Universal Peace Federation - UK's Headquarters in London, together with Mothers of Congo, hosted an event to update and harness the passion to improve the human rights position of people in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). A number of the Congolese diaspora were present to share their experiences and to encourage everyone to work for a better future in DRC. Photo Link
'In the Twenty First Century Congo has been dubbed the Rape Capital of the world. We should ask ourselves: Why?For How Long? If it is not Congo, it might be Ghana, Kenya Zimbabwe or Rwanda. It might be any African country. It is always Africa. Why? Is it because we are not out there screaming and shouting? Because we are not out there defending? Is it because of the lack of human love?
In this room we have people of many different professions. We all have one thing in common: human love. When people talk about the Congo, I hear these arguments on my TV show, Sky Channel 182, some say, 'Well, these men need education.' But what kind of education do you need to stop raping your sister? It is very easy to say but what kind of education do you need? (Read More)
Pauline Long is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, fashion designer, motivational speaker, music video director with over 25 awards. (more)
Justina Mutale is the African Woman of the Year 2012, Honorary Ambassador for Gender Equality, Founder of Positive Runway - Global Catwalk to Stop the Spread of HIV/AIDS (more)
'I would like to start by quoting Edmund Burke, who once said, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men (and good women) to do nothing." The issue of the devastation in the Congo is not just another African story. It is a global issue. The lives and deaths of millions of innocent Congolese people, the death of these innocent men, women and children are directly linked to each and every one of us gathered here tonight. In fact, in this age of modern technology, the lives and deaths of our Congolese brothers and sisters and their children are linked to each and every person on the planet who uses modern technology or benefits from its advantages.'
Stuart Mackensie recited three poems full of passion and anger at the injustice in our modern world. Stuart had been very active in preparing for this event. He had invited three musicians who entertained the audience during the evening.
Robin Marsh: Secretary General, Universal Peace Federation - UK (more)
Gave an update on the effort to establish a legal framework for multi-national companies to work in areas of weak governance. There is a growing recognition for the need to prevent natural resources from being used to fund conflict, militias or rebellions. This is coupled with the UN initiative to establish guiding principles for multi national companies to confirm standards of human rights within their supply chains. The role of a National Contact Point for these issues is in its infancy but has a significant future.
Mulumba Kabongo: UPF member from the DRC
Mulumba emphasised the need for sacrificing for the other as a basis for development in DRC. That includes sacrificing for the sake of the nation and for the good of the future. He also explained that without God there could not be long term healing and peacebuilding. He explained that prayer was very important for finding the way forward.
Charlotte Simon - Speech
Founder of Mothers of Congo - from Eastern DRC (more)
FROM DEVASTATION TO RECOVERY
A WOMAN HAS ALWAYS BEEN A PILAR OF A SOCIETY. SHE IS A WIFE, A MOTHER AND A CARER. I ALWAYS BEEN AMAZED BY THE LOAD A WOMAN CAN CARRY. IN AFRICA, I HAVE SEEEN WOMEN CARRY SUCH A BIG LOAD ON THEY BACK COMING FROM THE FIELD, A LOAD BIGGER THAN THEIR NORMAL HEIGHT JUST SO THEY COULD CATER FOR THEIR FAMILIES. IN EUROPE I HAVE SEEN WOMAN WORK SO HARD JUGGLING BETWEEN THEIR JOBS AND HOME TO KEEP THEIR FAMILIES HAPPY. THE EXAMLPE OF MY FRIEND MARGARET EVEN WHEN SHE IS AT WORK, SHE ALWAYS MAKES SURE EVERYTHING IS PERFECT AT HOME. ON THE 11TH OF JULY 2009 IN ACCRA, GHANA PRESIDENT OBAMA DELIVERED A SPEECH. I QUOTE, “AFRICA DOESN’T NEED STRONGMEN IT NEEDS STRONG INSTITUTIONS “, BUT I AM SAYING THAT AFRICA NEED STRONG WOMEN. HUMMM...MAYBE MEN? (I WILL THINK ABOUT THAT ONE.) (FOR MORE)