Delegate Name: Shephard Bower
A “conflict mineral” is defined as a mineral often mined in an area of armed conflict and traded illegally in order to fund the fighting. These conflict minerals include gold, columbite-tantalite (coltan), cassiterite, tungsten, and wolframite, with most of them being mined in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Nations including The DRC, Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi have all reaped profit from these minerals. Conflict minerals are used in products all around the world. Poor record keeping and different regulations allow armed forces to continue mining conflict minerals and take all profits at the expense of the local population of these nations. Most UN member states endorsed Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights in 2011, which requires states to protect against human rights abuses that have occurred in their territory, including abuses from corporations and third parties. The Organisation of Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), made up of 35 member states, has also issued guidance on responsible sourcing and extracting to companies and corporations. Many nations have additionally adopted regulations regarding the use of conflict minerals.
Sudan has faced challenges involving conflict minerals, and many regions have experienced the illegal extraction of conflict minerals in Sudan. Currently, Sudan is experiencing the extraction of conflict minerals by the Rapid Support Forces (RSF). This extraction leads to regional instability throughout Sudan. Also, the extraction of conflict minerals only fuels the armed conflicts that are currently occurring all around the world by funding the armed forces in the conflicts. This only hinders efforts made for peace. Conflict minerals have also lead to child labor and exploitation in Sudan and many other African nations. Sudan recognizes the immense measures needed to tackle this issue, including more intense regulation of conflict minerals, measures to improve traceability of extraction, and cooperation between member states.
In order to reduce the impact of conflict minerals, Sudan proposes a solution that calls for action from the UN. Sudan believes that more intense regulations placed on the extraction of conflict minerals is necessary to reduce the impact they have on many countries. Sudan calls for the development and improvement of traceability measures in order to help monitor the extraction of all mineral. The measures taken will ensure that less groups will get away with mining conflict minerals. Sudan hopes for the UN to impose sanctions on all groups found guilty of mining conflict minerals illegally. These sanctions will help decrease the funding of armed forces in order to try and stop armed conflicts. Finally, Sudan supports collaboration with neighboring countries and regions to help establish standards and regulations for responsible sourcing of minerals. Sudan looks forward to collaborating with its fellow delegates in order to find a solution for the extraction and use of conflict minerals.