On 7th January 2020 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, spoke during the second day of debate on the Queen’s Speech, on the topic of the integrated security, defence and foreign policy review:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, I want to make a few comments on the integrated security, defence and foreign policy review, which is a welcome development in the Government’s plans for the next five years.
I note that the Government will consider the,
“freedom of speech, human rights and the rule of law”
of foreign nations and how this interacts with our own interests. I hope that the Minister will agree with these Benches that any such review should also include religious persecution, drawing on the work and recent report of the Foreign Office, assisted by the Bishop of Truro, on the persecution of Christians.
On 5th August 2019 the Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, received a written answer from Government regarding support for Burundi’s government in hosting DRC refugees:
The Lord Bishop of Durham: HL17454 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what support they are offering the government of Burundi in hosting Congolese refugees being displaced through the ongoing conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
On 25th July 2019 the Bishop of St Albans asked the Government “what steps they are taking to help those areas affected by the latest outbreak of Ebola which has been declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the World Health Organization”. He then asked a follow-up question:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, I thank the noble Baroness for her Answer and, indeed, for the money that has been made available. One of the most effective ways of rolling out preventative health education is to use local indigenous leadership. In 2015, Christian Aid and other charities recommended that NGOs should engage with local faith leaders for this purpose. Are Her Majesty’s Government following this advice? Secondly, with daily flights between DRC and Europe, given the highly infectious nature of this disease, will she explain to the House the steps that are being taken for our own domestic preparedness?
Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale asked Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of recent developments in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The Bishop of Wakefield asked a supplementary question:
The Lord Bishop of Wakefield: My Lords, I am sure that the Minister will be aware that my colleague and friend the most reverend Primate the Archbishop of Canterbury is visiting the DRC today with the Minister for Africa. Could she inform the House of the work of Her Majesty’s Government, currently being promoted by them, in the protection of women in the DRC, particularly from gender-based violence?
Baroness Warsi: The Minister for Africa will have meetings with the most reverend Primate the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of the DRC, particularly to support HEAL Africa, a project which aims to support women who have been subjected to sexual violence.
On 27th November 2013, the Bishop of Wakefield, the Rt Revd Stephen Platten, received an answer to a written question on the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Lord Bishop of Wakefield: To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they intend to allocate additional resources to support the implementation of commitments outlined in the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo; and, if so, what will be the main focus of those resources.
Baroness Northover: The UK is currently considering how best to support the Peace Security and Cooperation Framework (PSCF). DFID is engaging with the Democratic Republic of Congo’s National Oversight Mechanism for the PSCF to ensure those that represent local populations, such as civil society organisations, are consulted during implementation. This will include ensuring that there are on-going opportunities for these organisations to provide feedback from the Congolese people affected.