FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Matt Brown, [email protected], 202-468-2925
WASHINGTON — The Enough Project commends the City of Pittsburgh for becoming the first city in the nation to officially state its preference for products free of conflict minerals that are fueling deadly war in the Congo.
City Councilman Doug Shields introduced the resolution that calls for the city to “favor verifiably conflict-free products.” The action is part of a growing movement by governments and institutions to steer away from products that use conflict minerals, including tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold from mines in eastern Congo that are controlled by militias that perpetrate mass atrocities. Such minerals are commonly found in consumer electronics.
"The City of Pittsburgh has clearly stated that it does not want to help fund the war in Congo, a war that has contributed to millions of deaths and hundreds of thousands of rapes," said Enough Project Co-founder John Prendergast. "Pittsburgh is leading the call to go conflict-free, and other cities across the nation should follow this example."
Shields and Pendergast first met when the latter was in Pittsburgh as a Visiting Fellow at the Ford Institute at the University of Pittsburgh and received a proclamation from City Council for his activism in fighting human rights violations “When we talked about the important work that the Enough Project was doing, I felt compelled to initiate a resolution that would lead by example in showing other cities what they could do to help,” said Shields.
Pittsburgh City Council’s resolution follows last year's federal legislation regulating companies that use conflict minerals in their products. A provision in the Dodd-Frank financial reform act requires companies to disclose whether they use minerals from Congo and state the measures they are taking to ensure the minerals are not fueling conflict.
Enough is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, the Enough Project focuses on crises in Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas of Africa affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough’s strategy papers and briefings provide sharp field analysis and targeted policy recommendations based on a “3P” crisis response strategy: promoting durable peace, providing civilian protection, and punishing perpetrators of atrocities. Enough works with concerned citizens, advocates, and policy makers to prevent, mitigate, and resolve these crises. For more information, please visit www.enoughproject.org.