Mr. Jürgen Grässlin, Freiburg
Regarding Item 2 of the Agenda:
Daimler AG is one of the leading holders of voting rights in the armaments giant European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS N.V.). EADS is in seventh place in a global ranking of armaments exporters. The Board of Management of Daimler AG, which in personnel terms is closely intertwined with the top management level of armaments giant EADS, supports weapons deliveries – even to regimes that violate human rights.
For example, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are receiving refueling planes of the type A330MRTT. There are also far-reaching consequences from the export of military helicopters, an area in which EADS/Eurocopter has the »world’s widest choice.” 140 countries are Eurocopter customers, including countries that violate human rights and wage wars. For example, the Brazilian armed forces are receiving 11-ton-class helicopters of the type EC725. Weapons exports to violent regimes are also planned for the future: Malaysia is to receive military transporters of the type A400M. The immense number of 72 fighter planes of the type Eurofighter/Typhoon is to be exported to the regime in Saudi Arabia, which violates human rights. And the Indian air force is testing the Eurofighter.
I could name many other weapons transfers. All of these weapons exports are morally absolutely reprehensible; they lack any trace of ethically responsible behavior. For the use of the weapons in wars and civil wars, not only the German government but also the Boards of Management of Daimler and EADS are responsible. They are partially to blame for the use of Daimler/EADS weapons in battlefields all over the world.
In its current armaments export report, the Joint Conference Church and Development (GKKE 2009) vehemently criticizes the renewed dramatic increase in weapons deliveries from Germany – also those of the leading armaments exporter EADS. Representatives of the Protestant and Catholic Churches are right to point out that the »internal human rights situation« in the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, India und Brazil is »very bad.« In many receiving countries, according to the GKKE, there is also an incompatibility of armaments and development.
The Code of Ethics approved in July 2003 obliges the Board of Management to avoid »misconduct« and to promote »ethical behavior.« Ethically responsible behavior is demanded in the current Daimler Annual Report 2009. The EADS management also claims in its Annual Report that its actions are based on the »application of highly moral standards.«
The discrepancy between the claim to be acting in an ethically responsible manner and the reality of completely uninhibited armaments exports could not be greater. The Daimler Group profits from the 34 warlike conflicts currently raging through EADS armaments exports and also through the unbridled supply of Mercedes military vehicles to crisis and war areas.
In order to counter the dramatic development of inhuman armaments exports and vehicle shipments, the Critical Daimler Shareholders (KAD) together with the German Peace Society – United Military Service Opponents (DFG-VK), the Peace Center Association of Braunschweig, the Militarization Information Point (IMI e.V.), Living Without Armaments (ORL), the Pax Christi movement (German section), the Armaments Information Bureau (RIB e.V.) and the Workshop for Nonviolent Action, Baden (WfgA) are intensifying the campaign »We don’t buy Mercedes: boycott armaments exports!« (see www.wir-kaufen-keinen-mercedes.de). As long as Daimler/EADS profits from dealing in death, we request of all citizens: Do not buy Mercedes vehicles.
I will be pleased to answer any inquiries (email@example.com). For further information, see www.juergengraesslin.com.«