On 8 March the Chair of the EITI Board, Peter Eigen, issued the following statement:
“In recent months a tremendous amount of work has been done to improve transparency in the extractive sectors of many countries. Among the reasons for the increased activity has been EITI Candidate countries’ goal to be recognised as EITI Compliant under the Initiative's international rules and principles.
Countries that implement the EITI are required to complete an EITI Validation process within two years of becoming an EITI Candidate country. Validation assesses whether a country has fulfilled all of its obligations to be considered EITI Compliant. Twenty Candidate countries have a Validation deadline of 9 March 2010. Two countries (Azerbaijan and Liberia) completed Validation in 2009 and were subsequently designated EITI Compliant.
The EITI Board will meet in Berlin on 15-16 April to review progress with Validation. Under the rules of the EITI, countries can in some circumstances seek extensions and be given limited additional time to complete the Validation process. Such requests will also be considered by the Board during its April meeting in Berlin.”
UPDATE, 9 MARCH: The Publish What You Pay (PWYP) Coalition has released a statement on the Validation deadlines. In the press release, Radhika Sarin, PWYP International Coordinator and alternate member of the International EITI Board, was quoted on saying "PWYP, as a key stakeholder in the process, has a clear expectation that the [International EITI] board, in its approach towards the assessment of extension requests, will apply the EITI rules in a fair, equitable and transparent way which also protects the integrity of the EITI, Post-conflict Liberia was able to complete its validation process ahead of time due to support and ownership of the EITI at the highest levels. Similar levels of commitment are needed in all countries to ensure they too can credibly overcome the validation hurdle.”
For further information, see “Validation deadlines: questions and answers” that was recently published on the EITI blog.