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Active participation from Observer countries at the 28th Energy Charter Conference

During the 28th Energy Charter Conference in Ashgabat on 29-30 November 2017, a large number of Observer countries further strengthened ties with the Energy Charter Process. A number of these countries also proclaimed the objective of acceding to the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT).

 

Several observer countries are nearing ECT ratification 

Jordan, Yemen and Burundi are in the ratification stage of their respective ECT accession procedures. High-level representatives from these countries made statements regarding their envisaged accession to the ECT during the conference. Further, the Energy Charter Secretary General Dr. Urban Rusnák, met with H.E. Mr. Haitham Alziadin, Chairman of the Jordanian Parliament’s Energy Committee, to discuss the internal ratification procedure in Jordan. A meeting was also held with H.E Mr Abdullah Al-Akwa, Minister of Electricity and Energy of Yemen, to discuss Yemen’s recent progress towards accession as the Yemeni Cabinet of Ministers approved the ratification of the Treaty. Dr. Rusnák thanked H.E. Mr Simeon Habonimana, Deputy Minister of Energy of Burundi, for his statement at the Conference regarding Burundi’s recent validation of the ECT accession reports and commitment to proceed with the ratification of the Treaty. It should also be added that Pakistan has been invited by the Energy Charter Conference to accede to the Treaty, with high level representatives from Pakistan also participating in Ashgabat. 

 

ECT accession being considered by noticeable number of Observer countries

During the conference proceedings, a noticeable number of countries, including Bangladesh, Chad, Guatemala, Nigeria, The Gambia, Swaziland and Uganda confirmed their intention to strengthen cooperation with the International Energy Charter Organisation in view of preparing their accession to the ECT. H.E. Mr Nasrul Hamid, State Minister of Power and Energy of Bangladesh, H.E. Ms Jabulile Mashwama, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources of Swaziland and H.E. Mr Ahmat Gadam, Deputy Minister of Energy of Chad confirmed their commitment to finalise the accession reports to accede to the Treaty. Dr Amina Bello Mohammed Shamaki, Nigeria’s Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Science and Technology, highlighted the country’s decision to nominate a Secondee to prepare accession reports to the ECT. 

 

Leading international energy powers move closer to the International Energy Charter

The United States of America, The United Arab Emirates (UAE), China and the Republic of Korea referred to the relevance of the Energy Charter Treaty for promoting trade and investment in the international energy sector. Mr Christopher Miller, from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), suggested that the United States seeks a transparent and level playing field in the competition for traditional hydrocarbon resources, a comment which reflects a core mission of the Energy Charter.   

H.E. Dr Matar Al Neyadi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Energy in the U.A.E, reminded delegations of the recent signing of the International Energy Charter by the UAE in June 2017, before outlining possible further areas of cooperation. Dr. Al Neyadi invited delegations to participate in the World Energy Congress which the UAE is hosting in Abu Dhabi in 2019.

The Vice Administrator of China’s National Energy Administration, Mr Farong Li, informed delegations of the creation of the International Energy Charter-China Electricity Council Joint Research Centre. The establishment of the research centre can be considered as a new milestone in the relationship between the International Energy Charter and China. 

Dr. Rusnák also met with Mr. Jeha Choi, Director of the International Security Division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea. They discussed possibilities for further cooperation, the need to improve the energy security in Northeast Asia, and the secondment of an official from Seoul to the Energy Charter Secretariat. The Islamic Republic of Iran, a recent signatory of the International Energy Charter, also attended the 28th Energy Charter Conference.

All observer countries have been invited to participate in the ECT modernisation process meetings which will begin with its first meeting in February 2018.