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FROM BLOOD RUBBER TO BLOOD MINERALS: THE SLAUGHTER OF A NATION FOR INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION AND TECHNOLOGYThe Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) minerals have been valued at $24 trillion dollars according to IHS experts with more than 1,100 different minerals. The main ones include: copper, cobalt, silver uranium, lead, zinc, cadmium, diamonds, gold, tin, tungsten, manganese and a rare metal such as coltan. The latter, is one of the so called 3Ts, or tantalum, tungsten and tin, and together with gold they have been instrumental in driving deadly atrocities in the eastern DRC for nearly two decades now. Since the invasion of DRC by neighbouring countries, Rwanda and Uganda, we have witnessed the DRC’s rich resources being plundered for the benefit of few. Militia and armed groups are used to terrorise civilians, mainly woman and children, using rape as a weapon of fear. DRC is not at war with anyone.
Conflict minerals are about war, rape, massacres and corruption. Trade is about working hard and following the law. Trade is about hope for a better life: to feed our family, to get an education for our children or to take care of the family's health.
In 1951 the European Coal and Steel Agreement under the US auspices designed an agreement to stop the nations of Europe from going to war again. For many people of Eastern Europe since 1990 they have been thinking if I go to work, follow the law and do well I can become a member of the European Union and that was the beacon for them that gave them hope for the future.
Professor Lord Bhikhu Parekh, Professor of Political Philosophy at the University of Westminster, brought a more philosophical perspective on human rights as he delivered a speech that invoked a great deal of contemplation on the topic of human rights and democracy as a whole. It was very a appropriate topic to consider during 'Parliament Week'. Parekh pointed out that democracy is more than a system but is also a way of life. It requires the people to behave differently towards the running of their country and is not easily transported to a nation that is new to the concept of democracy.
The Youth UPF Concert to raise funds for a peace project in Jerusalem took place at the conclusion of the UPF Peace Council. Many volunteer performances were dedicated to this cause in an exciting and varied evening organised by the Youth UPF team.
Through this concert Youth UPF are raising funds for a Jerusalem Youth "Learning to Live Together in Harmomy" Project - as part of the Middle East Peace Initiative. We will be carrying out service projects between 18th ~23rd, December visiting NGO'S that try to promote peace between Israel and Palestine. Please see the fundraising link (www.gofundme.com/idomybit), you will find a little more on this particular project for Jerusalem.
Universal Peace Federation-UK held its Annual Peace Council to review the year and plan its 2014 activities on Saturday 7th December in the Lancaster Gate, UK Headquarters. The day included sessions on values, peace initiatives, humanitarian efforts and a Youth UPF concert to raise funds for a peace project in Jerusalem. (Youth UPF Team in photo left)
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