Campaigners from Fifty Nations Gather to Push Forward Transparency in Oil,
Gas and Mining Industries


    


    
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<p><location>MONTREAL</location>, <chron>Nov. 16</chron> /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Two hundred activists from over 50 countries convened in <location>Montreal</location> today for a three-day conference of the Publish What You Pay coalition, the global campaign for transparency and accountability in the oil, gas and mining industries.</p>
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<p>The delegates represent hundreds of organizations working in resource-rich nations around the globe to ensure that citizens are able to benefit from their countries' natural resources.</p>
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<p>The first day of the conference will put Canada's extractive industries under the spotlight with government, the private sector and civil society sharing experiences in promoting transparency in the extractive sector.</p>
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<p><location>Canada</location> was chosen as the location for this conference because it is home to some of the world's largest mining companies: in 2008 over 75% of the world's exploration and mining companies were headquartered in <location>Canada</location> - these companies operate in over 100 countries around the world.</p>
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<p>The conference will also offer an opportunity for civil society organizations from many countries where Canadian companies are active to examine the Canadian government's new strategy for corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the extractive industries.</p>
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<p>Oil, gas and mining are critically important revenue sources in more than 60 developing and transition countries, many of which are paradoxically home to two-thirds of the world's poorest people. Despite receiving billions of dollars per year from extractive companies, these countries rank among the world's highest in poverty, low economic growth, authoritarian governance, conflict and political instability. Opaque and unaccountable resource management leads to corruption and mismanagement of what should be a source of economic prosperity and development.</p>
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<p>The PWYP Conference will examine the role of transparency in turning these natural resources into a blessing rather than a curse. Participants will highlight the need for transparency in all aspects of the extractive industries from how companies get access to resources, the licenses and contracts which determine who benefits from the exploitation of the resources, and how the revenues generated translate into development outcomes for the citizens of resource-rich countries.</p>
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<p>Participants will assess progress on standards such as the voluntary Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and new legislation such as the recently introduced U.S. Energy Security Through Transparency Act, which would require energy and mining companies to improve reporting of their payments to governments. The delegates will also join in a civil society consultation on the new global Natural Resource Charter.</p>
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<p>Attendees include oil and mining industry executives, government officials and academics, as well as the multitude of human rights, environmental, anti-corruption, access to information, and faith-based groups which make up the global Publish What You Pay campaign.</p>
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<p>Publish What You Pay (PWYP) is a global civil society coalition with over 300 member groups which work together for greater transparency and accountability in the oil, gas and mining industries.</p>
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    www.publishwhatyoupay.org



    

For further information: For further information: Joseph Williams of Publish What You Pay, +44 7775 751 170 (in Montreal), jwilliams@publishwhatyoupay.org; Ousmane Deme, Coordinator, Publish What You Pay-Canada, +1-613-986-6768 (in Montreal), odeme@pwyp.ca; or Jed Miller of Revenue Watch Institute, +1-917-257-0670, jmiller@revenuewatch.org

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