Last week, the U.S. State Department announced the creation of a Public-Private Alliance (PPA) for Responsible Minerals Trade, with a goal of working with companies, civil society, and governments to support conflict-free mineral supply chain efforts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). This is a significant step to overcome what has become a de facto embargo on trade in tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold from the country and surrounding region, and to support mining and trade that contributes to the local economy without funding armed conflict in the eastern DRC.

More than 20 organizations intend to join the PPA, including companies that have been leading efforts to address conflict minerals, like AMD, HP, Intel, and Motorola and industry organizations like the Electronics Industry Citizenship Coalition and the ITRI. Sprint and Verizon also intend to participate, and perhaps most interestingly, this is a truly global effort that has support from Nokia, Sony, Telefónica, and Toshiba.

This is also a multistakeholder effort open to civil society organizations: Groups like the Enough Project, Pact, and the Responsible Sourcing Network intend to participate.

The PPA organizers expect the effort will become a platform for coordination among those seeking to support conflict-free sourcing, and BSR encourages interested companies and others to learn more about the work. If you are interested in the PPA and might want to participate in the work, please visit www.resolv.org/site-ppa/ for more details and contact information.

BSR will also be exploring company efforts to address supply chain conflict minerals during a session at the BSR Conference on November 2, featuring BSR experts and speakers from the EICC, Ford Motor Company, and TE Connectivity.