2018 AGM Communiqué
Having a modern legislative regime provides clear lines of responsibility and accountability. Such a regime establishes the foundation of good governance and contributes to sustainable development throughout the mining life cycle. In recent IGF member surveys, respondents identified legal and policy improvements and reforms as a top priority for action.
As a result, the 2018 IGF AGM focused on modern mining laws and policies, highlighting accountable, equitable and innovative approaches.
The IGF convened its 14th AGM, hosted by UNCTAD, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, from October 15–19, 2018. More than 400 participants registered, including delegates from 75 countries, as well as representatives from international organizations, industry associations and civil society. The IGF was pleased to welcome as new members Afghanistan, Colombia, Fiji, Laos, Sudan and Thailand, who have joined the Forum since the 2017 AGM.
Prior to the official opening of the AGM, government representatives gathered on Monday, October 15, for workshops on regional priorities and training on the IGF Guidance for Governments on local content policies, which was released in July 2018. A consultation was also held on the upcoming IGF Guidance for Governments on the legal framework for environmental and social impact assessments in contracting and permitting processes, which is scheduled for release in late 2019.
On October 16, 2018, UNCTAD Deputy Secretary-General Isabelle Durant welcomed delegates and highlighted the importance of minerals in our everyday lives, particularly in the transition to a low-carbon economy. She added that in the face of growing demand for strategic minerals, “It is essential, in an intergovernmental context like this one, to design a more coordinated and coherent governance framework that can help ensure the sustainable development of supply chains of these minerals, which are put under pressure by an unprecedented growth rate.”
Panelists from 21 nations and more than 30 organizations shared their experiences and insights during the AGM’s 19 sessions and 6 lunch sessions.
The sessions focused on a wide range of topics consistent with the Mining Policy Framework’s thematic areas. Delegates and panellists explored the theme of modern mining law and policy with a range of sessions, including: global trends in the revision of mining laws; innovative and transparent approaches to the generation of and access to geological information; supervising mining practice; designing and conducting environmental and social impact assessments; engaging communities in the mine life cycle; responsible supply chains; and voluntary instruments for contract negotiations. A session was also held on how mining can support and promote gender equality and the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 5.
There was also a series of sessions related to the future of mining, including innovation, new technology, financial management, local content and promoting responsible supply chains. Discussions were also convened on both climate and forest smart mining, as well as best practice in mine closure.
A number of side events also took place during the AGM, which were covered extensively as daily summaries in the IGF Bulletin.
Tax Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Technical Workshop
On Friday, October 19, following the official close of the AGM, a full-day technical workshop was delivered on tax base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) in the mining sector. Specifically, the workshop covered: tax treaties in the mining sector; transfer pricing; and fiscal stabilization arrangements. The one-day workshop also hosted the launch of the UN handbook on Extractive Industry Taxation. The workshop was offered as part of the broader IGF – OECD program of work to address BEPS in mining.
In closing, the IGF Chair thanked delegates for their participation and UNCTAD for once again hosting the meeting.
The delegates thanked the IGF Chair and Executive Committee members for their support of the IGF, and thanked the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) for hosting the IGF Secretariat and for enhancing the services it offers to members. Delegates also thanked the organizers, as well as all donors and partners who have supported the IGF’s work over the past year, including the governments of Canada, Germany, Sweden and the European Union as well as the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank.
The Secretariat announced to delegates that the next AGM will be hosted by UNCTAD and convened from October 7 to 11, 2019 in Geneva at the Palais des Nations.
For more information, please contact the Secretariat: Secretariat@IGFmining.org