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Director’s Message: a Successful 2016, a Busy 2017

December 21, 2016

Please accept our best wishes for the New Year, and our thanks to all those who have contributed to the IGF’s success in 2016.

It is a busy period for the IGF Secretariat, as the IISD team expands to fulfill the ambitious agenda of IGF members and its primary funder, the Government of Canada.

Beginning in early January, Clémence Nare will be joining the IGF Secretariat as Outreach and Engagement Manager. Many of you met Clémence at our recent AGM, and once she joins the team I am pleased to report that the IGF Secretariat will be fully staffed.

We are looking forward to seeing many of you again in South Africa later this month, where the IGF will be hosting the INDABA 2017 Sustainability Round Tables.

We have already begun planning the 2017 Annual General Meeting and are grateful to those who shared their opinions about how we can improve this valuable conference.

We were pleased with the success of the 12th Annual General Meeting at UNCTAD’s Palais des Nation in October. Member engagement was very strong: 36 countries responded with requests for assessment and capacity-building services.

Meanwhile, our Secretariat outreach work is accelerating: Liberia has formally become the IGF’s 56th member government and five other nations have requested membership packages.

Our MPF assessment teams are finishing reports for Senegal, Mongolia and Suriname and planning new MPF assessment field visits for Mauritania and Rwanda in January 2017. We recently completed a week-long capacity building workshop in Burkina Faso on financial modeling and are designing several other training programs for the months to come.

In conjunction with the OECD, work is moving forward on the development of a Base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) guidance document for governments that focuses on illicit flows of money in mining. The final version of the artisanal and small-scale mining guidance document which was presented to members at October’s AGM will be released in January.

We continue to expand our communications and outreach efforts, including an interactive member map, individual pages with basic data on all member countries and a more welcoming newsroom on the IGF website. We will be translating the core of the website into French and Spanish and building a calendar of industry events early this year.

This month’s newsletter introduces a new guest column feature. Our first guest column is by Martin Lokanc of the World Bank introducing the MInGov tool. We plan to use the IGF newsletter and website to help our members keep track of important developments in the field. Please e-mail with suggestions for other topics of interest or ways in which we can improve our communications efforts.

By Greg Radford, Director, IGF