September 16, 2019
 In 2023-Impact of Conflict Minerals

Country: Belarus
Delegate Name: Prisha Thakker

Submitted To: Special Political Committee
From: The Republic of Belarus
Subject: Impact Of Conflict Minerals

The Republic of Belarus stands before this esteemed assembly with a solemn recognition of the pressing global issue at hand—the impact of conflict materials. As we gather to deliberate on the multifaceted dimensions of this challenge, it is imperative to acknowledge that the consequences of conflict materials extend far beyond geopolitical boundaries, infiltrating the very fabric of societies and economies. Conflict materials typically refer to natural resources, such as minerals, extracted in conflict zones and contribute to financing armed groups or fueling violence. The most well-known conflict minerals include tantalum, tin, tungsten, and gold, often called the “3TG” minerals. These minerals are commonly used to produce electronics and other consumer goods.
The government of Belarus acknowledges the seriousness of the conflict minerals issue, understanding the potential socioeconomic and geopolitical implications. The extraction and trade of conflict minerals often exacerbate instability in affected regions, leading to economic underdevelopment, displacement of communities, and widespread poverty. Moreover, the revenue generated from the sale of these minerals can finance armed groups, perpetuating cycles of violence and hindering the prospects for sustainable peace. Geopolitically, the illicit trade in conflict minerals can contribute to regional tensions and undermine diplomatic efforts, as neighboring countries may become entangled in the complex web of resource-driven conflicts. The exploitation of these minerals can also strain international relations, with accusations of complicity and ethical concerns impacting bilateral and multilateral partnerships. While recognizing the gravity of the situation, Belarus will remain reserved in direct involvement until the matter unequivocally manifests as a human rights concern. This stance suggests a conditional approach, with a readiness to engage more actively if and when human rights violations directly linked to conflict materials arise, aligning its intervention with a broader human rights framework.

In the context of Belarus, where the issue of conflict minerals has been acknowledged as a matter of concern, addressing child labor becomes especially relevant. To combat child labor in Belarus and globally, it is imperative to foster international collaboration by advocating for increased cooperation through organizations like the International Labour Organization (ILO) and UNICEF. Strengthening and enforcing legislation against child labor and aligning it with international standards is crucial.The extraction and trade of conflict minerals can inadvertently contribute to the exploitation of vulnerable populations, including children, who may be subjected to hazardous working conditions in mining operations. By prioritizing education programs and raising awareness about the consequences of child labor, Belarus aims not only to prevent its occurrence but also to address the root causes such as poverty, often exacerbated by conflicts related to mineral resources. Sustainable economic development, supported by responsible corporate practices and social support services, becomes a critical component of eradicating child labor. Moreover, monitoring and reporting mechanisms will help ensure that the impact of conflict minerals on child labor is continuously assessed and mitigated. Encouraging responsible corporate practices, establishing social support services, and monitoring/reporting mechanisms contribute to a multifaceted approach. Ensuring families have access to humane accommodations and fair wages, coupled with capacity-building initiatives, will create a comprehensive strategy for eradicating child labor and promoting the well-being of vulnerable populations.
Belarus maintains a nuanced stance on the EU Conflict Minerals Regulation (EU 2017/821), which calls for responsible sourcing of 3TG Minerals to prevent support for armed groups and human rights abuses. From our perspective, the stringent requirements imposed by the EU could impact our flourishing mineral trade, a vital component of our national economy. Belarus contends that our existing resource management practices effectively contribute to economic growth and regional stability. While we acknowledge the EU’s commitment to addressing global concerns, we propose a more flexible or region-specific approach that accommodates the unique dynamics of our mineral sector. By emphasizing the positive regional economic spillovers and the collaborative nature of our engagements with neighboring countries, we aim to showcase a responsible and mutually beneficial approach to mineral trade that aligns with broader regional interests, even if diverging from specific EU regulations.
Belarus recognizes the global impact of conflict materials and is eager to address challenges such as child labor actively. Committed to international collaboration through organizations like the ILO and UNICEF, Belarus aims to strengthen legislation, prioritize education, and tackle root causes like poverty. While acknowledging the EU Conflict Minerals Regulation, Belarus proposes a region-specific approach to safeguard its vital mineral trade. Balancing economic interests with global concerns, Belarus is excited about implementing changes that align with regional interests, demonstrating a commitment to eradicating child labor and promoting responsible mineral sourcing for sustainable development and stability.

Works Cited
“Belarus Sanctions Regulations.” Federal Register, 27 March 2023, Accessed 20 November 2023.
“Conflict Minerals Regulation: The regulation explained.” Language selection | Trade, Accessed 20 November 2023.
“Library | United Nations.” the United Nations, Accessed 20 November 2023.
“Miner’s Wage Rights.”, Accessed 20 November 2023.

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