The mining sector is the fastest growing part of the Republic of Armenia’s economy. Copper, molybdenum, and gold reserves of the Republic of Armenia far exceed those of other countries in the region. In view of the importance of the mining sector to the economy of the Republic of Armenia, transparency and accountability are of particular importance and urgency.
By having an effective and transparent management of natural resources the country can reach economic outcomes that will help ensure economic growth and reduce poverty. At the same time, in democratic countries, governments have a responsibility to guarantee the accountability and transparency of the decisions and implemented policies. The Republic of Armenia is aiming to attract more foreign investments particularly in the mining sector, and access to reliable information for public sector and business circles is a precondition for it.
The idea to join the EITI came within the framework of the Open Government Partnership, to which Armenia had joined in 2011 aiming at the implementation of certain commitments to promote transparency in public administration, new technologies, civil society participation, fight against corruption.
Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Hovik Abrahamyan announced Armenia's commitment to implement the EITI Standard at a meeting of the Anti-Corruption Council in July 28 2015. Prime Minister expressed Government’s willingness to become a EITI member country and delegated Armenia’s EITI process coordination to the Minister - Government Chief of Staff Davit Harutyunyan.
The Government of Armenia together with the World Bank conducted a series of regional meetings with civil society and business sector representatives. The objective was to inform about and discuss the process of the EITI implementation in Armenia, role of EITI in Armenia's mining sector and its impact on the economy, and the techniques with which civil society, business sector, educational and academic institutions may be involved and support the initiative. During the meetings the structure of the Armenia’s EITI Multi-stakeholder Group (MSG), the number of the MSG members, the main functions of the MSG, and the deadlines for the CSO and business sector representatives to nominate their member candidates for the Armenia EITI MSG (up until February 10, 2016) were presented. The meetings were held with civil society and business sector representatives in the Aarhus centers in Vayots Dzor, Syunik and Lori Marzes and in Yerevan.
During the television interview with the Minister - Government Chief of Staff Davit Harutyunyan, it was presented the processes of implementation of the EITI Standard, formation of the Armenia’s EITI MSG, importance and benefits of joining the initiative in context of ensuring transparency and increasing investment attractiveness in the mining sector of the economy.
ARMENIA BECAME A CANDIDATE COUNTRY OF THE EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRIES TRANSPARENCY INITIATIVE/EITI
The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Board approved Armenia’s EITI candidature application at the EITI board meeting held in Bogota, Colombia on 9 March 2017 and Armenia attained the EITI candidacy status.
Thereby, Armenia became the 52th country that implements the EITI Standard.
“Implementing EITI will lead to transparency in the mining sector and increase accountability to citizens. These factors are essential for improvement of the business environment in the country. A well-managed natural resource extraction can become more profitable for the citizens of Armenia, and the EITI is the right tool to achieve this goal. By dint of EITI a huge amount of relevant data and useful information will be available to the all beneficiaries. And the most valuable aspect of the EITI process is the fact, that the multi-stakeholder critical engagement will lead to increased trust and cooperation between all involved parties.” said Chief of Staff-Minister and MSG Chair Davit Harutyunyan.
The EITI in Armenia creates a platform for the government, companies and civil society to hold a dialogue on financial accountability in the extractive industries. The delegation of the Republic of Armenia participated at the EITI Board meeting in Colombia.
The EITI Candidature Application of the Republic of Armenia was submitted to the EITI International Secretariat
On 26 December, 2016 in the Government of Armenia was held the EITI MSG meeting, during which MSG approved the ToR of the EITI MSG of the Republic of Armenia, the 2017-2018 EITI Work Plan the Republic of Armenia, the EITI Candidature Application of the Republic of Armenia.
The EITI Candidature Application of the Republic of Armenia was submitted to the EITI International Secretariat on 28 December, 2016.
"Mine Inspection and Reclamation Bonding" training organized by the Forest Service of the United States Department of Agriculture
On September 19 and 20, 2016 the Government Staff of Armenia together with USAID Armenia held a "Mine Inspection and Reclamation Bonding" training for the members of the EITI Armenia multi-stakeholder group and other specialists in mining sector. The training was conducted by Ruth Seeger and Sonny Thornborrow from the US Forest Service of the United States Department of Agriculture. The training was aimed at capacity building of the EITI Armenia multi-stakeholder group members and other specialists involved in the EITI implementation process.
The training started with a welcome speeches by the Minister - Government Chief of Staff, President of the Armenia EITI MSG David Harutyunyan and the head of USAID Armenia Deborah Grieser. Thereafter, the trainers introduced the US practice for mine reclamation bonding, inspections for operating plans of the mining companies, inspections and monitoring, qualifications of the inspectors, Community Environmental Monitoring Plan and Good Neighbor Agreements. The participants held discussions on international and existing procedures in Armenia, current problems and possible solutions. On the second day of the training the participants made a study visit to the Sotk gold mine and straightened their knowledge using checklists on spot.