On 29 June 2015, SARW was appointed Vice-Chair of the ICGLR/DRC Forum National Committee during a Civil Society workshop organised by Mr Joseph Butiku, Chairperson of the Regional ICGLR Civil Society Forum.
The reasons behind SARW’s appointment are amongst others the various activities conducted by the organisation since 2010 to tackle the illegal exploitation of natural resources in the Great Lakes Region, including the Alternative Summit held in Kinshasa in October 2010, on the margins of ICGLR Heads of State Special Summit. The Alternative Summit brought together delegates from the 11 ICGLR member-states. SARW also organised a consultative conference on the peace agreements and conflict minerals in Kinshasa in May 2013. The reports on these two conferences were officially presented to ICGLR Executive Secretariat in Bujumbura.
SARW is involved in various activities organised by ICGLR, both in Kinshasa and in Bujumbura. The organisation has just completed a study on EITI implementation within ICGLR member-states at the request of Levy Mwanawasa ICGLR centre. It is in recognition of all these involvements that the civil society decided to appoint SARW as Vice-Chair of the ICGLR/DRC Forum National Committee. The appointment was arrived at during a workshop with all major Congolese civil society platforms and organisations.
The ICGLR Civil Society Regional Forum was put in place by the Agreement of 7 July 2011 signed in Bujumbura and aims inter alia at the following objectives:
- Put in place a platform for sharing of experience and good practices, conclude long-lasting alliances for dialogue and consultation, harmonise strategies for effective advocacy and facilitate critical and creative thinking amongst civil society organisations of the Region with a view to developing civil society perspectives centre on sensitive issues forming part of ICGLR vision and mission;
- Promote the role of the civil society in the peace, security and development processes including access to information and participation in democratic and good governance processes at national and regional levels;
- Build the capacities of civil society organisations from ICGLR member-states in coordination, networking and citizen education on the role of these organisations in the promotion of human rights and women’s rights, in democracy and good governance in the Great Lakes Region.
Five members were appointed in Burundi including two women while four committees were put in place, comprising each three members. These are namely:
- Peace and Security Committee;
- Democracy and Good Governance Committee;
- Economic Development and Regional Development Committee; and
- Humanitarian, Social and Environmental Affairs Committee
In addition to SARW’s participation in the national Forum coordination, the organisation will avail its expertise mainly within the Democracy and Good Governance where natural resources issues will be thrashed out.