ENFR

COSOC-GL’s statement in response to the announcement of the US President’s order to suspend the Dodd Franck Act Section 1502

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We, the African Great Lakes Region Civil Society Organizations grouped together within COSOC-GL (The Great Lakes Region Civil Society Coalition against the illegal exploitation of natural resources), gathered on March 2nd-3rd, 2017 , at Ishango Hotel, Goma, North Kivu Province, the Democratic Republic of Congo, within the context of workshop 2 for civil society experts on monitoring and reporting on due diligence in the great lakes region mineral supply chain supported by Partnership Africa Canada (PAC) and Responsible Trade;

By analyzing significant progresses observed over the five (5) last years within the mineral sector as well as their impacts on the improvement of security condition in the Great Lakes Region following the implementation Dodd Franck Act (DFA) Section 1502 requirements on one hand;
Being aware of the possible risks that may result from the suspension of the implementation of the Dodd Frank Act Section 1502 by the current US Administration, on the other hand;
Inform the national, international and especially the American public opinion on the following notable facts:

1. Implementing the Dodd Frank Act Section 1502 has had, amongst other positive results in the Great Lakes region countries including:
– The sustained determination of the Great Lakes Region member States to implement their commitments to combatting the illegal exploitation of and trade in natural resources, especially the 3TG minerals, through the implementation of the ICGLR Regional Certification Mechanism for minerals and the OECD Due Diligence for responsible mineral supply chains in post-conflict or high-risk areas;
– The implementation of national legislations against money laundering through mineral fraud and smuggling;
– Repressive measures against illegal mineral cross-border trade through judicial cooperation amongst the Member States of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR);
– The international market supplied with certified conflict-free minerals by establishing regional and international standards compliant and upstanding supply
chains;

2. The African Great Lakes Region Civil Society against the illegal exploitation of natural resources is concerned that suspending the Dodd Frank Act Section 1502 would have the following consequences:
– The dangerous resurgence of criminal and terrorist groups financed by the illicit mineral trade and the exacerbation of conflicts in the region;
– The undermining of the Great Lakes Region member countries pacification and stabilization efforts made by the International Community and especially by the Security Council of the United Nations and specifically by the United States;
– The risk of US companies disengagement from the obligation to ensure the respect for human rights in the minerals supply chain by their African Great Lakes Region based suppliers and the International flooded with conflict minerals;
Despite the major challenges arising from the effective domestication of 1502 in our respective countries, we, the member organizations of the African Great Lakes Region Civil Society Coalition against the illegal exploitation of natural resources; COSOC-GL, exhort the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC):
– To make use of any legal, political and diplomatic means at its disposal to protect and maintain the Dodd Frank Act Section 1502.
– to commission broad consultations with various upstream and downstream stakeholders on the enactment of the implementing measures to accelerate the effective application of the Dodd Frank Act Section 1502 and to make US companies more fully accountable for their mineral supply chains.
Written in Goma, the DR Congo, on March 3rd, 2017.
For the member Organizations of the African Great Lakes Region Civil Society against the illegal exploitation of natural resources, COSOC-GL

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