High-Level Roundtable on Natural and Mineral Resources in the Mediterranean Basin

21/11/2008
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Tunis, 21 November 2008 - The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group President, Donald Kaberuka, and the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) Chairman, Peter Eigen, will co-host a high-level roundtable on natural resources such as oil, gas and minerals in the Mediterranean basin from 25-26 November 2008 in Tunis.

Organized on the theme, "Energy and Natural Resources in the Mediterranean – Investing in our Shared Future", the roundtable will provide a platform for senior government and company representatives from the Mediterranean region to discuss opportunities and challenges in natural resources trade across the region.

Issues to be discussed at the roundtable include secure energy supplies and sustainable economic growth – perspectives for the Mediterranean basin – Southern and Northern Mediterranean partners who share a common interest in securing energy supplies and in maintaining a lasting growth-oriented economic partnership.

The gathering will also raise issues regarding steps that can help to ensure that natural resources and minerals supply remains sustainable in the long run as well as the extent to which a favourable investment climate can be maintained. Effective management of revenues from the extractive sector to ensure national economic growth will also feature prominently at the roundtable.

Stakeholders agree that transparency in the extractive industries plays an increasingly important role in international investment and trade. The UN General Assembly, key international financial institutions, and an ever growing number of governments, companies, and investors around the world are backing the EITI as a global standard for the transparent management of revenues from oil, gas, and mining.

"How can regional leadership of Mediterranean governments and companies contribute to promoting this standard? What are the concrete benefits of the EITI for resource-rich middle-income countries? And what experiences have current implementing countries made with the EITI to ensure revenue recovery, boost public finances, and lead with responsible governance"?  These are among the key questions that the conference will have to resolve in the course of two days.

The high-level roundtable is expected to also enhance dialogue between Mediterranean governments and companies about resource management, investment strategies, economic growth, and secure energy supply. Participants will have the opportunity to share information on the EITI and its benefits with top EITI performer as well as the benefits that would accrue to the North African Region countries from their support to EITI.

Government delegations from North African countries will also have bilateral meetings with representatives of the AfDB and the EITI to discuss the benefits of the EITI.

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