Civil society organizations within the Afghan EITI Multi-Stakeholder group (MSG), including Global Witness as an observer member, have submitted a detailed document to the current EITI validation process outlining a number of serious concerns, many of which have persisted for years.
We acknowledge and warmly welcome areas in which there has been progress, but these are overshadowed by continued problems with low quality and missing data, poor information management, lack of data from particular companies, failure to implement past recommendations, and other issues. Our concerns are heightened by announcements that new mining contracts are being considered by the Government before they have implemented promised reforms.
Effective actions to support EITI compliance are within the grasp of the relevant agencies but are yet to be implemented, even if they are the subject of reform plans and commitments. Given this, Afghanistan cannot rely on further extensions based on ‘exceptional circumstances’.
We fully support the development of Afghan mining and accept the need for responsible international investment, but we believe Afghanistan’s first validation against the 2016 EITI Standard should require the government to urgently address the gaps outlined in our submission and in the most recent Reconciliation Report. The actions required to do so should be articulated through urgent, specific, measurable and time bound corrective actions that are assessed in a second validation to take place within a year. Significant new mining contracts should not be considered until this has taken place. We also firmly oppose the idea of a postponement of the EITI process.
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