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Quote of the Month

"The impact of climate change is posing a growing challenge to peace and stability. That is why we need a new culture of international cooperation: affected states need to be involved at an early stage, and state resilience needs to become a leitmotif of foreign policy." - Frank‑Walter Steinmeier, German Foreign Minister, Presentation of the Report “A New Climate for Peace – Taking Action on Climate and Fragility
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Are Oil Prices Latin America’s Newest Threat?

The dramatic fall in oil prices that has taken place since the second semester of 2014 was not exactly unexpected, even if it did take the world by surprise. As of February 5th, Brent crude has dropped from $115 to $56 a barrel, and West Texas Intermediate to $50. Widely ranging from energy policy to the fight against the Islamic State,...
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What’s in a Name? States of Fragility and Adjusting Aid to Conflict Zones

Depending on how closely you pay attention to the OECD, you may have picked up on a subtle but meaningful change in this year’s States of Fragility report. Whereas previous reports were titled Fragile States, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has shifted its framing to focus less on states and more on conditions,...
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ECC Newsletter Edition 1/2015

We have published the first edition of the Environment, Conflict, and Cooperation Newsletter in 2015. Read how foreign policy makers can use opportunities for green job creation to promote ambitious climate action, about linkages between climate change and fragility in Africa, or how climate change exacerbates conflicts between mining and herding in Mongolia.
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Articles

U.S. passes landmark reforms on resource transparency

Source: Global Witness

15/07/2010 - Global Witness strongly welcomes a ground-breaking new bill, passed by the U.S. Senate today, which will help to lift the curse of corruption and conflict from poor countries that are rich in oil and minerals by promoting greater public oversight and responsible trading practices.

Provisions in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (also known as the Financial Reform Act) will require oil, gas and mining companies registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to publicly disclose their tax and revenue payments to governments around the world. This disclosure will deter the corruption which has brought deep poverty and conflict to many resource-rich countries.

The Act will also require companies whose products contain cassiterite(tin ore), coltan, wolframite and gold to disclose to the SEC whether they are sourcing these minerals from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) or adjoining countries. Companies will have to detail the measures they have taken to avoid sourcing these minerals from DRC armed groups, which are guilty of massacres and other atrocities.  The bill also requires that all information disclosed be independently audited.

"These provisions are a huge victory for corporate accountability in the oil, gas and mining industries, and we commend the leadership of Members of Congress who have steadfastly championed them," said Corinna Gifillan of Global Witness, a non-profit group which has campaigned since the 1990s to break the links between natural resources, corruption and conflict

"As well as helping the people of resource-rich-but-poor countries, these provisions will serve U.S. governmental and commercial interests around the world by promoting stability and responsible corporate investment," said Gilfillan. Global Witness is a co-founder of Publish What You Pay, a global coalition of more than 600 civil society groups that works for transparency in the oil, gas and mining industries.

The House of Representatives approved these reforms on June 30th and the Senate did so today. President Obama is expected to sign the Dodd-Frank legislation into law next week.

"Now is the time for the United Kingdom and other major economies to follow the example of the U.S., so that these crucial reforms can become global standards," said Gilfillan.

For the complete press release, please see Global Witness.