Message from WEF Latin America

This post was written by  Delia Ferreira Rubio, a member of TI’s board of directors.

On April 27th I was in Rio de Janeiro for the World Economic Forum’s regional meeting, where I attended three very different sessions that were all relevant to our movement.

Responsible Mineral Development in Latin America was the title of one of private sessions at the WEF in Rio de Janeiro. Lack of transparency was identified as one of the key challenges. Transparency both on the negotiation processes of Mineral Development Agreements and of the content of these MDAs is essential to guarantee accountability. People should be informed about the scope, timing, expected benefits and revenues of mining projects in order to understand what is at stake and to actively participate in a process that will -no doubt- modify life conditions for good or for bad.

The importance of revenue transparency was emphasized as a means to hold governments accountable and to prevent corruption.

The Civil Society Meeting was another of the sessions. More than 30 civil society organizations were represented at the meeting together with Transparency International. It was suggested that the Regional Agenda Council on Latin America should focused on inequality and poverty as basic problems of the region. Lack of transparency and weakness of democratic institutions were also mentioned as barriers that hinder development in many countries in the region.

A very interesting workshop, coordinated by Susan Segal, was devoted to the Gender Agenda: Mapping best practices in Latin America particularly in the private sector. It was pointed out that although women represent more than 50% of university graduates in the region their presence in top management positions does not reach the 2%. On the other hand it seems that women are doing better in the public and political sector both at the Executive and in Congress.

From 2004-2010, Delia Ferreira Rubio was on the board of TI’s Argentina chapter, Poder Ciudadano.

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