Eastern Mennonite University Conflict-Free Resolution
Date: March 13, 2013
Sponsored by: Mennonite Central Committee D.C. Office, Student Government Association, Information Services, Department of Applied Social Sciences, Bible and Religion Department, Campus Ministries, Judy Mullet, Barrett Hart
Authored by: Peace Fellowship
Passed by: Eastern Mennonite University President’s Cabinet
Whereas, Eastern Mennonite University has declared its commitment to human rights and social justice in its governance documents and policies, including stated core values such as faith and fellowship, service to others, sustainability, global community, and peacebuilding; EMU recognizes that “We live in an increasingly connected world. Here we ask ourselves how our choices affect others across the globe;” and
Whereas, Eastern Mennonite University has taken affirmative steps throughout its history to promote these values by organizing peace vigils, offering counseling and mediation, helping to organize Walk for Hope, supporting the Dream Act, requiring cross-culturals, promoting interfaith dialogue including joining the community’s stand in support of a local mosque after it was defaced, educating students about social justice issues, and influencing graduates who work in social justice and peacebuilding all over the world; and
Whereas, the United States Senate and the House of Representatives have found that armed groups bear responsibility for massive atrocities in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo; and
Whereas, legislation signed into law (Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act of 2010) requires 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 International Rescue Committee has found more than 5.4 million civilians have been killed between 1998 and 2007 and countless more remain at risk as a consequence of attacks conducted by armed groups in eastern Congo; and
Whereas, the United Nations Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo released a final report on December 12, 2008 which found that armed groups in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo continue to fight over, illegally plunder, and profit greatly from the trade of coltan (tantulum), cassiterite (tin), wolframite, (tungsten) and gold in the eastern Congo (“Conflict Minerals”), some or all of which are used in such electronics equipment as computers, mobile phones, digital cameras, and camcorders, game consoles and other items; and
Whereas, the U.N. has urged the international community to work with the U.N. peacekeeping force currently on the ground, and other stakeholders to resolve the conflict in eastern Congo; and
Whereas, the armed groups generate hundreds of millions of dollars each year by trading in conflict minerals; and
Whereas, purchasing of these minerals from legitimate sources in Congo strengthens the country’s minerals trade and the legitimacy of minerals used in consumer products; and
Whereas, Eastern Mennonite University spends $200,000-400,000 per year on electronic products including companies which use conflict minerals from Democratic Republic of Congo in their supply chains;
Therefore Be It Resolved that Eastern Mennonite University will consider whether electronic products contain conflict minerals from eastern Congo in future purchasing decisions and, when available, will favor verifiably conflict-free products.
Be It Further Resolved that the President’s Cabinet of Eastern Mennonite University 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 Eastern Mennonite University will convey to its constituency networks and wider community of its actions with respect to purchasing from companies which use conflict-free minerals and urge them to do the same.