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Carter Center Featured Partner: Government of Belgium

The Carter Center Health and Peace Programs appreciate the continued support of our foundation, government, and corporate donors and are pleased to highlight their contributions in these regular Web features.

Government of Belgium
Featured January 2008

The Government of Belgium is an essential partner to The Carter Center in its mission to wage peace around the world, having provided the Center with over $1.2 million in funding. Not only have these funds allowed the Center to engage in election monitoring to Nepal and The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), but they have also given the Center the resources to remain in the DRC to accomplish critical post-election human rights work.

The Carter Center has been involved in the Nepal Electoral and Political Monitoring project since early 2007, having received an invitation to do so by the Government of Nepal, several major political parties, and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist). At the urging of national political actors and the international community following the cancellation of the November 22, 2007 constituent assembly election, the Center has decided to retain a presence in Nepal in order to remain engaged in Nepal's peace process. Although no specific date has been scheduled, the elections may be held in mid-March to mid-April 2008.

The Carter Center's work in the DRC has centered on election assistance and human rights. The largest country in central Africa, the DRC has key strategic and geographical importance for the stability of the region. Six neighboring countries were directly involved in its long, bloody civil war in which an estimated four million people perished. Since the peace agreement was signed in 2002, the DRC has been working towards a democratic transition. The Carter Center established the Election Assistance in the Democratic Republic of the Congo project to facilitate the consolidation of sustainable and peaceful democratization through election observation and conflict mediation.

Progress in key areas during the post-election period is necessary if the elections are to result in a peaceful transition and improved human rights situation for the Congolese people. One area of need that The Carter Center clearly identified was natural resource transparency. Following the 2006 elections, the new Minister of Mines announced the creation of the Inter-Ministerial Commission (IMC) to review mining contracts between private companies and the state or public enterprises and welcomed The Carter Center's involvement in this process. The resulting Review of Mining Contracts project purposes to help advance the fair and public review of mining contracts, ensure that the contract review will stress objectivity, transparency, inclusiveness, and the highest international standards of legal and professional competence, and enhance trust in the process and the outcomes, particularly in helping to create an environment for reform with the support of civil society, investors and government.

These projects have benefited, and will continue to benefit, from funding from the Government of Belgium. As a country committed to achieving the Millennium Development Goals by 2015, Belgium has demonstrated its dedication to human rights and democracy worldwide through its partnership with The Carter Center.