International mining experts have called on African countries, companies and individuals to ensure compliance with international standards and agreements related to natural resources.

A joint statement issued in Nairobi on Monday following a two-day meeting also agreed on the importance of raising awareness at the international level, including in end-user countries on the issue of compliance.

“Participants committed to strengthen their partnerships through increased synergy and coordinate respective interventions to maximize the collective impact of efforts to curb the illegal exploitation and trade of natural resources,” it said.

The meeting was organized by the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and the Office of the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for the Great Lakes (O/SESG-GL)

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During the consultation, 65 experts and stakeholders from Africa, Europe, North America and Australia, including civil society organizations and representatives from the mining industry, government institutions, donors, think tanks and UN agencies, funds and programs pointed out challenges and agreed on prioritized recommendations focusing on sustainable and transparent management and governance of natural and renewable resources.

The participants recommended that ICGLR member states make public the production and export statistics of natural resources and harmonize taxation regimes at the provincial, national and regional levels, especially on the trade of gold.

They also suggested that all companies in the natural resources sector are audited and that financial records are available in the public domain.

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This, the experts said, will also contribute to ensuring further progress in the implementation of the Pact on Security, Stability and Development in the Great Lakes Region, and the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for DRC and the region.

Participants agreed on the need to strengthen regional cooperation among the judiciaries, police and customs services to address the illegal trade of natural resources. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh