EITI is a young standard yet it has become widely established. I was reminded of this last month as the number of people living in EITI implementing countries went from 650 million to 900 million when Indonesia and Togo became EITI Candidate countries, and the number of countries that has achieved EITI Compliance jumped from three to five.
By becoming compliant, Mongolia and Ghana have demonstrated their commitment to improve the management of their respective mining sectors. I warmly congratulate all the stakeholders that are part of the EITI in these two countries. Since committing to the EITI in 2005, Mongolia has published payments from its extractive sector in three excellent EITI Reports. Similarly, Ghana’s EITI Compliance is well deserved and I hope will be a spur for further reform of the oil sector. Ghana was the first country to publish an EITI Report for the mining sector, and to provide data on the payments to and spending of regional levels of government.
I would also like to acknowledge the major efforts in Cameroon, Gabon, Kyrgyzstan and Nigeria that the EITI Board recently found to be EITI Candidate countries that are close to compliance. These countries have come a long way towards improving transparency in their extractives sector, and have been granted six months to meet the final requirements and become EITI Compliant.
We are getting closer to the EITI Global Conference in Paris 2-3 March 2011, and the agenda for the conference is shaping up. So far, Heads of State from six countries have confirmed their attendance, as well as CEOs from three of the largest extractive industry companies, and leaders from civil society and international institutions. For those of you who have not already done so, you can register your participation on the conference website at www.eitiparis.org.
This newsletter contains further information about these and other developments in the EITI world. As always, we welcome your comments and suggestions.
Peter Eigen, EITI Chair