Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Senegal adopted codes of conduct for civil society representatives on national EITI multi-stakeholder groups
The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative
PWYP’s Secretariat remained focused on helping members acquire the tools and skills to use the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) strategically. In 2017, our support included holding webinars and advising members in Australia, Lebanon and Mexico on EITI candidacy. We organised capacity-building sessions on issues such as beneficial ownership at the PWYP Africa Conference, and mentored coalitions in countries including Malawi, Senegal and Zambia.
In Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, the Secretariat supported national PWYP coalitions to address corrective measures regarding civil society participation, agreed by the EITI Board at its 36th meeting in Bogota. As a result, local CSOs in both countries adopted codes of conduct to encourage greater accountability among civil society representatives on the national multi-stakeholder groups. The Secretariat also built on corrective measures in Nigeria to help its local coalition improve communication between wider civil society and its representative on the country’s multi-stakeholder group. Activities included a series of capacity-building workshops. In Ivory Coast, the Secretariat helped the coalition develop an independent pre-Validation assessment, producing analysis of the country’s EITI process – good practice which the Secretariat aims to replicate.
Civil society and PWYP members across the globe continue to face persecution for exercising their rights to freedom of expression and to assemble, as highlighted in our “Against All Odds” reports published in 2016. In Azerbaijan, civil society organisations are hampered by legislation restricting many from operating as legal entities or applying for grants. CSOs have appealed to the European Court of Human Rights, but a decision could take five years. In response, PWYP Eurasia members are developing sustainability models for activists, including fundraising assistance to enable greater regional and international collaboration, and building a robust support system among members.
At the 13th PWYP Eurasia meeting, representatives of PWYP coalitions endorsed an activist protection strategy, developed by members from Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan facing harassment and pressure on civic space. The strategy sets out mechanisms for preventing and reporting violations against activists, and defines relevant communication between local, regional and global networks.
Since Niger left the EITI in 2017, there has been a rapid decline in civic space, and the fundamental freedoms of civil society organisations continue to be violated. Independent voices face repeated arrest – including PWYP Niger coordinator and Board member, Ali Idrissa. PWYP members in Africa joined with CSOs and human rights organisations to publicly condemn the restrictions.