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.
International Chairman, Universal Peace Federation
December 3-4, 2013 Hotel Paris 'Novotel Vaugirard', Paris, France
Distinguished Guests, Ambassadors of Peace, Ladies & Gentlemen, on behalf of the Founder, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, and the members of the Board of Directors and the Presiding Council of UPF International, it is my privilege to address you today here in Paris for this conference on Cooperating for a Culture of Peace and Human Development.
I want to express my appreciation to the co-sponsors of this conference, especially the Mission of Tadjikistan, represented here by Ambassador Soliev, along with the Missions of Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. I am indeed honored and grateful that we received a message of welcome and support for this conference from former UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros Ghali. In addition, I was very pleased to watch the video message from H.E. Federico Mayor, former UNESCO Director General, and to listen to the speech, read by his Secretary, of former President Kravchuk of Ukraine. President Kravchuk was prevented from being here himself due to the current situation in his country.
International Leadership Conference held in Paris, December 3rd to 4th, to develop a cooperative relationship of Eurasia and Europe that contain approximately 70% of the world's population.
Ms. Chantal Daniels stated that “the exportation of minerals is the one of the key incomes for many people but also fuels conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)." However she explained that it is the failure of state governance that is the main problem. For example, there is very little infrastructure whereby basic stuff can be provided to the people.
Ms. Daniels continued, 'Christian Aid together with other NGO’s have produced a report with a number of recommendations entitled, ‘Breaking the links between natural resources and conflict: The case for EU regulation’.
'Minerals are both a curse and a blessing for the DRC. There are an awful a lot of initiatives that did not involve the local community. Local initiatives by NGO’s or donor nations were involving a local company and community but lacked breadth.'