Govt asked for judicious resource use
KABUL (Pajhwok): Two global watchdogs on Wednesday called on the Afghan government and presidential runners to commit to stronger protection against conflict and corruption fuelled by natural resources.
The joint call from Global Witness and Integrity Watch Afghanistan (IWA) comes as the Ministry of Mines is drafting a comprehensive national plan for management of natural resources.
“Building for the Long-term” -- a Global Witness report -- set out recommendations for the Afghan Extractive Industries Development Framework (EIDF). The creation of the Framework was one of the key government commitments at the 2012 Tokyo Conference.
“The EIDF is a golden opportunity for Afghanistan to solidify its commitment to creating a governance regime for the extractives sector that meets and exceeds international best practice, as set out in the Tokyo declaration” said Javed Noorani, Integrity Watch Afghanistan researcher.
Stephen Carter, Global Witness Team Leader in Afghanistan said that “the Afghan government has taken some positive steps in the last few years. We hope they will now follow through on that vision, and put in place the full range of basic measures that are needed to minimize the risk of natural resources fuelling conflict and corruption.”
He went on to say “that should be priority for the next administration whoever wins the election – because otherwise there is a serious risk that any benefit from extraction will be lost.”
The report praised the Afghan government’s decision to publish almost all existing contracts in October 2012, and to become a candidate member of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).
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