Sept. 09, 2010: Collectif of NGOs for human rights in the exploitation of natural resources in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)
Collectif of NGOs for human rights in the exploitation of natural resources in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)
Letter to Professor John Ruggie, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on transnational and other business enterprises.
Lubumbashi, 29 August 2010
Dear Professor Ruggie,
We the undersigned members of the NGO Collectif, have followed with interest the work that you are carrying out drawing up recommendations for companies operating in zones of weak governance or conflict, such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Our Collective, which is composed of NGOs from different provinces in the DRC including conflict zones, works on the problem of human rights in the exploitation of natural resources in the country.
We believe that your efforts to produce recommendations for companies working in weak governance and conflict zones has merit. However, we are concerned by the fact that your work is being conducted at such a distance from our daily reality. Indeed we assume that it must be particularly difficult to truly appreciate the human rights problems related to the exploitation of natural resources in the DRC without the communities and the civil society groups that represent them first being consulted.
Although we have no doubts about your intentions, we fear nevertheless that the concerns and needs of the communities whose human rights have been affected by companies operating in zones of conflict and weak governance such as the DRC may not have been taken into account and reflected in your recommendations.
We would therefore like to have the opportunity of contributing our experience to your efforts and would like to invite you to enter into a dialogue with us and the affected communities before your recommendations are made public.
We would like to thank you in anticipation of your reply and with the hope of being able to contribute to your work which will constitute a reference for transnational and other enterprises.
Please accept our best wishes dear Professor Ruggie.
For the Collectif
(Please see attached letter for full list of signatures.)