The economy of the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is highly militarized. The mineral trade is a key element of the economy and plays a central role funding non-state armed groups and units of the Congolese army. This reality sustains and perpetuates the conflict in the eastern Congo and also undermines effective Security Sector Reform. Addressing the linkage between natural resources and conflict is a critical part of any solution to the conflict.
To this end, with the support of the Permanent Mission of Germany to the United Nations and the Open Society Institute, the Center on International Cooperation convened a group of leading non-governmental experts for a two-day discussion on December 3-4, 2009.
The workshop sought to facilitate constructive dialogue on natural resources and conflict in the DRC. The objective was to identify common ground and consensus regarding the prioritization, sequencing, and complementarity of potential or existing measures to combat the militarization of mining in the short to medium term.
During a conference held at the German Mission on Friday, December 4, technical workshop moderator, Peter Rosenblum, shared the following highlights of this discussion with a large audience composed of state, industry, and NGO representatives.
Note: The salient points of this rich discussion do not represent binding formal positions of any of the individuals or organizations who took part in the workshop. Nevertheless, they reflect the general sentiment of the majority of workshop participants from diverse perspectives.