US Senator Lugar: "More can be done to prevent abuses from oil wealth"

[img_assist|nid=511|title=|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=157|height=200]The United States and the international community must do more to prevent mismanagement and corruption in developing countries newly enriched by oil export revenues, according to a new Senate Foreign Relations Committee staff report.

The report, entitled "The Petroleum and Poverty Paradox: Assessing U.S. and International Community Efforts to Fight the Resource Curse," was prepared by Lugar's committee staff based on on-site inspections to a number of oil-producing countries in Africa, Asia and elsewhere. The findings include that a key tool to fight the so-called "resource curse" is more disclosure, or transparency, of the fees and royalties paid by international oil companies to the governments of developing countries. 

The report makes a number of recommendations for the new administration, including that the U.S. make combating the resource curse a high-profile issue in diplomacy and foreign policy. It recommends that the industrial G-8 countries do more to encourage their corporations and financial institutions to promote disclosure and accountability in oil exporting nations, and that the World Bank and other aid donors make anti-corruption and fiscal management programs a key part of their lending to oil producingnations.

The findings of this report was the subject for a panel discussion and reception at SAIS in Washington DC 20 November. The panel was moderated by Ian Gary from Oxfam America included two senior Senate staffers and Prof. Peter Lewis, the director of the African Studies program at Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies. Over 75 people attended the discussion, including the U.S. State Department representative to EITI and corporate representatives from Shell and the American Petroleum Institute. Oxfam America has published a report from this event, which is available here.

The full press release from the launch of the report can be read on Senator Lugar's website. The report itself is available in TEXT (59K) or PDF (3.2M) format.