Tag Archive for APPG on the Great Lakes Region of Africa

Data does make a difference

Lord McConnell

As a Mathematician with a lifelong passion for numbers I have always liked statistics. I am wary of them, of course. ‘There are three types of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics” may be an overused quotation, but it does contain a grain of truth. In the wrong hands, ‘facts’ are not always what they…

“It is time to do things differently”

Lord McConnell

              Our event this week in Bujumbura (introduced in my previous blog) is split into two parts. Special UN Envoy Mary Robinson’s consultation and mobilisation in support of the Framework of Hope will be followed by a Great Lakes Regional Conference on United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 –…

The arrival and the pick-up. Hello DRC.

Lord McConnell

Nous sommes arrives And arriving in DRC through Kinshasa airport is quite an experience. There are few facilities, and many steps to pass through with passport, yellow fever vaccination certificate, baggage labels all checked – sometimes repeatedly with a hint of bribery in the air. Dozens of locals descend on you looking to help with…

Face to face with the Bishop and the General

Lord McConnell

Listening diplomatically while asking tough questions that must be answered is never easy. So, confronting Congolese rebels with accusations of recent sexual violence during a dialogue about long term solutions and peace was a test for me on Saturday. But the opportunity to hear up close the grievances of some of the M23 rebels, and…

Photos and flames. Horror and hope.

Lord McConnell

One of the saddest places on earth is the Kigali Genocide Memorial managed by the Aegis Trust. Here, 250,000 or so victims of the Rwanda genocide in 1994 are buried together, alongside an exhibition and permanent memorial to their memory. A flame is lit each year by President Kagame to burn at the entrance as…