EITI Armenia: From Publishing the 1st Report to Contribution on Public Debate

EITI Report 2019 Photo1

The Republic of Armenia publishes the first National EITI Report of Armenia, which represents the metal mining sector in Armenia in 2016-2017. The report was compiled by Ernst & Young CJSC, the Independent Administrator, and approved by the EITI MSG of Armenia.

Armenia on February publicized its first EITI national Report. It is one of the most important results of activities toward the implementation of the EITI Standard. This achievement was preceded by capacity building activities, sector-related studies, legislative amendments, etc.

The EITI National Report is aimed at providing comprehensive information about the sector in one place, enabling stakeholders to use it for conducting analysis, initiating debates on key issues and embarking on reforms.

Mining sector is an important contributor to the national economy of Armenia. The country’s mineral resources include iron, copper, molybdenum, lead, zinc, gold and silver. According to the World Bank, exports of these resources have brought in an estimated USD 500 million annually over the past five years, making mining a leading sector in terms of exports and foreign currency inflows. Mining sector contributed 3.2% to country’s GDP in 2017.

After publishing the report, EITI Armenia is stimulating public debate and shedding light on very important facts and figures in Armenian mining sector; in this stage many workshops, conferences and meeting are done and others are scheduled to sensitize stakeholders on the importance of EITI reporting mechanisms, methodology and processes also to focus on findings, results and action of the published report.

EITI Armenia Report will continue to play an important role in analyzing and communicating the data to the wider public in Armenia; On this stage, Civil Society have a huge responsibilities on their shoulders to be active participants and through accountability and constructive interactions and debates to realize a different Armenia and to ensure that the past is not reproduced in the mining sector.

EITI - Armenia Mining industry contribution to GDP

About EITI:

The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) is the global standard to promote the open and accountable management of oil, gas and mineral resources.

Guided by the belief that a country’s natural resources belong to its citizens, the EITI has established a global standard to promote the open and accountable management of oil, gas and mineral resources. The EITI Standard requires the disclosure of information along the extractive industry value chain from the point of extraction, to how revenues make their way through the government, and how they benefit the public. By doing so, the EITI seeks to strengthen public and corporate governance, promote understanding of natural resource management, and provide the data to inform reforms for greater transparency and accountability in the extractives sector. In each of the 51 implementing countries, the EITI is supported by a coalition of government, companies, and civil society.

Civil Society Rights and the Extractive Industries:

People’s rights to organize, speak out and take action are being extensively violated in a large number of member countries of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). The CIVICUS Monitor, a new online tool to track and compare civic freedoms on a global scale, shows that the space for civil society – civic space – is currently seriously restricted in 38 of 51 EITI countries, as of May 2017.

Civil society organizations (CSOs) and human rights defenders in most EITI member countries face serious obstacles, including threats to their personal safety, denial of the right to protest, surveillance and censorship, as a direct result of their nonviolent activism. The fact that civil society’s fundamental rights are seriously violated in so many EITI countries is alarming, given that the EITI seeks to promote “accountability by government to all citizens” and explicitly recognizes the “important and relevant contributions” of non-governmental organizations.  The level of restrictions revealed by this report presents a direct challenge to the viability of the EITI and raises serious questions about member states that are routinely failing to protect CSOs and in many cases treating them as adversaries.

The EITI should recognize the threat the violations documented in this report offer to its credibility and viability as an international multi-stakeholder initiative. It should respond by taking increased steps to ensure that the protection of CSOs and activists becomes a priority in all its member countries.

Armenian New Cabinet Commitments:

While Armenia’s commitment to the EITI has been strong since it joined in 2017, Nikol  Pashinyan administration has given further impetus and support to the multi-stakeholder group (MSG), viewed as the first platform to convene government, companies and civil society stakeholders to discuss the management of the mining sector. Producing the first EITI Report allowed the different stakeholders to become informed of each other’s concerns and priorities. The establishment of an e-reporting platform, which also serves as a data portal, was an important stepping stone towards facilitating collaboration. The portal not only lessened the reporting burden for companies, but also provided information to civil society in open data formats. MSG members can monitor the status of company and government data submissions to the e-reporting portal, allowing them to raise reporting issues in a timelier manner at MSG meetings.

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