The mining industry plays a leading role in the economy of 81 countries of the world. These states account for a quarter of the world's GDP; half of the world's population lives there. At the same time, the extractive industry causes great damage to nature. Historically, it is associated with such phenomena as exploitation, colonialism, violence, armed conflict and human rights violations.
With these words at a high-level event dedicated to this industry, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres made a speech. The main topic of discussion is how to minimize the damage that the extractive industry causes to the environment, while ensuring that the benefits generated from it contribute to social development.
“The inequalities that this sector has always contributed to can be avoided if we achieve a fair distribution of profits from the extractive industry,” said the head of the UN. “We need to make this industry more effective by changing the rules around sustainability, transparency, inclusive decision-making, accountability, access to information, and respecting and protecting human rights.”
He urged not to forget about the rights of indigenous peoples, in the territory of which the extraction of minerals is often carried out. Moreover, their representatives themselves, as a rule, do not receive any benefits from the extractive industry.
Guterres noted that companies should create jobs for residents of the areas where they operate and invest in the development of local communities.
"It is also important to fight corruption, dishonest distribution of income and illegal financial flows," the Secretary General said.
At the same time, the UN head also stressed the need to diversify the economy, which will allow countries to end their dependence on the extractive industry.
He stressed that the authorities should develop a green economy and invest in renewable energy sources - in accordance with the principles of the Paris Agreement on the climate and the Sustainable Development Goals.