The 11th Forum on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains, jointly organised by the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), the OECD and the UN Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of Congo took place in Paris from 2 to 4 May 2017. Every year, the meeting gathers representatives from states, enterprises and civil society organisations working in the sector, in addition to the organising institutions.
It is therefore a valuable space to evaluate the advances and setbacks regarding the application of the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas. These guidelines, internationally recognised, are based on voluntary and constraining norms that currently govern this issue.
The political context of the Great Lakes Region has evidently influenced the debates, just like the recent adoption by the EU of a regulation on the responsible supply of conflict minerals and the possible withdrawal of the so-called Dodd-Frank Act in the United States.
If one can rejoice about the general held opinion that the impact of the mining sector is being better taken into account, it is also good to recall the crucial role of mining for peace, stability and development.