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Peace, Understanding, Fairness, Development and MDGs

Responsible Sourcing of Conflict Minerals

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on October 29, 2013

The ‘conflict minerals’ issue, one of the factors fueling the violence of the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, has received attention in the US, the OECD and now the European Union. Robin Marsh commented on the ‘responsible sourcing of conflict minerals’ legislation that will be proposed by the European Union Trade Commission by the end of the year. It is an issue that was highlighted in a European Parliament event organised by UPF on June 26th. UPF will hold another event on November 21st in Parliament to discuss ‘conflict mineral’ developments in the US legislation, proposed legislation in the EU and OECD guidelines for conflict minerals.
Some companies and mineral federations are making efforts to create protected supply lines that improve the income for miners and the level of state governance. Research results reported by several groups have highlighted problems and the scale of the current illicit trade.
These reports include the Enough Project, Striking Gold: How the M23 and its allies are infiltrating the Gold Trade, the Testimony to a U.S. House of Representatives Sub Committee Hearing on ‘The Unintended Consequences of Dodd-Frank’s Conflict Minerals Provision’ of Sophia Pickles of Global Witness, the South Africa Resource Watch’s Conflict Gold to Criminal Gold and the report for German Industry prepared by Oeko-Institute ‘Conflict minerals – An evaluation of the Dodd Frank Act and other resource related measures’ have illustrated many of the issues involved. Whatever proposals Mr Karel De Gucht, the EU Trade Commissioner, announces they will not be made without sufficient study and research of the issue being available. The possibility of a better partnership of the European Union with the people of the DRC that enhances Congolese security and prosperity while Europeans benefit from their resources could be brought much closer through this EU initiative.
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