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28th Meeting of the Energy Charter Conference

Jointly organised by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan and the Energy Charter Secretariat

28-29 November 2017, Ashgabat, Turkmenistan

The 28th Ministerial Meeting of the Energy Charter Conference drew to a close yesterday, November 29, 2017, in Ashgabat, the capital city of Turkmenistan. More than 60 country delegations and international organisations contributing to the proceedings of the conference during the past two days, addressing the key themes of the event: "Mobilising investment for a sustainable energy future and diversified transportation routes". National delegations travelled great distances to participate in the Conference – Guatemala, the United States, South Korea, Japan, Nigeria, and The Gambia to name just a few points of departure – as Turkmenistan hosted one of the most successful ministerial meetings in the near-three-decade long history of the Energy Charter Process

The strength of the event was reflected not only on the basis of the participation from many delegations from Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) member countries, but also through the impressive statements made during the Conference by newcomer countries of the level of the United Arab Emirates, Nigeria and a host of other states from Africa and Asia. Other major energy power-house countries, such as China and the United States, also made strong statements endorsing the relevance of the Energy Charter Process for trade and investment in the global energy sector. A number of other countries, including Jordan, Pakistan, Yemen, Chad, the Kingdom of Swaziland, Nigeria and The Gambia, reported on their commitment to acceding to the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) 

The question of what sort of Treaty will they accede to in the future was also discussed by delegations. In this context, a number of countries, including ECT members Japan and Spain, advocated their support for the need to modernise the Treaty. While the prospect of Treaty modernisation may have seemed unlikely less than one year ago, it now seems possible that basic consultations on how to approach this highly complex topic may commence when Turkmenistan hands over the Chairmanship of the Energy Charter Conference to Romania on January 1, 2018. 

In his concluding remarks to the Conference and in the post-event briefing to the press, International Energy Charter Secretary General, Dr Urban Rusnák, said that ‘this is now my sixth Energy Charter Conference as Secretary General and eighth overall, and I am proud to lead what has become a truly global organisation for international energy cooperation’. The full version of his concluding remarks can be downloaded here.