Acknowledging achievements and addressing concerns.
Congratulations to Chad and Indonesia on achieving compliance with the EITI Requirements. Chad has come a long way in trying circumstances starting with some basic government information systems. The process has helped unpick many revenue collection black boxes.
For Indonesia, the provision of such information in a complex country covering over 11,000 government districts is a major step forward. As other things, Indonesia's EITI reports have been trailblazers in project by project reporting.
We are also delighted to welcome Colombia and the United Kingdom to the EITI implementing family bringing the total number of implementing countries to 48. For these countries, they are just starting the process. Both are major economies facing governance issues quite distinct from those of Chad and Indonesia. It reminds me of how many different situations to which the EITI can be applied. We now have 48 different reasons for implementing, 48 different models, 1 Standard.
As well as the announcements on countries' EITI status, again Board discussions today were dominated by closed sessions on Azerbaijan. After much discussion and an impressive spirit of compromise, the Board agreed that early validation would commence on 1 January under the newly agreed standard Terms of Reference for EITI validators and important identified actions related to the space for civil society.
The new Terms of Reference for validators were agreed by the Board to reflect the requirements of the 2013 Standard. It also agreed a new protocol for civil society outlining the expectations for civil society to be able to participate in EITI processes. Both of these will be made available as soon as the final wording is approved.
Recognising the need to review and look at the future needs of technical and financial support, the Board earlier this year commissioned Scanteam to undertake a review of International Secretariat and World Bank support. The draft report recommends a step up in capacity building including regional hubs of expertise and trainers.
In other discussions, the Board heard about progress in the 12 countries that are piloting beneficial ownerships. The first results from Liberia, Togo and Zambia, are expected by the end of the year. The 2015 EITI Secretariat workplan and budget were discussed and final versions are expected to be agreed in November.
Amongst the warm congratulations for the countries that have made so much progress, it has been a challenging and, at times, tense meeting. Multi-stakeholder governance is not easy. Nor is it meant to be. If we all agreed on these tough issues, we would probably be discussing the wrong ones. It is privilege for us at the Secretariat to work for a Board putting aside differences to make progress to improve information for citizens in resource-rich countries.