The Conflict Minerals Trade Act of 2009, introduced in the United States House of Representatives by Congressman Jim McDermott (D-Washington), would help develop the means to ensure that the multimillion dollar trade in minerals from eastern Congo stops financing the world’s deadliest conflict since World War II. It will also help raise awareness about the issue to both the public and policy makers.
The trade in the 3 T’s - tin ore (cassiterite), tantalite (coltan), tungsten (a source derived from wolframite), as well as gold—that are used, among other things, in electronic devices such as cell phones and laptops—are a major source of funding for armed groups in eastern Congo who commit atrocities against civilians. If passed, this bill would create a system of audits and import declarations that would distinguish those goods imported into the United States that contain conflict minerals. The resulting transparency would be an important step forward in helping break the links between the mineral trade and human rights violations.
This bill demands greater transparency and accountability from those companies whose products contain these mineral ores or their derivatives. In parallel, was declared The United Nations Security Council Resolution 1952, adopted unanimously on November 29, 2010, after recalling previous resolutions on the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, including resolutions 1807 (2008), 1857(2008) and 1896 (2009), the Council renewed an arms embargo and related targeted sanctions for a further period until November 30, 2011.