Multi-stakeholderism in action
Although no two Board meetings are ever alike, difficult discussions to find consensus on particularly challenging issues are as part of the EITI as any requirement in the Standard. At the Board level – just as in implementing countries – the EITI is a platform for stakeholders to find consensus on what can, in some case, be quite contentious issues.
The 36th EITI Board meeting was no different, and Day 2 began with a clear example of inter-constituency dialogue. Having been unable to agree on a decision on project by project disclosure the day before, Board members agreed on wording that would set out how the project-by-project disclosure requirement should be applied. NRGI President Daniel Kauffman said “I want to commend the multi-stakeholder spirit that is reflected in this wording. It sets out a principle [project level reporting] that needed to be clarified following recent events, and with this decision this is exactly what we have done”.
The EITI’s potential as a platform to make difficult decisions was again exemplified in the next discussion, on the Validation of Azerbaijan.
“The EITI Standard is all about recognising and encouraging progress”
said Fredrik Reinfeldt, Chair of the EITI.
“This is not least true when countries undergo Validation. When considering Azerbaijan’s progress, we need to ensure that we are true to the Standard and treat countries equitably”.
The Board recognized the efforts made by Azerbaijan to implement the Standard and decided that the corrective actions agreed to by the Board in Astana had not been carried out.
In Bogotá, the Board also decided to welcome Armenia as the 52nd EITI implementing country. Thanking the Board for their decision Khachik Hakobyan, Deputy Minister of Mines, said “we are confident that the implementation of the standard in Armenia will help to increase transparency and accountability in our mining sector”.
Day two concluded with Board discussions on governance and finance. In Bogotá this included among other things a discussion on the Board’s self-assessment and a review of the 2016 accounts. Summarising the discussion on finance, Fredrik Reinfeldt concluded that “the expenditure review and other work that has been carried out by the Board and the Secretariat have shown that we are very cost-effective”.
As is usually the case, the 36th Board meeting was also an opportunity for a flurry of parallel meetings, presentations and sharing of experiences. Among other meetings that took place today was a meeting between Board members and the donor community, hosted by Mr. Carlos Cante, Vice- Minister of Mines and Energy. Board members and observers were also invited to a discussion, hosted by NRGI, on contract disclosure in the EITI.
The record of the Board meeting will be found in the forthcoming minutes (see here).