EITI Newsletter November 2009

Dear friends and partners of the EITI,

The last two months have seen many countries make significant progress towards implementing the EITI standard. In this edition of the EITI Newsletter we take a special look at Liberia that now has become the second EITI Compliant country.

I witnessed firsthand the tremendous strides that the Liberia EITI has made when I visited the country recently. In February, the recently war-torn country published its first EITI report that compares what companies say that they have paid in taxes, royalties and fees, with what the government say that they received. While the report contains sizeable discrepancies - some related to accounting processes and errors, some suspicious payments, and one clear-cut case of fraud - I am impressed by the commitment to have an open dialogue about these issues. Practical steps are really being taking in order to tackle the suspicion and distrust that led to much of the conflict in the past.

Progress has being made in many other countries, including Kyrgyzstan, Norway, and Peru where EITI reports have been or are about to be published. In Gabon, Kazakhstan, and Mongolia, EITI Validation is now underway with others expected to follow shortly. Earlier in the year we learned that Iraq and Indonesia have committed to become EITI Candidates. Now I am delighted that we can add Ukraine to the list of countries that have committed to implementing EITI.

As 2009 is coming to an end, we all should stop and reflect on how far we have come and on the challenges that lie ahead. Jonas Moberg, the Head of the Secretariat offers some thoughts in this Newsletter, reflecting over some of the expectations that EITI are being met with.

Best wishes,

Peter Eigen
Chair of the EITI