Armenia: Winner of the 2019 EITI Chair Awards – EITI Paris Conference

EITI Armenia

The EITI Chair’s Awards recognize countries that have shown leadership, determination and resourcefulness in implementing the EITI.

Chair of the EITI, Fredrik Reinfeldt, announced the winners of the 2019 EITI Chair’s Award at the opening session of the EITI Global Conference in Paris on 18 June.

The three winners in 2019 were: Armenia, Colombia and Zambia

“A newcomer to the EITI that has begun with innovation and high pace. By fostering cooperation between government, businesses, and civil society, the EITI has helped to introduce a new culture of multi-stakeholder dialogue on natural resource governance. Following the path of systematic disclosures, Armenia EITI has established an e-reporting platform, which also serves as a data portal”

Our 52 countries are the heart and hands – implementing the Standard, enacting reforms and changing the governance landscape for the better. Credit to Zambia , Armenia Germany and more! With this words chair of EITI continued to empower the brilliant job of EITI Armenia team.

Meanwhile, Lilya Shushanyan, Deputy Minister Territorial Administration and Development of Armenia stressed “Our government estimates that the risks of hiding information are more dangerous than opening up and allowing an inclusive dialogue. This is to the benefit of all.”

 

In Paris, lot of commitments, standards, challenges were announced focusing on Open Data, Build Trust, Transparency, Good Governance and Equality.

Also note that EITI government network on contract transparency was launched at the EITI Global Conference in Paris. Many countries including Armenia have joined the network. This coincided with the EITI Board’s ratification of the 2019 EITI Standard which now requires that contracts entered into or amended from 1 January 2021 should be published. The network aims to champion contract transparency globally and nationally, share best practices on contract disclosures, and explore solutions to challenges.  At the group’s first meeting at the sidelines of the conference, members of the network discussed the issues that they intend to prioritise.

  • Securing political commitment
  • Adopting a legal framework
  • Understanding contracts
  • Means of disclosure

The shift in the discourse in recent years from “whether or not to publish” to “what and how to publish” contracts is a major win for advocates of transparency in the extractive sector. The 2019 EITI Standard could very well provide the impetus for the national reforms that are needed for full contract disclosure to become a global norm.

 

Conference talked also the Civil Society future key role “Citizens often feel distant from centres of power and decision making. EITI multi-stakeholder groups offer citizens an opportunity to sit down as equal partners with governments and companies to ask the tough questions.”

The EITI is blazing a transparency trail: “The new requirement for contracts to be published from 2021 is a game changer. Contracts include the legal and fiscal terms for projects – without this it is difficult to analyze from oil, gas and mining projects. The more transparent your company or country is, the more investors will be interested – EITI is changing the business paradigm by requiring tax revenues, contracts and ownership information be made public.” Elisa Peter (Executive Director, Publish What You Pay) added: “EITI is pivotal in changing the rules of the game for transparency. Contract disclosures are an important tool to fight corruption and bribery. I want to underscore EITI’s progress in disclosing contracts – 1600 contracts now accessible to public!”

 

Today, the biggest challenge in Armenia is to go forward into a sustainable future of extractive industry by implementing all the new standards, principle, decisions and norms emanated from 2019 EITI Global Conference; the impact of mining industries is often a focal point of public concern and potential source of conflict. It’s also a time to build a strong coalition to insure proper representation and to reinforce the importance of multi-stakeholder dialogue and openness in addressing these challenges.