DENPASAR – As the UN Convention against Corruption meets in Bali, the Revenue Watch Institute and Publish What You Pay-Indonesia call on the members gathered from 140 states to recognize the urgent and particular need to eliminate corruption in countries rich in oil, gas and minerals.
The leaders convening to ensure the Convention’s ratification and widespread compliance should emphasize transparency and monitoring measures in these resource rich nations in line with the UNCAC’s requirement for mechanisms to combat and prevent corruption. Accountable governance mechanisms such as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) can prevent the theft of citizen resources and empower communities to realize the benefits of their local industries.
“With prices rising, huge windfalls are headed into the coffers of resource rich governments. This opportunity must not be wasted and the international community committed to fighting corruption must act quickly to help reverse the trend in developing countries and assist them in joining the EITI,” said Ridaya Laode Ngkowe of PWYP-Indonesia.
Corruption is egregious and disproportionately prevalent in resource rich countries, which account for nearly two thirds of the 40 most corrupt states in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index. As Asian countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Timor Leste, Burma, Vietnam, Cambodia and Papua New Guinea become increasingly resource dependent, they will face the economic and governance challenges that accompany oil, gas and mining revenues, including high poverty levels as well as corruption.
The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (www.eitransparency.org) is an internationally recognized mechanism to create transparency and participation in revenue transfers. Led by stakeholders from government, civil society and industry, this voluntary initiative calls for countries to publish their revenues and for companies to publish their payments.
“The fight against corruption begins by revealing where money goes before it ends up in the wrong hands,” said Karin Lissakers, Director of the Revenue Watch Institute. “The EITI gives citizens, governments and companies a powerful tool to mitigate corruption in the places where it’s most endemic, and to help keep money flowing to its intended destination.”
Publish What You Pay–Indonesia consists of 45 Indonesian NGOs from resource rich regions that are promoting transparency in the extractive industries sector, to ensure better economic growth and public service delivery, as well as higher social and environmental standards in the sector.
The Revenue Watch Institute promotes the responsible management of oil, gas and mineral resources for the public good. With effective revenue management, increased citizen engagement and real government accountability, natural resource wealth will drive a nation's growth and development. RWI provides the expertise, funding and technical assistance to help countries realize these benefits. To learn more, please go to www.revenuewatch.org.
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