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- Saif al Islam
Two weeks ago, the results of Libya’s first election in four decades were announced in what marks an important achievement for a country still struggling to break free from its authoritarian past.
(…) And, fearing the ramifications of the Arab Spring, Colombian soldiers are apparently being recruited to act as mercenaries to suppress any potential uprising.
This is why the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, or EITI, is so important. Composed of a range of actors including governments, civil society groups, corporations, investors and international organizations, EITI sets global standards that allow citizens to easily access information about the revenue their state brings in from the sale of natural resources, including oil. For their part, and because a favourable business climate depends on openness and accountability, oil companies — and here, Suncor has a role to play — can also participate by revealing the sums they have provided to the state in return for the ability to gain access to oilfields.
EITI asked Libya to join in December but the National Transitional Council failed to act. Still, there is clear interest in what EITI has to offer. In May, EITI officials met with Libyan civil society groups and discussed how to best cultivate a relationship. That same month, protesters marched on the headquarters of the state oil company and demanded to know how oil profits are being spent.
The national assembly and the government it chooses will now have an opportunity to address these calls for accountability. Will it act boldly and seek to protect against the potential abuse of oil revenues and all the dangers that come with it? Or, will it keep with the status quo? The answer holds the key to determining not only the nature of Libya’s political future but whether the fight against Gadhafi was worth it in the first place.”See on ottawacitizen.com