Peace and Security

Kinshasa Forum: The Conflicts in DR Congo and the MDGs


Kinshasa, DR Congo - A high-level conference on the theme of "The Conflicts in DR Congo and the Challenge of Achieving the Millennium Development Goals" took place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kinshasa on Nov. 16, 2013.

Speakers addressing the audience of more than 250 people included Mr. George Tshionza Mata, an expert in research on conflicts; Mme. Makulo Toytely Charlotte, president of the NGO Agir Plus; Mr. Amissi Abdallah, an expert from the Ministry of Planning; Dr. Katsumi Otsuka, regional chair of UPF-Africa; Rev. Michel Futila de Mayeko, secretary general of UPF-DR Congo; and D.H. Mbusu Ngamani, president of the DR Congo National Peace Council.

Since its independence on June 30, 1960, DR Congo has been a land of permanent conflicts of interests among the world power because of its natural riches in minerals, forests, rivers.etc. In the interior of the country there is a problem of egotistical leadership that puts personal interest above the purpose of the whole. In spite of this, the Congolese are deeply spiritual people.

Mr. Mata, an Ambassador for Peace, began by explaining the conflicts, the actors, the causes and solutions. At his conclusion, participants understood that conflicts have halted the development of the country, and a sense of hopelessness filled the room.

Mr. Abdallah talked about the work of the Ministry of Planning, which is advancing the MDGs in DR Congo but concluded that the Congo will not achieve the targets by 2015, despite the efforts in place. Once again, the participants realized that without solving these problems, the road to peace will be very long.

After these two speakers, Rev. Futila presented UPF’s approach to conflicts, stating that the source of the conflicts that had been discussed were not the causes but rather the effects. The true source of conflict is the separation of people from God because of sin. To achieve the MDGs, he advocated introducing into the school system education in character and moral values and stressing the importance of the family. UPF-DR Congo is partnering with the Ministry of Education to teach character education to students as part of lessons in citizenship.

UPF’s approach to conflicts and the MDGs gave the audience hope. Participants stayed throughout the five-hour program because of the pertinence of the subject matter. They asked questions about UPF’s plan to help end conflicts in Africa. Some participants expressed hope that more Congolese will have an opportunity to hear the presentation.

Five television channels, including the national channel, covered the event.

Reported by Mr. Crispin Tshibamba, Public Relations, UPF-DR Congo

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