Thursday, March 22, 2007

Visitez le nouveau site-web des NU sur la RDC

Cher tous,

Je vous invite a visiter notre site a . Le site est toujours en construction. Il a pour vocation d'informer le large public des activites diplomatiques de la RDC aux Nations Unies, de meme que de diffuser une large information sur le pays.

De meme, le site souhaiterait apporter sa modeste contribution aux efforts du Gouvernement dans ses politiques de redressement de l'economie congolaise et du developpement du pays.

Merci de nous faire part de vos conseils.

Ambassadeur/Representant Permanent
Rep. Dem. du Congo
Nations Unies

Film Screening Announcement

Tuesday, March 27, 7-10 pm.

Jack Morton Auditorium, George Washington University

Please join me for a screening of the rough cut of my documentary
"Congo - Hope on the Ballot" in Washington DC on Tuesday, March 27,
7-10 pm. This hour-long work-in-progress follows the uncertain
progress of democracy in one of the most war ravaged places on earth:
the Democractic Republic of Congo. It that builds on a short version
that I made for PBS's Frontline World last year.

The screening will take place at Jack Morton Auditorium at George
Washington University. The auditorium is located on the campus of
George Washington University in their Media and Public Affairs
Building Exact address is 805 21st Street (on the corner of 21st and H
Streets), NW Washington DC. Link to map is at

More details:

Best regards,
George Lerner

Bemba militia clash with troops in Congo capital

KINSHASA, March 22 (Reuters) - Gunfire and explosions rocked Kinshasa on Thursday as armed followers of a former rebel leader fought government troops, in the first clashes in Democratic Republic of Congo's capital since landmark elections last year. The shooting broke out after the personal militia of defeated presidential contender Jean-Pierre Bemba defied a government order last week to disband following landmark elections in 2006. A Reuters witness heard frequent fire from small arms, heavy machineguns and rocket propelled grenades (RPG) in the neighbourhood around the Supreme Court in Kinshasa's administrative district, close to one of Bemba's residences. Armoured personnel carriers (APCs) of the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Congo, known by its French acronym MONUC, patrolled the streets as the gunfights raged, but did not intervene. "We are moving our APCs to the area," U.N. military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Didier Rancher told Reuters, but declined further comment. MONUC has agreements to evacuate certain individuals, such as senior diplomats and their families, in the event of fighting in Kinshasa. The clashes were the first in the sprawling riverside capital, a stronghold of Bemba's support, since the elections which were meant to draw a line under a 1998-2003 war that killed nearly 4 million people, mainly through hunger and disease. Dozens of people were killed last year in fighting between Bemba's forces and President Joseph Kabila's presidential guard before an October second-round run-off between the two men. Kabila, who took office when his father was assassinated in 2001 and won last year's polls, has ordered Bemba to slash his security detail to just 12 police officers. The former rebel's supporters say he has the right to "an appropriate personal guard" under a U.N.-brokered deal signed before October's presidential runoff. The head of the 17,000-strong U.N. peacekeeping mission in Congo, William Swing, had been due to meet Kabila on Thursday to try to defuse the crisis. "There is a lot still going on behind the scenes," a Western diplomat told Reuters before the clashes. "Both sides are very, very stubborn. I don't see where a breakthrough will come from." Swing met Bemba and Congolese Prime Minister Antoine Gizenga on Wednesday. Before the fighting erupted, a senior MONUC official said "The situation is very tense. The Congolese people don't want any more blood, this situation has a political solution ... We are pushing for that."

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Statement at the Conclusion of an IMF Mission to the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Press Release No. 07/55
March 19, 2007

The following statement was issued on March 13 in Kinshasa by an International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission:

"An International Monetary Fund (IMF) African Department mission visited Kinshasa from February 27 to March 13, 2007 at the invitation of the authorities of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The mission would like to thank the authorities for their warm welcome and for the quality of its discussions with them.

"The mission notes that the objectives of the government's economic program (Programme relais de consolidation—PRC) covering April-December 2006 have not been met. Budget overruns were recorded in the second half of 2006 and there were significant delays in the implementation of structural reforms.

"Economic performance under the PRC in 2006 can be described briefly as follows:

• Real economic growth slowed to about 5 percent.

• Inflation rose to 18.2 percent on a year-on-year basis, compared with a forecast of 9.5 percent.

• The Congolese franc depreciated by 15 percent.

• International reserves remained at a very low level.

• The basic fiscal balance was 2.5 percentage points of GDP below the projected level, leading to CGF 47.5 billion in bank financing.

