EITI Newsletter December 2007

News about the now 15 EITI Candidate countries, EITI Validation and the launch of the EITI International Secretariat.
  • Board meeting in Oslo: 15 countries are now EITI Candidate Countries
  • Progress on the indeterminate countries 
  • Validation Update
  • News Updates
    • EITI Chairman and Indonesian President meet in Jakarta
    • EITI Chairman successfully pushes EITI agenda at the Club of Madrid 
    • Launch of EITI Secretariat
    • New EITI website launches
  • Upcoming Event: International conference on Transparency in the Extractive Sector

Board meeting in Oslo: 15 countries are now EITI Candidate countries

The Board met in Oslo on 27 September. It agreed that 15 countries are considered Candidate countries and can proceed to implementation. These are Azerbaijan, Cameroon, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Mongolia, Niger, Nigeria, Peru and Yemen.

For a further group of nine countries, the Board agreed that additional information would be requested by the end of 2007 so that a decision about candidate status can be determined. These were: Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Madagascar, Republic of Congo, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone, Trinidad and Tobago, and Timor-Leste.

Chairman Peter Eigen, described the agreement as a “historic milestone” in the development of the EITI. “These Governments have committed themselves to work with civil society and companies in a frank and open ways which has the real potential to change the way this business is done”.

At the meeting, the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs announced that the Government of Norway will implement the EITI. This makes Norway the first developed country to announce that it will not only support the EITI and the implementation of the initiatives elsewhere, but will also itself implement it.

Minutes of the meeting are available on the website.

Progress on the indeterminate countries

The Board agreed that this "undetermined" status is a one-off that will not to be extended beyond the end of the year.

The Secretariat has therefore written to the heads of state of all these countries outlining what they need to achieve and asking them to provide evidence of progress before the next Board can approve their candidate status. In addition, the Secretariat, the Multi-Donor Trust Fund team of the World Bank and others have been actively following up with in-country contacts to help the countries towards this objective.

Validation Update

We are close to completing ‘A guidance note for implementing countries on procuring an EITI Validator’. The key features of this process are likely to be as follows:

  • the validation contract will be between the implementing Government and the Validator.
  • there will be considerable oversight by the International EITI Secretariat at each point in the process.
  • the Secretariat will only sanction a validation exercise once the multi-stakeholder group has been established.

News Updates

EITI Chairman and Indonesian President meet in Jakarta

Peter Eigen, Chair of Transparency International Huguette Labelle, and representatives from Transparency International (Indonesia) met with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on 29 October, 2007 at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta. The President was joined by a delegation of high-level officials, including the Coordinating Minister of the Economy, the Minister of Justice and Human Rights, the Attorney General and the National Chief of Police.

The agenda included Indonesia’s commitment to the United Nations Convention against Corruption, which hosts a congress in Indonesia in January 2008, the recovery of stolen assets and transparency in the oil and gas sectors. The President and several of his ministers expressed a strong interest in Indonesia participating in EITI in order to contribute to creating a global standard for the important extractive industries sector.

EITI Chairman successfully pushes EITI agenda at the Club of Madrid

Peter Eigen attended the Club of Madrid’s Sixth Annual Conference on Democratizing Energy on 20 November. The Club of Madrid brings together former Presidents and Heads of State from around the world. Their final Statement stated that ‘The international community and national political leaders should redouble efforts to support greater transparency and accountability in the energy sector.

Proper use of national funds collected from energy revenue, coupled with higher levels of development assistance, would help countries meet their obligations under the Millennium Development Goals to reduce poverty in half by 2015. Projects like the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative deserve wide support and should be expanded to cover industries beyond oil and gas.’

Launch of the EITI Secretariat

The International Secretariat was officially launched in Oslo on 26th September 2007. Hosted by the Government of Norway, the Secretariat is an independent body solely accountable to the EITI Board. The Head of the Secretariat, Jonas Moberg, leads a small staff that includes four Policy Advisers, a Communication Manager and an Executive Secretary.

The Secretariat is responsible for the coordination of EITI implementing efforts worldwide. Its role includes: outreach and advocacy, communicating and sharing lessons learned with stakeholders, managing a resource centre on revenue management and transparency, and oversight of the Validation process. It organises, jointly with host governments, the bi-annual EITI Conference.

The Secretariat welcomes a constant dialogue and collaboration with all partners.

For more information, please visit: www.eitransparency.org/about/secretariat.

New EITI website launched

As noted in our last newsletter, the new website www.eitransparency.org has now been launched.

We recognise that there is still much to do to further enhance the website. Most pressingly we need to develop translations of each page, and improve the country pages. This is all work in progress, so we would welcome your feedback.

Calling all Companies!

In accordance with the validation methodology, all supporting companies are obliged to fill in company forms on their global EITI activities and commitments. A summary of the submitted forms will be placed on the website.

Please contact Eddie Rich (erich@eitransparency.org) to obtain a copy of the form or for more details.

Upcoming Events

International conference on Transparency in the Extractive Sector

At the 2007 G8 Summit in Heiligendamm the Heads of State and Government welcomed the proposal of the German government to host an international conference on Transparency in the Extractive Sector. The German Federal Government will hold this conference in Berlin on 14 December 2007. More details are available on http://www.transparency-extractive-sector-conference-2007.info.