Delegate Name: Shriya Nallan Chakravarthi
From computers to cars, most goods are tainted with conflict minerals. Daily goods are tainted with human rights abuses, environmental degradation, and cruel violence. India has identified 30 minerals that are crucial for its survival, including cobalt, lithium, nickel, and the 3TGs (Tin, tantalum, tungsten, gold). Evidence warns that a majority of these minerals are sourced under armed forces. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Enough Project, European Union (EU), and the US Geological Survey have advocated for greater transparency, but more action is critical for greater effectiveness and aiding nations who depend on these minerals.
India is controlling its own internal conflict with the Maoist insurgency, also known as the Naxalites, who mine coal, bauxite, and iron deposits with forced labor. In recent years, the government has intensified its counter-insurgency initiatives to curb the party’s influence. The Naxalites are barred from exporting minerals internationally under law, but some companies may use conflict minerals, whether from the Naxalites or imported from elsewhere. India adheres to the principles OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct, which helps enterprises avoid using conflict minerals and increase transparency on where enterprises source their minerals. These helpful recommendations are still recommendations nonetheless, and are not enforced in nations. Thus, India created its National Mineral Policy (NMP) in 2019. India’s NMP promotes sustainable mining practices and levels the playing field through business transparency. These regulations have been largely implemented domestically. Currently, India also takes inspiration from the EU regulations on conflict minerals (2021) The EU regulations focus on the four minerals that are most likely to be linked with armed conflicts, the 3TGs. These regulations directly affect EU companies that source minerals internationally, including mineral exports from India. Importers are must identify smelters in their supply chain and ensure they follow the due diligence practices. Indirectly, however, the regulations aim to foster responsible sourcing internationally. The effectiveness of these goals is limited; the EU has not achieved notable impact in supply chains or in producing countries. The EU regulations have effectively pushed Indian companies to become more transparent with their mineral sourcing.
Due to the limited effectiveness of the regulations, the Republic of India would like to see a greater enforcement of business transparency and mining regulations to limit support of armed forces mining conflict minerals. This could be through the creation of a sub committee to deal with implementing existing framework internationally along with creating new framework and regulations as needed. Additionally, India urges the United Nations to focus more resources on stopping the specific groups involved in mining conflict minerals. Stopping these groups ends the uncountable human right abuses, environmental decay, and lethal violence.