Raw Materials Working Group News December 2013

  1. Diamond Producers Refuse to Move Towards Greater Transparency

The annual meeting of the Kimberley Process, which represents producers and industrial countries of the diamond, refused to go further in transparency. The organization, which brings together representatives of NGOs, major producing companies and 81 countries, is responsible for ensuring that the sale of diamonds does not fund armed conflicts. NGOs members of the organization want to assure consumers that diamonds are not only used to destabilize governments, but their extraction is free of human rights abuses. However, the producers refuse to go further with more transparency.

 

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2.      Africa: Stop Lending to Resource-Rich Nations That Hide Extractives Revenue

 

A research group of the Revenue Watch Institute has stated that the poverty level of the poorer countries in sub-Saharan Africa will increase to 50% by 2030, unless there are improvements in corruption and governance. The revenue Watch Institute considers that big financial institutions should stop lending to resource-rich countries that hide extractive revenues. The track record of resource-rich countries on accountability remains wanting and the governments should disclose how they use those revenues which would help poor countries realise their development benefits.

 

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3. An Oil Exploration Deal Opens the Door for Corruption in Congo

 

The DRC government is about to push through new laws that will leave the country open to industrial-scale bribery and environmental damage in its oil industry. The Congolese government is formulating a legal framework to govern the oil industry but its proposed Oil Code fails to insist on full, open tender processes for exploration licences. Without such transparency, it is feared corruption will flourish as it has in its many minerals contracts, costing hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue. The Global Witness group considers that if the government approves this Act, they risk institutionalising the secret deal-making that will enrich elites, bleed the economy and harm the environment.

 

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