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Statement on Behalf of Antioch New England Graduate School
Faculty Senate

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 Antioch’s Faculty Senate which voted unanimously on April 12 to support the ExxonMobil shareholder resolution initiated by New York City’s pension funds, and to urge TIAA-CREF to vote “yes” 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 ExxonMobil’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 “protect” 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 company’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 “YES” on the New York City resolution.

 



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