Vienna, Austria – The NorthSouthDialogue of Parliaments, which along with other activities supports the Austrian AWEPA Section, organised a FAIRTRADE exhibition in the Collonaded Hall of the Austrian Parliament, on 26 March 2015.
This year’s cooperation partner was the Climate Alliance Austria (Klimabündnis Österreich), which presented a poster exhibition on valuable metallic raw materials.
It informed the audience, among which were several AWEPA members, about the conditions and the impact of extracting gold and coltan in industrial mines in South America (Peru) and small scale mines in Africa (DRC).
The mining activities have direct and indirect negative effects for thousands of people. Through the use of cyanide and mercury the drinking water, soil and food is poisoned.
The working conditions for the local workers and small-scale miners are very hard, the added value is usually transferred abroad.
Peter Molnar, Director of the Climate Alliance Austria, called for the implementation of the recommendations of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). He also recommended that only gold with a FAIRTRADE certificate be used when the parliament building is renovated during the next few years.
International FAIRTRADE standards for precious metals in small-commercial mining have existed since 2011. The FAIRTRADE minimum price is to be understood as a safety net for the workers. The FAIRTRADE bonuses are invested in social and physical infrastructure and to achieve higher productivity. This system benefits the entire community.
Globally, the idea relates to the creation of a fair economic order. Especially in view of the planned revision of the Federal Procurement Regulations, it is important to make these policy possibilities of fair economic cooperation visible in parliament.