On 30 July 2021, the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1533 (2004) concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo held informal consultations on “DRC-mined gold, tantalum and tungsten: illicit trading in DRC and internationally”.  The Committee received briefings by the Group of Experts, the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes Region, the Executive Secretary of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region and the Head of Due Diligence in the Centre of Responsible Business Conduct of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

The Group of Experts outlined efforts by the DRC Government in fighting persistent illicit flows in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s gold, tin, tantalum and tungsten (3T) sectors, as well as remaining challenges.

The Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes Region noted the importance of implementing the United Nations Strategy for Peace Consolidation, Conflict Prevention and Conflict Resolution in the Great Lakes Region in this regard.  The Special Envoy also cited a high-level workshop on the sustainable management of natural resources in the Great Lakes region, which was being organized jointly by his Office and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region from 31 August to 2 September 2021 in Khartoum.

The Executive Secretary of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region described the current state of cooperation and coordination with the Democratic Republic of the Congo and International Conference on the Great Lakes Region Member States to reduce the illegal exploitation and smuggling of natural resources in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and encouraged further efforts in this regard with the possible support from the United Nations and international partners.

The Head of OECD’s Due Diligence in the Centre of Responsible Business Conduct briefed the Committee on the OECD’s current initiatives in the gold and 3T sectors, notably its work with global law enforcement and gold trading hubs, and the organisation’s view on challenges and progress on responsible sourcing efforts in the 3Ts sectors.

Committee members thanked the briefers and expressed concerns with the continued illicit exploitation of natural resources in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, particularly gold.  Concerns were raised that the illicit exploitation of natural resources by negative forces was an important driver of conflict, fuelled the trade of small arms and undermined development.

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Author: Editor
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