BAGHDAD, 10 JANUARY 2010. Noori Al-Maliki, Prime Minister of Iraq today announced Iraq’s plans to implement the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) at the Iraqi EITI launch conference in Baghdad. Iraq plans to become an EITI Candidate country in February.
For too long Iraq’s natural resource wealth has brought the country conflict and corruption, rather than development and prosperity. The EITI is an instrument to build trust and create a safe forum for wider discussion about the management of the oil revenues.
The Government of Iraq formally committed to implement the EITI in May 2008. With 11% of the world’s proven oil reserves, Iraq will become the country with the largest oil reserves to implement the EITI standard. The oil industry is at a critical stage in Iraq following a series of contract awards.
Peter Eigen, Chair of the EITI, sent a greeting which included the following: “With well managed oil resources, the future of the Iraqi people could be very bright. For those of us who have spent our career tackling the root causes of corruption and conflict, and for the whole international community which follows Iraq closely, the Government’s plan to implement the EITI is a massive signal of Iraq’s determination to build a brighter future.”
At the launch conference, the Head of the EITI International Secretariat, Jonas Moberg, said: “We believe that the implementation of the EITI will be important in driving the recovery of the nation and ensuring that its abundant oil and gas wealth is managed for the benefit of its citizens and sustained peace. It demonstrates the Government’s commitment to good governance and is part of wider efforts to rebuild the nation. The adaptation of the global EITI standard in Iraq shows the Government’s ownership and dedication to develop its own transparency and governance framework.”
The conference approved the EITI Work Plan, discussed the governance of the multi-stakeholder group, and confirmed the nomination of civil society representatives.
Notes to Editors
- Media enquiries, requests for interviews, can be addressed to Communications Manager Anders Tunold Kråkenes at the EITI International Secretariat, +47 4666 2888 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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.
- 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. Jonas Moberg is the Head of the International Secretariat.
- The 30 countries that are underway in implementing the EITI are: Albania, Azerbaijan, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mongolia, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Peru, Republic of the Congo, São Tomé e Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Timor-Leste, Yemen and Zambia.
- On 25 September 2009, the G-20 leaders expressed their support of the EITI in their statement from the summit in Pittsburgh. The G20 leaders stated that disclosure of payments and revenues through the EITI strengthens support for the most vulnerable and contributes to reducing poverty.
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