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International Energy Charter contributes to the 13th Summit of the Economic Cooperation Organisation

Following the formal approval of the Energy Charter Conference (ECC) as an observer to the Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO), the ECC Secretariat was invited to contribute to the 13th ECO Summit in Islamabad, Pakistan, on March 1, 2017. 

Addressing the Summit on behalf of Energy Charter Secretariat Secretary General, Ambassador Urban Rusnak, Dr Marat Terterov stressed during his intervention that the accession of the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) by ECO member states Iran and Pakistan, would send a powerful external signal to the effect that energy investments will benefit from legal security in those countries. He added that investments made from those very countries into the energy sectors of other ECT members would likewise benefit from reciprocal legal security. 

The Summit was chaired by the Prime Minister of Pakistan, H.E. Nawaz Sharif, and was addressed by the heads of state from ECO member countries Azerbaijan, Iran, Turkey, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. Other ECO member states, namely Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan participated in the Summit at the level of deputy heads of state or governments. The ECC was one of three observers invited to exclusively address the Summit, together with special Summit invitees from the government of China and the United Nations. 

All participants stressed ECO’s mission as a platform for the promotion of regional economic integration and connectivity, particularly in the areas of energy, transport and communications. Worth noting was the intervention of the President of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, who reminded Summit participants that his country holds the chairmanship of the Energy Charter Conference during 2017. Turkmenistan further invited all participants to attend the 28th ECC which is due to take place in Asghabad in November of this year.  

Following the completion of the Summit, Dr Terterov held meetings with H.E. Sartaj Aziz, Adviser to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on Foreign Affairs, as well as H.E. Shahid Khazan Abbasi, Minister for Petroleum & Natural Resources of the Government of Pakistan. The officials exchanged views on the relevance of the Energy Charter for the promotional of regional cooperation in the energy sector in the ECO framework. Pakistan’s accession process to the ECT was also discussed. Pakistan has been a long standing observer of the Energy Charter Conference and signed the International Energy Charter Political Declaration, which has been approved by more than 80 countries since it was initially adopted in The Hague, The Netherlands, in May 2015. Dr Terterov also held meetings with officials from Pakistan’s Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority, and the Islamabad country representation of the Asia Development Bank.