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Tunisia to join EITI

On 1 June Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali announced Tunisia’s intention to become an EITI candidate country. Tunisia will become the first North African country to join the initiative.

Tunisia is rich in phosphates, which represent a principal source of export revenues for the country. In 2011 exports from the energy and mining sector represented more than 19% of total Tunisian exports.

The management of these resources and job distribution within the industry has been a source of contention, contributing to revolt in the mining region of Gafsa in 2008, as well as playing a role in the Arab Spring.

President of the Tunisian Association for Transparency in Energy and Mining (ATTEM), Sofiane Reguigui said: “All the civil society organisations that met today [1 juin] have high hopes that EITI implementation can finally lead to a healthy management of the extractive industries in our country.”

Publish What You Pay commends Tunisia’s decision to seek membership of the EITI and is pleased at the opportunity that this will give civil society to become further involved in ensuring a transparent management of the country’s natural resources. We also congratulate ATTEM  for all the work they have done leading up to this decision.

PWYP Regional Meeting Francophone Africa

The PWYP Regional Meeting for Francophone Africa took place on 12-15 June 2012 in Dakar, Senegal. More than 50 participants from PWYP coalitions, as well as representatives from governments and other organisations such as the World Bank Institute, gathered for the four day meeting.

This was an opportunity for participants to share their experiences, forge new collaborations and develop their national strategies for the coming year. Several capacity building sessions were organised, including an introduction to PWYP’s protection strategy mechanism (for activists), Global Witness’ citizen checklist regarding the awarding of licenses and contracts and the World Bank Institute’s contract monitoring initiative.

PWYP Canada demonstrated how to obtain information on Canadian extractive companies (see their manual) and the French co-operation held a session evaluating the impact of the French government’s support to various francophone coalitions.

Regional and international advocacy opportunities – such as the Africa Mining Vision – were discussed and a whole day was dedicated to the improvement of EITI reports, their use, and indeed the future of the initiative as a whole.

A crucial part of this workshop was also getting input and approval from members on PWYP’s new strategy, which will be unveiled at our tenth anniversary in September 2012.  As PWYP turns ten, we are reflecting on what changes we need to make to remain effective and how we can be successful in achieving our 20/20 vision. The strategy, drafted after in-depth discussion and interviews with our members, will be presented and debated in regional workshops before it is adopted.

We’ll have more on this conference in weeks to come, in the meantime, check out a few of the photos on Facebook (more to come!) and read the Dakar Declaration! 

Activists arrested in Gabon

Since the beginning of our campaign, PWYP activists have suffered threats, menaces and intimidation. Over the past couple of months two of our activists, from Azerbaijan and Gabon, have been arrested.

In Gabon, Marc Ona Essangui and several other representatives of civil society were arrested in Libreville on 8 June 2012 as they gathered for a meeting of the « Forum des Indignés du Gabon». This “Forum des Indignés” was being held to highlight the hypocrisy of the “New York Africa Forum” which has been criticised by campaigners as being an empty Public Relations Exercise. 

Following an outcry by  civil society organisations both in Gabon and internationally Marc Ona and his colleagues were released later that day. We’d like to thank all those of you who helped spread the message of Marc’s arrest.

Unfortunately, our Azeri member Ogtay Gulaliyev, is still being detained following his arrest last April (see a previous issue for more information). If you have not yet signed the petition for his release, please do so here.

Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi mentions importance of extractives transparency

In her speech to the 101st ILO International Labour Conference Aung San Suu Kyi mentioned the need for transparency, accountability and publish what you pay standards in Burma’s extractive sector. She reinforced these comments in a BBC interview on 17 June by saying the ‘extractive industries ... financial transparency … transparency is the key …unless there’s transparency we can never tell if these investments are going to benefit the people or just the already privileged few’.

With signs that Burma will increasingly be open to international investment, it is crucial that the extractive sector operates in a transparent and accountable manner. Project by project reporting would ensure that payments for new deals are opened to public scrutiny.

We are delighted that Aung San Suu Kyi is championing Publish What You Pay values.



A petit update de la France

We’ve updated the France country page on our website!

Meanwhile last month Socialist François Hollande was elected as France’s new president. As it happens, he’s a fan of Publish What You Pay, as he stated in one interview during his campaign that he is “delighted by the PWYP campaign” and in another that he supports country-by-country reporting!

Here’s hoping for strong French support in our EU campaign!


Yemen re-admitted to EITI

On June 14 2012, Yemen was re-admitted to the EITI process. Yemen had originally been suspended from the initiative in June 2011 due to prolonged instability and violence in the country. However, the Yemen EITI council had applied for re-inclusion following the presidential elections the January 2012 presidential elections.  Yemen will be returning as a compliant country.

Youssef Abouras, Chairman of TCEIW in Yemen (Transparency Coalition for Extractive Industry Watch), stated that his organization will help support the YEITI through the requirements that the EITI Secretariat has put forward for the full readmission of the country.
Yemeni CSOs were supportive of the decision for suspension to be lifted, sending official letters to the EITI Secretariat in May 2011 to that end. However, some issues still need to be resolved, including how to ensure “that civil society is fully, independently, actively and effectively engaged in the process”.