"Deterioration in the economic and financial situation remained a concern in the first two months of 2007. Bank financing of fiscal operations, estimated at more than CGF 20 billion, led to a 4 percent increase in consumer prices (25 percent on an annual basis) and a 10 percent depreciation in the Congolese franc over the course of two months.

"The mission underscored the urgency of taking measures to strengthen macroeconomic stability. It reiterated the need to tighten the fiscal stance and to avoid recourse to bank financing. In this context, it discussed with the authorities the draft budget for 2007, which reflects these recommendations. It also encouraged the BCC to continue its efforts to bring down inflation.

"The mission recommended that key structural reforms be completed, including the implementation of the simplified temporary payroll procedure in the civil service, the audit of expenditure financed by debt relief under the Enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative, and the organizational audit of the BCC.

"The mission also encouraged the government to implement the governance contract approved by the National Assembly, particularly by publishing and analyzing the partnership agreements that have been signed in the mining sector.

"Following the organization of free and democratic elections that have given the population new hopes for peace, security and prosperity, the mission noted the firm commitment of the new government to address the many challenges that it is already facing.

"The mission reaffirmed the IMF's commitment to work with the new government in its economic recovery and poverty reduction efforts. Progress toward the restoration of macroeconomic stability will facilitate discussions on a medium-term program that could be supported by the IMF in the context of a new arrangement under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility."

Ce communiqué de presse vous a été transmis par l'Association de la Presse Panafricaine.
Pour plus d'information sur les missions de l'APPA, cliquez ici.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Members of Congo Global Action

Member Organizations who have ratified the unity statement:

Africa Faith and Justice Network

The Bayindo Group SA

Bureau pour le Voluntariat au Service de l’Enfance et de la Santé


Chicago Congo Coalition

Coalition pluraliste des Patriots Congolais - COPPAC

Concern Worldwide

Congolese Community of Southern California

Conseil Pour la Paix et la Reconciliation – COPARE

En Avant Congo

Friends of the Congo

The Friends of the Congo – Affiliate of the National Peace Corps Association

Friends of the Earth

Global Witness

Hand Up Congo

Initiatives Femmes Enfants et Developpement – Bukavu

International Foundation for Elections Systems - IFES

International Rescue Committee

Jubilee Campaign USA

Mama Makeka House of Hope

Mennonite Central Committee

Pole Pole Foundation

Run for Congo Women

Save the DRC

Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur

Tous Unis pour Batir

United Methodist Church – General Board of Church and Society

UMCOR – United Methodist Committee on Relief

World Relief

Executive Committee Bios

Shannon Meehan

International Rescue Committee’s Deputy Director for Advocacy, Shannon Meehan has spent more than 17 years working in conflict zones around the world. As Deputy Director of Advocacy at the IRC, Shannon is responsible for covering the IRC’s policy priorities for the continent of Africa. A former Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal from 1989 - 1991, Shannon went on to represent the American Refugee Committee International (ARC) in Guinea and later Kosovo, where she served as Country Director, designing and implementing a multi-sector and cross-ethnic program that reached more than 100,000 beneficiaries. When she was a consultant for Refugees International and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Shannon conducted missions in Senegal, Guinea, Liberia, Cote D’Ivoire, Sudan, the DRC, Rwanda and in the Middle East: Kuwait, Jordan and Iraq. She is an expert on the humanitarian and protection needs of displaced populations and refugees. Her humanitarian work was highlighted in the book, Those Who Dare, by Katherine Martin (2004). She is a graduate of the University of Oregon, 1998 with a BS in History and Economics.

Nita Evele

Nita Evele is an activist from the DR Congo. She was born in Kinshasa, the capital, in 1974 and moved to the US in 1996 after the rebellion started in the DR Congo. In 1998, she found her calling and become an activist, which allowed her to connect directly with the struggle of individuals instead of passively watching events unfold. In the US, together with other Congolese activists, churches and other organizations, she has worked to support morally and socially the people in the DR Congo whom war had decimated deeply, especially children. In 2005, after briefly considering political life, she decided to fight for a cause beyond political party membership, and instead work with everyone involved in relieving people’s suffering and bringing them peace and prosperity. In 2006, she joined Coalition of Pluralists and Congolese Patriots (COPPAC) which brings together Congolese that want to bring DR Congo issues into the spotlight. COPPAC primarily deals with issues pertaining to the DR Congo but also the social issues that are common to the entire African continent and African Diaspora. The coalition is rooted in its members’ dedication to freedom, equality, and opportunity. They are devoted to the fight for equal rights and opportunities for all and advancing the sovereignty of their territory and continent.

