“Workshop on responsible and conflict-free sourcing in the Turkish gold supply chain” took place in İstanbul on 3 April 2014. Organised jointly with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Workshop was hosted by Borsa İstanbul.
This event is the first OECD outreach activity organised in Turkey with a view to promoting the implementation of the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas and particularly targets downstream gold supply chain participants such as gold manufacturers, jewellers, recyclers, refiners, exporters and importers. Workshop became a step forward in raising the awareness and the capacity of the Turkish gold sector on responsible sourcing.
At the workshop, Executive Vice President of Borsa İstanbul, Dr. Çetin Ali Dönmez, made inaugural speech. Mr. Dönmez stated that Turkey, an OECD member, is located in a very delicate region. With this fact in mind, Borsa Istanbul gives special importance to transparency and fairness of all its markets. Dönmez went on to say, “As a big and prestigious exchange we are very careful to always act responsibly and become accountable in all of our activities. I would like to emphasize the fact that gold imports to Turkey can only be done by our members and they are all in our control. We have a very well regulated precious metals market, but we are always open to constructive contributions from OECD or other international institutions. Thus, we believe that any such event covering internationally recognized principles, as OECD Due Diligence Guidance, can improve the market structure and corporate governance of our members, and I hope this event will help our firms to expand their horizon in handling the risks that may stem from conflict-affected or high-risk areas.
After Mr. Dönmez speech first session of the organization took place. In the first session Mr. Tyler Gillard, Project Lead in OECD, delivered a presentation about the link between conflict areas and the gold mineral trade. Mr. Gillard stressed that companies should move beyond formal compliance to regulations on responsible mineral supply chains and start thinking of how to comply with the spirit of international expectations, namely the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Mineral Supply Chains. Gillard added, “Companies should look critically at the impacts of their sourcing decisions and devise strategies to prevent or mitigate risks of conflict financing, including through innovative cross-sectoral industry collaboration. The OECD is committed to supporting Turkey and Turkish companies in their efforts to implement responsible sourcing in the gold supply chain”.
Mr. Gillard emphasized that the OECD Due Diligence Guidance applies to all conflict-affected and high-risk areas in the world, adding, “In partnership with adhering governments like Turkey, the OECD will continue to help countries implement due diligence in their global mineral supply chains. Together we can promote a gold trade that is a source of peaceful development and growth and cut the link between conflict, human rights abuses and mineral trade”.
Following Mr. Gillard, the representatives of Turkish refineries which are also members of LBMA and Borsa İstanbul Refinery List; Mr. Gürsel Özdemir, Director General of İstanbul Gold Refinery and Ms. Behnar Ilgin, International Projects Director in Nadir Metal Refinery made their presentations on “Overview of Turkish efforts to implement due diligence efforts in the Gold Supply Chain”.
Mr. Özdemir stated that the the implementation of OECD Due Diligence Guidance, LBMA Responsible Gold Programme and DMCC Guidance as Refinery side of the Gold Supply Chain. He also mentioned some key problems concerning the Gold Supply Chain Policy implementation, and made some proposals for the improvement of the Supply Chain Due Diligence System.
Ms. Behnar Ilgin emphasized that "OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas" workshop organized by the OECD and Borsa İstanbul is quite efficient for their members. With this workshop, it can be seen once more that Borsa İstanbul and Turkey's 3 largest refineries which are accredited to LBMA are committed to "OECD Due Diligence Guidance". Making a cooperated work is important for the efficiency of the sector with entities like "Chamber of Jewelers". Especially the audit firms should attend these workshops and forums in order to equip themselves with the knowledge of domestic regulations and practice.
Finally, Mr. David Bouffard, Vice President Corporate Affairs in Signet Jewellers, and Mr. Chirag Sharma, Manager Business Development in Dubai Multi Commodities, made their speeches about meeting international customer requirements and accessing markets respectively.
After workshop a networking launch was organized by Borsa İstanbul with the sponsorships of İstanbul Gold Refinery, Nadir Metal Refinery and Atasay Jewelry.