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Official News

Friday, 25 November 2016

Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Multi-stakeholder Group Holds First Meeting





The Government hosted today the first meeting of Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Multi-stakeholder Group (EITI MSG), which ushered in the introduction of EITI standard in Armenia. The meeting was moderated by the Chair of the Multi-stakeholder Group, Minister-Chief of Government Staff Davit Harutyunyan.

In his opening remarks, Davit Harutyunyan stated in part: “The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative is a global Standard to promote the open and accountable management of natural resources, which currently has 51 member States with candidate and corresponding statuses. It is a wonderful tool, regardless of the political changes in the country, identifying the existing problems in the mining sector by cooperative framework to ensure transparency and accountability in the sector, which in turn helps to improve the investment attractiveness of the mining industry and increase public trust.
The idea was born to join the Initiative within the framework of the Open Government Partnership. The Prime Minister announced Armenia’s readiness to implement the standard in the Republic of Armenia on July 28, 2015 at a meeting of the Anti-Corruption Council, after which the Government staff in collaboration with the of the World Bank organized a series of public awareness meetings in the regions of Armenia and Yerevan, to raise the awareness of both society and mining companies about the EITI standard and start work on formation of the Multi-stakeholder Group. As early as in mid-June 2016, the Government, mining companies and civil society nominated the members of the Multi-stakeholder Group of Armenia. (The lineup has been approved by the Prime Minister 1104 - A decree, dated 24 November 2016).
Submission of the EITI candidacy application in 2017 was confirmed in the Government Program. At first, EITI will cover metal mining, in the future the MSG may decide to extend the scope of coverage of the EITI. After development of the EITI work plan, the areas of cooperation with international partner organizations will be outlined more clearly. I want to especially thank them for supporting us to counter the challenges facing us in the introduction and implementation EITI activities.”

The meeting was also addressed by the representatives of mining companies and members of civil society, as well as by the representatives of international partner organizations in attendance. They stressed the importance of implementation of the Initiative to improve the investment environment, increase transparency and accountability in the mining sector, minimize certain risks, and promote dialogue between the Government, business sector and civil society.
Currently, the MSG is implementing the EITI standard’s mandatory requirements in order to file the EITI candidacy application and become an EITI member country in 2017.
The meeting was also briefed on the work of the USAID-supported digitization and publication of data available in the Republican Geological Fund. In particular, the www.geo-fund.am website was launched. Underway is work on digitization of the stock pad of nearly 2 million pages of information, cartography and graphic packages, geological, financial and non-financial reports and other documents conserved since the 20s of the last century. There have already been implemented more than half of digitization work, which is available on the Fund’s website.
 

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