Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Kimberley process should extend to other resources to help DRC

DB Online - 2 December 2008

The Kimberley Process (KP) and its successful policies in stemming the flow of conflict diamonds should be extended to cover other mineral resources to halt the current violence in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), says Member of the European Parliament, Dr. Charles Tannock, Conservative Foreign Affairs Spokesman in Brussels.

Since the access to the DRC's mineral resources is the main motivator behind the current conflict, according to Dr. Tannock, a certification system similar to that of the KP would enable international businesses and consumers to know that they have not inadvertently funded civil conflict.

"The Kimberley Process has been very successful in combating the scourge of blood diamonds. The model of the Kimberley Process could be applied more widely to cover other natural resources, especially in DRC which has huge mineral wealth. The rush to exploit DRC's resources is fueling this conflict. Implementing a certification model similar to the Kimberley Process could help to bring an end to the bloodshed," says Dr. Tannock.

He also claims that such a move would raise ethical standards in Africa and points to China to take the lead in exerting more corporate responsibility in its investments in African mineral extraction. Dr. Tannock also wants more awareness and support to be raised among consuming countries for the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, a UK-initiated plan that seeks to address problems of accountability and transparency.

Dr. Tannock will reportedly raise his concerns with the Council of Ministers in the form of a written parliamentary question.