UNU-WIDER experts in key role in global roundtable process on extractives

Over the past eight months, various heads of state, ministers, and other stakeholders from around the world have participated in a dialogue to discuss the pressing issues and the future of the extractives sector. UNU-WIDER researchers Tony Addison and Alan Roe have played a key role in the process, which culminated in a global roundtable led by the UN Secretary-General on 25 May 2021.

The global event was preceded by five regional roundtables, organised in collaboration with the Regional Economic Commissions and the UN entities working on extractives. Tony Addison and Alan Roe, both Non-Resident Senior Research Fellows at UNU-WIDER, were invited to participate in the process as academic experts under the theme ‘Financing for Development, Natural resource management and Economic diversification’.

In his opening remarks at the global roundtable, the UN Secretary-General António Guterres called for greater regional and global co-ordination to manage shocks and ensure a smooth, just and sustainable transition process to a low-carbon future.

After a series of interventions from various heads of state and ministerial representatives, Professor Roe summarised the key takeaways from the regional dialogues.

‘The climate crisis, combined now with COVID pressures, creates a combination of significant difficulties for many extractive-dependent economies, but also exciting new opportunities for others. The demanding challenge for both national and international policies is to craft responses that can mitigate the dangers, while at the same time enhancing the prospects of successfully grasping the new opportunities.’  

Alan Roe presenting at the Global Roundtable. Photo from UN Web TV

Organised as part of the ‘Financing for the Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond Initiative (FFDI)’, the purpose of the roundtable process was to discuss the transformation of extractive industries to support economic diversification, sustainable development investments and the implementation of the SDGs, in order to identify concrete actions and recommendations that can be implemented at the global, regional, and national levels.

The substantive outcomes from the roundtables informed the first-ever policy brief by the Secretary-General on extractive industries. The policy brief draws from UNU-WIDER’s work on extractives, specifically from its ongoing project Extractives for Development (E4D) – risks and opportunities.