A little over a week ago, David Lane, President and CEO of ONE let his fellow ONE members know that they helped score a big, big victory for the world's poor in the halls of high finance.
This is a victory of public transparency for the benefit of citizens.
Developing countries far too often see money from their natural resources end up in the pockets of corrupt government officials. But now, citizens will get to see exactly where this money is going—which means they can hold their governments accountable and make sure funds are spent on health care, clean water and the everyday necessities that everybody needs to lead healthy, productive lives. It boils down to this:
Hidden transactions between corrupt governments of developing countries and the multinational corporations that do business with them will now be brought into the light of day.
This means that any company listed on the New York Stock Exchange will be required to report if they pay a foreign governments to drill for oil and gas or mine gold and diamonds in their countries. As our friends at Care2 tell us.
When governments are transparent, people can hold their governments accountable. When people hold their governments accountable, real, positive change is possible.This is a step in the right direction for transparency is an essential ingredient in getting the Millennium Development Goals met. We need to enable people around the world to be able to hold their governments responsible, which means we need to first make them aware of the challenges and provide them the means of overcoming those challenges. Our governments need to keep an eye on global businesses and people need to keep an eye on both. One of the purposes of this blog is to contribute in the endeavor.