Today the BHP Billiton Foundation announced its financial support for two new global projects launched at an event held in Washington DC. The projects focus on enhancing corporate and government transparency to reduce corruption and contribute to sustainable development.
Speakers at the event, which was held at the Brooking Institution, included Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, together with representatives from the International Finance Corporation, Brookings, World Bank and Oxfam. Following her remarks, Madame Lagarde participated in a panel with other distinguished speakers to assess the state of the global fight against corruption and emerging developments in that battle.
The two projects launched today are supported in part through the BHP Billiton Foundation’s Natural Resource Governance Global Signature Program. This Program aims to harness the power of natural resource wealth for sustainable and inclusive human development by reducing corruption, enhancing transparency and improving how natural resources are governed around the world. To achieve this ambition, the Foundation is partnering with international institutions, civil society, governments and businesses on projects that align our aspirations behind a common goal to achieve lasting change.
Chairman of the BHP Billiton Foundation, Karen Wood, said “I am proud that the BHP Billiton Foundation is able to financially support these two critically important projects.”
“The first project will be implemented by members of the World Bank Group and aims to enable citizens to more easily access and use financial information disclosed by the mining industry to reduce corruption risks, improve transparency and enhance how natural resource wealth contributes to poverty reduction.”
“The second project, implemented by the Brookings Institution, will closely study a range of transparency initiatives introduced over the last 20 years. The project aims to understand if and how these open government initiatives have improved peoples’ quality of life in resource-rich countries, and why. The project will share these learnings with the many organizations and initiatives driving this important agenda to enhance the impact of their work around the world.”
Speaking as one of the panelists at the event, BHP Chief External Affairs Officer, Geoff Healy, said “Transparency is a critical issue for the global resources sector. The link between open governance and accountability, and the link between unaccountable governance, corruption and the loss of license to operate is clear.”
“Transparency is the most powerful weapon we have at our disposal to build trust. It is the glue binding the Social Contract: Citizens must trust that governments and corporations are acting in their best interests.”
The BHP Billiton Foundation is a charity funded by BHP.
Further information on the BHP Billiton Foundation can be found at: bhp.com/Foundation