The text of the following statement was released by His Excellency Union Minister of Energy U Than Htay of Myanmar and Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs Carlos Pascual.
The energy sector plays a vital role in the economies of both our countries. If properly managed, oil and gas revenues can make an important contribution to economic development, and the sector can help supply the electricity needed to grow the economy, including to run businesses, schools, and hospitals.
Managing the energy sector transparently and in line with international best practices is an objective of both our governments. Transparency reduces the risk of corruption, and helps citizens to hold their governments accountable for spending natural resource revenues. Transparency also helps companies operate with the free, prior, and informed consent of affected communities, which can improve the operating environment for industry, and help reduce the risk of conflict associate with resource development.
Both our governments also strive to ensure international best practices are used in safety and environmental stewardship in the energy sector. Protecting our citizens and our countries’ natural environment are critically important priorities.
We recognize the expectation of our citizens that their governments operate accountably.
The Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar have both committed to implement the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), including working closely with civil society and industry. We view EITI as a valuable tool to support increased sector good governance and multi-stakeholder engagement in sector decision-making.
The United States and Myanmar reaffirm their shared objectives to manage their natural resources, including oil and gas, and the revenues they generate, transparently and for the benefit of all their citizens.
The Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar expresses its intention to continue to reform its energy sector, and to participate in the G8’s Partnership for extractives transparency in conjunction with the United States – an initiative that seeks to demonstrate how G8 members and partner countries, companies, and civil society are working together to advance greater transparency in extractives industry management. To that end, the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar intends to participate in the G8 Transparency launch event in London on June 15.
The United States intends, subject to available resources, to support Myanmar as it continues its economic reform efforts. Through the Energy Governance and Capacity Initiative (EGCI), the United States intends to provide technical assistance in support of the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar’s implementation of international best practices in oil and gas sector management and oversight, financial accountability, and safety and environmental stewardship. The EGCI plans to support technical capacity-building to facilitate successful long-term sector management, updates to the legal, regulatory, fiscal, and operating environment to attract qualified and responsible investors, and strong institutional governance and transparency with respect to oil and gas sector revenue management. The EGCI also plans to reinforce the Ministry of Energy’s efforts to support Myanmar’s implementation of EITI.