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9TH
ICGLR-OECD-UN GoE Forum on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains
4 – 6 May 2015
Welcome remarks by Gabriela Ramos
Minister Evode Imena, Vice Minister Maria Isabel Ulloa Cru, Ambassadors, distinguished
guests, good morning and welcome to the 9th Forum on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains.
Since 2011, we have convened this meeting along with the International Conference on the
Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and UN Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of Congo
(DRC). Interest and attention keep growing to prevent malpractices in this field and to
protect the lives of people related to it.
The OECD, as the house of the Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, had to take a
leading role in these efforts.
Indeed, the OECD Guidance for responsible mineral supply chains has truly become the
global benchmark for due diligence in the mineral sector. Thanks to all your efforts, and our
good collaboration with partner countries, we have achieved a lot. Today, the OECD
Guidance is used in regulations in the United States and, incorporated in the Dodd Frank act,
is part of the legal framework of the DRC, Burundi and Rwanda, and serves as the basis for
the draft EU regulation on responsible mineral supply chains. 90% of all refined gold, 95% of
smelted tantalum and 75-85% of smelted tin produced every year is covered by industry
audit programmes designed to implement the OECD Due Diligence Guidance. None of this
was in place when we had our first ICGLR-OECD-UN Forum in May 2011.
**************
2
In the next three days, we will have the opportunity to discuss and make progress on a
number of interrelated issues.
First, we will learn about recent developments on the draft regulation for responsible
mineral supply chains proposed by the European Union. This is based on the OECD
Guidance, which will help assure that European industries apply the “state of the art” due
diligence practices, and avoid conflicting requirements internationally. We look forward to
the ongoing legislative process on the regulation, bearing in mind of course the different
views of stakeholders.
We will also have the opportunity to learn about the significant efforts from the Colombian
authorities to fight illegal criminal gold mining and support the development of a
responsible extractive sector. According to the Colombian Ministry of Defence, in 2014, 739
kilos of illegal gold were seized, compared to just 11 kilos in 2013, and zero in 2010. This
impressive increase in enforcement has happened at the same time as numerous reforms in
the Colombian mining sector. This is all the more important as criminal organisations in
Colombia are reported to derive more profits from illegal gold mining than drug since
2012.
We will of course discuss the progress achieved in Central Africa, which was the initial – and
has remained a central – focus of our implementation efforts. The increased roll out of the
ICGLR Regional Certification Mechanism is an encouraging sign. The Governments of the
DRC, Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda in particular should be commended for their efforts.
To support our discussions, this year we’ve released a detailed report with the International
Peace Information Service (IPIS) that describes the evolution on militarization, conflict
financing and governance in mining areas in the DRC over the last five years. The report
shows that there has been a substantial reduction in non-state armed group presence and
interference in the production and trade of tin, tungsten and tantalum (3T) throughout
this period.
3
But the militarisation of gold mining sites and the illegal export of the vast majority of
artisanal gold from the DRC remain the key challenges. Armed group or military presence
was reported at over 60% of gold mine sites surveyed.
The report also shows that, since 2009, numerous initiatives and reforms have been taken
to tackle the illegal exploitation of mineral resources in the region. Local government
awareness and attention on this issue has never been higher. But, clearly, there is still much
more to be done, in particular to ensure that responsible mineral sourcing supports
artisanal miners.
Artisanal mining can play a major role in rural development and security through job
creation and skills development. Mining sector reforms should acknowledge both artisanal
and large-scale industrial mining. Today, there are more than 20 million artisanal miners
worldwide, mostly working in harsh conditions and outside the legal framework. An
estimated 120 million people depend on those miners for their livelihood. Their lives matter
to the OECD. The OECD Guidance was the first international instrument adopted to give
special attention to artisanal mining, providing a roadmap to create economic and
development opportunities for artisanal miners. The Guidance says that formalisation of
artisanal and small-scale mining is crucial for the long-term sustainability of any responsible
mineral supply chain effort. So let us all take on the challenge to ensure that on-the-ground
due diligence and related government programmes don’t leave artisanal miners behind.
**********************
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We have learned in the past years that effective supply chain due diligence requires global
collaboration and partnerships, with governments, industry and civil society from producing,
processing and consuming countries.
So aside from the progress in mineral producing areas, as I mentioned, we are impressed by
the numerous positive developments that have occurred all around the world, including in
4
the United States and the European Union. But we are also encouraged by what is
happening in China, a country that has also become actively involved in the promotion of
responsible business conduct in the mineral sector.
