The Second Energy Charter Rabat Forum concluded successfully in Morocco on 25 February 2015. The Forum was organised by the Energy Charter Secretariat together with the governments of Morocco and The Netherlands and was built on the foundation of the Forum held in September 2012, where the Kingdom of Morocco signed the 1991 Energy Charter declaration. The 2015 Forum focused on the role of the International Energy Charter in sustainable energy development in the Middle East and Africa. High-level opening speeches were delivered by Dr. Abdelkader Amara, Minister of Energy, Water, Mines and Environment of the Kingdom of Morocco; Mr. Bert Koenders, Minister of Foreign Affairs of The Netherlands; and Dr. Urban Rusnák, Secretary General of the Energy Charter Secretariat.
Further speakers and over 100 participants continued to engage in dynamic discussion under the moderation of Amb. Noé van Hulst, Permanent Representative of The Netherlands to the OECD. Discussions touched upon many of the issues related to sustainable energy development on the African continent. Topics included access to modern energy services for millions of people in Africa, reduction of energy poverty, the role that renewable energy and energy efficiency would play in energy sustainability in Africa, enhancement of regional energy partnerships and better governance, as well as how international investment protection frameworks could help facilitate investment and the introduction of new technologies into the continent's energy economies. The Forum explored the issues which needed to be tackled and the solutions that could be put in place in order to turn Africa's many challenges into genuine opportunities.
Further to the above, Secretary General Rusnák held a series of high-level bilateral meetings. Dr. Abdelkader Amara, Minister of Energy, Mines, Environment and Water of Morocco, expressed the country's intention to accede to the Energy Charter Treaty and informed Dr. Rusnák that his ministry was conducting the necessary assessments needed for making the decision on this issue. Minister Amara assured the Secretary General of his willingness to participate in the Ministerial Conference in The Hague in May 2015. The Minister also expressed Morocco's willingness to promote the Energy Charter in African countries and the readiness for strengthen further the ties with the Charter constituency.
With the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Koenders, the Secretary General discussed the ongoing preparations for the Ministerial Conference in The Hague and the ministry's and Secretariat's joint efforts aimed at attracting more countries to sign the International Energy Charter.
In discussions with Mr. Ali Oumarous, the Deputy Secretary General of the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum of Niger, Dr. Rusnák welcomed the country's intention to join the Energy Charter Process and the current preparations for Niger to sign the Energy Charter of 1991 and the International Energy Charter.
In the margins of the Forum, the Secretary General also met with Dr. Tarek Emtairah, the Executive Director of the Regional Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, Dr. Hafez Salmawy, President of MEDREG, and the Ambassadors of China and of Pakistan to Morocco.
Materials from this event will be made available here shortly.