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US launched Public-Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals Trade

The Public-Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals Trade was launched in November 2011 to promote conflict-fee mineral supply chains in Eastern Congo and the Great Lakes Region of Africa. Will it help resolve conflict minerals related due diligence and reporting concerns of major brands? Will it be able to attract other governments and multilaterals? 

The launch event of the PPA for Responsible Minerals Trade was hosted (and live streamed) by the U.S. Institute for Peace.  The goal of this multi-sector initiative is to leverage and promote conflict-free supply chains for so called ‘conflict minerals’, which comprise tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold sourced from Eastern Congo and the Great Lakes region of Africa. This initiative involves a broad range of stakeholders and is expected to harmonize and strengthen existing initiatives such as those of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and the conflict-free smelter program.

According to a press release, the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will invest approximately $3.2 million in the PPA, specifically to support conflict-free minerals certification and traceability. More than 25 companies, trade associations, and other organizations have expressed their intention to join the PPA and have already pledged over $830,000 toward the goal of $2 million in additional funding by the end of 2012.

Existing and prospective partners in this initiative are listed below (taken form a press release/fact sheet by the US Government). Additional background information about the PPA can be accessed here.

Will this initiative be effective in helping big brands, which are important consumers of minerals sourced from conflict zones like DR Congo, to meet their expected due diligence and reporting requirements under the "Conflict Minerals Law" (Section 1502 of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act) and pending SEC disclosure requirements? Will the PPA be able to broaden its appeal to other government and multilateral partners?

List of current and prospective members of the Public-Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals Trade

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One Response to “US launched Public-Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals Trade”

  1. November 21st, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    Mehrdad Nazari says:

    The Responsible Source, a summary of recent global developments and trends in corporate social responsibility, included the following related news items:

    Verizon, AT&T Under Pressure Over Conflict Minerals

    Even before the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act mandated that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) require companies to disclose whether they use conflict minerals originating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) or an adjoining country, investors had sought to raise awareness of the human rights violations associated with the issue. More recently, an investor coalition led by the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) specifically addressed the sourcing of conflict minerals in a statement which read in part, “Comprehensive assessments of potential exposure to human rights violations throughout the entire supply chain are an essential measure of sound governance building trust and, consequently, value in the brand.” Mark Regier, Director of Stewardship Investing for Everence Financial, was one of the more than 90 signatories to ICCR’s statement. He spoke this week about a campaign launched by Praxis Mutual Funds to raise awareness of the issue among customers of cell phone service providers.
    (Greenbiz.com, 11/18/2011 )

    Congo’s Cnflict Minerals Divide EU Opinion

    So far the EU has adopted a cautious approach, keen not to overburden European companies with more regulatory requirements during the current economic climate. At the same time, key differences of opinion within the European Commission and the external action service have also muddled its response. While many support plans for EU action, one senior EU official with an intimate knowledge of Congo put it like this: “Dodd-Frank will just create a new layer of bureaucracy over the coming years, which in the DRC simply means more corruption. The country will be poorer as a result. Of course Europe shares the same aspirations as the Americans, but it just won’t work.” Despite these views, EU trade commissioner Karel De Gucht has publicly announced that a communication expected this November will address the issue of conflict minerals, although how far the paper will go remains to be seen.
    (EUobserver.com, 11/18/2011 )

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