As part of our Memorandum of Understanding with the China Chamber of Commerce for
Metals, we are helping them develop special guidelines and an audit system to implement
the OECD Guidance among mineral smelters and refiners in China. Considering that China is
the world’s largest importer of mineral ores and concentrates (accounting, for example,
for 78% of nickel, 65% of iron & aluminium, 50% of tantalum, 43% of tin, and 37% of
tungsten demand globally), I think we can all agree that this would be a game-changer in
fostering global accountability and transparency in mineral supply chains.
Building responsible mineral supply chains also requires us thinking outside the box, on the
role of actors not only in the supply chain, but in the value chain more broadly. Thus for the
first time in this Forum you will have the opportunity to better understand the role of the
financial sector in global mineral supply chains, as a provider of finance, loans, offtake,
insurance, and as an investor in companies undertaking mineral supply chain due diligence.
This should help us understand what opportunities financial institutions have to drive
responsible sourcing practices of their customers or the companies they invest in.
Another indication of relevance of the Guidance is that industries are seeking to implement
its recommendations beyond tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold. On Wednesday,
participants will have the opportunity to hear from companies and associations that are
implementing supply chain due diligence in the precious stones and coal supply chains. This
also validates the assumption that was made in 2011: that this Guidance is relevant and
applicable to all mineral resources. The OECD will continue our efforts to support the
broadest possible use and uptake of the OECD Guidance globally in all relevant minerals, in
collaboration with impacted stakeholders.
Finally, I would like to emphasize the increasing attention and support our work gets from
global leaders. This holds particularly true for leaders from G7 countries that have time and
again provided their strong support to the OECD and ICGLR initiatives on responsible supply
5
chains of minerals. Under the German Presidency this year, we hope to see this same
support extended to the enhancement of National Contact Points responsible for the
implementation the OECD Guidelines for MNEs, including in the mineral sector, and I thank
them for their invitation to the Sherpa meeting and the Summit.
All this progress could not have been achieved without the support of our donors. I here
want to thanks the European Union and the governments of Canada, Sweden and
Switzerland for their contributions to this programme and Forum.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I look forward to hearing from all of you over the course of these three days. I’m sure it will
be an extremely constructive and productive meeting. Thank you all very much for your
active involvement and engagement in this important cause. The work carried out in these
rooms has the potential to improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of people around the
world, so please don’t relent. Let’s listen to each other, let’s think outside the box for
creative solutions, and let’s be persistent. You’ve done so much already.
Thank you very much.

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9th Multi-Stakeholder Forum on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains: Opening remarks by Gabriela Ramos

  • 1. 1 9TH ICGLR-OECD-UN GoE Forum on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains 4 – 6 May 2015 Welcome remarks by Gabriela Ramos Minister Evode Imena, Vice Minister Maria Isabel Ulloa Cru, Ambassadors, distinguished guests, good morning and welcome to the 9th Forum on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains. Since 2011, we have convened this meeting along with the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and UN Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Interest and attention keep growing to prevent malpractices in this field and to protect the lives of people related to it. The OECD, as the house of the Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, had to take a leading role in these efforts. Indeed, the OECD Guidance for responsible mineral supply chains has truly become the global benchmark for due diligence in the mineral sector. Thanks to all your efforts, and our good collaboration with partner countries, we have achieved a lot. Today, the OECD Guidance is used in regulations in the United States and, incorporated in the Dodd Frank act, is part of the legal framework of the DRC, Burundi and Rwanda, and serves as the basis for the draft EU regulation on responsible mineral supply chains. 90% of all refined gold, 95% of smelted tantalum and 75-85% of smelted tin produced every year is covered by industry audit programmes designed to implement the OECD Due Diligence Guidance. None of this was in place when we had our first ICGLR-OECD-UN Forum in May 2011. **************
  • 2. 2 In the next three days, we will have the opportunity to discuss and make progress on a number of interrelated issues. First, we will learn about recent developments on the draft regulation for responsible mineral supply chains proposed by the European Union. This is based on the OECD Guidance, which will help assure that European industries apply the “state of the art” due diligence practices, and avoid conflicting requirements internationally. We look forward to the ongoing legislative process on the regulation, bearing in mind of course the different views of stakeholders. We will also have the opportunity to learn about the significant efforts from the Colombian authorities to fight illegal criminal gold mining and support the development of a responsible extractive sector. According to the Colombian Ministry of Defence, in 2014, 739 kilos of illegal gold were seized, compared to just 11 kilos in 2013, and zero in 2010. This impressive increase in enforcement has happened at the same time as numerous reforms in the Colombian mining sector. This is all the more important as criminal organisations in Colombia are reported to derive more profits from illegal gold mining than drug since 2012. We will of course discuss the progress achieved in Central Africa, which was the initial – and has remained a central – focus of our implementation efforts. The increased roll out of the ICGLR Regional Certification Mechanism is an encouraging sign. The Governments of the DRC, Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda in particular should be commended for their efforts. To support our discussions, this year we’ve released a detailed report with the International Peace Information Service (IPIS) that describes the evolution on militarization, conflict financing and governance in mining areas in the DRC over the last five years. The report shows that there has been a substantial reduction in non-state armed group presence and interference in the production and trade of tin, tungsten and tantalum (3T) throughout this period.
