PRESS RELEASE: Six more countries compliant with transparency and accountability standard

PARIS, 2 March 2011 – The Central African Republic, The Kyrgyz Republic, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, and Yemen have achieved Compliance with the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), the global standard for improved transparency in the oil, gas and mining sectors. The EITI Board designated them as ‘EITI Compliant’ at their meeting today in Paris, bringing the total number of EITI Compliant countries up to 11. In addition, Guatemala and Trinidad and Tobago were welcomed as new EITI Candidate countries, bringing the total number of EITI implementing countries up to 35.

EITI Chair Peter Eigen congratulated the governments, and all the companies and civil society organisations involved that have supported to the processes in each of the countries:

“In doubling the number of EITI Compliant countries, the standard has passed a significant milestone. As commodity prices climb, and the demand for greater information and accountability increases, the case for revenue transparency in the extractive sector is stronger than ever. These countries have made an enormous stride in good management of their natural resources. Whilst I warmly congratulate all the stakeholders involved in achieving this milestone, I remind them that the process does not stop here. Transparency alone will not guarantee sound management of extractive resources. The challenges these resource-rich countries face are immense, but the EITI is a good place to start, focusing on the industries and the revenues that could be harnessed to transform these societies”.

Clare Short appointed as new Chair of EITI

Clare Short was elected as the new EITI Chair at the conference. Ms Short is the former UK Secretary of State for International Development 1997-2003. On taking up her position as EITI Chair, Ms Short said:

“It is a great honour to take up this key role. I pay tribute to the extraordinary tenacity, energy and rigour that Peter Eigen has given to the job. The key priority will be to ensure that the EITI standard really delivers improvements in the lives of the people of resource-rich countries. Although Compliant countries have met the EITI reporting standard, they will have to continue to improve EITI implementation. Transparency and accountability must be embedded in the sector”.

EITI Global Conference opened on 2 March

On 2-3 March, global leaders including the Presidents of the Kyrgyz Republic, Mozambique and Tanzania, the CEOs of Royal Dutch Shell, Total, and AREVA, and founder of the Open Society Foundations, George Soros, will gather for the 5th EITI Global Conference. The Conference entitled “Transparency Counts” will assess the impact of the EITI in improving lives so far and set a course for the future direction of the standard, including the development of new rules.

In the EITI Progress Report 2009-2011 that was launched today, George Soros writes:

“Accountable, transparent governance is a cornerstone of an open and just society. I have long recognized EITI as a vital tool for promoting greater openness in countries rich in oil, gas and minerals.”

With news of sweeping political change in many resource-rich countries, there has never been a more timely opportunity for governments, companies and civil society to work together to improve the way oil, gas and mineral resources are managed and distributed.

Notes to Editors

  1. Media enquiries, further questions, can be addressed to Anders Tunold Kråkenes, +47 4666 2888 akrakenes@eiti.org. More information on the EITI Global Conference can be found at www.eitiparis.org.
  2. The EITI is a coalition of governments, companies, civil society groups, investors and international organisations. All these constituencies are represented on the Board. The EITI International Secretariat is hosted by the Norwegian Government in Oslo and was formally opened on 26 September 2007.
  3. 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.
  4. Since it was put forward in 2002 the EITI has moved towards becoming the global standard for revenue transparency in the extractive industries. Through implementing the EITI, countries bring together companies, civil society and government representatives to monitor and account for payments being made to governments by extractives companies operating in their country. Countries that have met all of the reporting and operational indicators set out under the EITI guidelines and completed a rigorous validation process are then considered to be EITI Compliant, establishing that the country's revenue reporting standards in its extractive sector have achieved a greater level of transparency.
  5. There are 11 countries that have now achieved EITI Compliant status. The Central African Republic, the Kyrgyz Republic, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, and Yemen have joined Azerbaijan, Ghana, Liberia, Mongolia, and Timor-Leste as EITI Compliant countries.
  6. The 35 countries that are underway in implementing the EITI are: Afghanistan, Albania, Azerbaijan, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Indonesia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mongolia, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Peru, Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Yemen, and Zambia.
  7. Dr Peter Eigen has been the Chair of Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) until today. He was also the founder of Berlin-based Transparency International, a non-governmental organisation dedicated to increasing government accountability and curbing corruption.
  8. The Rt Hon Clare Short is former British Secretary of State for International Development (1997-2003). She played a key role in elevating Britain's department responsible for sustainable development and poverty elimination to the Ministerial level. In 2003, Ms Short resigned from her role as Secretary of State for International Development over the Iraq war. After nearly thirty years serving as a UK Member of Parliament, Ms Short stood down in 2010. Since 2006, Ms Short has been a member of the Advocacy Panel of Cities Alliance, an alliance of the World Bank, UN–HABITAT, local government and development partners committed to meeting the UN target to develop cities without slums. She is a member of the Advisory Committee of International Lawyers for Africa and a Trustee of Africa Humanitarian Action.
  9. This press release and other EITI publications are available on the EITI website at www.eiti.org. If you would like EITI Newsletters and other important EITI updates to be sent to you automatically by email, you can subscribe to this service on the website.
  10. Non-media enquiries can be addressed to the EITI International Secretariat on +47 22242105 or by e-mail to secretariat@eiti.org.

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