1410 Working Group news on Natural Resources -October 2014

  1. Church Leaders call for EU Rules on Conflict Resources to be Binding

As the European Parliament prepares to debate legislation on responsible mineral sourcing (conflict minerals), 70 Catholic bishops from around the world are urging the EU to make the legislation’s requirements consistent in scope and binding for companies, rather than the current voluntary approach. The international alliance of Catholic development agencies warn that European citizens expect guarantees that they are not complicit in financing conflict and human rights abuses.

 

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2.       New transparency rules on social responsibility for big companies

The Council of the EU adopted a new directive for the disclosure of non-financial and diversity information by certain large companies on September 29th. New measures will require certain big EU companies to draw up, on a yearly basis, a statement relating to environmental, social and employee-related matters, respect for human rights, anticorruption and bribery matters. The result of this directive has been criticized for civil society for its lack of ambition and non-legally binding guidelines. A chapter on the extractive companies should be included in the new directive. 

 

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3.       Madagascar: The curse of economic growth on Natural Resources

With its wealth of natural resources, Madagascar has the potential for healthy economic growth, yet remains mostly poor. The government must stop elites from fighting over national profits in a way that keeps plunging the country into turmoil and recession. Economic growth and politics apparently operate at cross purposes. Economic prosperity in Madagascar displays a destructive impulse: elites fight over its spoils in a way that ends up sinking the whole country into periodic political turmoil and recessions.

 

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