Due Diligence Guidelines

Due Diligence Guidelines

Note by the Chair

By paragraph 7 of resolution 1896 (2009), adopted unanimously on 30 November 2009, the Security Council requested the Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to produce recommendations "for guidelines for the exercise of due diligence" by the importers, processing industries and consumers of mineral products regarding the purchase, sourcing, acquisition and processing of mineral products from the DRC, "drawing inter alia on their reports and taking advantage of work done in other forum".

By paragraph 7 of resolution 1952 (2010), adopted unanimously on 29 November 2010, the Security Council supported taking forward the Group of Experts’ recommendations on guidelines for due diligence, which the Group provided in its 2010 final report (S/2010/596), to mitigate the risk of further exacerbating the conflict in the eastern part of the DRC by providing direct or indirect support to:

  • Illegal armed groups in the eastern part of the DRC;
  • Criminal networks and perpetrators of serious violations of international humanitarian law and human rights abuses, including those within the national armed forces.
  • Individuals and entities designated for targeted sanctions (asset freeze and travel ban).

By paragraph 8 of resolution 1952 (2010), the Security Council called upon all States to take appropriate steps to raise awareness of the due diligence guidelines referred to above, and to urge importers, processing industries and consumers of Congolese mineral products to exercise due diligence by applying the aforementioned guidelines or equivalent guidelines.

By paragraph 9 of the same resolution, the Security Council decided that the Committee, in determining whether to designate an individual or entity supporting the illegal armed groups in the eastern part of the DRC through illicit trade of natural resources, pursuant to sub paragraph (g) of paragraph 4 of resolution 1857 (2008) should consider, amongst other things, whether the individual or entity has exercised due diligence.

The Group of Experts’ due diligence guidelines were designed for compliance with DRC law and international standards, and for coherence with the related international initiatives, notably those taking place within the framework of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR). The guidelines also reflected the Group’s close collaboration with the DRC authorities at the national, provincial and local levels, and the Group’s findings regarding the involvement of armed actors in mineral supply chains from eastern DRC.

In connection with the final report of the Group of Experts dated 2 December 2011 (S/2011/738), the Group made four recommendations addressed to companies:

Recommendation 33: The Group recommends that minerals that have documentation proving that they were produced before the Government’s mining ban, but were not exported before 1 April 2011, be tagged as stock, and sold. Any financial benefit that may have been derived by armed groups and/or FARDC criminal networks from these minerals has already occurred, and the Group considers that there is nothing to be gained at this stage by leaving the stocks unsold. A generous portion of the proceeds from the stock sale should be used to finance traceability, and environmental and social projects in the affected provinces.

Recommendation 34: All companies purchasing, processing and consuming minerals that have not already done so should commit to implementing the UN GoE due diligence guidelines.

Recommendation 35: The Group encourages international buyers, processors and consumers of minerals to support the progressive demilitarization of the mining sector in eastern DRC by remaining engaged in the DRC and the regional market while implementing supply chain due diligence.

Recommendation 36: Oil companies with interests in blocks in eastern Congo should take note of the complex security environment described in this report and ensure that their exploration and eventual production operations do not directly or indirectly benefit armed groups or criminal networks within the FARDC.

As mandated by the Security Council, the Group of Experts evaluated the impact of due diligence guidelines, including assessing their economic and social development, in its subsequent reports, as follows: 1) at paragraphs 7-8, and 138 to 162 of the 2012 midterm report (S/2012/348) dated 21 June 2012; 2) at paragraphs 160, 171, and 198 to 224 of the 2012 final report dated 15 November 2012 (S/2012/843); 3) at paragraphs 151 to 159, 170, and 176 to 186 of 2013 midterm report (S/2013/433) dated 19 July 2013; and 4) at paragraphs 161, 193, and 200 of the 2013 final report (S/2014/42) dated 23 January 2014.

The Group also provided additional recommendations to companies, governments and regional and international organizations, as follows: recommendations e), i), and p) of the 2012 midterm report S/2012/348; i) and j) of the 2012 final report (S/2012/843); paragraphs 209 and 2010 of the 2013 midterm report (S/2013/433); and paragraph 251 of the 2013 final report (S/2014/42).