Country: Democratic Republic of The Congo
Event: Pearl-MUN 2004
Student: Sara Al-MesbahLinks to other sites on the Web: Back to the 2003-2004 Team page
In 1960, when Congo received its independence from Belgium it experienced five years of political confusion. In 1965 army chief of staff Joseph Désiré Mobutu (later Mobutu Sese Seko) held power in a bad control. For 32 years Mobutu ran an undemocratic regime, the country at that time was in an extremely bad situation, it was a place of ethnic strife and civil war. He was concentrating power in the executive branch and favoring those loyal to him. His party, the Popular Movement for the Revolution (Mouvement Populaire de la Revolution, or MPR), became the only legal political party. In 1997 Laurent Kabila held control of the country and overthrew Mobutu. Kabila suspended the constitution and declared himself as a president of Congo.
The president of DR Congo in our days is Joseph Kabila. There is no prime minister, and the cabinet has 26 members appointed by the president; legislative branch is made out of 300 members Transitional Constituent Assembly which was established in August 2000. The members of the assembly were appointed by past President Laurent Desire Kabila. Election was last held in 1984 for and scheduled elections were in 1997 and postponed to 1999 and never done. The coming elections are scheduled next year 2005. The judicial branch of the DR Congo is Supreme Court.
The DR Congo is a republic with a dictatorship government. The constitution was made and amended several times. On 24 June 1967 the constitution was made for the first time, and amended on August 1974, and revised on 15 February 1978, again amended April 1990. Another constitution was made in 1994, and in November 1998 a draft constitution was approved by former President Laurent Kabila but it was not approved by a national referendum; while the last announced constitution was made in September 2000. In early 1997 the country was divided into 11 administrative regions consisting 10 provinces and 1 neutral city. Each region is administrated by an appointed administrator. The country's political parties are Democratic Social Christian Party, Forces for Renovation for Union and Solidarity, National Congolese Lumumbist Movement, Popular Movement of the Revolution, Unified Lumumbast Party, Union for Democracy and Social Progress, Union of Federalists and Independent Republicans.
DR Congo is in central Africa, northeast of Angola. It is the third largest country in Africa, 2,345,410 sq.km. It is bordered on the north by the Central African Republic and Sudan; from the east by Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and Lake Tanganyika. (Tanganyika separates it from Tanzania). From the south it is bordered by Zambia, on the south-west by Angola; and on the north-west by Republic of the Congo. The DR Congo has a coastline to the west, on the Atlantic Ocean. The land of DR Congo is mostly covered with forests and mountains. The topography of the country varies from tropical rain forests to mountainous terraces, plateau, savanna, dense grasslands and mountains.
The Congo River, which is in DR Congo, is the seventh longest river in the world and the second in Africa. The highest mountain group is the Mitumba Range, while the lowest point is the Atlantic Ocean. The DR Congo has some important lakes like, Pool Malebo which the Congo River widens to form it. The other important like in western Congo is Lac Mai-Nodombe; other lakes in the eastern boarders are also important for transportation and fishing like, Lake Albert and Lake Edward are on Uganda's borders. Lake Kivu is shared with Rwanda. While Lake Tanganyika is the sixth largest lake in the world, it covers the entire border with Tanzania. Other smaller lakes are spread around different regions of DR Congo. The climate in DR Congo varies form place to place; it is tropical, hot and humid in equatorial river basin and cooler and drier in southern highland. While, it is cooler and wetter in eastern highlands.
The Democratic Republic of Congo is rich of natural recourses; it has cobalt, copper, cadmium, petroleum, diamonds, gold, silver, zinc, manganese, tin germanium, uranium, radium, bauxite, iron ore, coal, hydropower, and timber. The exports among all these natural recourses are diamonds, copper, crude oil, coffee and cobalt. The two major natural recourses are copper and diamonds. DR Congo also has many agriculture products like, coffee, sugar, palm oil, rubber, tea, quinine, cassava, bananas, root crops, fruits and wood products. The DR Congo is a self-sufficient country because its exports are more than its imports. Its exports are $1.2 billion and its imports are $890 million referring to year 2002 establishment.
