Iraq Joins Global Transparency Effort

Jan 11, 2010, 17:15 ET from Revenue Watch Institute

With EITI announcement, Iraqi leaders make historic investment in national and regional stability

NEW YORK, Jan. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Revenue Watch Institute today congratulated the Government of Iraq as it joined the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, taking a historic step toward the efficient and open management of its oil industry.

Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki announced Iraq's EITI participation Sunday at a formal launch event in Baghdad attended by government leaders, members of Iraqi civil society and international groups, including the Revenue Watch Institute and the World Bank.

Iraq controls the world's second largest oil reserves and relies on oil for 90 percent of government revenue. By joining the voluntary global initiative it has established itself as the Middle East's most important champion of the principles of transparency and accountability in the management of oil and gas resources.

Karin Lissakers, director of Revenue Watch, said that Iraq's decision will have a direct impact on the country's economy and on national and regional stability.

"A successful EITI process will bolster a prosperous and unified Iraq," said Lissakers. "Oil minister Hussain al-Shahristani and his colleagues deserve warm congratulations for this investment in the future of Iraq, its citizens and the entire region."

Lissakers added that the EITI standard of government partnership with citizens in revenue management will be a powerful tool in Iraq's struggle for political stability. "This commitment to the EITI is a commitment to government collaboration with an independent civil society, which in turn builds public trust in government," she said. "Iraq's history of conflict, regional division and corruption makes civil society's involvement in the EITI process especially important."

The Revenue Watch Institute (www.revenuewatch.org) is a non-profit policy institute and grantmaking organization that promotes the responsible management of oil, gas and mineral resources for the public good. With effective revenue management, citizen engagement and real government accountability, natural resource wealth can drive development and national growth. RWI provides the expertise, funding and technical assistance to help countries realize these benefits.

SOURCE Revenue Watch Institute



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