City of Pittsburgh Stands For Human Rights With Resolution Against Conflict Minerals

On April 19, 2011, the City of Pittsburgh became the first municipality to adopt a policy regarding conflict minerals. The resolution unanimously passed by the City Council reads:

WHEREAS, the City of Pittsburgh has declared its commitment to human rights and social justice in its governance documents and policies and has taken affirmative steps throughout its history to promote these values; and,

WHEREAS, conflict minerals refer to minerals mined in conditions of armed conflict and human rights abuses, notably in the Congo and Rwanda, with profits from the sale of these minerals financing continued fighting; and,

WHEREAS, the International Rescue Committee has found more than 5.4 million civilians have been killed and countless more remain at risk as a consequence of attacks  conducted by armed groups in eastern Congo while the U.N. has urged the international community to press the armed militias and to cooperate with a U.N. peacekeeping force authorized under U.N. Security Council Resolution 1291; and,

WHEREAS, while the United States Senate and the House of Representatives have found that armed groups bear responsibility for massive atrocities in the eastern Congo, recent legislation has been signed into law (Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act of 2010) requiring that companies submit an annual report to the Securities and Exchange Commission disclosing whether their products contain gold, tin, tantalum, or tungsten from the Congo or nearby areas; and,

WHEREAS, the City of Pittsburgh spends a significant amount of money on electronic products and has significant investments in companies which may use conflict minerals in their supply chains.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the City of Pittsburgh calls on companies from all sectors in the City to factor whether electronic products contain conflict minerals in future purchasing decisions and, when available, will favor verifiably conflict-free products.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Council of the City of Pittsburgh calls on electronic companies and other industries to take the necessary steps to remove conflict minerals from their supply chain.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Council of the City of Pittsburgh calls on US executive leadership in helping to establish an international certification system for minerals coming from Central Africa to ensure they are not contributing to conflict.


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