Topic: 2023-Impact of Conflict Minerals
Delegate Name: Meira Gable
The mining of conflict minerals in the Great Lakes region of Africa, has ramifications on the entire international community. The use of forced labor and exploitation in the mining of these resources creates a situation that violates UN regulations and constitutes not only human rights violations, but also war crimes. Armed groups aren’t being held accountable for their offenses, which also includes inhumane treatment of women and children. Additionally, 3TG minerals (tungsten, gold, tin, and tantalum) serve a large role in the global tech industry, being incorporated into everyday items such as cell phones, and creating a dependency on conflict minerals in wealthy and technologically advanced countries. Due diligence by these companies is key. In the production of conflict minerals, armed militias in countries with unstable and weak central governments exert force over the population and gain control of natural resources, in this case mineral deposits. The root of these groups’ successes is the inability of governmental systems to contain the power held by armed militias over land, resources, and civilians. In tandem with this is the economic prosperity yielded to the perpetrators of this conflict through not only the purchasing of these materials but also the implementation of a taxation system for access to the mines by artisanal miners. Essentially this creates a situation where companies using conflict minerals are directly funding armed groups, giving them the means to buy weapons and advance their causes. The UN has already made some attempts at trying to solve this crisis with limited success.
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan acknowledges the difficulty in addressing conflict minerals in Africa. As a leader in the Middle Eastern tech industry, the importance of maintaining the autonomy of technology production is important. However, establishing regulations on the appropriate sourcing of mineral imports is just as crucial. The Jordanian government has ratified many of the International Conventions on child labor including the UN CRC Optional Protocol on Armed Conflict and the Palermo Protocol on Trafficking in Persons. This in addition to the adoption of other policies has limited the proliferation of child labor in our own country.
First and foremost, establishing firmer regulations on companies in the use of conflict minerals is essential to mitigating this crisis. Instituting reliable sourcing for technological materials is a step that all nations can take to reduce the success of armed groups in the Great Lakes region. A second goal of this committee must be reducing the power of armed militias, in order to limit the amount of conflict minerals being mined in the first place. The Jordanian delegation would not be opposed to UN intervention in this regard.
The delegation of Jordan is open to many of the pathways forward in combating this crisis, and is looking forward to working with the delegates of this committee to find a solution for the conflict minerals in the Great Lakes region.