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On 30th June 2010, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its independence from Belgium. The DRC has been described as the ‘heart of Africa’ and is home to enormous natural wealth and resources. However, for the last two decades, Congo has been caught up in armed conflict described as one the world’s deadliest. The fighting in the eastern DRC is fueled in large part by conflict minerals which include coltan (columbite-tantalite), cassiterite (tin ore) and wolframite (tungsten). These metals are used in consumer electronics such as cell phones and laptop computers. The Congo conflict has left millions of people dead. Thousands of women have been victimized by rape and countless children have been kidnapped to serve as child soldiers.
Marking the 50th Independence anniversary during the annual meeting of the Catholic Bishops, Bishop Nicolas Djomo, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Congo, said that the independence anniversary is an opportune time to offer prayers of thanks to God for a sense of belonging to a united nation and to ask God’s forgiveness for omissions and opportunities lost. He went on further to say that the anniversary is a time to renew a commitment to promoting the common good and national solidarity.
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Transparency on Congo Conflict Minerals Folded into the Financial Regulatory Reform Bill May 25th, 2010
With the passage of the Restoring American Financial Stability Act (S. 3217) in the United States Senate, the Congo Conflict Minerals and the Energy Security through Transparency (ESTT) amendments have made it into legislation. However, as neither amendment was in the House version of the financial reform legislation, both amendments will be taken up by the House/Senate Conference committee which will work to reconcile the differences between the two bills. Both amendments were agreed to during the passage of the Restoring American Financial Stability Act in the Senate.
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Oblates Urge SEC to Require Greater Disclosure of Boardroom Diversity September 17th, 2009
The SEC has asked investors whether they believe diversity in the boardroom is “a significant issue” and have requested comments on whether additional disclosure in the area of board diversity should be required. The Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate believe board diversity is a critical issue for investors and that greater disclosure in the area should be required. There are a number of studies that continue to build the business case for boardroom diversity.