DR Congo has a density of 23 persons per Qs km, and its population is 56,625,039. It is divided into over 200 ethnic groups, the majority are Bantu. And the four largest tribes are, Mango, Luba, Kongo (all of these are Bantu). While the Mangbetu-Azande make up about 45% of the DR Congo population. The Main religions in DR Congo are, Roman Catholic 50%, Protestant 20%, Kimbanguist 10%, Muslims 10%, and other beliefs make up 10% of the population. Because of different religions and different ethnic groups there are over 200 languages spoken around DR Congo. French is the official language as well as the principal business and social language. Four other local languages are widely spoken and recognized as national languages, Swahili in the east, Kikongo in the western regions, Tshiluba in the south, and Kingala in and around the capital Kinshasa, and along Congo.
The DR Congo is one of Africa's richest states. However, after the independence in 1960, its economy became unstable because of the Mobutu's 32 years regime and grew only 1% a year until the mid-1980. The new government that was led by Laurent Kabila rebuilt the economy facing many problems. The DR Congo has a debt of $12.9 billion, two thirds of this debt is owed to the United States and France.
DR Congo is a self-sufficient country. Its exports are $1.2 billion and its imports are $890 million. The exports are diamonds, copper, crude coil, coffee, and cobalt. The DR Congo imports commodities are foodstuff, mining and other machinery, transport equipment and fuels. It also has some industries; the mining industries are diamonds, copper zinc. While the consumer products include textiles, footwear, cigarettes, processed foods, beverages and cement. The DR Congo trading partners are Belgium, China, the United States, Germany, and France.
The DR Congo currency is Congolese Franc (CDF). 1CDF equals 0.00309234 USD, while 1 USD equals 323.380 CDF. The Republic is a member in some economic organizations in Africa; COMESA (Common Market for Eastern and South Africa), CEEAC or ECCAS (Economic Community of Central Africa), and the SADC (Southern Africa Development Community).
The DR Congo armed force is consisted of an army, navy, and an air force. In year 2003 the military manpower that was available reached to 12,292,933 members, including 25,000 army members, 1,300 navy, 1,800 air force and 21,000 gendarmerie personnel (according to year 1993 establishment). In addition to 10,000 members Civil Guard, not technically part of the FAZ (Zairian Armed Forces), performs integral national security and police role.
The military of DR Congo defend the country against all internal threats like the Mobutu regime and external threats. The DR Congo military import a wide variety of poor equipment, mostly form The US, French, and Chinese. Since independence the country has been depending and has foreign military relations with Belgium, France, The US, Israel, and China. The internal security forces are not satisfied, they are suffering form poor training, discipline, and equipment and unreliable pay. Total FAZ strength estimated at 49,100 in 1993.
View of world problems:
DR Congo has borders with nine countries, the relations with its neighbors often tense because of refugees, smuggling, common harboring of antigovernment rebels, and border violence. In year 1994 refugees form the fighting in Rwanda and Burundi came and camped along the DR Congo eastern borders. DR Congo tried to get these refugees away from its borders, troops form Zimbabwe, Angola, Namibia, Chad and Sudan supported the Democratic Republic of Congo. Fire and shooting was signed in 10 July, 1999 by the DR Congo. Kabila was killed on 16 January 2001 and his son Joseph Kabila took his place. He was successful in getting Rwandan's forces back to Rwanda and away from eastern Congo. After two months an agreement was signed by all remaining warring parties to end the fighting and set up a government of national unity. So course, DR Congo's enemies are Rwanda Burundi and Uganda. While its allies are Zimbabwe, Angola, Namibia, Chad, Sudan, Belgium, China, the United States, Germany, and France.
DR Congo is a member in many regional and international organizations: ACCT, ACP, AfDB, CEEAC, CEPGL, ECA, FAO, G-19, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ITU, NAM, OAU, OPCW (signatory), PCA, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO.
In the early and mid 1980s DR Congo faced an economic problem; many originations like the IMF (International Monetary Fund) helped DR Congo to rebuild its economy. In the early 1990's the Mobutu regime continued its crimes against human rights, and the economy did not get better at all. Mobutu enforced one party system of rule, he maintained control during this period but some parties were against him and were active at that time, like UDPS. Mobutu changed his name and several cities names and replaced their names with a more African names. He also changed the country's name to Zaire in 1972. While, in 1994 the country's situation went worse when the grudge between the Tutsi and Hutu's renewed and caused the civil war in the eastern part of the country.
