Global Witness report accuses international community of ignoring role of natural resources in fuelling conflicts

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27 January 2010

New report urges UN to learn lessons on resource-fuelled wars

Author: Global Witness

The lack of a coherent and committed international approach to tackling the role of natural resources in conflict is costing lives in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and heightening the risk of further unrest in other fragile states such as Côte d'Ivoire and Guinea, according to a new report from Global Witness...The report is critical of the UN for failing adequately to consider the natural resource angle in its peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts...The report also highlights the importance of companies undertaking rigorous due diligence to ensure their purchases are neither directly nor indirectly supporting armed groups or funding conflict. National governments that fail to monitor the behaviour of their companies or hold them to account for unethical behaviour come in for strong criticism.

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1 January 2010

[PDF] Lessons UNlearned: How the UN and Member States must do more to end natural resource-fuelled conflicts

Author: Global Witness

The will and the capacity of the United Nations...and Member States to deal with natural resource fuelled conflicts is weak. In eastern Democratic Republic of Congo...civilians die on a daily basis because of a war that is stoked by the international trade in minerals. The conflict’s economic dimension and the identity of those fuelling it have been known for many years; yet increased awareness of the problem has not triggered effective action. When the UN Security Council passes resolutions concerning DRC – on targeted sanctions for example – Council members and other governments decline to implement them. Global Witness believes that these failings on the DRC reflect the lack of a coherent and committed international approach to tackling natural resource-fuelled conflicts. [refers to Afrimex, Arcelor-Mittal, China National Petroleum Corporation, Thaisarco (part of AMC Group)]

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