Many more countries are in the process of examining the benefits of signing the International Energy Charter. Within the existing constituency there is a continuation of the openness and willingness to reach out to new partners on all continents, and to promote the existing principles of the Energy Charter.
For many of these Signatories this was their first engagement with the Energy Charter Process. They have helped to extend the geographical reach of the Energy Charter Process to new horizons particularly in the Asian and African continents and in Latin America.
Signing the International Energy Charter grants Observer status to the Energy Charter Conference, which allows such countries to take part in the discussions on shaping global energy governance. The ambition remains that this will result in a system of global rules for cooperation in energy. It confirms the belief that broader energy cooperation is required for economic progress, for social development and for the alleviation of energy poverty.
One year ago I outlined the hope and expectation that the International Energy Charter would do justice to the importance of energy security for producing, consuming and energy transit countries, and in a balanced manner.
Furthermore in the year that has passed since the adoption of the International Energy Charter, one hundred and ninety five countries reached a global Agreement within the UN Framework on Climate Change. The Paris Agreement implies a global transition to a low-carbon economy and sustainable energy model. To implement the goals of the Paris Agreement it is clear that enormous investments in energy infrastructure will be required. That is where the potential of the Energy Charter lies.
Progress has been made, but much more needs to be done. As Secretary General I urge the Members and Observers of the Energy Charter Conference to continue to promote the values and principles of the International Energy Charter, to encourage other countries to sign. A global system of energy cooperation and governance is in the interest of all.