US lawmakers name EITI as model for addressing resource revenue challenges

<p>The US Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (US Helsinki Commission) said 22 April that the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) is a model for addressing the challenges seen when governments receive a windfall of revenue from their resources but fail to pass that benefit to their citizens. At the Commission’s hearing 22 April the link between revenue transparency and human rights was explored.</p> <p>Senator Benjamin Lugar Cardin (D-MD), the Chairman of the Commission said that "the transparency initiative (the EITI) has brought us much progress in terms of creating a global standard for transparency”. He further reminded the Commission that revenue transparency is one of several steps that are needed in order to reduce corruption and improve governance.</p> <p>Co-Chairman Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) said that "A lack of transparency within governments and the energy sector poses a threat to the ability of governments to properly manage revenue for their citizens."</p> <p>The following testified at the hearing: Daniel Baer, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor; Max Bokayev, Chairman of the Kazakhstan-based NGO Arlan; Ian Gary, Senior Policy Advisor for Extractive Industries at Oxfam America; and Anthony Richter, Chairman of the Governing Board of the Revenue Watch Institute and Member of the EITI Board. Transcripts can be <a href="http://csce.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=ContentRecords.ViewDetail&amp;Conte... on the CSCE website</a>.</p> <p>The hearing was originally scheduled to be held May 2009, when&nbsp;Jonas Moberg, Head of the EITI Secretariat, <a href="/files/Jonas%20Moberg%20EITI%20-%20CSCE%20Testimony.pdf">prepared a statement, available here</a>.</p> <p>15 April the Commission held a briefing&nbsp;with&nbsp;Dr Saleem Ali, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies at University of Vermont, and Ms Karin Lissakers, Director of Revenue Watch Institute. Transcripts from this briefing are also <a href="http://csce.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=ContentRecords.ViewDetail&amp;Conte... on the CSCE website</a>.</p>
<p>Earlier this year, the Helsinki Committee launched this short video about energy transparency and the EITI:
</p>

<object width="620" height="373"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/CvZZ5uQ42Co&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/CvZZ5uQ42Co&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="620" height="373"></embed></object>