Hervé de Baillenx

Since March 2007, Hervé de Baillenx has been the Director of the International Rescue Committee’s Belgium office, where he carries out advocacy and represents the IRC global network to the European Union. Prior to this, he had set up and spent four years managing CARDI, the Consortium for Assisting Refugees and Displaced in Indonesia, a collaboration of four major NGOs concerned with populations affected by conflict. He spent another six years as Program Director or Country Director in Iraq, Afghanistan, Algeria, Sri Lanka, Burundi and Guinea for several NGOs, including Oxfam and CARE, always in contexts of conflict, displacement or post-conflict rehabilitation. Most recently, he co-authored the chapter on Enhancing Local Capacities in the NGO Impact Initiative assessment commissioned by the Office of the UN Special Envoy on Tsunami Recovery. His earlier career began in the aeronautics industry, where he ended as the Director of Contracts & Finance for a joint venture between major European aerospace companies, before turning to humanitarian work. He graduated from ESCP, a French business school.

Lisa Shannon

Lisa Shannon, a small business owner and creative professional, was home sick one day watching Oprah when she learned of the crisis in the DR Congo. She set out to raise sponsorships for Women for Women International's Congo program through a lone thirty mile trail run. Since that first run in September 2005, with over $100,000 raised and counting, Run for Congo Women has grown into an international effort, now with run organizers in places from Louisiana to Australia, from Maui to Singapore. Lisa's message of hope for Congo has reach millions through the audiences of National Public Radio affiliates, O- The Oprah Magazine, Runner's World, and soon Fitness Magazine. She holds a B.A. in Environment and Development from Hampshire College.

Maurice Carney

Maurice Carney is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Friends of the Congo. He is an independent entrepreneur and human rights activist who has fought with Congolese for over a decade to bring about positive change in the heart of Africa. Maurice has degrees in French Education and Geography. He also holds a Masters Degree in Geography and is pursuing a Ph.D. in political science with a focus on Africa and Black Politics. He has worked as a research analyst at the nation's leading Black think tank the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. While at the Joint Center, Mr. Carney worked with civic associations in West Africa providing training on Research Methodology and Survey. He served as the Africa working group coordinator for Reverend Jesse Jackson while he was Special Envoy to Africa for President Clinton. Mr. Carney also worked as a research consultant to the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation addressing issues such as the politico-economic condition of African American communities.

Rocco Puopolo

Rocco Puopolo, a Xaverian Missionary Priest, hails from Norwood, Massachusetts. He was ordained in 1977. During 12 years in Sierra Leone, West Africa he was involved in high school teaching, village evangelization and development as the diocesan administrator of schools, university chaplain, National Chaplain to the Young Christian Students and Catholic Youth Organizations. His last assignment there was as director of the National Pastoral Center in Kenema. He was there both during peaceful times as well as times of civil conflict. In the United States, he was involved in seminary training and advocacy for Africa in Milwaukee and Chicago. While involved in this ministry he served on the board of the Federation of Returned Overseas Missions (From Mission to Mission), the Milwaukee Archdiocesan Mission Office Board, The Midwest Mission Task Force, Youth immersions such as the ReachOut Program of Milwaukee and the International Youth Peace Camp. He has been involved with the Archdiocesan Muslim/Christian Dialogue groups as well as the Archdiocesan CRS advisory Board. He holds a Masters of Divinity in Cross Cultural Ministry from Catholic Theological Union, Chicago (1977), and was a research fellow at the Institute of Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University (1994) in preparation for his return to Sierra Leone in 1995. As of September of 2006 he is the executive director of the Africa Faith and Justice Network in Washington, D.C.

Congo Global Action Structure


The founding members of Congo Global Action are committed to building the coalition and have created an organizational structure to advance its mission and implement its activities. The coalition structure will consist of an Executive Committee, a Steering Committee, an Advisory Committee, a working group for each of the three pillars, task oriented working groups, and Associate members. It is important to note that all working groups and committees are made up of volunteers from our member organizations and agencies. Their commitment to this coalition goes above and beyond the duties of their full-time jobs and is a tribute to how strongly Congo Global Action members feel about their work on the DR Congo. The committees and working groups are described below:

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee is responsible for the overall management of the coalition. It is made up of six (later nine) members who are truly passionate about this coalition and were elected democratically and unanimously. They will serve a nine-month term, up for re-election in July, 2007 or these positions will be taken over by paid staff and/or a formal Board of Directors.

The Executive Committee will be responsible for:

· Maintaining the vision and direction of the coalition;

  • Coordinating, overseeing and advising the working groups;
  • Outreach to coalition members and potential members;
  • Launching necessary additional working groups and tasks; and
  • Handling all fundraising, and financial and administrative oversight.

