Norwegian leadership is an important step towards making transparency of natural resource revenues a global standard practice, says international civil society coalition.
London and Oslo: Today, the Norwegian government announced that it will implement the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), a ground-breaking global push for greater transparency of company payments and government revenues from oil, gas, and mining.  The EITI, which is supported by governments, companies and civil society groups, aims to make the management of oil, gas, and mining revenues more accountable to citizens of countries that produce these natural resources. Publish What You Pay (PWYP), a global civil society coalition of over 300 groups, welcomed the decision by Norway, which shows that EITI is a global instrument, and not just for developing countries that are seen to be poorly governed. 
“Norway is making history today by becoming the first developed country to announce that it will implement the EITI at home,” said Radhika Sarin, International Coordinator of PWYP. “Revenue transparency and accountability should be the global operating standard for the oil, gas and mining industry. We salute Norway’s leadership and hope its implementation of the EITI will lead to higher standards and more meaningful reporting by all implementing countries.”
Norway fits the definition of a resource-rich country as defined by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), with hydrocarbon exports accounting for 60 percent of total export proceeds during the period 2000-2005.  PWYP is hopeful that Norway’s leadership will be matched by other global players in the extractive industries, such as Australia, Canada, the United States, and South Africa, none of which have yet committed to implementing the EITI.
“Five years since the launch of the EITI, transparency is still nowhere near a codified global standard,” said Gavin Hayman, Campaigns Director of Global Witness, a member of the PWYP coalition. “Other countries, including the G8, need to lead the mainstreaming of transparency requirements through rules and regulations at their disposal.”
PWYP also welcomed the new EITI Secretariat being hosted by the Norwegian government, which officially opened for business in Oslo on September 26.
“What makes the EITI powerful is its fundamental recognition that governments, companies, and civil society are equal partners, and that we must work together to reach our common goal of transparency in the extractive industries,” said Mona Thowsen, Coordinator of PWYP Norway. “We welcome the EITI Secretariat to Norway with a challenge. Let’s make the EITI a truly global initiative.”
Radhika Sarin, PWYP International, +44 (0) 7917 885 302 (mobile)
Rachael Taylor, PWYP International, +44 (0) 7976 589 179 (mobile)
Gavin Hayman, Global Witness, +44 (0) 784 305 8756 (mobile)
Mona Thowsen, PWYP Norway, +47 932 42 473 (office), +47 922 08 412 (mobile)