WASHINGTON DC AND OSLO, 13 APRIL 2008. The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), the global coalition for transparency in the extractive industries, supports the World Bank’s effort to extend transparency in this sector beyond revenues through its new extractive industries initiative.
At a joint press conference during the 2008 Spring Meeting of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington, Peter Eigen expressed his enthusiastic support to this proposal to put the spotlight on the entire chain of managing natural resources -- from awarding contracts, monitoring operations to collecting taxes, to improving resource extraction and economic management decisions, and spending resources effectively for sustainable growth and poverty reduction.
“The EITI affects a narrow but focused segment of this chain but its product, credible information about the payments to governments from the sector, should be the centerpiece from where the more a comprehensive approach can start. It is important to protect the integrity of the EITI, including its essential multi-stakeholder governance, as a critical building block in the EITI ++ approach.”
“The EITI is ready to participate in further discussions about the practical implementation of this new initiative, from which I will seek a mandate from the EITI Board. There may be a need to consider an alternative name to the EITI ++ that would avoid giving the impression that the EITI is a minor version of the more integrated approach proposed by the World Bank.”
Peter Eigen added that at various stages of the resource extraction cycle the various constituencies have different and sometimes conflicting interests. Strong leadership would therefore be needed to establish a coherent, overarching approach. Civil society played a key role in shaping the EITI and should play the same role in the governance of this new initiative.
He congratulated the World Bank for this important initiative and committed full engagement of EITI to make this compressive approach to a dynamic natural resources sector a success, as supporting the vision expressed by Robert B. Zoellick to build an "inclusive and sustainable globalization".
NOTES TO EDITORS:
1. Media enquiries, further questions, can be addressed to Jonas Moberg, +47 9581 7762 or Anders Tunold Kråkenes, +47 4666 2888. Jonas Moberg is now in Washington DC.
2. Other enquiries can be addressed to the EITI International Secretariat on +47 2224 2105 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. The EITI is a coalition of governments, companies, civil society groups, investors and international organisations. All these constituencies are represented on the Board, which is chaired by the founder of Transparency International, Peter Eigen. The EITI Secretariat is hosted by the Norwegian Government in Oslo and was formally opened on 26th September 2007.
4. 3.5 billion people live in countries rich in oil, gas and minerals. With good governance the exploitation of these resources can generate large revenues to foster growth and reduce poverty. However when governance is weak, it may result in poverty, corruption, and conflict. The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) aims to strengthen governance by improving transparency and accountability in the extractives sector. The EITI sets a global standard for companies to publish what they pay and for governments to disclose what they receive.
5. This press release and other EITI publications such as the EITI Validation Guide are available on the EITI website at www.eitransparency.org. If you would like EITI press releases and other important EITI updates to be sent to you automatically by email, you can subscribe to this service on the website.