Has the race for transparency entered its final lap?

For me sport is all about those final moments when I’m on the edge of my seat, not knowing who’s going to win. That point in a race where things really get exciting.

Mo Farah 5000m Olympic Final

Mo Farah leading in the 5000m men’s final at the 2012 Summer Olympics.

That’s why I’ve loved watching Mo Farah this summer win his two gold medals. In both races I’ve been on the edge of my seat willing him on, not knowing what will happen, as he’s put himself in the perfect position at the final bell to go on and win the race.

In the same way, that’s why I’m so excited about yesterday’s decisions inside the European Parliament.

For months I’ve not known how much real support among politicians there’s been for Unearth the Truth. I’ve not known if the US would finally implement its own transparency laws. I’ve not known if Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) really do want transparency or if their support would melt away under the pressure of extractive industry lobbyists.

But yesterday was a final bell moment for our campaign.

MEPs on the key negotiating committee, the Legal Affairs committee, have given a resounding yes in support of pretty much all of the demands of Tearfund’s Unearth the Truth campaign (read Bishop Munga’s blog to find out more).

These are demands which, if fully implemented, will contribute to poor communities being able to hold their leaders to account and release vital money to pay for things like schools and medicine.

Tearfund/Jay Butcher

Unearth the truth campaigners hand in actions to the UK Treasury – October 2011.

This final lap moment is what excites me as a campaigner.

This is what motivates me to prepare campaign actions and emails, motivates me to organise MEPs meetings for Tearfund supporters, motivates me to dress up as a miner and have my photo taken at 6am on Westminster Bridge.

This race isn’t over yet, but we have put ourselves in a great position to go on and win!

Andy Wilson
Senior Campaigns Officer, Tearfund
——

The only stumbling block remaining to the campaign is resistance by the European Council and the Commission to greater transparency – under pressure from businesses who still want to keep certain payments hidden.

Join Tearfund’s Unearth the Truth campaign in making sure the Council now plays their part. Call on new UK Business, Innovation and Skills Minister Jo Swinson MP to do all she can to get the Council to support greater transparency in the oil, gas and mining industry. Click here to call on her to act now.

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