12 January 2010

Timor-Leste Publishes its First EITI Report (Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative)

Dili, December 21, 2009 - The World Bank congratulates the Government of Timor-Leste on the publication of its first Extractive Industried Transparency Initiative (EITI) Report. The report was launched today during a meeting chaired by His Excellency President Jose Ramos-Horta. Over 100 participants attended the meeting, including government officials, civil society organizations, and representatives of the petroleum industry.

Publication of this report is a major step for Timor-Leste to achieve “compliant” status under the international EITI standard. The EITI aims to strengthen governance by improving transparency and accountability in the extractives sector. Timor-Leste was one of the first countries to adhere to EITI, which was launched in 2002 and promotes the reconciliation and publication of government receipts and industry payments from the oil, gas, and mining sector. Over 30 countries globally are now implementing EITI, which brings together governments, extractive industry companies, and civil society groups in an effort to promote transparency and accountability in the oil, gas, and mining sectors. These constituencies are also represented on an international EITI Board, and an international EITI Secretariat based in Oslo, hosted by the Government of Norway, which supports the process.

In Timor-Leste, EITI is implemented by a multistakeholder group, chaired by the Secretary of State for Natural Resources, H.E. Alfredo Pires, and includes representatives of the relevant government agencies, local civil society stakeholders, and representatives of oil companies operating in the gas fields off Timor-Leste.

The World-Bank is supporting Timor-Leste in its efforts to implement the EITI through a US$230,000 grant from the EITI Multi-Donor Trust Fund. The Government of Timor-Leste has also committed its own budgetary resources to EITI implementation.

Approximately 3.5 billion people live in countries rich in oil, gas and minerals. Exploitation of these resources can generate large revenues for growth and poverty reduction. Good governance of these revenues with well targeted expenditure is critical for accelerated growth and poverty reduction. By promoting transparency in oil, gas, and mining sector revenues, EITI is a key part of this agenda.

Notes for editors

· The World Bank is administrating an EITI Multi Donor Trust Fund aimed at providing technical assistance to countries implementing EITI, see http://www.worldbank.org/eititf .

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