Suneeta Kaimal – PWYP Global Council chair
Dear PWYP members,
In 2017, we faced increasing distrust between governments and citizens, lost ground in the fight for openness in the oil, gas and mining sector, and saw persistent harassment and intimidation of our fellow activists. Yet we persevere, inspired by a world where citizens are empowered, governments are responsive, and resources are managed for the benefit of current and future generations. We are tenacious in the face of such challenges, drawing courage from our collective power.
The strength of our coalition lies in our ability to expand and evolve with these challenges. In 2017, coalition members made major gains in contract transparency in Mexico, Tunisia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Malawi. A global push on beneficial ownership and our concerted efforts in the extractive sector are shining a light on corruption. With our new engagement on tax justice, we are closing ranks on the abuse of monies intended for public benefit. Increasingly mindful that corruption and the mismanagement of extractives disproportionately affect women, we seek to be more gender sensitive in our work. We look not only to the challenges of today, but also to the future, considering the need for diversification and environmental sustainability.
As we expand our focus, we also expand our membership and capacities. We welcomed new PWYP members, including from India, where we will benefit from fresh perspectives and expertise in using the right to information to advance disclosure requirements. We welcomed South Africa as a newly affiliated coalition, where we will also seek to advance our push for mandatory disclosure.
In 2018, freedoms of assembly, association and expression continue to come under threat, with extractives activists facing particular risk. At the global level, we see growing resistance to our efforts to implement safeguards such as the EITI civil society protocol. We will stand firm against these threats, while also leveraging the EITI platform to highlight the behaviour of companies and governments which contravene the principles of openness and accountability. In parallel, we will seek to tap the wealth of information that is becoming available through our gains in transparency, and to use data for greater accountability. Our efforts must yield benefit not only for civil society, but also for the citizens on whose behalf we struggle.
Yours in solidarity,
Chair of PWYP’s Global Council Chair
Chief Operating Officer, Natural Resource Governance Institute