06 Nov EITI Board Meeting and the International Conference on Beneficial Ownership Disclosure – Dakar, Senegal
The 41st EITI Board meeting and the International Conference on Beneficial Ownership Disclosure (Disclosure of information on the Real Owners of Extractive Companies), organized by the EITI International Secretariat based in Oslo, took place in Dakar, Senegal on 31st October – 2nd November 2018, with the support of the Governments of the UK, France, Senegal and Denmark.
EITI Albania, represented by the Head of the Secretariat, Mr. Ardit Kamberi, was also invited to attend these important events.
The Conference was attended by more than 200 representatives from over 30 countries and National Secretariats, 3 Heads of State, high-level government officials from Switzerland, Netherlands, Norway, the US State Department, Ministers and senior representatives from 24 African countries, World Bank, International Financial Institutions, as well as representatives of the largest companies in the extractive industries and energy sectors such as: BP, Chevron, Royal Duch Shell, Rio Tinto, Total, Cooper& Gold Inc., Nordea Group, civil society organizations, academics and researchers, media etc.
The conference, with a deep focus on the international process regarding the Disclosure of data on Beneficial Ownership in the Extractive Industry, served as a broad platform to discuss and elaborate globally coordinated actions and policies which aim at the finalization within 2020 of all processes related to the collection, publication, verification and use of Beneficial Ownership information, in compliance with the terms agreed by the EITI member countries.
It is has been estimated that developing countries lose about USD 1 trillion each year due to the lack of transparency in natural resource governance. It has been also noted that around 81 countries with the most high-value natural resources are at the same time categorized as the poorest as a result of mismanagement of these resources, corruption, tax evasion, illegal financial transfers, money laundering, etc. These illicit financial flows often turn into a source of funding for criminal and terrorist organizations in many parts of the world.
The participants at the Conference emphasized in their speeches the fact that the real owners of the natural resources are the citizens of these countries; and that BO disclosure can help improve the investment climate, increase trust and accountability, enhance revenue collection, and also has positive social and environmental impacts.
The EITI International Board discussed in its 41st meeting topics such as Progress Report Implementation and Achievements, Reporting on Commodity Trading with State-Owned Companies; EITI Validation process in some member countries; Work Plan for 2019, Preparations for the EITI Global Conference 2019, scheduled to take place around June in Paris; as well as the formalization of the new Executive Director of the EITI International Secretariat, Mr.Mark Robinson.
During the Conference proceedings, the Head of the National EITI Secretariat, Mr. Kamberi held numerous meetings, including those with Mr. Robinson, the new Executive Director of the EITI; Mr.Fredrik Reinfeldt, the Chairman of the EITI Board; Mr.Eddie Rich, the Director-General of the EITI International Secretariat, EITI Board Members, Ms. Oliana Valigura, Country Manager at the EITI International Secretariat, as well as several other high-level government officials, representatives of international organizations and the World Bank; during these meetings Albania was praised for its active involvement in the EITI process.
The Head of the Secretariat highlighted the Albanian Government’s commitment to ensure Transparency as one of the key factors contributing to the strengthening and good governance of the mining, oil and hydropower sectors, and promotion of an attractive and healthy business climate for foreign investments in these sectors.
The EITI Albania has focused on Beneficial Ownership Disclosure as a central part of its activity, by incorporating international standards in the drafting and finalization of the legislation regarding Transparency in Extractive Industries, and the preparation of the Public Register on Beneficial Ownership, in coordination with several institutions of the same spectrum.
Albania has already published its Beneficial Ownership Roadmap, with the aim of shifting from political engagement to concrete actions. Data collection and publication processes have already been completed and we are now transitioning to the phase of real use of data which should be characterized by: Validity, Credibility, Accessibility and Coherence, to promote public debate, use and interest in these data.