UPFParliament WeekWFWP

Universal Peace Federation

Women’s Federation for World Peace

'Responsible Sourcing of Conflict Minerals'

Committee Room 1, House of Lords

14:30 - 15:30  Thursday 21st November, 2013

Rt. Hon. Baroness Verma: Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change

Charlotte Bosawa Eyenga Simon:  Founder of Mothers of Congo

Mr Humphrey Hawksley: BBC World Affairs Correspondent

Ms. Chantal Daniels: Policy and Advocacy Officer Central Africa, Christian Aid

 You are welcome to join us for a consideration of the 'responsible sourcing of conflict minerals'.  This session is part of a wider conference entitled, 'Human Rights: Are Democratic Nations Upholding A Better Standard?' (Registration Link) This issue has flared up in a lawless region in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where approximately six million people have died in the last 17 years. It has been called the worst place in the world to be a woman because of the brutal levels of sexual violence experienced in the region. The 'conflict minerals' issue is one of the factors fuelling the violence. This has drawn international action to compensate for poor levels of state governance along with a sense of responsibility for the minerals advanced nations rely upon. US Legislation has been passed called the Dodd- Frank law that placed an obligation on manufacturing companies who used the minerals to ensure they were conflict free. The immediate result was that many Congolese miners lost their source of income as Companies found other sources. The EU Trade Commission will announce proposals on the 'responsible sourcing of minerals in areas of conflict' by the end of the year that takes this into account.  Universal Peace Federation and Mothers of Congo held an event on this issue in the European Parliament during the EU Trade Commission's Public Consultation period. (More info here.)

Some companies and mineral federations are making efforts to create protected supply lines that improve the income for miners and the level of state governance. Research by several groups have highlighted problems and the scale of the current illicit trade. Reports by the Enough Project, Striking Gold: How the M23 and its allies are infiltrating the Gold Trade, the Testimony to a U.S. House of Representatives Sub Committee Hearing on 'The Unintended Consequences of Dodd-Frank's Conflict Minerals Provision' of Sophia Pickles of Global Witness, the South Africa Resource Watch's Conflict Gold to Criminal Gold and the report for German Industry prepared by Oeko-Institute 'Conflict minerals - An evaluation of the Dodd Frank Act and other resource related measures' have illustrated many of the issues involved.

The EU Trade Commissioner, Mr Karel De Gucht, wishes to encourage European business to maintain an influential role and not be supplanted by Asian businesses. Whatever proposals he announces they will not be made without sufficient study and research of the issue being available. Please RSVP to reserve a place for this session as places are limited.

Yours sincerely,

Robin Marsh

Secretary General

Universal Peace Federation (UPF) - UK

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This session is a part of the European Leadership Conference ("ELC") on November 21-22, 2013 to consider the question 'Human Rights: Are Democratic Nations Upholding A Better Standard?' The ELC is co-sponsored by the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) and Women's Federation for World Peace (WFWP). UPF is a Partner with the UK Parliament Week and this conference will be one of a series of events within that week. For more information about Parliament Week and a list of events use this link.

Chantal Daniels

Chantal Daniels is an expert on the field of fragile state development and security interventions specialized in (post) conflict areas. She currently works for the British NGO Christian Aid as senior policy advisor on accountable governance in Central Africa. Before that she worked for the UN Peacekeeping Operation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO), where she worked on the fight against sexual violence and protection of civilians. She has an extensive experience in policy advice and advocacy, focusing on, and working in East-Africa (notably Congo, Burundi, Sudan).

Humphrey Hawksley

Humphrey Hawksley is a leading BBC foreign correspondent, author and commentator on world affairs. He has compiled two documentaries on conflict minerals in eastern DRC. For more than twenty years he has reported on key trends, events and conflicts from all over the world. He joined the BBC in 1983, editing radio bulletins in the main newsrooms, and took up his first foreign posting in 1986 to cover the Tamil civil war in Sri Lanka. He didn't stay long. He was expelled after six months for revealing atrocities against civilians. From there, he specialized in the rapid and often painful growth of Asia with postings in India, the Philippines and Hong Kong. In 1994, he was appointed the BBC's Bureau Chief in Beijing, tasked with opening its first permanent television operation in China. Humphrey is the author of several books including an internationally acclaimed 'Future History' series (Dragon Strike, Dragon Fire and The Third World War) that explores conflict in Asia. His work has appeared in the Financial Times, International Herald Tribune, Yale Global and other publications.  His university lectures include Columbia, Cambridge and the London Business School.

Charlotte Simon - Bongumba

Charlotte Simion Bongumba is a Trustee of the Tatiana Giraud Foundation whose aim is to actively contribute to the restoration of women, girls, communities & families that have been victims of sexual violence in the north-eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The Foundation works closely with grassroots organisations, treating and counselling victims while raising awareness of their plight in local communities. It aims also to financially support hospitals in the more remote or less developed areas of the Kivu region in the DRC to provide various treatments including healthcare, psychological treatment, temporary housing, as well as job training programmes for victims. Charlotte founded Mothers of Congo to promote awareness of the plight of the mothers of DRC and in particular those in eastern DRC who have suffered  greatly while trying to raise their families.

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