UNCTAD's Deputy-Secretary General, Mr. Petko Draganov, speaking at the opening of the eighth Annual Session of the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF) noted the role the Forum is playing in enhancing the capacity for good governance in the mining sector. He also identified ways in which the United Nations and its agencies might work more closely with the Forum and its members.
Leonard Kalindekafe, Chair of the Forum, from the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Environment of Malawi, highlighted the importance of carrying forward the work of the Forum, and in particular the need to build consensus on its future organizational structure. He underscored the need to pursue targeted concrete activities in order to implement the Mining Policy Framework (MPF) as a way to promoting sustainable development in the mining sector. Dr. Kalindekafe also welcomed the addition of two new members to the IGF, Guatemala and Honduras which brought the IGF membership to 45 States.
Hosted by UNCTAD, the Annual Session brought together over 120 representatives of member and observer States, international organisations, industry and civil society to discuss emerging challenges facing by the mining sector and to evaluate the sustainability of the IGF as an organization, as well as next steps towards the concrete implementation of the Mining Policy Framework.
As the only intergovernmental forum that brings together governments with an interest in mining, the Forum continues to attract the participation of a wide range of stakeholders, with seventeen observer organizations represented at this year’s meeting. The IGF expanded its partnership this year with the World Economic Forum through a joint session with their Minerals and Metals Group, where participants discussed key issues related to mineral value chain management.
Members were informed of national and regional initiatives underway in Ethiopia, Ecuador, the Philippines, Germany and Australia. In addition, members heard presentations on the approaches to the mining sector by observer organizations, including the World Bank, the African Development Bank, the Commonwealth Secretariat, the International Institute for Environment and Development, the International Council on Mining and Metals and the World Gold Council.
Forum members agreed to adopt the reports of the Task Force on Future Funding and the Task Force on Implementation of Mining Policy framework and to combine both Task Forces into a single Strategic Directions Task Force. This Task Force will start to dialogue with all stakeholders in the mining sector with the view to advancing the implementation of the Mining Policy Framework and the sustainability of the Forum. Members also ratified two new Vice Chairs, Christiane Villemure from Canada and Jackeline Goncalves de Oliveira of Brazil to the Executive Committee.
Members and Observers expressed their gratitude to the Governments of Canada and Germany for their financial support to the Forum, the World Economic Forum and Vale International for their hospitality, and to UNCTAD for its support as Host.
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