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Oblates Join Broad Coalition in support of Massachusetts Congo Conflict Mineral Bill December 7th, 2011

The Missionary Oblate JPIC has joined a broad coalition supporting the Massachusetts Congo Conflict Minerals bill. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts introduced a bill that could make a significant difference in the lives of the people in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

State Representative Martin J. Walsh (D) introduced the bill titled “An Act Relative to Congo Conflict Minerals”, (HD 04065). If passed, the Massachusetts Congo conflict minerals law would prohibit the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from contracting with companies that do not comply with federal regulations for the certification of minerals originating in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Intel Posts its White Paper on Conflict Minerals to the SEC website December 2nd, 2011

Socially responsible shareholders have applauded Intel Corporation for responding to their concerns and suggestions around conflict mineral policy and transparency. The Company agreed to post the company’s white paper “Intel’s Efforts to Achieve a ‘Conflict Free’ Supply Chain” to the SEC website last week.

Over the past several months, many shareholders affiliated with ICCR (including the Missionary Oblates) have pressed Intel to use its position as a sustainability leader to educate, and influence the marketplace on this issue. Being the first issuer to post a white paper on the SEC’s website is a significant step toward informing a broader audience of real progress being made by industry-wide and multi-stakeholder processes to bring an end to the bloodshed in the DRC minerals supply chain.

Read Intel’s White Paper on Conflict Minerals (PDF)


Break the Silence – Congo Week 2011 October 19th, 2011

Conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is far from over. Insecurity continues to plague parts of the eastern Congo and horrifying stories of rape and other forms of human rights abuses are still being reported. In order to raise awareness around the world of this situation in Congo, Break the Silence – Congo 2011 is being marked from October 16 to October 22, 2011. The aim of Congo advocacy is to raise awareness about the devastating situation in the Congo and mobilize support on behalf of the people of the Congo.

DRC is a major source for many minerals such as coltan, which is used in electronics like cell phones and laptops. Unfortunately, funding for armed groups in Congo comes from the sale of these minerals often to technology companies in Europe and North America.

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Massachusetts Introduces Congo Conflict Minerals Bill October 7th, 2011

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has introduced a bill that could make a significant difference in the lives of the people in the Democratic Republic of Congo. State Representative Martin J. Walsh (D) introduced An Act Relative to Congo Conflict Minerals (HD 04065). Access to Democratic Republic of Congo’s natural resources has been a principal driver of violent atrocities, particularly in the east where most of the mines are located.

If passed, HD 04065 would prohibit the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from contracting with companies that do not comply with federal regulations for the certification of minerals originating in the Congo. The legislation would make Massachusetts the second state in the nation to pass conflict minerals legislation for Congo. California was the first to pass such legislation.

Sign this petition to show your support for Massachusetts Congo Conflict Bill:


California Passes First-Ever State Bill on Congo Conflict Minerals September 14th, 2011

The State of California has passed SB 861, prohibiting California State contracts with companies that fail to comply with Federal reporting requirements on Congo’s conflict minerals. This is an important step, as it is the first state to pass legislation addressing the link between conflict minerals in consumer electronics products and the ongoing conflict in eastern Congo.

The California Congo Conflict bill gained momentum from the Dodd-Frank Act, Section 1502 on Conflict Minerals passed by the United States Congress in 2010. The bill goes to Governor Jerry Brown for final signature. The Enough Project’s Raise Hope for Congo campaign has launched a petition on calling on Governor Brown to hold a public signing ceremony as a way to amplify awareness of the bill. Please visit Raise Hope for Congo to sign the petition.


Oblate JPIC supports Congo Conflict-free Minerals Initiative June 28th, 2011

A workshop on the extractives industry supply chain on June 20th in northern Virginia pulled together more than 80 participants, including representatives from central African governments, the high-tech industry, mining companies, NGOs, and faith based investors, to discuss responsible mineral sourcing from Africa. Freeport McMoRan, Dell, Microsoft, Advanced Micro Devices, Sony and HP were come of the companies attending. Faith Responsible and Socially Responsible investors included the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), Boston Common Asset Management, Trillium Asset Management and members of the Congo Global Coalition.

The workshop was organized by Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) and the Electronic Industry Coalition (EICC). Apart from the overall usefulness of the meeting, it provided an opportunity for JPIC staff to meet with representatives of companies whom we engage in shareholder dialogues on sustainability issues.

The roundtable discussions focused on responsible mineral sourcing from the Democratic Republic of Congo and neighboring Central Africa countries. Minerals extracted from eastern Congo, mostly the ores that produce tin, tantalum, tungsten – the 3Ts – are essential to the electronics devices we use every day. Unfortunately, some of these minerals have been contributing to violent conflict in Eastern Congo.

The GeSI and EICC workshop was designed to develop a fuller understanding of the issues associated with conflict minerals and the efforts to stop their use in manufacturing. The discussion addressed the Dodd-Frank conflict minerals disclosure law, OECD Due Diligence and the EICC-GeSi conflict free smelter program. Following the workshop, JPIC staff participated in an investors’ meeting with the Security and Exchange Commission staff (SEC) in which the discussion focused on maintaining the protections on sourcing, designed to prevent the use of conflict minerals, written into the Dodd-Frank legislation.

Learn more about the Conflict-free Minerals provisions in the Dodd-Frank legislation

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