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Democratic Republic of the Congo

Volume 542: debated on Wednesday 14 March 2012

3. What steps his Department is taking to address governance issues in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.[Official Report, 26 March 2012, Vol. 542, c. 4MC.] (99630)

Good governance is central to improving the lives of the Congolese people. We supported voter education for 2 million citizens; we are working to increase mining revenues by a total of $2.8 billion over 10 years through improved transparency; we are empowering 2,500 communities to control their own development; and we are strengthening public financial management in the DRC.

I am grateful to the Minister for his response, but he will be aware of the significant legal challenges to the elections that have just been held in the DRC and of the level of violence that has occurred in that country over many years, which has caused the deaths of more than 3 million people. What steps are the Government taking to work with the international community to ensure that good governance and the safety of the population is our priority in the weeks to come, as we await this outcome?

The hon. Lady is entirely correct to say that this is a large challenge facing the Congolese people. We are working to review the priorities for future funding on the question of elections through the CENI, the DRC’s electoral commission. We are also urging the CENI to carry out an in-depth investigation into all the allegations. Good governance and, in particular, access to justice, not least for women and girls and in response to sexual violence and violent crimes, is one of the areas in which we are seeking to make strengthening partnerships.