That ancient grudge caused a distraction in eastern DR Congo, which led to a civil war which killed many citizens. The Tutsi and Hutu's grudge caused problems with the neighbors, Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi. That war led to a continues drop in the economy which did not help at all. Three years later the 32 regime was overthrew by rebellion led by Laurent Kabila. The civil war in the east got more complicated in 1999 and Laurent Kabila was killed in 2001. His son Joseph took his place and tried to solve the east problem in 2002 and he did lead to a success. After a few satisfied months, a volcanic eruption during January 2002 disturbed DR Congo and hundreds of people were dead in the disaster. In February at the same year, the Belgian government formally apologized for its part in the death of the former president Patrice Lumumba in 1961. The government issued an apology to his family and the Congolese people.
In our days the DR Congo improved its economy and its situation improved a lot. The country's number of regional allies increased including, Zimbabwe, Angola, Chad, and Namibia.
Issue # 1: The issue of rights and availability of generic drugs:
A generic drug is a copy of a brand name whose patent has expired. The original manufacturer of the drug is the only manufacturer who can produce or sell the drug during the patent period. When the patent period expires, other manufactures may produce and sell the drug. Usually, generic drugs are cheaper than brand name drugs. But they are as safe and as effective as the brand name drugs.
Therefore, the DR Congo is with the issue of the right and availability of generic drugs; considering that the country is suffering from many harmful diseases like HIV/AIDS and malaria. That right will help our people to get medication of serious diseases that are threatening their lives. The DR Congo can't pay the amount of money that the brand name drug cost, but our country would and wish to help its people from dying because of the spread of HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases. To take into consideration that 120,000 died because of AIDS in year 2001; and 1.3 million of Congolese people are now suffering from AIDS welling to get cured. The DR Congo also thanks the World Trade Organization for trying to solve that problem by allowing developing countries to import copies of the brand name drug. But the DR Congo would like the UN to solve that problem as soon as possible before the 1.3 million Congolese people, and other Africans die because of the threatening of diseases, without getting cured. This issue might get solved if the UN designs an organization that will help to solve this problem; either by allowing the availability of generic drug before and after the patent expires, or by selling brand name drugs in a cheaper price.
Issue # 2: The issue of the right of displacement people:
Displaced people are those people who live in a country that they do not want to live in anymore, those people usually want their independence to form their own country and get a nationality. Their government that they belong to, usually does not give them the enough support and protection; it dose not give them money, food, clothes and education. They donít get their daily needs easily and they also do not have the same rights as other people in the country. It was none through out the past years that they have a lower level of international protection than for refuges.
In the DR Congo there are 3.4 million of displaced people living in the eastern borders of the country near the neighbor country Uganda, those displaced people moved to Uganda and camped their in April 2003. There they were treated as refuges. Living near the DRC and Uganda makes them nearly as vulnerable as displaced people in the DRC. The DRC dose not give those people the right they want and the support they need. The DRC in the past years had struggled to improve its economyís situation and its past was full of civil war. Mean while, the economy got much better and became one of the wealthiest countries in Africa. Plus the streets of the country encountered some peace for the a short time. The DR Congo DOES NOT want to go into the situation of civil war and poorness again. Since all ready the United Nations had organized an Organization Mission in Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC); But this organization did not help to solve the issue a lot. The DR Congo wishes to solve the problem as soon as possible by the help of this Organization that was organized specifically for this issue.
Issue # 3: The issue of the trade of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction:
Weapons of mass destruction are those weapons that destroy and are capable of a making a high order of destruction. The issue of the trade of mass destruction weapons had been taken into consideration in the whole world for the last few years. Those weapons are able to kill a huge amount of people; those weapons maybe nuclear, chemical, biological and radiological weapons. The US, is one of the countries that is taking that issue seriously and it considers, any country that is trading mass destruction weapons is considered a terrorist country.
