Call for transparency in commodities trade
Geneva: The prospects for greater transparency in the commodities
trading sector will be examined at UNCTAD's 2014 Global Commodities
Forum (GCF), part of the event's overall theme of 'Global value chains,
transparency and commodity-based development', at the Palais des Nations
on April 7 and 8.
Since 2010, legislators in the US and Europe have enacted strict new
disclosure rules for payments made to governments by companies involved
in oil, gas, mining and forestry projects - the so-called extractive
This reform movement now looks set to turn its attention to the
traditionally secretive trading sector, which buys commodities from
producers in developing countries and sells them to markets around the
The Forum will focus on the challenges faced by commodity-dependent
developing countries (CDDC), or countries for which raw commodities,
such as oil, gas, minerals or grains, represent more than 60% of
Transparency and accountability are ongoing concerns for CDDCs,
which, despite the boom in commodity prices that began in 2003, have
been unable to convert these windfall revenue into durable development
outcomes for their citizens. In 2011, for example, nine of the 12
countries at the bottom of the Human Development Index (HDI) were rich
in natural resources.
Dr Peter Eigen, delivering the keynote address on the GCF's
transparency sub-theme, will outline developing countries' need for
enhanced transparency and accountability in the global commodities
trade, and will propose a way forward that forum participants will
debate over the two-day event.
Dr Eigen founded Transparency International and is one of the 10
members of Kofi Annan's Africa Progress Panel.
The commodities trading sector is linked to the challenges facing
CDDCs through illicit physical and financial flows.