International engagement with EITI
Switzerland is an EITI supporting country and provides funding for the EITI International Secretariat. Between July 2012 and July 2014, Switzerland represented a sub-constituency of supporting European governments in the EITI Board and actively participated in governing the Initiative including, among others, framing and shaping the "EITI Standard". In 2015, Switzerland hosted an EITI Board meeting. From January 2018, Switzerland will represent the sub-constituency of European governments in the EITI Board for the second time since joining the EITI as a supporting country.
Support to EITI implementing countries
In addition to supporting the EITI and the EITI-related EITI MDTF, Switzerland has been supporting governance efforts in natural resources for many years. The following is a list of the most important initiatives supported by Switzerland:
Since 2009, Switzerland has supported the World Bank’s Extractive Industries technical Advisory Facility (EI-TAF). The objective of EI-TAF was to assist resource-rich, developing countries to structure extractive industry transactions correctly and related sector policies from the outset, thus reducing the risk of costly or politically difficult remediation at a later stage.
Since 2015, Switzerland supports the World Bank’s Extractives Global Programmatic Support MDTF (EGPS MDTF). The EGPS MDTF merged the EITI MDTF and the EI-TAF. The objective of the EGPS MDTF is to improve the ability and capacity of current and emerging resource-rich developing countries in using their oil, gas and mineral resources sustainably and transparently for poverty alleviation, inclusiveness economic diversification, and sustainable economic growth.
In 2016, Switzerland contributed funding to support EITI commodity trading pilots in selected countries. The objective of the pilots is to help EITI implementing countries with significant commodity trading activities to deal with EITI requirements related to disclosure on such transactions.
Since 2009, Switzerland supports the IMF’s Topical Trust Fund on Managing Natural Resources Wealth (TTF MNRW). The trust fund helps build macroeconomic policy capacities so that countries can avoid the resource curse. It will assist countries to get a fair share of their natural resource wealth, and invest and spend it wisely. It will also help create a stable macroeconomic environment for exploration and exploitation of natural resources, so that access to those resources becomes more secure, as well as more socially responsible, generating a substantial benefit to the world community.”
Since 2012, Switzerland contributes to the elaboration of the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict- Affected and High-Risk Areas.
In 2013, Switzerland launched the Better Gold Initiative aimed to establish a value chain for the fair and sustainable extraction and trading of gold from artisanal, small- and medium-scale mines and thereby to increase the share of “responsible gold” in the market.
In 2013, Switzerland also chaired the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, a multi-stakeholder initiative (civil society, members of the extractive industry – oil, mine and gas - States) aimed at contributing to the prevention of human rights violations by public and private security forces protecting extractive industries’ operations. Under the Swiss chair, a Strategy 2013-2016 was adopted.
In 2014, Switzerland started a collaboration with the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) to support its regional Eurasia hub in Baku. The objective of the support is to equip civil society representatives, parliamentarians, journalists and government officials from the Eurasian region with the knowledge and skills necessary to oversee and ensure better government performance in the management of the extractive industry in their countries.
In addition, Switzerland has in recent years actively taken part in multi-stakeholder processes for drafting and implementing numerous voluntary private standards to promote sustainable production and processing methods. This encompassed various non-extractive natural resources and commodities, including coffee (4C), cotton (Better Cotton Initiative – BCI), soy beans (Roundtable on Responsible Soy – RTRS), biofuels (Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels – RSB), and palm oil (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil –RSPO).
Bilaterally Switzerland has been particularly active in Peru and Ghana. In Peru, Switzerland has provided a well-timed, tailor-made support for passing EITI validation. Consequently, Peru was awarded the "EITI compliant" status in February 2012, becoming the first such country on the American continent. In Ghana, Switzerland supports activities to strengthen the role of Parliament and journalists in the oversight of the revenues arising from the extractive sector since 2013 as part of a wider programme to support internal revenue generation. This includes the development of a Ghana EITI bill, which enshrines the EITI principle in national legislation.
Financial contribution to the international EITI
Between 2009 and 2017 Switzerland has contributed:
- around USD 1,000,000 for the EITI International Secretariat
- USD 1,500,000 for the EITI Multi-donor Trust Fund (EITI MDTF)
- USD 1,200,000 for the World Bank’s Extractive Industries technical Advisory Facility (EI-TAF).
- USD 2,000,000 for the Extractives Global Progammatic Support Multi-donor Trust Fund (EGPS MDTF)
More information on Switzerland’s specific engagements:
- EITI (Factsheet)
- EGPS MDTF (Factsheet)
- IMF TTF MNRW (Factsheet)
- Better Gold Initiative (Factsheet)
- NRGI Eurasia Hub (Factsheet)
- Domestic Revenue Mobilization Ghana (Factsheet)
Switzerland has a strong interest in supporting the sustainable development of the extractive industry, which includes robust oversight and legal frameworks in Switzerland as well as in resource-rich countries that are able to cope with the challenges that come with natural resource extraction. For Switzerland, the work of the EITI is an important pillar to counter risks in extracting countries and to avert the resource curse.