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The EU would like to thank the Special Rapporteur for the presentation of her report and comprehensive analysis of the relationship between extractivism and the enjoyment of human rights, especially in terms of racial equality.
The EU is based on the fundamental values of respect for human dignity and human rights, freedom, democracy, equality and the rule of law. As such, the EU is fully committed to promoting substantive racial equality and eliminating all forms of racial discrimination, within its borders and in the world.
The Special Rapporteur usefully refers to the existing framework at the international level. The EU is fully committed to implementing and promoting the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights with its three pillars: the "State duty to protect"; the "corporate responsibility to protect" and the "access to remedy". We refer to our most recent contribution to the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights and would like to specifically mention the European Commission Sector Guides on implementing the UN Guiding Principles – one of them specifically tailored for oil and gas companies.
The EU has also developed specific policies to regulate the extractive industry. Under its ‘Country by country reporting requirement’, listed and large non-listed companies that are active in the oil, gas, mining or logging sectors are obliged to report all material payments to governments broken down by country and by project (when these payments have been attributed to a specific project). This requirement improves the transparency of payments made to governments all over the world by the extractive and logging industries, and it provides civil society in resource-rich countries with the information needed to hold governments to account for any income made through the exploitation of natural resources, and also to promote the adoption of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).
Could you elaborate on the role of civil society in promoting transparency and holding States accountable for failing to uphold racial equality and non-discrimination obligations in the extractive sector?
I thank you, Mr President.