After EITI – Paris 2019, Time to Move Forward!

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“Worldwide, trust in government is under strain. A perceived lack of progress in tackling corruption, tax evasion and illicit financial flows are contributing to the rise of populism and economic nationalism. The impact of the oil, gas and mining industries is often a focal point of public concern and potential source of conflict. As a high-level forum on extractives governance, the EITI Global Conference provides a unique opportunity to reinforce the importance of multi-stakeholder dialogue and openness in addressing these challenges.”

The conference will provide an opportunity for heads of state, civil society activists and industry leaders to discuss emerging trends and best practices in the good governance of natural resources. It will address the use of multi-stakeholder approaches to governance in a polarized world, and examine the role of the EITI in the good management of the extractives sector, notably in growing domestic resources, tackling corruption, increasing investment and enabling civic space.  The themes of beneficial ownership transparency, strengthening government systems through the EITI and scaling up the use of data generated by the EITI will feature centrally in the program.

It’s obvious through the EITI, civil society can play a key role in extractives transparency.

In Armenia, NGOs, Civil Society, Media Representatives and Experts should react promptly to build a strong coalition for good governance in Extractive Industry. The importance of the coalition is to ensure the transparency, highlighting the roles of government officials, private sector companies and citizens to guarantee progress and sustainability.

The EITI guide draws on the insight of PWYP members around the world to provide civil society groups with the necessary tools to play their role effectively; meantime PWYP coalition is a movement of civil society organizations who work towards improving transparency and accountability in the management of natural resources. From this point on and since Armenia starting January 1st, 2020 is going forward to ensure the disclosure of beneficial owners of the extractive companies we urge all concerned parties to make an extra effort to build a strong coalition in Armenia. Civil society involvement at this point is crucial. EITI implementation will be more efficient in the presence of an effective coalition around the mining sector in Armenia.

We believe these will be essential steps to ensuring that extractive sector revenues are a source of development and prosperity for all citizens of resource-rich countries around the world and especialy in Armenia. The intervention of the PWYP to build a powerful coalition can have a positive impact for the future of the country knowing that the new PWYP guide outlines how to leverage the transparency initiative and strengthen the participation of civil society. The civil society plays a fundamental role in ensuring the accountability of the use of public revenues, including revenues sourced from natural resources that should benefit citizens and reduce poverty.

To achieve the goal, civil society in Armenia needs a multilateral cooperation more than ever and also the involvement of the NRGI is required to help the country to manage their natural resources for the public good by leveraging the expertise working with civil society, parliaments, governments, the private sector, media and other partners. Through their technical and support, NRGI can empower Armenian civil society to play a critical role in policy reform. NRGI can easily support the coalition that aimed to translate grassroots demands into national-level advocacy campaigns. NRGI can facilitate various executive courses and training opportunities that enabled participating different parties to develop strategies for improving the transparency and good governance in mining sector. Through comprehensive, multi-stakeholder discussions and trainings, Armenian civil society can develop an understanding of EITI’s core resource governance concerns and how these concerns overlap with their own extractives work. NRGI should be the bridge of the civil society actors with global partners fostering exchanges that helped all sides expands their knowledge base.

“Natural resources, such as oil, gas, metals and minerals, belong to a country’s citizens. Extraction of these resources can lead to economic growth and social development. However, when poorly managed it has too often lead to corruption and even conflict. More openness around how a country manages its natural resource wealth is necessary to ensure that these resources can benefit all citizens.” EITI – Natural Resources

With this being said, it is clear that both PWYP and NRGI should play a constructive role in empowering the Civil Society coalition in Armenia knowing their impact and potential in forming a sustainable and transparent body that can ensure good governance in mining sector. Develop Armenia is fully committed to do all necessary efforts with the concerned stakeholders in order to ensure full implementation of EITI Standards for the best of future generations.