‘Conflict minerals’ – which can be found in everyday objects from wedding rings to computers to vacuum cleaners – have traditionally fuelled the dire political and humanitarian crises in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
However, QCEA’s report Building Peace Together has a section on the environment that demonstrates that the management of natural and extractive resources can be a tool for peace if planning and implementation are inclusive and conflict sensitive. Last year, the EU approved the Conflict Minerals Regulation, which will help stem the trade of four minerals that sometimes goes hand in hand with armed conflict and human rights abuses – yet the regulation falls short of including cobalt, for which demand is rising. QCEA and YPFP invite you to join a discussion on how the EU can work with others, such as the private sector and civil society, to ensure that the management of minerals supports peacebuilding in the DRC.
1. What are the next steps being considered for the implementation of the Conflict Minerals Regulation? Which actors will have a role in monitoring its implementation? What role for civil society?
2. Could cobalt be part of the resources that are strictly regulated and if not, what other mechanisms could ensure it becomes a peacebuilding tool?
3. What incentives could Governments put in place to encourage the private sector to regulate their exploitation to make sure it does not fuel conflict and employ forced labour?
Opening Remarks: Olivia Caeymaex, Peace Programme Lead, QCEA
Giuseppe Cioffo, Programme and Policy Officer, European Network for Central Africa (EurAc)
Lotte Hoex, Researcher, International Peace Information Service (IPIS)
Guus Houttiun, Adviser on human rights, global and multilateral issues, European External Action Service (EEAS)
Elena Vyboldina, International Trade and Economy Director, Eurometaux
Moderator: Audrey Williams, Security and Defence Program, YPFP Brussels
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