution initiated by New York CityвЂ™s pension funds,
and to urge TIAA-CREF to vote вЂњyesвЂќ on the resolution as well.
As a major institutional investor managing $330
billion in pension funds, TIAA-CREF wields enormous clout with
the companies in which it invests. We, the Faculty Senate, believe
that our vote on this matter is as important as voting in November.
The Faculty Senate calls on ExxonMobilвЂ™s management
to report to shareholders the potential investor risks and liabilities
resulting from corporate payments to the Indonesian military.
These payments to the Indonesian military raise serious questions
about the practical as well as the ethical and moral standards
by which U.S. corporations conduct their businesses overseas.
As documented by the U.S. State Department and other
sources, the Indonesian military consistently has committed serious
abuses of human rights.
In the last 10 years, ExxonMobil reportedly has
made tens of billions of dollars from its natural gas operations
in Aceh. The compensation received by the Acehnese communities
whose natural resources ExxonMobil exploits has been environmental
degradation, military occupation, and severe human rights abuses
by the Indonesian armed forces whom ExxonMobil pays to вЂњprotectвЂќ
its operations. Now the company faces a lawsuit here in the United
States, brought on behalf of those killed and tortured by the
Indonesian troops at ExxonMobil. The suit alleges that the Indonesian
military used ExxonMobil facilities to torture and murder local
people and used the companyвЂ™s equipment to dig mass graves in
which to bury the Acehnese killed by the military. Recent fact-finding
in Aceh last December indicates that these human rights abuses
are continuing. Yet ExxonMobil remains silent and continues to
support the Indonesian military.
As long as U.S. corporations continue to make payments
to a rogue military operation, human rights abuses will continue.
We, as concerned shareholders, need to safeguard our investments
by ensuring that ExxonMobil does not underwrite criminal activity.
We urge TIAA-CREF and other shareholders to vote
вЂњYESвЂќ on the New York City resolution.