The fourth EITI Global Conference took place in Doha on 16-18 February 2009. As the highest governing body of the EITI, the conference is the premier event in the EITI calendar. The Government of Qatar and Qatar Petroleum hosted the Conference.
In a world of volatile commodity prices, the EITI is more relevant today than ever before in ensuring that populations benefit from their countries' resources. The Oslo Conference in 2006 provided the EITI with the tools to move from design to implementation. Two years down the line, 26 countries are implementing the initiative while the number of actors supporting the EITI is growing constantly.
At the Doha Conference all of our stakeholders and supporters - governments, civil society organisations, companies, investors and development organisations met to take stock of the benefits and progress of the EITI, find common solutions for challenges, and chart the next steps for advancing this growing global initiative.
- Azerbaijan was accepted as EITI Compliant - the first country to have passed an EITI Validation, the EITI quality assurance mechanism to assess whether the country has met the requirements in the EITI standard;
- Tanzania became the 26th EITI Candidate country (with Norway, as the first OECD country to implement the EITI, having gained Candidate status just before the Conference);
- Ministers from the governments of Mozambique, Ethiopia and Albania all officially declared their commitment to become EITI implementing countries and outlined the steps they are undertaking to achieve EITI Candidate Country status;
- Japan announced that it will become an EITI Supporting Country. Japan will seek to "assist in expanding the initiative's presence in the Asia-Pacific region". All members of the G7 group of industrialised countries now support the EITI;
- Qatar's Minister of State for Energy and Industry Affairs, H.E. Dr Mohammed Saleh Al-Sada, reiterated Qatar's strong support for the EITI and announced that Qatar Petroleum will become an EITI supporting company;
- The Arab League also welcomed the initiative and expressed its support for the principles of the EITI;
- During her opening statement, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, of Liberia, stated that the EITI has helped to move Liberia away from the corruption and misallocation of natural resources that helped to fuel decades of civil war in her country;
- EITI Chairman, Peter Eigen, emphasised the importance of protecting and respecting civil society in its efforts to combat corruption and hold governments and companies to account;
- Liberia was presented with an award for the rapid progress the country has made towards implementation of the EITI. Azerbaijan received an award for having come further than any other country and becoming the first EITI Compliant country. Kazakhstan received a special prize for its efforts to raise awareness of the EITI across their huge country.
- George Soros made clear his belief that the countries implementing the EITI would have a competitive advantage in attracting greater investment in a global economy that has become highly risk-averse. The high standards of accounting and reporting inherent in the EITI are attractive to investors seeking to minimise risk by ensuring greater openness and a more level playing field in the business environment;
- The EITI Members' Association was established under Norwegian law, thereby incorporating the whole EITI global structure, including the Board and International Secretariat. Under the new Articles of Association, a new Board was elected.
- The EITI Progress Report 2007-2009 was launched. Many EITI stakeholders contributed to the creation of this report that outlines the key developments of the EITI since the last EITI Global Conference.
- Three EITI publications on how to further implementation and support were launched: an EITI Guide for Legislators co-developed by NDI, RWI and the EITI Secretariat, an EITI Communications Guide on how implementers can effectively communicate the EITI, and a publication on Advancing EITI in the Mining Sector.