DRC: Natural resources exploitation panel resumes work
The panel's new six-month mandate includes obtaining an evaluation of, and recommendations on, possible actions that could be taken by the UN Security Council, the international community, as well as transit countries and end-users, in order to help bring to an end the plundering of natural resources in the DRC.
A statement issued by the Security Council on 19 December 2001, when UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan was requested to renew the panel's mandate, stated: "The Security Council notes with concern that the plundering of the natural resources and other forms of wealth of the DRC continues unabated. The Security Council strongly condemns these activities, which are perpetuating the conflict in the country, impeding the economic development of the DRC and exacerbating the suffering of its people..."
The statement referred to "the disastrous humanitarian and economic situation of the country".
Based on the previous findings of the panel, the Council stressed that no external parties, or groups or individuals under their control, should benefit from the exploitation of the DRC's natural resources at the DRC's expense; that the DRC's natural resources should not serve as an incentive for any state, group or individual, to prolong the conflict; that external parties, and groups or individuals under their control, must not use the natural resources of the DRC to finance the conflict of the country; and that the resources in the DRC should be exploited legally and on a fair commercial basis to benefit the country and people of the country.
The council also stressed the need for the panel to maintain a high level of collaboration with "all the Congolese players, governmental as well as nongovernmental, throughout the national territory".
A number of countries were implicated in the previous findings of the panel - particularly Rwanda and Uganda - which has convened three times since it began its work in September 2000.
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