Plenary speech on failures in protection of human rights and justice in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Marietje Schaake (ALDE) – Mr President, it is really unspeakably sad that the gravest crimes against humanity took place under the eye of the international community and the UN. We, here in the EU, need to step up our efforts and work together more effectively to make sure that the UN acts in line with the fundamental values that we know here in the EU. We need to think more strategically. As unspeakably sad as these crimes may be, we cannot respond with silence. We have to step up our own responsibility and efforts to ensure that there will be no more victims to mourn. We have to help the African institutions to find their own solutions and to take responsibility for fighting corruption and ending impunity. To do this we have tools, which have been mentioned: the Cotonou Agreement and also the ICC. The trade in blood diamonds and minerals has to end. It fosters the incredible violence that is perpetrated by the various militias in African countries. Rape as a war crime is only one of the horrible crimes being perpetrated. We have to respond by acting vigorously and making sure that we do not remain silent in the face of these atrocious crimes.