Resource Transparency Movement

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Many organisations work in the resource transparency area, such as Transparency International, Global Witness and the Revenue Watch Institute.

History

What might be called a coherent movement for resource transparency really evolved in the 1990s on two different tracks.

Civil society activism

First, NGOs like Transparency International (TI) and Global Witness were founded.[1] TI was dedicated to changing the legal and regulatory environment which governs the way business in general is done, and Global Witness was set up to investigate and expose individual cases of corruption, especially those related to mining industries and oil and gas.

The issue of transparency around natural resources gained great public attention in Western countries with the exposure of the "Blood Diamonds" scandal[2] in which it became clear that wars in some African countries were being prolonged by the ability of both governments and rebel factions to finance themselves through selling precious stones to world markets.

International treaties and conventions

In parallel to the projects of individual organisations, there were several large initiatives from multilateral international organisations.

In 1997, the OECD approved an anti-bribery convention, which urged member states to pass laws making it illegal for companies under their jurisdiction to use bribery anywhere in the world.[3]

In 2003, the United Nations General Assembly passed the United Nations Convention Against Corruption. Since that time, over 130 countries have signed up to the convention, which obliges them to introduce a wide range of measures in their own laws to combat corruption.[4]

EITI

The EITI, itself founded in 2002, can be considered as inbetween the two tracks, since it is an international initiative which formally and specifically engages the civil society sector.[5]

Main article: Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI)

Natural Resource Charter

In 2009, a group of independent experts set up a website and loose organisation called the Natural Resource Charter which seeks to lay out guidelines for best practice right across the energy industry, embracing the EITI but extending beyond it.[6]

The charter is governed by an advisory board which includes the former president of Mexico, Ernesto Zedillo, and the African businessman Mo Ibrahim.[7] The founder of the charter was economist Paul Collier, the leading world scholar on the link between natural resources and problems in development.[8]

Main article: Natural Resource Charter (NRC)

Country-specific activities

Azerbaijan

Main article: Resource Transparency Movement in Azerbaijan

Iraq

Main article: Resource Transparency Movement in Iraq

Libya

Main article: Resource Transparency Movement in Libya

Egypt

Main article: Resource Transparency Movement in Egypt

Kenya

Main article: Resource Transparency Movement in Kenya

References

  1. "Global Witness History" and "TI About Us" GW and TI websites, respectively Retrieved 24 October 2011.
  2. "Blood Diamond" Wikipedia Retrieved 24 October 2011.
  3. "OECD Anti-Bribery Convention" OECD official website Retrieved 24 October 2011.
  4. "Introduction to UNCAC" Anti-Corruption Resource Centre (U4) Retrieved 24 October 2011.
  5. "Civil Society" EITI, retrieved 20 March 2013.
  6. "Natural Resource Charter" Natural Resource Charter official website Retrieved 24 October 2011.
  7. "Charter: Advisory and Monitoring Board" Natural Resource Charter official website Retrieved 24 October 2011.
  8. "The Plundered Planet: Why We Must - and How We Can - Manage Nature for Global Prosperity"" Paul Collier Oxford University Press, 2009.