2019 EITI Global Conference reinforces progress, actions and commitments to extractives transparency.
The EITI Global Conference is the extractive industries’ premier forum for bringing together representatives from governments, companies, civil society and other stakeholders to tackle the governance challenges facing resource-rich states.
The 2019 Global Conference marked a critical juncture in the EITI’s evolution, with the adoption of the 2019 Standard and new disclosure requirements around gender and environment. The way in which disclosures are carried out is changing too, as EITI countries are increasingly embracing open data as the norm to advance mainstreaming. More openness and better access to data helps build trust between stakeholders.
The Conference also provides an important platform for stakeholders to share public commitments in extractives transparency on a range of issues, from policy to funding. Making commitments and pledges in front of fellow stakeholders encourages progress and accountability.
This year’s EITI Global Conference featured a stakeholder forum, where over 30 ministers and industry leaders presented concrete actions and commitments to strengthen governance and deliver inclusive development across the 52 EITI implementing countries in line with the provisions of the 2019 EITI Standard.
Requirement 2.5 in the EITI Standard requires that by 2020, all EITI countries have to ensure that companies that apply for or hold a participating interest in an oil, gas or mining license or contract in their country disclose their beneficial owners.
- Nigeria and Senegal are in the process of developing beneficial ownership registers.
- Kyrgyz Republic and Mongolia shared progress on adopting laws making beneficial ownership disclosure in the mining sector mandatory.
- Sierra Leone announced plans to have a draft beneficial ownership legislation in place by the end of 2019.
- United Kingdom is making progress on their creation of a beneficial ownership transparency leadership group
- Philippines plans to implement their recently adopted requirement for companies to annually file their beneficial owners to the government by the end of 2019.
- Burkina Faso announced the government’s intention to work closely with companies and civil society in order to move forward in implementing beneficial ownership transparency.
Requirement 2.4 in the EITI Standard requires that by 2021, all EITI countries must publish new contracts in the oil, gas and mining sector.
- The governments of Guyana and Tanzania committed to publish oil, gas and mining contracts.
- Côte d’Ivoire made a time bound commitment to publish contracts and produce sharing agreements before its Validation in November 2019.
- The Republic of the Congo committed to publishing forestry and oil contracts, as well as audited costs for oil and gas projects.
Ensuring transparency in state owned enterprises
The IMF estimates that some 80 percent of world petroleum reserves are controlled by state companies and 15 of the 20 largest oil companies are state-owned. Requirement 2.6 in the EITI Standard requires countries to disclose information on their state-owned enterprises.
- Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) committed to develop a corporate disclosure policy
- Iraq’s North Oil Company (NOC) shared the government’s progress with systematically disclosing EITI data by publishing SOEs’ audited financial statements and annual reports.
Mainstreaming and reforms
The EITI Board agreed in 2018 that all implementing countries are expected to develop a costed work plan for 2019 and onwards that includes steps to mainstream EITI implementation in company and government systems within 3-5 years, with the scope to seek a longer transitional period where needed.
- Argentina shared their commitment to mainstream the EITI from the start of their implementation.
- Sierra Leone committed to using data disclosed by the EITI to reform the country’s regulatory frameworks and tax administration.
- Senegal committed to establishing an open data petroleum portal using EITI data.
The 2019 EITI Standard requires MSGs to consider gender balance in representation under Requirement 1.4. EITI countries should provide employment figures by project, role and gender where available under Requirement 6.3. MSGs should consider information access challenges by gender and sub-groups under Requirement 7.1 and are encouraged to document efforts to improve gender equality and social inclusion in EITI implementation under Requirement 7.4.
- Armenia committed to disclosing gender-disaggregated employment data for the mining sector, look into how companies can improve women’s representation in their workforce, and how companies can improve social inclusiveness in their social and economic expenditures.
- BHP shared their efforts to implement a set of policies to promote equality, including seeking to attract talented women into the industry, focusing on flexible work arrangements, and closing the gender pay gap.
- Rio Tinto pledged to improve diversity through increasing women in senior management, increasing their graduate intake of women, and continuing to take action on important issues such as Family and Domestic Violence.
- Canada pledged to continue supporting women and women’s rights organizations in EITI countries to facilitate their meaningful participation in natural resource governance.
- The Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) pledged to incorporate a gender lens into its work, including proactively finding ways to address barriers to participation in training courses and promoting effective use of data.
Joining the EITI
The EITI’s global reach was extended at the conference when four countries made commitments on joining.
- Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Tunisia and Zimbabwe are considering making an application to join the EITI.
Support and resources for extractives transparency
Several EITI supporting countries and one implementing country committed funds at the conference
- France committed to provide a EUR 5 million contribution to the World Bank’s Extractives Global Programmatic Support (EGPS) Multi-Donor Trust Fundfor EITI implementation.
- Denmark committed multi-year financial support to the EITI.
- Madagascar committed funding to support EITI implementation.