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G8 stress the need for transparency in the use of natural resources

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Jun 19, 2013

The Group of Eight (G8) finance ministers met in Lough Erne in Northern Ireland on June 17 and 18, 2013, and discussed the themes of "Tax, Trade and Transparency" and agreed to ensure that the world’s poorest people benefit from the natural resources of their various countries by improving the transparency of their extractive industries and land rights.

The final communiqué promotes transparency as a means of empowering people to hold governments and companies to account and states:

We have agreed a transformative Open Data Charter to make budget data and other government information public in an easily accessible way. We will make progress towards common global reporting standards to make extractive industry payments more transparent.

The Open Data Charter published as an appendix to the communiqué explains:

Open data can increase transparency about what government and business are doing. Open data also increase awareness about how countries’ natural resources are used, how extractives revenues are spent, and how land is transacted and managed. All of which promotes accountability and good governance, enhances public debate, and helps to combat corruption. Transparent data on G8 development assistance are also essential for accountability.

Improved transparency in the extractive industries and country-by-country reporting have also been the focus recent of legislative acts and announcements.

The European Parliament has voted last week to approve the new Accounting and Transparency Directives responding to international developments in this field, in particular the inclusion of a requirement to report payments to governments under the Dodd Frank Act. (However, the EU disclosure requirements are more comprehensive and also include the logging industry and large unlisted companies.)

Last week, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced on his Web site that the Canadian government will be establishing new mandatory reporting standards for Canadian mining companies to enhance the transparency of the payments they make to local, state, and national governments. His Web site also contains an announcement of the formation of partnerships with Peru and Tanzania to further strengthen transparency in their extractive industries. (Similar partnerships were formed at the G8 summit between Burkina Faso and France, Colombia and the EU, Ghana and the United Kingdom, Guinea and the United States, Mongolia and Germany as well as Myanmar and the United States.

Click for further information on the UK G8 Presidency Web site:

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