Just got back from a presentation to the Round Table on Managing Natural Resources organized by the Belgian Mission to the UN in New York for some Missions and selected UN officials. My message: (a) preaching to Governments in fragile states to implement good NRM policies is not good enough, we must empower the people to press for the adoption of such policies, and combine that with international action on abusers -both companies and their allies in host countries; the FrankDodd Act of the US is the way to go (b) there are tough policy choices facing the best of such governments e.g. just out of conflict one is almost forced to give concessions in order to absorb risks and in exchange for relaunching the economy. Remember there is also very high expectations from citizens who are anxious to enjoy the peace dividend. Where does one draw the line? Also how should a Government with weak institutions impose the checks and balances against abuse of power that are taken for granted in matured democracies. (c) we need to give more space for subregional action on natural resource management. (d) The land grab phenomenon could lead to more deadly instability if not checked. ..Read the full statement here.
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