The EITI world was focused in late October on South East Asia. The EITI and the Government of Indonesia hosted a two-day conference on beneficial ownership transparency on 23-24 October and the 38th EITI Board meeting was held in Manila on 25-26 October.
Opening up Ownership Conference - sharing practice, building systems
In Jakarta, the EITI held the Opening up Ownership Conference - the first global meeting of experts and policy makers on beneficial ownership transparency. EITI Chair, Fredrik Reinfeldt, and HE Vice President of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbajo, addressed the Conference, inspiring attendees and helping to keep beneficial ownership transparency at the top of the global agenda.
The Conference focused on how countries can put beneficial ownership transparency into action, by sharing practice from the 52 EITI countries and hearing from the world’s leading experts on beneficial ownership transparency. Experiences were shared in 15 workshops that ranged from the links between anonymous companies and illicit financial flows to analysing case studies from the world’s first beneficial ownership registers in Ukraine and the UK.
Kyrgyzstan was given an award by Fredrik Reinfeldt acknowledging their early efforts to tackle hidden ownership; Ghana, Indonesia, Ukraine and the UK were awarded honourable mentions. More than a dozen ministers from the 53 EITI countries attended and participated in discussions and meetings.
38th Board meeting in Manila
The 38th EITI Board meeting took place immediately afterwards in Manila, where Mexico and Guyana were welcomed as the latest additions to the EITI family. The Board discussed the progress of countries in systematically disclosing information on their websites and commended Honduras, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia for their progress in bringing transparency to their respective oil, mining and gas sectors. The Board acknowledged some steps forward in challenging circumstances in Iraq and Niger, though both were assessed overall as having made inadequate progress.
The Philippines is the first country to achieve the highest level of transparency under the EITI Standard. Manila provided a stimulating background for the Board meeting, with the Philippines EITI demonstrating their impact with EITI data being actively explored and analysed to drive reforms and diagnose problems.
Norway – the guiding star of extractives transparency
Norway, the first OECD country to implement the EITI, has now become the first country to progress from producing a separate EITI report to full systematic disclosure of the same information. The Board’s decision means that from now on Norway will publish information about the petroleum sector on www.norskpetroleum.no rather than in an EITI Report.
Around 50 participants from seven countries in the region participated in a regional workshop led by the International Secretariat. Countries explored how to align EITI implementation with their national priorities to ensure that their objectives for implementation address issues in their extractive sector. It was also an opportunity to learn more about emerging global topics such as mainstreaming, project level reporting and beneficial ownership and how these are intended to further improve extractive sector governance. Participants also discussed best practices and ways to overcome challenges in implementing the EITI Standard. Countries that have undergone Validation such as the Philippines and Solomon Islands shared their experience on how to prepare for it, while Mongolia and Timor Leste discussed how the Validation process was key to driving reforms in their government systems.