Executive Committee Members:

Chair: International Rescue Committee (Shannon Meehan)

Vice Chair: Coalition Pluraliste de Patriotes Congolais (Nita Evele)

Run for Congo Women (Lisa Shannon)

Africa Faith and Justice Network (Rocco Puopolo)

Friends of the Congo (Maurice Carney)

International Rescue Committee – Europe (Hervé deBaillenx)

Please see Annex C for background on the Executive Committee members.

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee’s primary responsibility is to provide leadership and direction in the coalition’s efforts to achieve the three pillars as well as other activities. It is made up of those individuals who are dedicated to the coalition and willing to put in the time and effort to remain active in the coalition. Each pillar working groups has selected a chair and vice-chair to coordinate the activities.

Specifically, the steering committee will:

  • Create and draft the policy statements for the assigned pillar
  • Lead and coordinate the direction and activities of the three pillars;
  • Vet all public statements by the coalition;
  • Advise, lead and coordinate necessary additional working groups and tasks;
  • Create grassroots activities for community outreach; and
  • Participate in all biweekly Friday conference calls.

Advisory Committee

The Advisory Committee is made up of individuals who may not have the time to be part of the steering committee, but are available for consultation on projects concerning their areas of expertise and interest. These individuals represent the organizations that have full membership in the coalition. In particular, the committee members will:

  • Be available and responsive when approached by a member of the coalition;
  • Stay informed about issues affecting the DR Congo, and share our message at every opportunity; and
  • Authorize all public statements by the coalition.

Associate Members

These members are organizations and individuals, who strongly support the mission of Congo Global Action and who, for whatever reason, feel they cannot sign their name to coalition documents, statements, or activities, but are willing to provide behind-the-scenes advice, assistance and/or financial support for the efforts of the coalition.

Working Groups

In order to effectively accomplish specific goals in our advocacy for the DR Congo, coalition members have divided into six working groups. Working groups include representatives from organizations of all sizes and types. The complex messages they have created are informed by policy experts that will not only be used to target policy makers, but can also be adapted to be more accessible for grassroots mobilization. Each group meets regularly and has developed a set of goals and a plan of action for achieving those goals.

There is a working group for each of the three pillars:

  • Pillar I: Saving Lives
  • Pillar II: Keeping People Safe
  • Pillar III: Ending Economic Exploitation

These groups are responsible for creating and implementing the action plan for each pillar.

In addition, there are three task-based working groups:

· Media, Communications and Website. This group is currently designing the website and researching media possibilities.

· Grassroots Organizing. This group is currently planning grassroots activities for 2007 and creating downloadable tools for community activities.

· Hope for Congo Conferences Organizing. This group is responsible for the planning, organization and implementation of the three conferences.

Statement at UN Security Council Briefing about the Great Lakes Region

Statement by Kirk McBride, Deputy Political Counselor for Special Political Affairs to the United Nations, at the Open Briefing on the Great Lakes Region, March 9, 2007.

Mr. President,

I want to thank SRSG Fall for his briefing. The United States joins the others in this room in thanking Mr. Fall for his 4 years of leadership in the Great Lakes region.

In the past decade, this resource rich region in heart of Africa, has suffered from wrenching, destabilizing conflicts that have produced almost unimaginable suffering. Today the situation remains fragile and the challenges remain immense, but the prospects for peace and development have improved, in part because of the attention of the international community but, even more so, because of the will and efforts of the people in the region to overcome these setbacks. The transition in Burundi and historic elections in the DRC are among a number of encouraging developments. We have all noted a spirit of trust and cooperation that is growing among the states in the region.

The "Pact on Security, Stability and Development in the Great Lakes Region," signed in Nairobi last December 15 by eleven African states, was a promising conclusion to the UN-sponsored International Conference on the Great Lakes Region. This agreement has the potential to become a means of preventing future conflicts in central Africa while offering a roadmap for consolidating democracy, good governance and development. We join others in encouraging the states in the region to live up to their commitments to respect national sovereignty, to seek peaceful settlement of disputes, and to cooperate to strengthen the economies of the region.
This is a vision that cannot be imposed. Regional ownership of this process is vital.

Bilateral agreements and other regional efforts can and should complement this process. We would note in this regard one initiative that my country has facilitated, the Tripartite Plus Joint Commission, which is aimed at promoting security and stability in and between the DRC, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi. We are confident that these countries, which are also signatories to the Nairobi Pact, will fulfill their commitments to enhance cooperation for peace among Commission members.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

World Bank Article - Post Conflict DRC Challenges

Post-conflict DRC moves to reintegrate former soldiers, protect forests

World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz gets a first-hand look today at one of the biggest challenges to the Democratic Republic of the Congo as it emerges from decades of strife.

