On July 1-2, 2014, the 27th meeting of International Board of Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative was held in Mexico city. The coordinator of EITI NGO Coalition Gubad Ibadoglu, participated in this meeting as a civil society representative from Eurasia region. According to the information given by Gubad Ibadoglu, there were two separate hearings dedicated to Democratic Republic of Congo and Mexico with participation of governmental and parliamentary representatives of these countries. After several discussions, the Democratic Republic of Congo and New Guinea successfully passed validation process and both countries were granted full EITI membership . Furthermore, Myanmar was accepted as a candidate country to EITI. Thus, the number of EITI member countries reached 45 with 29 of them being full members, and 16 candidate members. Based on the latest information, the EITI reports disclosed information on revenues in $1 billion 310 million in 34 countries.
Case of Azerbaijan was also discussed during 27th Board meeting. Azerbaijan joined EITI as a pilot country in 2003 and became the first validated country in 2009. Although the country was considered EITI pioneer for number of achievement before, not the EITI has stepped to different development stage. Thus developed countries such as Australia, Mexico, Canada, United Kingdom, France and Germany are in negotiations with International Secretariat of EITI in order to join this transparency initiative. The United States of America jointed to EITI as a candidate member country during the last meeting organized in Oslo on March 18-19, 2014. So EITI has become more competitive, and after new requirements and standards are being developed.
According to the information of Gubad Ibadoglu, as the result of discussions on situation of civil society in Azerbaijan and recent worsening of enabling environment for CSO work in this country, it was decided to send low key delegation, including representatives from the Secretariat ideally assisted by an independent third party and initiate assessment of current state of civil society’s engagement with EITI process. The delegation will issue a special report on Azerbaijan based on the evaluations and this report discussed at the next meeting of the Board.
Gubad Ibadoglu was also invited to be part of workshop in Mexico as a trainer organized for civil society representatives from Latin America region on July 3-4. Civil society leaders from Mexico, Columbia, Bolivia, Honduras and Guatemala countries will take part in this workshop. Gubad Ibadoglu’s presentation was mainly focused on diverse forms of involvement of civil society to EITI and possible challenges in this process. He also talked about the ways to overcome these difficulties and shared with workshop participants with his practical experience At the end of the workshop, he provided useful recommendations on strengthening the involvement of civil society in EITI process.
Press service of the NGO Coalition of Public Associations to Increase Transparency in Extractive Industries