Dear friends of the EITI,
As the year draws to an end, I find myself recalling my thoughts of 2009. In July 2009, I wrote that “much of the praise [of EITI] has been premature. The EITI is still young. As countries approach validation… we are for the first time getting a clear picture of how the relationship between transparency, multi-stakeholderism and development works”. In my new year message of 2009, I promised an explosion of validation activity in 2010. I am pleased that it has come to pass.
- 18 countries have completed EITI Validation. 5 countries have become EITI Compliant;
- 23 countries have now produced EITI reconciliation reports. Almost half a billion people have access to information on revenues from their country’s natural resource sector;
- Afghanistan, Indonesia, Iraq, and Togo, joined the EITI. Collectively, this represents 325 million more persons living in EITI countries.
At our Global Conference in Paris in March, many of us will meet to discuss our experiences, including how the EITI
- builds trust and dialogue,
- improves governance,
- helps governments to manage and enhance growth and development,
- contributes to empowering civil society and communities, and
- attracts business and improves the business climate.
It is more and more clear to me that a culture of transparency and accountability is taking root in EITI implementing countries. But you do not want to hear these lessons from me. Register to come to Paris at www.eitiparis.org and hear this from heads of implementing countries, from CEOs, from civil society leaders, from government officials, and from the affected citizens and community members themselves.
1000s of you are involved in activist groups, companies, implementing and supporting government, research, media, legislation, technical assistance, reconciliation, validation, communication, to help achieve these results and I applaud you for your work this year. And you all know as well as me that much more remains to be done. 2011 will need once more to be a busy year, with three key highlights:
- There will of course be the Global Conference in March at which we expect around 800 participants, several Heads of State. A new Board and Chair will be elected with new ideas and priorities.
- 2011 will also see many more EITI Validations. We expect the number of Compliant countries at least double, and we look forward to the recommendations of the various Validation reports being implemented. Becoming EITI Compliant is not a sign of that the job is done. But it is a platform for transparency and accountability and wider reform.
- Building on the lessons emerging from the Validation process, 2011 will see a refinement of the EITI’s rules to ensure that there are incentives for countries to strive for continued improvement.
As I said in the last newsletter; the EITI is still young but it is an established global standard – young enough to learn lessons, strong enough to evolve and improve, important enough to have impact. Wherever you are, the EITI International Secretariat and I wish you all a happy new year. We look forward to working with you all in 2011.
Peter Eigen, EITI Chair