Long before the creation of the United Nations, the control over commodities extraction sites, processing facilities and their trade have always attracted intense interest from competing nations. While the traditional world order has allocated the global South the role as suppliers of raw materials to the North, the forces of globalization have fundamentally altered this pattern. Now, many precious and semi-precious minerals and stones, aggregates, timber and other primary materials are extracted, traded, refined and processed, as well as converted into finished or semi-finished goods, in the South.

 

Dominance as inventor, designer, marketer and consumer is gradually shifting from the global North to the rising economies of the South. As a vestige of earlier times, Western nations continue to attempt to maintain some control over commerce in commodities through the application of socially responsible and humanitarian corporate practices. As long as the allocation of investments is mostly managed through Western equity and capital markets, such schemes may prevent commodity trade from being influenced by truly global forces.

 

Sanctions could serve as a tool for actualizing globalized governance. There are currently two distinct approaches:

– Outright trade bans on select raw or processed materials such as hydrocarbons, charcoal, wildlife or wildlife products, as in the cases of Libya, Somalia or the DRC;

– Imposition of due diligence obligations in the trade of certain minerals as currently in force in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and contemplated in the Central African Republic,  Eritrea, Sudan, South Sudan, or Côte d’Ivoire.

CCSI has published studies, on its own and in collaboration with other organizations. In partnership with the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and others; CCSI has also organized workshops and colloquia among relevant stakeholders.

 

Links:

FES-CCSI-publication “Sanctions and the Effort to Globalize Natural Resources Governance

Congo’s Golden Web – The people, companies and countries that profit from the illegal trade in Congolese gold; a comprehensive update based on new field research about the economic actors involved in the Congo’s gold trade

“From Conflict Gold to Criminal Gold “- Report on the security implications of artisanal gold mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo: English language version or La version francais

“The High Cost of Congolese Gold” – Report on the social implications of artisanal gold exploitation in the Democratic Republic of Congo:English language version or La version francais