With fears lingering that a relapse into conflict is still a possibility notably across the country’s “lawless far east”, thousands of former soldiers or militia members are re-learning how to be civilians — embracing jobs, reintegrating families and societies, and even returning to school.

Several of the former soldiers told their personal stories to Wolfowitz at a regional center of the National Commission for Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (CONADER) in Kisangani at the start of a two-day visit to this resource-rich but poverty-stricken nation of 66 million people.

The World Bank supports DR Congo’s transition to peace through a US$100 million Emergency Demobilization and Reintegration Project, funded by the International Development Agency—the arm of the World Bank that provides interest-free credits and grants.

Some 100,595 former soldiers have been demobilized—given up their weapons and left the army or an armed group. Of these, 69,000 are being reintegrated into society.

Militias have also released about 30,000 children who served as child combatants or as sex slaves; 80 percent have been reunited with their families thanks to the program.

Despite the progress, the new DRC government, elected in October 2006, still needs to encourage a further 60,000 to 70,000 armed forces members to return to civilian life—an effort expected to require another US$60 million.

And the government—the first democratically elected in 40 years—has other major challenges.

DRC is one of the poorest countries in Africa, with two-thirds or possibly three-quarters of the population living below the poverty threshold of a dollar a day. Some regions have poverty levels above 80 percent.

Only 60 percent of children are enrolled in primary school, according to the most recent data, and infant mortality—at 1,850 per 100,000 live births—is the highest in Africa.

Social safety net programs are virtually non-existent. Parents pay most of the costs of operating schools, and patients bear most of their health costs.

But as DRC has become more stable over the last year, there have been promising signs for the economy. GDP growth remained above 5 percent in 2006. More than US$1 billion in foreign direct investment flowed to DRC in 2006 despite its ranking as the worst country in the world according to the “Doing Business Indicators.”

Though the country’s formal economy virtually collapsed in the last few decades, DRC is rich in natural and human resources: fertile soils, ample rainfall, and mineral resources. Mining of copper, cobalt, diamonds, gold, zinc and other metals, as well as petroleum extraction, once accounted for 75 percent of its GDP.

A major peace dividend may therefore accrue from the new opportunity afforded by newfound peace and security to improve the sustainable management of and protection of the country’s vast resources, including the forests of the Congo Basin, the second largest rainforest in the world.

Forest Conservation Reforms

Some warn, however, that peace and new roads may bring chaotic development to the forest belt, harm biodiversity, or lead to conflict over traditional rights if efforts to reform forest management don’t take hold.

In 2002, acting on Bank advice, DRC canceled illegal forest concessions (rights to harvest trees) affecting over 25 million hectares—an area as large as the United Kingdom.

Last month at a conference in Brussels the new government pledged to boost the country’s conservation efforts by maintaining a moratorium on new logging, implementing a legal review of existing concessions, and providing legal recognition for the rights of indigenous people.

The stakes are high. Some 40 million people rely on the forest for their food, medicines, energy and income. Indigenous groups—among them the Pygmies—rely almost entirely on the forest.

The Bank, which administers the Multidonor Forest Trust Fund on behalf of the European Commission, Belgium, France, and the UK, plans to support DRC’s reform efforts with a new project, financed with IDA funds, to strengthen the forest department, the nature conservation institute, and civil society organizations.

Country Assistance Strategy

The Bank will also support DRC’s recovery and reform through a new Country Assistance Strategy, expected to be presented to the Bank’s Board in mid-2007.

The CAS will devote resources to:

- good governance and peace

- macroeconomic stability and economic growth

- access to social services and reducing vulnerability


- and promotion of community dynamics.

Since 2001, the Bank has committed US$2.4 billion to DRC and disbursed US$1.2 billion. About US$1.6 billion has been committed to nine projects to support infrastructure rehabilitation, social services delivery, institutional strengthening, consolidating peace and promoting economic stability, and health sector rehabilitation, among other things.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

BBC Article: Congo Arrest over Missing Uranium

Congo arrest over missing uranium
The Democratic Republic of Congo's top atomic energy official is being held over allegations of uranium smuggling.

Atomic energy centre director Fortunat Lumu and an aide have been questioned since their arrest on Tuesday.

A large quantity of uranium is reported to have gone missing in recent years, although state prosecutor Tshimanga Mukeba did not reveal any figures.

