The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) on illegal exploitation of natural resources in the great lakes region.
The agreement which was signed today during the national coordinators meeting is aimed at preventing the extraction of minerals from being a source of conflict, insecurity and an obstacle to development.
ICGRL Executive Secretary Liberata Mulamula signed on behalf of the great lakes while OECD Advisor on International Law, Lahra Liberti signed on behalf of her organization.
And speaking during the signing ceremony, Ambassador Mulamula said the agreement will enable the ICGLR engage stakeholders to develop practical guidance for business operating in conflict affected and high risk areas.
She said the agreement was as a result of meetings which brought together experts and ministers of mineral resources from the great lakes, OECD and end users of minerals.
And OECD Advisor on International Law, Liberti said the agreement will see various stakeholders work with companies to set standards in sourcing minerals especially in risky areas.
She said companies will be obliged to take a lead in reducing the conflicts in the mining of the minerals.
Ms. Liberti added that the initiative has support of the United Nations (UN) Security Council which is also seeking to end conflicts in the affected countries.