October 2012

e) Support the exchange and extension of knowledge of extractive industry skills via capacity building

 

Globally, the skills to translate resource wealth into sustainable and inclusive economic development are available. However, many resource rich developing countries are yet to accumulate this essential capacity. International organisations, governments and donors have a significant role in supporting resource rich countries build the capacity of government, parliament, media and civil society to enact and monitor policy. Efforts should be both concerted and coordinated so as to be most effective.

Within all the areas identified, non-host states and other international actors should work together to promote an upward harmonisation of standards. There is not only joint responsibility, but importantly there are shared benefits to ensuring that the highest global standards are achieved. 


Please give your comments on the language and scope of the above paragraph

(b) Host States should implement firm laws to prevent and punish corrupt practices at the local level, regional and national levels. They should also put in place clear, transparent methods for favoring extractive industry companies that have internal policies, practices and controls that prevent and punish corrupt practices by employees, contractors, subcontractors or their agents.

Please give your comments on the proposed scope of transparency/disclosure. Additionally, highlight any issues that are not addressed that you believe should be addressed. 

Aim: To (1) set out the relevant competencies of home states, international organisations, development agencies, financial institutions and others in supporting, facilitating and promoting extractive industry projects; and (2) provide some specific policy and practice recommendations for these actors regarding how they can play a role in assuring sustainable and inclusive development results from resource extraction.

Aim: To address the expected conduct of industry in the context of extractive industry projects. This precept will be designed to guide host states and others regarding choosing the right kind of investors and what can be expected of industry in the context of extractive projects.

Transparency/Disclosure: what kind of disclosure of information should host states expect, and where necessary require, of companies when it comes to a range of information relevant to extractive industry projects and their potential impacts on society and development? Listed below are some of the topics for the Precepts discussion of “transparency/disclosure”:

 

a. The company’s own ownership structure

b. Revenues, profits, production

c. Financial and accounting records

d. Environmental, social and human rights impact assessments and prevention, mitigation efforts over the life of the project

e. Action plans and reports on actions taken to prevent, mitigate and remedy negative impacts from the project on people, their internationally recognized human rights and the environment

 

d)Support and promote national economic development by reducing illicit financial flows

Illicit financial flows are estimated to cost developing counties over $1trillion annually - $10 for every $1 received in aid. International actors and non-host states must do more to reduce these flows, curtailing tax avoidance, transfer mispricing and the use of tax havens. International actors and non-host governments should furthermore work together to reduce corruption and bribery, ensuring strong legislation and enforcement of measures to counter such practices. This includes measures to regulate banks, requiring confirmation of ownership in all banking and securities accounting. When malpractice is identified, governments must do more to freeze and recover stolen assets. Far reaching transparency measures shine a light on all of the above, making it possible for both civil society and governments to identify instances where poor or illegal practice may be taking place.


Please give your comments on the language and scope of the above paragraph

2.      Ensure that extractive industry projects comply with internationally recognised human rights standards.

All actors have a responsibility to uphold internationally recognised human rights. International actors and non-host states have a responsibility to promote and support host states to fulfil their duty to protect human rights and ensure company compliance to human rights in the context of extractive industry projects as identified by the Universal Declaration on Human Rights.  This includes, but is not limited to, affirming citizens’ rights to information and opinion, participation in governments as well as to participation and peaceful assembly.

International actors should have human rights policies that require due diligence procedures that ensure the assessment, prevention and management of potential and actual human rights impacts resulting from extractive projects with attention paid to the differential impacts based on gender, race, age and other criteria. Non-host states must ensure company compliance and provide accessible remedy if human rights abuses occur.

At a minimum, international actors should uphold the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Within this, international actors should mandate that the public and private businesses they fund carry out Human Rights Impacts Assessments, with the aim of not just maintaining, but improving the human rights of local peoples.

Please give your comments on the language and scope of the above paragraph.

c)Ensure that extractive industry projects comply with effective environmental and social standards

The extractive industries can have significant impacts at the local level on the peoples living nearby to the operations as well as on the local, national and global environment. Companies have a responsibility to uphold international and domestic laws regarding operations, but the international actors should set, facilitate, incentivize or require appropriate project operating standards. This should include high global standards around the process and information required within Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs). Export credit agencies, as well as public and private lenders should have requirements for due diligence, as well as monitoring and reporting on compliance with international environmental and social standards. This information should be made publically available.

International actors, including the UN and the IFC, have rightly recognised that Indigenous Peoples have special rights that must be protected. All lending agencies should put in place strong regulations and processes to ensure that Indigenous People have the right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent over extraction on their lands. 


Please give your comments on the language and scope of the above paragraph

 a) Promote, require, monitor and enforce public disclosure requirements of extractive industry operations.

Transparency is a necessary condition for public, intergovernmental and corporate accountability. Public disclosure of information throughout an extractive project, from exploration licensing through to project clean up, is a vital mechanism for ensuring that standards are being met and that citizens and investors have the data that they need in order to hold governments and companies to account. Non-host States, international organisations and other actors should improve the transparency of the extractive industry by setting, facilitating compliance with and enforcing a set of international and effective standards on financial and accounting records, as well by disclosing contractual terms. In addition to legislating for global, mandatory reporting requirements, actors should support the implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) both in resource rich developing countries and at home as a complementary, voluntary standard that promotes dialogues among stakeholders at the national and international levels.

Please give your comments on the language and scope of the above paragraph

6.States should encourage responsible investors by having in place policies and law that protect investors from arbitrary or discriminatory practices.

Please give your comments on the proposed scope of protection for investors from arbitrary and discriminatory treatment. Additionally, highlight any issues that are not addressed that you believe should be addressed. 

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