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EITI Board agrees status of 20 countries

EITI Board agrees status of 20 countries

BERLIN, 16 APRIL 2010. The Board of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, the international standard for improved transparency in countries’ natural resource sector, met in Berlin 15-16 April. The Board discussed the request of 17 countries implementing the EITI to extend their deadline for completing EITI Validation. In addition, Sao Tome and Principe had applied to voluntarily suspend their EITI Candidate status.

The EITI Board has considered these applications on a case by case basis in accordance with the EITI rules. An extension of the Validation deadline is granted only if the country demonstrates that exceptional and unforeseeable circumstances outside the country’s control. Having considered the merits of each application, the Board agreed to grant extensions to 16 countries [1]. It agreed new deadlines in each case. The Board did not approve the request for an extension of the deadline from Equatorial Guinea. Sao Tome and Principe’s application for a voluntary suspension was not approved. As a consequence of these decisions, these countries are no longer considered implementing (EITI Candidate) countries. Both countries are welcome to reapply to become EITI Candidate countries once the barriers to effective implementation have been addressed.

The EITI Chairman, Peter Eigen, made the following comment:

“The decisions by the EITI Board, consisting of representatives from governments, civil society and companies, have reinforced the credibility of the EITI. The EITI rules were rigorously applied, and countries will still need to make fast progress. Consensus was forged within the Board after extensive discussions.”

Mongolia had submitted their final EITI Validation report before its deadline of 9 March 2010. The Board welcomed the achievements in EITI implementation and noted that the Validation report concludes that further steps need to be taken to achieve EITI Compliant status. Therefore Mongolia remains an EITI Candidate. Within the next six months, the International Secretariat will assess whether the recommendations of the Board have been adequately addressed. The International Secretariat will then make a recommendation to the Board on whether they are EITI Compliant.

Chad was accepted as an EITI Candidate as of 16 April 2010. The Minister of Petroleum and Energy of Chad, M. Tabe Eugene N’Gaoulam, present at the meeting, said that stakeholders had already established a vivid dialogue, which the Government of Chad was committed to further. The Minister called for international support of their efforts to improve transparency, including support by neighbouring EITI implementing countries, Nigeria and Niger.

EITI Chairman Peter Eigen welcomed Chad on behalf of the Board and emphasised the need to ensure that the country receives all the required support for implementing the EITI.

Peter Eigen concluded by emphasising that Validation deadlines are working. In the last nine months, 16 countries have disclosed revenues from oil, gas and mining production. Eleven of these have produced such reports for the first time.

[1] Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Peru, Sierra Leone, Timor Leste and Yemen.

Dr Peter Eigen is the Chair of Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), the international initiative for improving transparency in oil, gas and mining industries. He was also the founder of Berlin-based Transparency International, a non-governmental organization dedicated to increasing government accountability and curbing corruption.

The EITI is a coalition of governments, companies, civil society groups, investors and international organisations. All these constituencies are represented on the Board, which is chaired by Peter Eigen. The EITI Secretariat is hosted by the Norwegian Government in Oslo and was formally opened on 26 September 2007.

3.5 billion people live in countries rich in oil, gas and minerals. With good governance the exploitation of these resources can generate large revenues to foster growth and reduce poverty. However when governance is weak, it may result in poverty, corruption, and conflict. The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) aims to strengthen governance by improving transparency and accountability in the extractives sector. The EITI sets a global standard for companies to publish what they pay and for governments to disclose what they receive.

There are 31 countries that are recognised as either EITI Candidate or Compliant: Afghanistan, Albania, Azerbaijan, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mongolia, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Peru, Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Timor-Leste, Yemen and Zambia.

The EITI Board consists of members from governments, oil, gas and mining companies, and civil society organisations. The list of members of the Board is available at http://eiti.org/about/board.

25 September last year, the G-20 leaders expressed their support of the EITI in their statement from the summit in Pittsburgh. The G-20 leaders stated that disclosure of payments and revenues through the EITI strengthens support for the most vulnerable and to contributes to reducing poverty.


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