Azerbaijan was accepted as EITI Compliant - the first country to have passed an EITI Validation, the EITI quality assurance mechanism to assess whether the country has met the requirements in the EITI standard; Tanzania became the 26th EITI Candidate country (with Norway, as the first OECD country to implement the EITI,
The 4th EITI Global Conference in Doha, Qatar, on 16-18 February marked an historic moment for the EITI, with over 500 participants from 80 countries, 70 speakers, and with countless meetings taking place on the sidelines. The Conference marked the EITI's transformation from a start-up initiative to a global transparency standard. Furthermore, Azerbaijan has become the first country to achieve Compliant status.
At the EITI Conference in Doha, the winners of the EITI Chairman's Awards 2009 were announced. The recipients of the 2009 Awards have all shown leadership in establishing resource transparency since the last EITI Conference. They were presented on Tuesday, 16 February at the EITI Chairman's Awards Dinner sponsored by ExxonMobil and Total. The winners were multi-stakeholder groups in Liberia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.
The 4th EITI Global Conference ended on a high note with a large number of new endorsements and commitments. During the final session of the EITI conference all stakeholders were invited to address the assembly. A number of EITI candidate countries re-affirmed their commitment to implementing the EITI. H.E. Samir Sharifov, Minister of Finance Azerbaijan,the first EITI Compliant country, stated that "we are ready to share our experiences and expertise with other countries."
This morning's plenary session was opened by H.E. Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, Deputy Prime Minster and Minster of Energy and Industry, State of Qatar. His Excellency stated Qatar's belief that promoting transparency in the extractives industry is of paramount importance in ensuring that natural resources wealth is translated into economic and social development for resource-rich countries. He assured the session of Qatar's strong support for the EITI.
The first day of the EITI conference got off to a busy start with nearly 400 participants in attendance. During the 7th EITI International Board meeting held, the Board discussed whether to accept Azerbaijan as the first EITI Compliant country and the approval of Tanzania as a Candidate country.
The EITI Board agreed to admit Tanzania as an EITI Candidate country.
This morning the 4th EITI Global Conference is set to begin. Participants have been arriving from several dozen countries, companies and civil society organisations. Several sessions will be taking place today, led by many of our partners including Revenue Watch Institute, Publish What You Pay, the Norwegian and German governments and Oxfam America with the Integrated Social Development Centre (Ghana).
President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf launched Liberia's first EITI Report covering the period 1 July 2007 - 30 June 2008 on 9 February. Liberia becomes the 11th EITI reporting country and the first to include forestry in their report. In her launch statement, the President referred to the efforts to pass a LEITI Act to oblige all relevant parties to comply with EITI reporting requirements. In attendance was the whole LEITI multi-stakeholder committee, several Cabinet Ministers, and the US Ambassador.
The 11 February Norway was accepted as an EITI Candidate, and became the 25th EITI implementing country. Norway, the world's third largest oil exporter, is the first OECD country to implement the EITI. When applying for candidate status Terje Riis-Johansen, Norwegian Minister of Oil and Energy, said "By now moving from supporting the EITI to also implementing it, we hope to contribute towards the EITI becoming the globally recognised transparency standard for the extractive industry."
The EITI's stakeholders are invited to the Constitution Meeting of the EITI Association. The meeting will take place at the Ritz-Carlton, Doha, 16 February 2009 at 15:30. The purpose of the meeting is to constitute the EITI Association, a non-profit association organised under Norwegian law.[5 Feb: Documents updated]
The meeting will be chaired by the Chair of the outgoing EITI Board, Peter Eigen. French and Russian translations of this invitation will be available on Monday 9 Feb.