Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov. 1 /Trend/
The first meeting of the working group (WG) for introduction of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in Tajikistan was held in Dushanbe,Asia-Plus reported according to the Ministry of Finance (MoF)'s Secretariat reports.
The WG members are currently including representatives of relevant ministries and agencies, international organizations and civil society, while representatives of the private sector and mining companies are also expected to be included into the working group.
The first meeting discussed a number of organizing issues and made a decision to invite representatives of the mining companies to participate in the working group and international consultants to conduct training for the working group members on experience of other countries in developing the EITI.
Deputy Finance Minister Jamshed Norinov, who heads the working group for development of the EITI in Tajikistan, pointed out the significance of the EITI and called on members of the working group to properly implement all the planned actions, the source said.
The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, EITI, is the widely-accepted international framework for strengthening transparency and accountability in the extractives sector. It was launched in 2002, and is currently implemented in 35 countries across the globe. It is unique in terms of bringing together representatives from three different groups - private sector, civil society and Government - to work together, through the verification and full publication of company payments and government revenues from oil, gas, and mining.
Adherence to and implementation of EITI is crucial for Tajikistan's economic and social development. Recent mining reforms and mineral discoveries are likely to significantly expand the extractive sector in Tajikistan. Yet, these resources are not renewable and therefore need to be managed very carefully. In this context, EITI will bring many benefits to Tajikistan: an improved investment climate, a signal to international investors that the government has a clear commitment to transparency and good governance, and strengthened accountability vis-à-vis the people of Tajikistan.
In order to formally be accepted as an "EITI candidate" country, Tajikistan will have to fulfill a number of requirements, including a formal public announcement, a firm commitment to working with the civil society, establishment of a Multistakeholder group, appointment of an "EITI Champion" to pilot the initiative, and publication of a work plan.
The World Bank has strong experience in EITI implementation around the globe. Appointed as administrator of a Multidonor Trust Fund that has nearly US$50 million in contributions from 14 donors, the World Bank currently works in 50 countries worldwide to provide technical assistance to EITI and to support EITI dialogue in countries that are just considering becoming a part of the initiative. The particular role of the World Bank in EITI was covered during the event, which stands ready to support EITI in Tajikistan.