Congressional Hearing to Examine ‘Resource Curse’

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RAPAPORT… The House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services will hold a public hearing on October 25, 2007 titled: Transparency of Extractive Industries — High Stakes for Resource-Rich Countries, Citizens and International Business.

Given that natural resource supplier countries almost always develop more slowly than resource dependent nations the suppliers are more susceptible to the outbreak of civil war (blood diamonds) and experience a high incidence of corruption, sponsors stated.

“This is often known as the resource curse. The natural resource sector, including diamonds, oil, gas and other minerals, is one of the most secretive sectors, with citizens of many countries –typically the legal owners of a nation’s natural resources– routinely left to wonder how much money is being generated and where the money flows while public officials accumulate vast fortunes.” That was according to PWYP (Publish What You Pay United States,) which is a coalition involving Oxfam America, Global Witness, and Revenue Watch Institute, which plan to participate in the session.

The House Financial Services Committee will examine how to better financial disclosure and transparency in the extractive industry and how best to reverse the “resource curse.”

Speakers include Ian Gary, senior policy advisor for extractive industries at Oxfam America; Father Patrick Lafon of the Bishops’ Conference in Cameroon; Terry Lynn Karl from Stanford University, David A. Baker, vice president of Newmont, and Paul Mitchell, president of International Council on Mining and Metals.

WHERE: 2128 Rayburn House Office Building, Washingon DC
WHEN: Thursday, October 25th, 10 a.m.

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