The 35th EITI Board Meeting, hosted by the Government of Kazakhstan, gathered together over eighty members and observers. The Board discussed implementation progress in the fifty-one member countries. Amongst the main topics discussed, the members highlighted progress on the roadmap to disclose beneficial ownership, targeted efforts on commodity trading, mainstreaming and project-level reporting. According to the EITI Standard, all implementing countries are required to publish their roadmaps by 1st January 2017.
The Board members acknowledged the complexity of the beneficial ownership requirement and that countries will need more support, not only technical support, but also political support for legal reforms in the implementing countries.
The Board discussed the situation in Ukraine. Ukraine submitted an implementation request to exclude reporting in the eastern part of the country that is under administrative control of the government. The Board accepted this request to adapt the implementation process.
Particular attention was directed to the validation process for Azerbaijan. The Board discussed the outcomes of the validation report for Azerbaijan and took into consideration recent positive changes outlined by local civil society groups engaged in the EITI. The changes taken by the government include lifting delays on the registration of NGOs, lifting freezes on NGO bank accounts and announcing a simplification of the rules for receiving grants from international donors. The discussion was wide-ranging and was carried over to the next day.
The Validation calendar for 2017 was approved, with seventeen Validations scheduled.