The DR Congo is a country that does not trade mass destruction weapons, and does not even think of that. Maybe if the relation between the neighboring countries got worse that issue will change. But recently, the DR Congo is against this issue, and it is standing with the US. Because the US is an ally of the DRC, it imports and exports from it many resources and the relation between the two countries is good. If that relation got worse the economy in the DRC will get worse and the US might ask for its debt and forces the DR Congo to pay it. So the DR Congo is not with the issue of trading nuclear and mass destruction weapons. The DR Congo asks all countries to avoid trading of mass destruction; and asks the UN and the US to destroy all mass destruction weapons, and continue the way after freeing Iraq from that issue. The DR Congo also asks the UN to make sure that its neighbors Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi are not one of the countries that trade mass destruction weapons. The DR Congo suggest the UN to make a team that study the issue in countries that trade weapons of mass destruction and to destroy the head of the trading (companies that manufacture weapons of mass destruction) not the country that owns the weapons.
Defining generic drugs as copies of a brand name drugs, they are usually 30-75% cheaper,
Taking into consideration that they are just as safe and as effective as brand-name drugs,
Welcoming the fact that generic-drugs are required to follow the same guiding principle the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) use for brand name drugs,
Deeply concerned that generic-drugs are not allowed to be made or sold until the patent period expires,
Noting with Regret that 33.6 million people are effected with HIV/AIDS, and 95% of them live in pour countries, and the vast majority do not have access to the most basic health care,
Keeping in Mind that according to the World Health Organization (WHO), in developed countries a course of one-year's treatment for HIV infection costs the equivalent of four to six month's salary. In developing countries one year's HIV treatment (if it were available) would consume 30 years income,
Approving the World Trade Organizationís judgment for allowing developing countries to receive international patent rules to let them import copies of brand-name drugs in the case where they canít make their own medicine; and this action did not help to improve that issue,
1. Resolves the development of a sub organization of the WHO World Medicine and Health Organization (WMHO), that will not only transfer medicines to countries but will research about any exciting or new disease;
2. Confirms that the WMHO will use latest researches and technology to find the cure of any new disease or existing one that dose not have a cure and deliver it to countries;
3. Further Resolves that the sub organization will be composed out of 20 hired doctors, they will be elected by the UN when the resolution pass, other countries in the UN that would like to participate in the sub organization should have a representative that will be hired from the country itself (the representative should be will educated);
4. Accepts that the elected doctors and country representatives will meet 5 times a year and any emergency meetings are welcomed to take place;
5. Further Recommends that the headquarters of the sub organization will be located in Switzerland, Geneva, and there will be branches all over the world: A. 4 branches will be in Africa, B. 3 branches will be located in Asia, C. 1 in Australia, D. 2 in North America, E. and 3 in South America;
6. Further Confirms the WMHO will use some of the equipment required to make medicines and drugs from the members of the organization (countries), For example, natural resources and staff members other than doctors and researchers;
7. Draws the Attention that the WMHO will transport medicines and drugs to developing countries by studying the following: A. The countryís economy, B. The countryís debts, C. Its ability/ inability to access brand-name rugs;
8. Further Recommends that any country that asks for medicines and does not have a struggle in its economy, which is considered as a wealthy country, will get what it asked for but with paying money. The cost of the medicines will be decided later according to the following: A. 40% the research to get the expected results, B. 10% will be upon the cost of transportation, C. 10% will be for manufacturing and advertising, D. The other 40% will not be paid considering that the WMHO will use some of the equipment required to make drugs from the members of the organization.
9. Take Note of that medicines and drugs will be transported to developing and wealthy countries by airplanes, ships and cars depending on how far is the country from the sub organizationís place that will be submitted later by the UN.
10 . Urges that the WMHO will help to safe many people from dying because of serious disease in the world by handing in the health support to those who can and canít get that support, the WMHO also wells to save our world from serious diseases that threat the world.
Honorable Chair, fellow delegates, bonsoir,
The green land talks with hope of peace, the blue lakes ask for help and our people struggle to live. Many crisis had changed our diamonds into coal. Every day our citizens wake, thinking of a calm day, walking in the dangerous street; looking for food for their families. Suddenly, our citizen gets in a chaos he reached the east where the language of fire is known. The cannon shot of the neighbors kills the innocent man. He lays down leaving his kids struggling to live welling to build the future. But what is the future if their is another enemy fighting with them; that enemy is more serious now since its also threatening the world. Our enemy, AIDS, is fighting them and killing 8,000 people around the world each day.
When is the time where our diamond returns, when is it the time to think of a calm future? Is it to early to think of those days? The DR Congo asks for help; Help the green land from suffering because of war, the blue lakes that canít be enough to end starvation, and our people from dying every day because of serious diseases.