Working Group Three Non-State and Multilateral Actors: examining roles and responsibilities

Working Group Three
Non-State and Multilateral Actors: examining
roles and responsibilities
Group three focused on the role and responsibility of the private sector, other
non-state actors, and international and regional development banks with regard
to the right of access to information. The group identified which actors hold the
most vital information, considered the arguments for and against extending the
reach information requirements, and contemplated ways to positively motivate
the engagement of non-state actors.
Issue Statement
 Which non-state actors most need to disclose information and provide
greater transparency within our regional context?
 Which can help in our cause for greater transparency in Africa?
Main Discussion & Considerations
Very wide range of non-state actors – local, national, and international
Different degrees and types of transparency are needed
Some non-state actors, both domestically and internationally, such as
churches or foreign sovereign capital, may lie beyond our reach
Regional Findings
 Many sectors at the national level lack basic transparency, including political
parties, local non-state actors, and private companies.
 Important moment for testing or influencing IFI disclosure policies,
especially at the World Bank and the African Development Bank.
 Traditional authorities and rulers in some countries receive international
funds or control important resources—especially the land—with a worrying
absence of transparency.
 MNCs that require disclosures in their home countries do not reach to many
vital concerns, such as their impact on labor and environmental rights.
Voluntary codes of conduct for MNCs are insufficient.
Recommendations & Action Points
 Test and monitor the World Bank’s revised disclosure policy
 Participate in the African Development Bank’s disclosure policy, under
review in 2010
 Specifically, oppose and challenge provisions that allow national
governments to veto disclosure of information held by international
financial institutions
 Participate in the Civil Society Working Group on the AfDB, ahead of the
consultation process
 We must further the development of, and subscribe to, a common global
standard of aid effectiveness. We recognize and welcome the efforts of the
Recommendations & Action Points
 As the extractive industry has begun to see the sunlight of transparency,
stakeholders and civil society organizations should similarly work for
transparency in the armaments, pharmaceutical, and construction sectors.
 Traditional rulers should voluntarily disclose information and should be
subject to national FOI laws.
 Those who advocate for FOI in Africa have a special responsibility to lead by
example, especially through voluntary efforts to provide transparency,
including the disclosure and dissemination of finances.
 Organizations should adopt a code of conduct including principles of
freedom of information.