The Global Initiative Network

GIN Member

Roberto Sollazzo

Expert on Natural Resources and Finance / Former member of the UN Group of experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Côte d'Ivoire

Dr. Roberto Sollazzo is an international expert in Natural Resources-related risk analysis and mitigation with 14 years of field experience in transitional, post-crisis and developing contexts.

In 2018, as an independent consultant, he conducted research and authored a study for the OECD. The study addresses the vulnerability of the gold supply chains in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger to the Annex II risks of the OECD due diligence guidance (support to non-state armed groups, human rights abuses, money laundering and corruption).

He contributed to a research with the Small Arms Survey on trafficking and illicit financial flows between Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso and Mali. From January to March 2018, he prepared materials and delivered modules of a training on governance in the mining sector for CSOs in Côte d’Ivoire, administered by the GIZ.

From 2013 to 2017, Dr. Sollazzo has served five consecutive terms as Natural Resources Expert (and also Finance Expert since 2016) for the United Nations. The highest profile consultants employed by the United Nations, Experts are personally appointed by the UN Secretary-General to report on the effective implementation of sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council. In this capacity, he unveiled the details of mineral and non-mineral smuggling networks from Côte d’Ivoire and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to the end-user markets. He publically disclosed the names of people involved, the methods of procuring and smuggling, the routes followed and the networks of accomplices to elude controls, as well as the methods used to launder, layer and place the proceeds of these activities.

From 2011 to 2013, he worked as a Senior Researcher and Project Manager for Resource Consulting Services. He has contributed to the inception and management of the Integrated Embargo Monitoring Unit within the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI), which he served from 2008 to 2010. After leaving UNOCI, he served as an electoral process validator for the European Union External Action Service in various African countries.

A PhD on Africa and Middle East Politics and a Master’s Degree in Political Science and International Relations, Dr. Sollazzo was a lecturer and researcher at the University of Naples Federico II from 2003 to 2008, and still maintains active collaboration with Academic circles. He is among the founders of the Italian association of African studies (ASAI, think-tank).

An Italian native, Dr. Sollazzo is also fluent in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish.

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