Statement on the UPR of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
8 September 2014
Women’s political participation is an essential element in the peace-making process, not only to resolve the crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and to guarantee that women’s interests are taken into account in all peace agreements, but also to ensure economic growth and social progress in DRC. The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) reminds the Congolese State that is has to demonstrate its support for the Security Council resolution 1325 by ensuring women’s representation at all decision-making levels for the conflict’s resolution, and by bringing this resolution to the attention of all public institutions of DRC.
Moreover, given that mining activities in the DRC have proven to have a negative impact on human rights and the rule of law, WILPF encourages the Congolese state to refrain from developing new mining projects until the adoption and implementation of a policy containing measures to protect the population from the negative impact of mining on human rights.
WILPF had also suggested recommendations on the limitation of arms trade and proliferation of light weapons in the DRC, as these are direct factors hindering the enjoyment of human rights and facilitating acts of gender-based violence. Despite the acknowledgment by the Arms Trade Treaty and the Human Rights Council at its 24th session of the impact of international arms trade on human rights, member states are yet to issue recommendations about this through the UPR mechanism. We encourage member states to be consistent with their previous efforts and to bear in mind the multiple factors causing gender-based violence and human rights violations, including arms trade, and to issue recommendations in this sense. Therefore, WILPF reiterates its recommendation by calling upon DRC to ratify the Arms Trade Treaty, combat the illicit trade of arms and light weapons, and ensure that the import of arms is not used to commit or facilitate violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, including acts of gender-based violence.