Special Political and Decolonization Committee


Tan Qian Wei

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Topic 1: Mining Rights Statement of Problem: Mining refers to the extraction of valuable mineral resources from the earth, while mineral rights refers to the right of the owner of a land to exploit, mine and/or produce the mineral resources lying below its surface. Mining conflicts have their roots in history during the colonial era, but in moden society, there still remain conflicts between the interests of large private mining companies and state-owned private enterprises, as well as economic and social issues arising from the expansion of the mining industry.

In recent decades, demand for mineral resources has increased whereas their supply has increasingly been depleted. As mentioned in a UN publication on Trends in Mining, the increase in demand comes largely from developing countries and less from developed countries.[1]. This puts a strain on mineral resources worldwide, resulting in more intense competition between various stakeholders, as well as effects on the environment and on the rights of workers in these industries.

While the French mining industry has largely been one characterised by private competition between mining companies, President Francois Hollande’s announcement of a new state mining company in 2014.[2] signals a shift in the French government’s stance regarding the balance between state and private ownership of natural resources.

Country’s Stance: France emphasises the importance of private competition, in sustaining a vibrant and competitive economy. As such, a certain degr...