Many countries around the world rely on hydrocarbons and minerals for a substantial share of their exports and public revenue. For these governments, natural resources present the opportunity to improve the lives of their citizens. In the best case scenario, the benefits of increased public sector wealth are passed through to ordinary people in the form of, among other things, higher incomes and better health. Instead of improving human development prospects, however, in many cases the discovery and extraction of oil or other resources has been associated with economic decline, political instability, and domestic conflict. But natural resource wealth—driven by elevated commodity prices, high demand for exports, and improved exploration technology—can be transformative for developing country producers if managed properly.
In this context, UNDP and the Government of Mongolia will host an international conference to discuss the different ways that developing countries have coped with the challenges of natural resource management, and in particular how extractive industry wealth might be better used to spur development and reduce poverty. While these issues have been widely studied and have been discussed in various international events, the upcoming international conference in Mongolia aims to make a unique contribution to the understanding of hydrocarbon and mineral management.
The Minister of Finance of Timor-Leste and a representative from the Secretary of State for Natural Resources will take part in this international conference. The conference will run for two and a half days.