Oversimplification of issues often produces inadequate, counterproductive policies. Dodd-Frank and its proponents penalize the people of eastern Congo, but do little to curtail the militias and their backers.
Trade and investment in natural mineral resources hold great potential for boosting growth and prosperity in the developing world. Too often though, misguided or illicit exploitation of these resources has contributed, directly or indirectly, to armed conflict.
Underlying all of our dizzying 21st century communication tools is one of the saddest secrets in the world involving mothers and daughters. Innocently, inadvertently, we are using communication products that are powered by conflict minerals.
With conflict minerals the U.S. is in a unique position because our economic influence to combat the illicit minerals trade provides the missing leverage for leaning on the Congolese state to deliver meaningful security sector reform.
I dream of the day when electronics companies fully commit to tracing, auditing, and certifying the minerals they use in their products, and rape minerals are successfully excluded from the marketplace.
The UN Security Council was told that the best way to stop rapes was to arrest commanders who permitted it. UN envoy Margot Wallström's speech was among the most graphic and frank by a senior official since the mass rapes.
Despite the difficult challenges we face here at home, Americans are a generous and compassionate people. Our values compel us to fight injustice wherever it occurs, and to reduce the suffering of innocents.
The State Department continues to focus a great deal of attention on the plight of residents in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a region that has been subject to a long-running war and severe injustice.
Last week, thousands of people across the country wrote and called their senators asking them to support a section in the Wall Street reform bill that addressed 'conflict minerals' from Congo, the new blood diamonds.
On a cross-country tour, spreading awareness about the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo, I found students fighting for change where I least expected it: deep in the South, at one of our nation's oldest universities.
It's worth delving into the less obvious links between mineral resources and instability in eastern Congo to illustrate the potentially grave effects of a gold, lithium, or niobium rush in Afghanistan.