Colombia reaffirms its commitment to the EITI.
Thursday 9 March 2017 – Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos met the EITI Chair Fredrik Reinfeldt in Bogota. Speaking on his government’s commitment to the EITI, President Santos said:
“The EITI is important for us and we are keen to learn from EITI and adopt state of the art on transparency practices and good governance of the oil, gas and mining sector”.
President Santos asked for the experiences of other countries in tackling illegal mining. In Colombia, criminal mining poses one of the main challenges in ensuring sustainable development contributes to the peace process. Colombia’s Minister of Mines and Energy German Arce shared an estimate of the magnitude of the problem. According to Minister Arce, 82% of gold mined in Colombia is illegal. EITI Chair Fredrik Reinfeldt agreed that transparency could form part of a comprehensive approach to tackling illegal mining and offered the EITI as platform to join efforts with and shared practices amongst the international community.
Linked to tackling illegal mining, President Santos confirmed his government’s plan to pass a bill to establish a national beneficial ownership register. Secretary of Transparency Camilo Enciso appreciated the EITI input to the draft law and expressed the government’s hopes that the beneficial ownership register bill could be fast-tracked with other post-conflict legislation to be proposed in the coming weeks. Jonas Moberg, Head of the EITI International Secretariat, commended Colombia’s leadership in these matters and said that EITI-Colombia’s implementation of the beneficial ownership disclosure requirement would complement these national efforts.
Chair Reinfeldt commended Colombia for its vibrant EITI implementation, including the recent publication of the EITI-Colombia Report covering 2014 and 2015 revenues. President Santos expressed his hopes that by the end of his term in office, he would leave a stronger EITI-Colombia with a clear strategy for addressing the challenges of the Colombian oil, gas and mining sector.
More pictures of the meeting can be found here.