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WHAT

Workshop on Natural Resources in the Great Lakes region

Theme: Taking Collective Actions to Achieve Peace and Development Integration in Africa’s

Great Lakes region.

Background note:

Africa’s Great Lakes region has, for decades, been affected by conflict and political instability. Evidence points to the illicit exploitation and trade in natural resources as one of the main causes of this instability. The illegal mining and smuggling of high value minerals known as the 3Ts, i.e., tantalum ore (coltan), tin ore (cassiterite), tungsten ore (wolframite), as well as gold, contribute to financing armed groups and sustaining criminal networks, thus fueling conflict, and exacerbating tension among States. As the main repository of such resources, the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is also the theater of recurring conflicts which undermine its development and that of the entire region.

The International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) Protocol on the fight against the illegal exploitation of natural resources outlines the actions that Member States have agreed to take under the framework of the Regional Initiative against the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources (RINR) launched by the leaders of the region in 2010. The supply chains of the 3Ts are audited and certified in the framework of the ICGLR Regional Certification Mechanism (RCM), which is the core tool of the RINR. This has significantly led to limited access of armed groups and mineral traffickers to 3Ts mineral supply chains.

Following its Resolution 1291 (2000), the UN Security Council established a Panel of Experts to investigate the illegal exploitation and trade of the DRC’s natural resources and identify potential links between natural resources and the ongoing conflict in eastern DRC.

In 2003, the Panel issued its first report concluding that: "the flow of arms, the illegal exploitation of natural resources and the continuation of the conflict are inextricably linked.”

Objective of the workshop:

The overall objective of the workshop is to discuss joint coordinated actions with all stakeholders involved, to explore realistic options to curb the illicit exploitation and trade in natural resources, and to address the issue of financing illegal armed groups in the region.

WHO

The three-day workshop is co-organized by the ICGLR, the Office of the Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for the Great Lakes region, and the German International Cooperation Agency (GIZ), in collaboration with the Government of The Sudan.

Participants will include:

- Representatives from the 12 ICGLR Member States (Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Zambia) and ICGLR forums.

- Representatives of regional stakeholders.

- Officials of the United Nations System.

 - Regional and international development partners and stakeholders.

WHERE & WHEN

Friendship Hall, Khartoum, REPUBLIC OF THE SUDAN.

31 August - 2 September 2021.

For more information, please contact:

Aymen Sulaiman, Media Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sudan. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. +249 91 066 2335.

- Mildred Kinyaga-Otunga, Communication and Conferences Officer, International Conference on the Great Lakes Region. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. +257 75 50 23 38.

- Penangnini Toure, Strategic Communications and Public Information, Office of the UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. +254 715 703 417.

Downloads:

Media Advisory - Workshop on Natural Resources in the Great Lakes region 31 Aug - 2 September 2021