EU needs laws on conflict minerals

Dec. 3, 2010 at 9:36 AM
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BRUSSELS, Dec. 3 (UPI) -- European lawmakers are called on to adopt measures that will curtail the illegal exportation of conflict minerals from African countries, a leader said.

Louis Michel, the co-president of the European Union- African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States parliamentary assembly, said strong measures restricting the illegal exploitation of conflict minerals would help "heal the international market."

"It is still incomprehensible that the countries with richest resources are those whose populations are the poorest," he said in a statement. "It is not enough to give lessons to countries with resources, we must also assume our own responsibilities."

Michel advocated a bill similar to U.S. legislation that requires companies listed on American stock markets to publicly disclose their income and tax payments.

"Such disclosure would have a deterrent effect on corruption and illicit financial flows that result in many countries, which despite being rich in natural resources end up with a huge loss of resources, worsening conflicts and deep poverty," he added.

Developing countries, for their part, should adopt a "moral code" when considering conflict minerals, he said.

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