4 June 2007
Campaigners praise Reed Elsevier's decision to ditch arms fairs
Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) has welcomed the news that leading academic publisher Reed Elsevier is to pull out of the arms trade and will no longer organise arms fairs. The decision follows a high-profile campaign co-ordinated by CAAT and supported by academics and medics who write for Reed's journals. Reed has declared its intention of withdrawing from the arms fair business by the second half of 2007.
Anna Jones, who has co-ordinated CAAT's campaign on Reed's arms fairs, said:
"CAAT is delighted with this decision. We applaud the board of Reed Elsevier for recognising the concerns of its stakeholders. The decision shows that the arms trade is an abhorrent activity and that it has no place within a reputable business."ENDS
1. Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) works for the reduction and ultimate abolition of the international arms trade.
2. Reed Elsevier runs arms fairs through its subsidiary company Reed Exhibitions. These include Defence Services and Equipment International (DSEi) which will next take place from 11th-14th September 2007 in London.
3. On 1st June, Reed Elsevier's announced that it would "exit the defence exhibitions sector", completing its withdrawal during the second half of 2007. Reed's chief executive Crispin Davis said that "it has become increasingly clear that growing numbers of important customers and authors have very real concerns about our involvement".
4. The decision follows several major developments in the campaign against Reed's arms fairs. On 12th February 2007, the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust sold all its shares in Reed Elsevier, worth nearly £2,000,000. On 2nd March, 138 academics published an open letter calling for Reed to end its arms fairs. On 23rd March, the same call was made by the Royal College of Physicians and the editorial board of The Lancet (which is published by Reed Elsevier). On 17th April, Reed's AGM was dominated by shareholders' criticisms of the company's involvement in the arms trade.
5. CAAT spokespeople are available for interview on this subject.
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