Bujumbura, Burundi, July 11, 2014: The 9th meeting of the Steering Committee on the Fight against the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources was held in Lusaka, Zambia. On 24th to 26th June 2014,
Executive Secretary, Professor Ntumba Luaba in his opening statements highlighted the major achievements of the ICGLR Secretariat in the implementation of the Regional Initiative to Fight Against the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources (RINR).
He mentioned some of the achievements as the establishment of the Technical Unit to fast-track the implementation of the RINR; visit of the ICGLR technical team to Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Republic of Rwanda and Republic of Burundi to inquire about the processes and procedures being undertaken by those member States to issue the ICGLR certificate.
He also mentioned the convening at the ICGLR Secretariat of technical meeting of experts from the three Member States to come up with harmonized steps in the issuance of the ICGLR certificate and organizing of the third meeting of the ICGLR Audit Committee in Kinshasa, DRC, on 14th and 15th which came up with a pre-selection of 5 third party auditors.
As a result of these achievements, the 9th meeting of the Steering Committee formulated the following major recommendations:-
1. The operationalization of third party audits and the Audit Committee.
2. The establishment of the office of the Independent Mineral Chain Auditor and the recruitment of the Assistant to the Audit Committee should be prioritized.
3. The secretariat to make arrangements for an in-depth situational analysis of the costs and benefits of different traceability and due diligence systems towards rationalization of costs, for purposes of operationnalization.
4. The Technical Unit to develop a training module on the Regional Certification Mechanism for Member States in order to strengthen the understanding and ensure harmonized procedures and documentation of the Regional Certification Mechanism.
5. Conference Secretariat request member States to communicate focal points on the formalization of the artisanal mining sector to be able to work in harmony on artisanal and small scale mining sector with member States.
6. Member States should undertake steps to ensure adequate documentation and security of those stocks and their respective chain of custody so that the Independent Mineral Chain Auditor, once operational, shall be tasked to perform formal risk assessments on these stocks with a view to demonstrating that due diligence has been performed and recommend whether or not such stocks are eligible for sale.
The 9th Steering Committee meeting was informed that a draft business plan is expected to be out towards the end of July 2014.
Meanwhile, Steering Committee elected new Members of its Bureau which saw Mr. Paul Ndarihonyoye from Republic of Burundi elected as Chairman; Mr. Jeannot Nderoumtate from Central African Republic as Vice-Chair and Mr.Bethsmith Aliga William from Republic of South Sudan as Rapporteur
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