More than 80 global organizations have released a joint statement calling on ExxonMobil and other oil companies, as well as financial institutions contributing to the development of Guyana’s petroleum sector, to publicly and unequivocally declare that they will only conduct business with a lawfully installed government.
The organizations include Global Witness, International Federation for Human Rights, and Amazon Watch.
They worry that it could also risk rewarding corruption and repression being “the too recognizable hallmarks of the oil curse”.
The statement opines that against the backdrop of global concern for the legitimacy of the electoral process, the silence of the oil industry “provides stark evidence that oil companies are more concerned about the future of Guyana’s oil than the future of the nation and the people who own that oil.”
In clear support for the statements of the international community, which has called for the electoral process to be handled in a fair and credible manner, the signatories said that oil companies should take a stand.
It said that as the silence of oil companies extends to the financial institutions that are financing the development of the local oil sector – such as the World Bank and the Inter American Development Bank. It is very disconcerting that those institutions have not taken a stand on the political unrest that the extraction of oil appears to have exacerbated, the organisations said.
“We call on the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank and all other financial bodies to join the international community in calling for a fair and transparent tabulation of the votes and the installation of the legitimately and democratically elected government.”
The 80-plus organizations are a group of human rights, environmental and democratic organizations who have expressed their intention to stand in solidarity with the people of Guyana, on the need to maintain the integrity of the electoral process.
“We have watched with rising concern as the process of tabulating votes in the March 2 elections has witnessed an accelerating wave of procedural irregularities, unexplained discrepancies, threats against impartial observers, and the premature declaration of the ruling party as the victor in this vital election.”
The signatories applauded the international community, including the Caribbean Community, the Organisation of American States (OAS), the Commonwealth and the joint representatives of the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and the European Union.
“Vitally, we call on all involved to work expeditiously to calm rising tensions, avoid further violence, and ensure the safety of all Guyanese people, and to pay special care to the situation of environmental and human rights defenders, who are too often targeted during periods of social and political turmoil.”
The complete statement can be viewed at the following link: https://tinyurl.com/vgmmpuc
Kaieteur News reached out to ExxonMobil for a response, but up to press time, none was furnished.