He told the BBC an "important quantity" of uranium was taken from the nuclear centre and they were investigating.

DR Congo's daily newspaper Le Phare reported that more than 100 bars of uranium as well as an unknown quantity of uranium contained in helmet-shaped cases, had disappeared from the nuclear centre in Kinshasa as part of a vast trafficking of the material going back years.

But the BBC's Kinshasa correspondent, Arnaud Zajtman, says that as of yet, no evidence has been made public to support the allegations made by the newspaper.

Creation of centre

Uranium is the basic raw material of both civilian and military nuclear programmes.

A mine in Congo's southern province of Katanga supplied the uranium that was used in the atomic bombs that were dropped by the Americans on the Japanese town of Hiroshima in 1945.

To thank and reward Congo, the Americans funded the creation of Congo's nuclear centre in 1958.

It was established on the university campus and only for research purpose.

But in the late 1970s, a bar of uranium disappeared from the centre, raising concern about security at the site.

Moreover, the site of the centre is facing some erosion problems. And people fear a landslide that could lead to a wider disaster, our reporter says.

In recent years, the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency has visited the centre and security was believed to have improved.

Last year, a partnership was also signed between Congo's atomic energy centre and British company Brinkley Mining, aiming at prospecting for uranium deposits in the Congo.

But our correspondent says that this new allegation of uranium smuggling might tarnish DR Congo's ability to handle dangerous and expansive products such as uranium and raise concerns about who might benefit.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Ecumenical Advocacy Days this Weekend!

Join thousands of other Americans as they advocate in Washington, DC this weekend for the issues they care about.

Check out the website for schedule and information about the different tracks:

Below is the list of Africa Track workshops (several members of the coalition have put a lot of planning and work into some of these workshops).

For more information about the Coalition's role in the Ecumenical Advocacy Days, contact Rocco Puopolo at


Universally parents hope that their hard work will give their children better lives; but today in sub-Saharan Africa more than 11 million children under the age of 15 have lost at least one parent to HIV/AIDS; millions more face their future as orphans confronting disease, poverty, hunger, and war. We must challenge the crisis of survival caused by the rising death rate of children under the age of five, from preventable causes. The world has enough knowledge, wealth, food and medicine for all people to achieve a wholesome existence. Along with African experts and activists, in interactive workshops, Africa Track participants will explore ways to transform U.S. policy towards Africa and challenge international systems designed so that trade, loans and investment impoverish many for the benefit of a few. Come join the call we will take to Congress for cancellation of Africa's $200 billion plus debt burden, and take home new clarity from workshops on the impact of the "war on terror", trade, aid and overcoming regional conflicts.

Saturday March 10 2007

Track Time 1 9:00am - 10:30am

Plenary 1 Washington Room

Debt and Trade: Alternatives to Unjust Systems

(Co-sponsored with Jubilee/ Economic Justice Track)

Emily Joy Sikazwe - Executive Director, Women for Change, Zambia
Francis Ng’ambi - Economic Justice Network of the Fellowship of the Christian Councils in Southern Africa

People of faith have been leading the way for policies that enforce fair trade instead of free trade and debt cancellation without conditionality. Become more familiar with the global systems that involve debt and trade. Learn why the current model isn’t working and what we can do to implement alternatives. Hear from partners in the global south about grassroots campaigns and learn how these tie in with US grassroots campaigns.

Track Time 11 Workshops 10:45am - 12:15pm

Child Solders and Conflict: The Roots of Conflict and Ways to Peace

Jackson Room

(Co-sponsored with theGlobal Security Track)

Father Rocco Puopolo, s.x. - Executive Director, Africa Faith and Justice Network
Rev. Mark Koenig - Presbyterian Peacemaking Program

Fr. Rocco Puopolo, s.x. - "Use and Abuse of Children as Soldiers and the Role of the Extractive Industry."
Mr. Jacques Bahati - Rutchuru, DRC, Intern at Africa Faith and Justice Network, "Experiences in the Democratic Republic of Congo.”
Ms. Nita Evele - Kinshasa, DRC, Vice Chair of Congo Global Action, "Working for Security in the Democratic Republic of Congo."
Jo Becker - Human Rights Watch (Invited) , "Legislative Initiatives to Address the Use of Child Soldiers.”
Joel Hanisek - Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) United Nations Representative,"The Role of the United Nations in Addressing the Use of Child Soldiers.”
Andrew Briggs - Artist

