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Archive for the tag “the Summit of the EAC Heads of State”

EU’s new regulation plans to scrap imports of conflict minerals by 2021!

The people back home wouldn’t buy a ring if they knew it cost someone else their hand”Maddy Brown (Blood Diamond, 2006).

The European Union are acting out of care and thinking of transparency for the industrial imports and mineral exporters. This is happening just a little month after the United States opened up their legislation for importing more from conflict zones. While the European Union plans to close the gate from areas and from sources that export Conflict minerals.

So the EU laws are becoming more stricter than the United States, even if the law they have enacted in the European Parliament and Council of the European Union, will be effective from 2021. So it is 4 years until it has giant effect and gives time to refinery and importers to change behavior. Something that is necessary, as well as the public have to grow concern of the affects of buying conflict minerals. Even as the conflict minerals still come into the market of Europe and into the refineries so the consumers doesn’t know and cannot follow where their products who contain minerals comes from war-zones.

That the European Union takes this serious and acts upon this Nobel, and proves that they does not want to support militias and guerrillas that keeps control of mineral rich areas and their exports to supply weapons and continue warfare in for instance the African Great Lakes Region. Take a look!

Background of new rule:

This Regulation, by controlling trade in minerals from conflict areas, is one of the ways of eliminating the financing of armed groups. The Union’s foreign and development policy action also contributes to fighting local corruption, to the strengthening of borders and to providing training for local populations and their representatives in order to help them highlight abuses” (EU, P: 8, 2017).

Conflict Minerals from Great Lakes Region:

The Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy should regularly review their financial assistance to and political commitments with regard to conflict-affected and high-risk areas where tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold are mined, in particular in the African Great Lakes Region, in order to ensure policy coherence, and in order to incentivise and strengthen the respect for good governance, the rule of law and ethical mining” (EU, P: 16, 2017).

Trade of Minerals funds armed conflicts:

Preventing the profits from the trade in minerals and metals being used to fund armed conflict through due diligence and transparency will promote good governance and sustainable economic development. Therefore, this Regulation incidentally covers areas falling within the Union policy in the field of development cooperation in addition to the predominant area covered which falls under the common commercial policy of the Union” (EU, P:17, 2017).

Important Article:

Article 3: Compliance of Union importers with supply chain due diligence obligations

1. Union importers of minerals or metals shall comply with the supply chain due diligence obligations set out in this Regulation and shall keep documentation demonstrating their respective compliance with those obligations, including the results of the independent third-party audits” (EU, P: 23, 2017).

Date of Application:

Articles 1(5), 3(1), 3(2), Articles 4 to 7, Articles 8(6), 8(7), 10(3), 11(1), 11(2), 11(3), 11(4), Articles 12 and 13, Article 16(3), and Article 17 shall apply from 1 January 2021” (EU, P: 51, 2017).

What the statements on the law:

The Commission will consider making additional legislative proposals targeted at EU companies with products containing tin, tantalum, and tungsten and gold in their supply chain should it conclude that the aggregate efforts of the EU market on the responsible global supply chain of minerals are insufficient to leverage responsible supply behaviour in producer countries, or should it assess that the buy-in of downstream operators that have in place supply chain due diligence systems in line with the OECD guidance is insufficient” (…) “In the exercise of its empowerment to adopt delegated acts pursuant to Article 1(5), the Commission will take due account of the objectives of this Regulation, notably as set out in recitals (1), (7), (10) and (17). In doing so, the Commission will, in particular, consider the specific risks associated with the operation of upstream gold supply chains in conflict affected and high-risk areas and taking into account the position of Union micro and small enterprises importing gold in the EU” (…) “In response to the request of the European Parliament for specific guidelines, the Commission is willing to develop performance indicators specific to the responsible sourcing of conflict minerals. By means of such guidelines, relevant companies with more than 500 employees that are required to disclose non-financial information in conformity with Directive 2014/95/EU would be encouraged to disclose specific information in relation to products containing tin, tantalum, tungsten or gold” (EU, P: 57-58, 2017).

The European Union is doing something positive with this. That they show effort and care for the imports and what affects the export has locally, so if the minerals export is shady, the export will cease. So if the due diligence regulation works and the industry complies, the effect can be enormous. The consumer will also know that there are not supporting by third party purchase to pay for ammunition rebels, warlords or guerrillas in far away lands. This should all be seen as step of making a better world and honorable society. Where the money is where the mouth is! Peace.

Reference:

Council of the European Union – ‘Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council setting up a Union system for supply chain due diligence self-certification of responsible importers of tin, tantalum and tungsten, their ores, and gold originating in conflict-affected and high-risk areas – Outcome of the European Parliament’s first reading (Strasbourg, 13 to 16 March 2017) – (20.03.2017).

Press Release: EU aid for African Great Lakes region getting through, but may be to expensive say auditor (04.07.2016)

EU Audits 04.07.2016 P1EU Audits 04.07.2016 P2

Joint Communique: 17th Ordinary Summity of the East African Community Heads of State

17 EAC Joint Communique P117 EAC Joint Communique P217 EAC Joint Communique P317 EAC Joint Communique P417 EAC Joint Communique P5

Here are international statements on todays voting and Presidential elections in Burundi

BurundiNTVNews

You can see usual suspect Didier Reynders from Belgium speaking on the country again. U.S. has to speak and does say it softly. Canada’s foreign affairs also had an opinion on the election. Red Cross is concerned about the refugee situation concerning the violence in Burundi and how it affects the bordering countries and their refugee camps.

