Publish What You Pay awarded Commitment to Development Award

By Oxfam

On Wednesday, December 1, 2010, the Center for Global Development (CGD) and Foreign Policy magazine will present the global Publish What You Pay coalition with the 2010 Commitment to Development Award. The award gives special recognition to the US chapter of Publish What You Pay in recognition of the coalition’s role in the passage of a provision in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, which will require oil, gas, and mining companies disclose their payments to governments around the word. Coalition member and international humanitarian organization Oxfam America was instrumental in the passage of this provision.

“This award is a testament to the Publish What You Pay coalition’s tireless work to shed light on an industry that has been clouded by secrecy for decades – at the cost of development and peace in many resource-rich developing countries. This multi-year effort shows that advocacy groups working as part of a well-focused coalition can have significant and lasting policy impacts,” said Raymond C. Offenheiser, president of Oxfam America.

The Publish What You Pay coalition works around the globe to help citizens of resource-rich developing countries hold their governments accountable for the payment, receipt, and management of natural resource revenues. Oxfam America and fellow coalition members worked with Senate champions Ben Cardin and Richard Lugar on the provision, which requires all oil, gas, and mining companies registered with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to disclose payments made governments of resource-rich countries where they operate.

“Oxfam America is honored to have been a part of Publish What You Pay’s successful campaign to help reduce the secrecy of oil, gas, and mining payments to governments, which fosters corruption and violent conflict in countries that are home to half of the world’s poorest people,” said Offenheiser.

The award will  boost the efforts of Oxfam America and allies in the Publish What You Pay coalition to promote new international standards and rules for the public disclosure of natural resource information, including advocating for timely and comprehensive implementation of the US legislation by the SEC.

"The effectiveness of this law – both in the United States and as a global model – will be determined by the development of effective implementing regulations by the SEC in early 2011 and strict compliance by companies starting in 2012. Companies should heed the call for transparency so citizens of resource-rich countries can begin to use this information to hold their governments accountable for using revenues to address essential services like healthcare, education, and job creation," said Offenheiser.
 
Since 2003, the Commitment to Development Award has honored individuals and organizations that made a significant contributions to changing attitudes and policies toward the developing world. Oxfam’s Make Trade Fair Campaign received this honor in 2004.

For more information:
The Commitment to Development Award: http://www.cgdev.org/section/initiatives/_active/cdaward
Oxfam America’s work on oil, gas, and mining issues: www.oxfamamerica.org/rights-resources.
Publish What You Pay United States: http://www.pwypusa.org

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