Moderator: Mark Koenig

Participants will probe the continuing use and abuse of child soldiers. Panelists with experience in Sierra Leone, DRCongo and Uganda will connect the dots, situating the reality of this child abuse in areas where exploitative extractive industries continue to flourish. Workshop participants will discuss creative ways people are moving forward, in Africa and the U.S, to offer hope and healing to these children. DRC youth driven efforts will be shared, along with initiatives of the newly establishedCongo Global Action Coalition, work at the UN and ways to advocate for important pending Congressional legislation. An exhibit of art done by child soldiers of Uganda will form part of this workshop, and recent viewers of the popular movie “Blood Diamonds” will be able to deepen their understanding of reality on the ground

Trade and Investment Policy Impacts on AIDS in Africa

Harrison Room

Kathy McNeely – Policy Analyst/Advocate for Church World Service

Asia Russell - Director of International Policy for Health GAP
George Ngolwe - Oblates of Mary Immaculate
Mhizha Edmund Chifamba - Washington Office on Africa

This workshop dissect a variety of US Trade & Investment policies which negatively impact access to affordable medicines responding to the AIDS pandemic in Africa . Participants will gain an understanding of patent issues currently at play in trade negotiations and legislation, as well as corporate responsibility issues around the availability of affordable pediatric drugs and formulations. The workshop will also explore investments in Africa and how they benefit or hinder the struggle against HIV/AIDS - especially looking at food security and nutrition investments. Participants will share examples of actions that can be taken in their congregations to raise awareness, educate and advocate.

Track Time 111 Plenary 2 2:45pm - 4:15pm

Bridging the Divide: U.S. Africa Policy and African Priorities/ Do U.S Priorities Answer Africa's Needs?”

Washington Room

Marie Clarke Brill - Director of the Department of Public Education and Mobilization, Africa Action.

Emira Woods - Co-Director, Foreign Policy in Focus, Institute for Policy Studies.

This will be an interactive plenary session that will explore the primary U.S. policy priorities regarding Africa and compare these with the priorities of African civil society and their governments. Experts in U.S. Africa policy and African guests will serve as resource people to help deepen the full group discussion. Together we will conclude by identifying ways that people of faith can engage in solidarity with Africans to bridge the divide between current U.S. policy and our common desire to build right relationships between the U.S. and Africa

Track Time 1V Workshops 4:30pm - 6:00pm

"And How are Africa's Children"

Wilson Room

Kathy McNeely - Policy Analyst/Advocate for Church World Service

Brother Paul O'Keefe - worked with East and West African street children in crisis, is now at Maryknoll Office of Global Concern.

Emira Woods - Co-Director, Foreign Policy in Focus, Institute for Policy Studies.
Neema Niani Laizer – Kenyan High-School Maasai Student, member of the Maryknoll Delegation to the 2007 Commission on the Status of Women.
Kolleen Bouchane – Campaign Manager, Global Education for All, RESULTS.

This workshop will explore the state of children living in Africa through the lens of child labor and access to education. Specifically, the workshop will delve into issues of exploitative labor practices and the fate of the girl child in Africa . The presenters will give a picture of conditions created by bad policy, business practices and other pressures that make being a child in Africa difficult. They will describe development and education programs targeted to reach these children, hopeful stories of how the children cope. Participants will be introduced to corporate and other campaigns and actions in which they can participate to respond to children's needs.

“Never Again? Darfur, Genocide and the International Response”

Washington Room

Marie Clarke Brill - Director of the Department of Public Education and Mobilization, Africa Action.

Elnour Adam – Project Director, Darfur Rehabilitation Project, Founder and Executive Director African Peace Advocates Network (APAN)
Zeinab Eyega - Executive Director and founder of Sauti Yetu, an advocacy organization
Fr Michael Perry – Coordinator of the Africa Program at Franciscans International

Four years into the conflict in Darfur , western Sudan , almost half a million people have lost their lives and almost 3 million people have been displaced from their homes. Just over a decade ago, the international community refused to acknowledge that genocide was occurring in Rwanda . Today, though the U.S. has claimed “genocide” occurs in Darfur , the international community has failed to protect the people of Darfur . Join us for a workshop that will address the current situation in Darfur within the broader context of Sudan . We will explore the role of the U.S., the international community and concerned people of faith in achieving immediate protection for the people of Darfur and lasting peace and sustainable economic development in Sudan .

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Track Time V Workshops 2:00pm – 3:30pm

Mobilizing the Resources to End HIV/AIDS in Africa

Monroe Room

(Co-sponsor Jubilee/Economic Justice)

Evelyn Sallah – Program Associate for Public Education and Mobilization, Africa Action.

