Washington, D.C., December 7, 2010 - The Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) and Eletronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) recently held the fifth tantalum and tin supply chain workshop in Washington D.C. to continue the ongoing dialog regarding responsible sourcing of these minerals.
Joining many representatives from the electronics industry, participants at the November 16 workshop included stakeholders from entities across the supply chains for tantalum, tin, and gold, the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Ministry of Mines, the DRC and Rwandan mining and trading sectors, the United Nations Group of Experts, the World Bank, the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe (BGR), the automobile and chemical industries, and non-governmental organizations.
The Executive Secretary of the ICGLR, Ambassador Liberata Mulamula, provided the opening address, highlighting that "we are under intense pressure to deliver fast results in terms of tracking and certifying minerals," emphasizing that "what we also have to avoid is an embargo or quasi-embargo through the US Minerals Bill for minerals from the Great Lakes Region. An embargo would endanger the reconstruction and development process in the post-conflict countries of the Great Lakes Region that has just started and thousands of artisan miners and their families would lose their income." Ambassador Mulamula concluded her remarks by stating that "a conflict free mineral regime in the Great lakes region is possible. Let us all play our part!"
The session provided a review of previous supply chain workshops, ongoing governmental activities, and mineral traceability schemes currently under development. Initiatives reviewed included an update on the ICGLR Mineral Tracking and Certification Scheme, the ITRI Supply Chain Initiative (iTSCi)1, the upcoming due diligence guidance documents provided by both the OECD and the UN Group of Experts, and BGR’s certification and mineral fingerprinting activities. The representatives of ITRI and ICGLR also announced a partnership between the two organizations to cooperate in the areas of minerals tracking and data exchange.
GeSI and EICC members discussed the continuing development of the Conflict-Free Smelter (CFS) program, highlighting progress across all four critical metals: tantalum, tin, tungsten, and gold. The CFS program is being implemented across smelters against aggressive timelines in an effort to meet the legislative requirements defined by the U.S.’s Dodd-Frank Financial Reform law (Section 1502).
Ongoing support and execution of the iTSCi In-Region Sourcing scheme was recognized as a critical step to enable legitimate trade in minerals from the DRC. Support for the development of the OECD due diligence guidance and related pilot project were also recognized as priorities. GeSI and EICC members also encouraged continued engagement of local stakeholders through the iTSCi program and local Comités de Pilotage.
The next workshop of the tin, tantalum, gold, and tungsten supply chain working group is scheduled for the first half of 2011.
The Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) is uniquely dedicated to information and communication technologies (ICT) sustainability through innovation. GeSI brings together leading ICT companies – including telecommunications service providers and manufacturers as well as industry associations – and non-governmental organisations committed to achieving sustainability objectives through innovative technology. In June 2008, GeSI became a legal independent entity, an international non-profit association (AISBL) with an office near the EU institutions in Brussels, Belgium. For more information, see www.gesi.org.
The EICC was established in 2004 to improve social, economic, and environmental conditions in the global electronic supply chain through use of a standardized code of conduct. The EICC was incorporated in 2007 as an association to ensure greater awareness of the Code, and to expand its adoption across the industry. The EICC includes over 50 global electronics companies. For more information or to view the EICC Code of Conduct, see www.eicc.info.
For more information, contact:
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ITRI’s iTSCi is currently on hold due to the mining ban announced by DRC President Kabila on 11 September 2010.