Press release | Date: 2006-12-08
The Board of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) decided in New York last Thursday that the organisation’s international secretariat should be transferred to Oslo. “We are pleased by the confidence shown in us,” said Minister of International Development Erik Solheim. (11.12.06)
Norway to host EITI international secretariat
The Board of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) decided in New York last Thursday that the organisation’s international secretariat should be transferred to Oslo. “We are pleased by the confidence shown in us,” said Minister of International Development Erik Solheim.
The Norwegian offer to set up and support a secretariat based in Oslo received the broad support of the representatives of governments, companies and NGOs who make up the EITI Board.
“I am glad that the Norwegian offer was so well received. Norway is prepared to take a leading role in efforts to establish transparency in the extractive industries as a global norm. However, the support of other key actors such as Germany, the UK, the USA and the G8 will continue to be important in the time ahead,” said Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.
The EITI was launched by British Prime Minister Tony Blair in 2002. So far the organisation’s secretariat has been financed by the UK and had its offices in the British Department for International Development (DFID). After having hosted the secretariat for four years, the UK felt it was appropriate that another country should take over responsibility for it. Norway offered to do so during the third plenary conference of the EITI, which was held in Oslo in October 2006. The secretariat will report to the EITI’s international board, and will not have any formal ties to the Norwegian authorities.
“In our dialogue with the EITI we have stressed the importance the Government attaches to petroleum-related assistance and the fight against corruption. We have pointed out that if the secretariat was based in Oslo, it would be able to draw on existing Norwegian expertise, for example people working on the Oil for Development initiative,” said Mr Solheim.
Norway has been participating since 2003 in the EITI, which was set up to promote transparency over payments by oil, gas and mining companies to governments in countries with significant revenues from natural resources. Norsk Hydro and Statoil are two of the many actors that actively support the EITI process. Important contributions are also being made by Norwegian NGOs, such as the Norwegian Publish What You Pay coalition, which includes Transparency International.
More information is available on the EITI website.