Kenyan TV report:  – This is from today and is a Youtube clip.

U.S. Response:

“The legitimacy of the electoral process in Burundi over the past few months has been tainted by the government’s harassment of opposition and civil society members, closing down of media outlets and political space, and intimidation of voters. Dozens have been killed, and as many as 167,000 Burundians are now refugees in neighboring nations” (…) “Attempts by the Government of Burundi to deny citizens the ability to choose their leadership freely, without intimidation and threat of violence, will force the United States to carefully review all aspects of our partnership not yet suspended, including the imposition of visa restrictions on those responsible for — or complicit in — promoting instability in Burundi through violence” (Kirby, 2015).

Belgium response:

“Didier Reynders deeply regrets the organisation of presidential elections in Burundi, today 21 July. These elections do not meet the minimal requirements of inclusiveness and transparency. They are not credible and will not contribute to a solution for the crisis in the country” (…) “Belgium calls on Burundi to revive the spirit of consensus and inclusiveness of the Arusha agreement, that is still the cornerstone for constitutional order and stability in Burundi” (Reynders, 2015).

Canada response:

MP for Foreign Affairs Rob Nicholson says: ““His bid has unleashed instability and violence characterized by the unrestrained use of force by militias acting with total impunity, exacerbating an already dire humanitarian crisis. Close to 170,000 Burundians—including prominent members of government and key democratic institutions as well as journalists—have fled to neighbouring countries fearing for their lives. Dozens of people have already died in violence related to the political unrest” (…) “Canada calls on President Nkurunziza and his government to protect the rights and interests of all Burundians and work with the East African Community and the African Union in accordance with the Arusha Peace Accords” (Quinney, 2015).

EAC response:

“he EAC Election Observer Mission started arriving in the Republic of Burundi on 17th July 2015 and underwent briefing on Election Observation Methodologies and from CENI” (…) “The EAC Election Observer Mission was deployed today, 20th July 2015 to various Provinces of Burundi to observe the polling and counting processes” (…) “The EAC has been involved in the Burundi Electoral process since January 2015 through the Panel of Eminent Persons (PEP), Pre-Election Expert Mission (PEMi), the Council of Ministers, and the Summit of the EAC Heads of State” (EAC, 2015).

Red Cross fears:

“In one day alone, more than 30 malnourished Burundian children were admitted and showing secondary complications including malaria, pneumonia, worms, anemia and diarrhea. At least four known deaths of malnourished infants have been recorded so far” (…) “Burundian Presidential elections, set to take placed on Tuesday, July 21st. An estimated 25,000 people have fled to the Tanzanian border camp in the last month alone, bringing the total number of Burundian refugees to around 78,000; a fifth of which are thought to be children under five” (…) “Tensions are running high between new arrivals and the long-established refugee population from eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), most of whom arrived in 1996 following the Rwandan genocide and the subsequent regional instability” (Carrol, 2015).

Last thought: 

Hope you found this interesting while the voting and polling is coming. I can’t wait to see what the EAC report on the election says and we all know kind of already what result will be. The numbers is the thing we wonder about. But the winner and third term is happening because like for instans the opposition parties Agathon Rwasa FNL has pulled out and so has other parties done. So you can just see what happens and it sure will be the winner of Presidential Election of 2015. The third term of the CNDD-FDD… so many means is breaking with the Arusha Peace Agreement of 2006. Well, Pierre doesn’t agree and doesn’t care. He is on the Power Kool-Aid and can’t have enough. All of the people of Burundi don’t all agree with the President Nkurunziza. Peace.

Reference:

Carrol, Phil – ‘Child Malnutrition Levels Soar in Tanzanian Refugee Camp as Burundian Presidential Election Approaches’ (21.07.2015) link: http://www.savethechildren.org/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=8rKLIXMGIpI4E&b=9241315&ct=14743281

EAC – ‘EAC Election Observer Mission to the Presidential Elections in the Republic of Burundi’ (20.07.2015) link: http://eac.int/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1916:eac-election-observer-mission-to-the-presidential-elections-in-the-republic-of-burundi&catid=146:press-releases&Itemid=194&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Kirby, Jon – ‘Elections in Burundi Will Lack Credibility’ (21.07.2015) link: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2015/07/245104.htm

Reynders, Didier – ‘Didier Reynders regrets the organisation of presidential elections in Burundi today 21 July’ (21.07.2015) link: https://appablog.wordpress.com/2015/07/21/didier-reynders-regrets-the-organisation-of-presidential-elections-in-burundi-today-21-july/

Quinney, Johanna – ‘Canada Condemns Use of Violence for Political Goals in Burundi Ahead of Election (21.07.2015) Link: http://foreignaffairs.co.nz/2015/07/21/canada-condemns-use-of-violence-for-political-goals-in-burundi-ahead-of-election/#sthash.A17ljQ8C.dpuf

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