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sharing in governance of extractive industries

Myanmar moving towards greater transparency

EITI Board concludes that Myanmar has made meaningful progress in EITI implementation, whilst urging government to strengthen public disclosures and further improve the environment for civil society participation.

Myanmar has achieved meaningful progress in implementing the EITI Standard, the EITI Board concluded today at its meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

In taking this decision, the Board commended Myanmar for its impactful EITI implementation, evident in the progress in introducing policy reforms, improving transparency in extractives data, stimulating robust public debate and creating a platform for dialogue among stakeholders. It recognised the achievements of the multi-stakeholder group in ensuring effective oversight of EITI implementation and aligning EITI objectives with national priorities. The Board also acknowledged that the EITI has created opportunities for all constituencies to be engaged in policy discussions on natural resource governance, including the provision of discussion platforms for civil society where they did not exist before.

Commenting on the efforts of Myanmar to address the opacity of the sector, EITI Chair Helen Clark said: “Myanmar is a unique example of a formerly opaque regime opening its doors and committing to greater transparency. The Government’s 12-point economic policy emphasises the strategic role of the EITI in the reform process, specifically in natural resource governance. The Government’s intention to ensure sound governance of its natural resource sector is signalled in this policy framework and in a reform agenda that puts emphasis on transparency.”

In acknowledging Myanmar’s progress, the Board at the same time emphasised the need for Myanmar to further improve public disclosures, particularly related to license allocation, gemstone production data and state-owned enterprises (SOEs), while strengthening the comprehensiveness of its EITI reporting. The Board also noted the need to further improve the environment for civil society participation in the EITI, particularly in subnational regions and for the government to ensure that there is an enabling environment for civil society to meaningfully engage in all aspects of the EITI process without obstacles.

The Board further emphasised the need for Myanmar to ensure that the status of military-affiliated extractive companies is clarified and their activities are comprehensively addressed in accordance with the EITI Standard. The decision comes amidst a national debate on whether the citizens of Myanmar are getting their fair share of the annual profits generated from the country’s gems and jade industry, which has been scrutinised by several  independent reports in recent years.

The government of Myanmar welcomes the Board decision while acknowledging the EITI’s centrality in the government’s reform agenda:

“The EITI has been key in driving reforms in Myanmar” said Myanmar’s Union Minister for Planning and Finance U Soe Win. “The government of Myanmar is committed to meeting the requirements of the EITI standard. We put great effort into ensuring that EITI implementation is aligned with the Myanmar Sustainable Development Plan (MSDP), a country framework to fulfil the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, to ensure linkage with the overall development of the country. The Myanmar Government welcomes the recommendations from the Board’s Validation and stands ready to initiate further reforms in the extractive sector for the benefit of our citizens.”

 

Notes to Editors

About Validation

The EITI holds all implementing countries to the same global standard. During the Validation process – the EITI’s quality assurance mechanism – each implementing country is evaluated on their degree of progress in implementing the EITI Standard.

Validations are intended to provide all stakeholders with an impartial assessment of whether EITI implementation in a country is in line with the provisions of the EITI Standard. The Validation report, in addition, seeks to identify the impact of the EITI in the country being validated, the implementation of activities encouraged by the EITI Standard, lessons learnt in EITI implementation, as well as any concerns stakeholders have expressed and recommendations for future implementation of the EITI. The outcome of a Validation report is an overall assessment of Satisfactory, Meaningful, or Inadequate progress.

More information about the Validation procedure can be found on EITI’s Overview of Validation page.

This article was published on the EITI website on 16 October 2019.

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