Matthew Kavanagh – Executive Director, Global Justice
Rick Rowden - Senior Policy Analyst, Action Aid International, USA
Healy Thompson – Senior Associate for Advocacy and Outreach,Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE)

“It was surreal: Here you had a country with huge human capacity problems that wanted desperately to retain its professionals in health and education, and increase their numbers, but the IMF wouldn’t allow them to do so. We are talking about a sovereign government, fighting the worst plague in history with but a handful of professionals.” (Steven Lewis, speaking about Malawi in 2002) Join us for an interactive session that explores the intersection of international debt and HIV/AIDS. We will address policy prescriptions that fuel the pandemic, hear a personal account of the reality of working in Africa in the context of HIV/AIDS and spotlight a few critical campaigns that will make a difference in the work to end HIV/AIDS in Africa.

“Debt 101: Africa Case Study”

Washington Room

(Co-Sponsor: Jubilee/Economic Justice)

Jessica Walker Beaumont - Trade and Debt Specialist, AFSC

Debra Calhoun - Akron, OH field office organizer, AFSC
Jessica Walker Beaumont - Trade and Debt Specialist, AFSC
Debayani Kar - Communications and Advocacy Coordinator, Jubilee
USA Network
Lori Reed - Program Director for International Affairs, AFSC St. Louis MO

This interactive workshop will use case studies and concrete examples to demonstrate why Africa ’s debt should be cancelled and what could be done with the resources.

“Shall we let Africa's children die of curable or preventable disease; prevent them from going to school; destroy their opportunities for meaningful work - to pay off odious loans made to their forefathers?”
-Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Track Time V1 Workshops 3:45pm – 5:15pm

“Preparing to Visit The Hill and Taking the Message Home”

Washington Room

Father Rocco Puopolo, s.x.

Water for All

Jackson Room

(Sponsored by theJubilee/Economic Justice Track, co-sponsored by Africa Track)

Marty Shupack, Church World Service

Paul Maina – Senior Consultant, Center for Development Studies, Kenya
Carlos Correa - Minister for Environmental Justice, United Church of Christ

This workshop will explore the issues of commodification and privatization of water in the context of Africa and Latin America, with a view to how best to ensure safe, accessible, affordable and sustainable water and sanitation services in poor communities.

Announcement for Film Screening about Child Soldiers

Citizens for Global Solutions Proudly Presents:

“From Conscription to Justice and Reintegration: Child Soldiers in Africa”

Monday, March 12, 2007 from 3pm to 5:30pm
Stewart R. Mott House, 122 Maryland Ave. NE, Washington, D.C. 20002

Please join us, Bukeni T. Waruzi Beck, Executive Director of AJEDI-Ka/Projet Enfants Soldats, and Madeleine, a former girl soldier from the DRC, for a discussion and screening on child soldiers and the work of Mr. Beck’s organization.

A light reception will follow.

Space is limited so please RSVP no later than Thursday, March 8 to

Created to provide justice and accountability to victims of war crimes, crimes against
humanity, and genocide, the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague has
commenced its first landmark case against a Congolese warlord accused of forcibly
recruiting and conscripting tens of thousands of child soldiers in the Democratic
Republic of Congo (DRC).

The systematic and widespread use of children—the most vulnerable members of the population—in armed conflict is not new. The plight of these children continues to shock the conscience and demands immediate and urgent action.

In a recent visit to the ICC, Citizens for Global Solutions Legal Analyst, Golzar Kheiltash, met with a remarkable man fighting on the frontlines on behalf of child soldiers in Africa. Mr. Bukeni T. Waruzi Beck is an activist and filmmaker who has dedicated his life to not only revealing the plight of child soldiers, but to giving these children a second chance. Mr. Beck documents the stories of hundreds of child soldiers on film, revealing a stark and systematic cycle of recruitment and conscription, narrated by the children and their families in their own words. His films powerfully demonstrate the difficulties of many children who want to
reintegrate into their communities after leaving the camps. This is especially true with girl soldiers who have suffered the added brutality of rape and sexual violence at the hands of their commanders.

Through his NGO, AJEDI-Ka/Projet Enfants Soldats, Mr. Beck combines the power of film with thepower of hope: a dedicated staff of eight works tirelessly to demobilize and reintegrate girl and boy soldiers and maintain long term follow up on the welfare of these children. In the words of Mr. Beck, “we at AJEDIKa/Projet Enfants Soldats devote our efforts to protecting the rights of children and the promotion of justice in their cause.”

Citizens for Global Solutions is proud to highlight Mr. Beck’s extraordinary work and provide our friends and colleagues with the opportunity to engage him on this critical issue.

For more information on AJEDI Ka/Projet Enfants Soldats, please visit: