Remarks by Matthias Naab, UNDP Mozambique Country Director -Roundtable on Extractives Responsible Mineral Development Platform

Nov 28, 2013

·         Your Excellency, Minister of Mineral Resources of the Republic of Mozambique

·         Your Excellences, Ministers and Government Representatives

·         Dear participants and representatives from stakeholder groups and organizations

·         Ladies and gentlemen,

Bom dia…..Good morning

It is indeed a great pleasure and honor for me to address the participants at the closing ceremony of this important roundtable. Today’s activity is taking place at a crucial moment in the country’s development history and represents indeed a critical initial step towards the implementation of the Africa Union-adopted African Mining Vision in Mozambique.

First and foremost, on behalf of the UN system, I would like to acknowledge and commend the Government of Mozambique, through the Ministry of Mineral Resources-MIREM, for the co-hosting this very important roundtable, and especially under the leadership of Honorable Minister Bias. I would also like to acknowledge and commend the direct coordinating role played by the World Economic Forum-WEF in partnership with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa-ECA and the United Nations Development Programme-UNDP.

Mozambique is richly endowed with a variety of natural resources. New large gas and coal discoveries and elevated investor interest in extractive industries have been touted as “game changing” for Mozambique: from a foreign-aid based economy to one based on substantial foreign direct investment dominated by mega-projects in the extractive industries sector.

In this context I would like to highlight three key issues:

·         The estimated value of Mozambican natural resources is such that, if properly harnessed, could have a massive positive impact on reducing poverty and inequality and, more broadly, on promoting sustainable human development and long-standing peace

·         The experiences of countries with longer histories in extractive industries show that there are tremendous opportunities but also formidable challenges in turning natural wealth into long-term economic and social development. Harnessing extractive industries to advance human development has therefore become a top priority at national, regional and continental levels.

·         The Government of Mozambique and other national economic and social actors have stated a strong commitment to ensure that the Country reaps maximum benefit and minimizes potential challenges, in view of realizing the Country’s development ambitions. This event today bears testimony to that commitment.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The UN is working on a broad front to support African Governments to build capacity, transparency and accountability to better reap the benefits of the Extractive Industry developments. On a regional level, the UN, particularly through the Economic Commission for Africa, supports the African Union-adopted Africa Mining Vision.  UNDP is also currently implementing a regional initiative which will support implementation of the Africa Mining Vision regionally as well as within individual resource-rich countries.

In Mozambique, the UN is committed to explore and structure effective partnerships in support of the Government’s vision to translate investments and economic growth into human development gains. Indeed, the UN is working hand-in-hand with the Government of Mozambique to help address the health, social and environmental dimensions of the extractive industries developments. The UN’s ongoing work in support of Government priorities in the environment, good governance, local development, and human rights arena also represent significant contributions to the ongoing debate on long-term sustainable development in the context of the extractive industries boom.

More importantly, specific technical and high-level policy advisory support will be provided to Government in support of the development of the Country Mining Vision. The overall objective is to support the governance of extractive industries through an increasingly participatory, equitable and sustainable approach, ensuring that the contribution of the extractives sector to peace and human development is maximized. UNDP Mozambique will focus on providing policy advisory services, enhancing communities’ and civil society participation and providing knowledge management services mainly through a South-South cooperation approach.

We are happy to note that this roundtable has allowed for an engaged and high-level dialogue and policy discussion among all stakeholders, enriching the national debate on this vital development agenda and setting the stage for further discussion in respect of the Mozambique Country Mining Vision.

The road map that has been developed here can become an ideal platform around which to join all our efforts toward the realization of the vision for the benefit of the people of Mozambique. Once again, I would like to reiterate the firm commitment of the UN family and UNDP in particular, to contribute to this very important national agenda in collaboration and in partnership with all of you in support of the Government and people of Mozambique.

I thank you for your kind attention.

(muito obrigado)

For more information please contact:

Luis Zaqueu
Communications Specialist, UNDP Mozambique

Tel:  +258 21 481 410

Cell: +258 82 308 247 0 / 84 308 247 0

Email: luis.zaqueu@undp.org

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