Topic: 2023-Impact of Conflict Minerals
Delegate Name: Faith Pawloski
While everyone can agree that conflict minerals are unethical to use, they still find their way into everyday products. Defined as a mineral such as gold, columbite-tantalite (coltan), cassiterite, tungsten, and wolframite mined by armored forces, conflict minerals have an expansive negative impact on human rights. In the past, the UN has issued the Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights in 2011 to insure that basic human rights and the avoidance of abuses are met; specifically, protection, respect and remedy when wrongs are committed. In 2022, 53 percent of companies were not able to determine if their products did indeed use conflict minerals.
Though some of Mozambique’s allies use conflict minerals, Mozambique doesn’t not support the use of conflict minerals. While the conflict in Cabo-Delgado over gas and oil is not classified as a fight over conflict minerals, the general situation is the same. The dispute over the valuable land has torn apart Mozambique and more than 1 million people have been displaced. There have also been abductions of woman and children, beheadings, and buildings burned to the ground.
Mozambique proposes that regulations should be stricter, especially those that track shipping records. With the current policies and regulations, it is too easy for conflict minerals to enter the main flow of all minerals; we must prevent this at all costs because by using the conflict minerals that entered the supply of all other minerals, it supports the activities of the armed and terrorist groups that mine them. Another measure that should be taken to eliminate conflict minerals altogether is to encourage large companies to promote how damaging they are. A similar problem to this was recycling. Before large firms were advertising how important recycling is, the problem was not well known by the public, so therefore unaddressed. If large companies like Apple and Tesla spoke out against using conflict minerals, progress could be made on the issue. In order to resolve the humanitarian crisis in Mozambique, large and influential companies across the world must take a stand and speak out against the use of conflict minerals.