Aust urged to join Blair initiative to expose global resources corruption


Blessing or curse? Making resource projects a "blessing and not a curse" in developing countries by encouraging the reporting of revenue flows was made a priority by the Blair Government in 2002 when it formed the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). The head of EITI’s secretariat, Ben Mellor, said EITI was about disproving the accusation that the extractive industries were an inevitable "curse" to the economic performance and stability of developing countries.

Dark side of resources trade: "Oil and mineral wealth, if managed transparently, has the potential to play a major role in the sustainable economic development of countries," Mr Mellor said. "But too often weak governance of these revenues has led to poverty, corruption and conflict."

Elites "capture" benefits: He said, typically, in a non-transparent, resource-rich country, revenue was captured by a small elite that established a network of personal political patronage. "The elite can be unwilling to encourage opposition movements that could remove them from power. Unsurprisingly these countries are prone to civil war," Mr Mellor said.

Wars for profit: Conflicts in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Angola and the DRC were largely financed by revenues from oil, gas and mining, he added.

The Age, 10/5/2006, p. B5

Source: Erisk Net  

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