G20 Summit in Los Cabos fails to support new rules on extractives transparency

In a disappointing step backwards, the G20 Summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, on 18-19 June 2012 failed to support new extractives transparency rules. Although legislation which the United States has passed and which the EU is close to finalising were acknowledged in both the Deauville G8 and Cannes G20 Summits in 2011, it is disappointing that these crucial pieces of legislation have not been taken up by the G20 in 2012 in order to create a global standard.

The summit did, however, renew of the mandate of the G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group for a further two years.

The ONE Campaign issued a press release saying:

“Transparency, accountability and tackling the scourge of corruption are crucial to making faster progress in the fight against poverty by helping to ensure revenues are spent on vital services like health and education. It is therefore encouraging that the G20 have signaled their intent to continue their work in this area for a further two years.

“But they have made a mistake by staying silent on rules to create transparency in the oil, gas and mining sectors. Natural resources have the potential to bring wealth and stability to resource-rich developing countries. The G20 should be following the example of the EU and US, who are implementing new laws, to create a global standard. But instead they’re stalling.”

La Tunisie s'engage à mettre en oeuvre l'ITIE

Le Premier Ministre Tunisien, Hamadi Jebali, a annoncé le 1er juin que la Tunisie allait poser sa candidature à l'ITIE. La Tunisie deviendra le premier pays du Maghreb à se joindre à l'initiative.

La Tunisie est riche en phosphates, qui représentent une grande partie des revenus d'exportations du pays. En 2011 les exportations du secteur de l'énergie et des mines ont représenté plus de 19 % des exportations totales du pays.

La gestion de ces ressources et la distribution des emplois dans cette industrie ont créé des conflits, contribuant à une révolte dans la région minière de Gafsa en 2008 et jouant un rôle dans le printemps Arabe.

Le Président de l'Association Tunisienne de la Transparence dans l'énergie et les mines (ATTEM), Sofiane Reguigui, a dit que, « Toutes les organisations de la société civile qui se sont rencontrées aujourd'hui [1 juin] ont des grands espoirs que la mise en oeuvre de l'ITIE conduira enfin à une bonne gestion des industries extractives dans notre pays ».

Publiez Ce Que Vous Payez salue la décision tunisienne d'adhérer à l'ITIE et l'occasion que ceci offrira aux organisations de la société civile de s'impliquer en plus de profondeur dans la démarche pour une gestion plus transparente des ressources naturelles du pays. Nous félicitons aussi ATTEM de leur travail.

Réunion Régionale D'Afrique Francophone PCQVP

La Réunion Régionale d'Afrique francophone PCQVP a eu lieu du 12 au 15 juin 2012 à Dakar, Sénégal. Plus de 50 participants de coalitions PCQVP, ainsi que des représentants de gouvernements et d'organisations telles que l'Institute de la Banque Mondiale, se sont réunis pour l'atelier de quatre jours.

C'était une occasion pour les participants de partager leurs expériences, établir de nouvelles collaborations et développer leurs nouvelles stratégies pour les années qui viennent. Plusieurs sessions de renforcement de capacités ont été organisées, y compris une introduction à la stratégie de protection de PCQVP (pour ses activistes), la liste de vérification des citoyens pour les octrois de licences de Global Witness et le suivi des contrats par l'Institut de la Banque Mondiale.

PCQVP Canada a présenté une session sur l'obtention d'informations à propos des activités des sociétés canadiennes (voir le manuel) et la coopération française a tenu une session pour évaluer l'impact de son soutien à diverses coalitions francophones en Afrique.

Les participants ont discuté des possibilités de plaidoyer aux niveaux régionales et internationales, tel que la Vision Africaine Minière. Un jour entier fut dédicacé à l'amélioration des rapports ITIE, leurs usages et le futur de l'initiative.

Une partie clé de cet atelier fut l'obtention de l'aval et de commentaires des participants à propos de la nouvelle stratégie PCQVP, qui sera officiellement inaugurée en septembre 2012 à notre conférence. Avec notre dixième anniversaire, nous allons discuter de quels changements nous avons besoin de faire pour rester efficace et comment nous pourrons atteindre notre Vision 20/20. Cette stratégie, dont la première ébauche fut écrite à partir d'entretiens et discussions avec plusieurs de nos membres, sera présentée et débattue dans les ateliers régionaux avant d'être adoptée.

Nous aurons plus d'information à propos de cette conférence dans les semaines à venir, pendant ce temps, vous pouvez lire la Déclaration de Dakar, faite par les participants.

Des nouvelles de la France

Nous avons mis à jour la page de PCQVP France sur notre site!

Le mois dernier la France à élu le Socialiste François Hollande en tant que Président de la République. Hollande s'est déjà montré fan de PCQVP – dans une interview pendant sa campagne il a dit qu’il ‘se réjouit de la campagne Publiez Ce Que Vous Payez’ et dans un autre qu’il soutenait le reporting pays-par-pays!