  • 3. 3 But the militarisation of gold mining sites and the illegal export of the vast majority of artisanal gold from the DRC remain the key challenges. Armed group or military presence was reported at over 60% of gold mine sites surveyed. The report also shows that, since 2009, numerous initiatives and reforms have been taken to tackle the illegal exploitation of mineral resources in the region. Local government awareness and attention on this issue has never been higher. But, clearly, there is still much more to be done, in particular to ensure that responsible mineral sourcing supports artisanal miners. Artisanal mining can play a major role in rural development and security through job creation and skills development. Mining sector reforms should acknowledge both artisanal and large-scale industrial mining. Today, there are more than 20 million artisanal miners worldwide, mostly working in harsh conditions and outside the legal framework. An estimated 120 million people depend on those miners for their livelihood. Their lives matter to the OECD. The OECD Guidance was the first international instrument adopted to give special attention to artisanal mining, providing a roadmap to create economic and development opportunities for artisanal miners. The Guidance says that formalisation of artisanal and small-scale mining is crucial for the long-term sustainability of any responsible mineral supply chain effort. So let us all take on the challenge to ensure that on-the-ground due diligence and related government programmes don’t leave artisanal miners behind. ********************** Ladies and Gentlemen, We have learned in the past years that effective supply chain due diligence requires global collaboration and partnerships, with governments, industry and civil society from producing, processing and consuming countries. So aside from the progress in mineral producing areas, as I mentioned, we are impressed by the numerous positive developments that have occurred all around the world, including in
  • 4. 4 the United States and the European Union. But we are also encouraged by what is happening in China, a country that has also become actively involved in the promotion of responsible business conduct in the mineral sector. As part of our Memorandum of Understanding with the China Chamber of Commerce for Metals, we are helping them develop special guidelines and an audit system to implement the OECD Guidance among mineral smelters and refiners in China. Considering that China is the world’s largest importer of mineral ores and concentrates (accounting, for example, for 78% of nickel, 65% of iron & aluminium, 50% of tantalum, 43% of tin, and 37% of tungsten demand globally), I think we can all agree that this would be a game-changer in fostering global accountability and transparency in mineral supply chains. Building responsible mineral supply chains also requires us thinking outside the box, on the role of actors not only in the supply chain, but in the value chain more broadly. Thus for the first time in this Forum you will have the opportunity to better understand the role of the financial sector in global mineral supply chains, as a provider of finance, loans, offtake, insurance, and as an investor in companies undertaking mineral supply chain due diligence. This should help us understand what opportunities financial institutions have to drive responsible sourcing practices of their customers or the companies they invest in. Another indication of relevance of the Guidance is that industries are seeking to implement its recommendations beyond tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold. On Wednesday, participants will have the opportunity to hear from companies and associations that are implementing supply chain due diligence in the precious stones and coal supply chains. This also validates the assumption that was made in 2011: that this Guidance is relevant and applicable to all mineral resources. The OECD will continue our efforts to support the broadest possible use and uptake of the OECD Guidance globally in all relevant minerals, in collaboration with impacted stakeholders. Finally, I would like to emphasize the increasing attention and support our work gets from global leaders. This holds particularly true for leaders from G7 countries that have time and again provided their strong support to the OECD and ICGLR initiatives on responsible supply
  • 5. 5 chains of minerals. Under the German Presidency this year, we hope to see this same support extended to the enhancement of National Contact Points responsible for the implementation the OECD Guidelines for MNEs, including in the mineral sector, and I thank them for their invitation to the Sherpa meeting and the Summit. All this progress could not have been achieved without the support of our donors. I here want to thanks the European Union and the governments of Canada, Sweden and Switzerland for their contributions to this programme and Forum. Ladies and Gentlemen, I look forward to hearing from all of you over the course of these three days. I’m sure it will be an extremely constructive and productive meeting. Thank you all very much for your active involvement and engagement in this important cause. The work carried out in these rooms has the potential to improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of people around the world, so please don’t relent. Let’s listen to each other, let’s think outside the box for creative solutions, and let’s be persistent. You’ve done so much already. Thank you very much.