March 31 – April 1, 2015
Hotel Roger Smith, Startlight Room, 2nd Floor
501 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10017
This international conference was intended to build bridges between local specialists in natural resource and community issues from the Eastern DRC and those who need to respond with policies, donor programs, corporate community engagement and institutional investors. Such discussions are especially timely because, particularly in Africa, the current concepts designed to prevent or halt natural resource exploitation as funding sources for war and insurgencies must be updated. A recently concluded multi-year study on the exploitation and trade of Congolese gold (SARWatch) demonstrates that regardless how far behind a region has left the conflict stage, local communities barely benefit from any peace dividends. At the conference, NGO representatives from the Eastern DRC discussed with UN diplomats, secretariat officials and other experts some practical proposal for overcoming these challenges.