Skip to main content

The International Energy Charter expands relations with Observer Countries

Energy Charter Secretary-General Dr Urban Rusnák travelled to Abu Dhabi at the invitation of the Ministry of Energy of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The Secretary-General was invited to participate in one of the flagship gatherings of the international energy sector – Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week - during 13-15 January 2018. 

High-level government officials and energy company executives from all around the world are drawn to Abu Dhabi during this period when the Emirati capital transforms into a leading international platform for energy dialogue and networking. Major conferences taking place in Abu Dhabi during Sustainability Week include the IRENA General Assembly, the World Energy Futures Forum, as well as the Atlantic Council Energy and Economy Forum. 

The Secretary General’s participation in this sequence of high-level gatherings allowed the International Energy Charter to strengthen relations with many countries particularly the growing number of  Observer countries including those interested in accession to the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT). 

In this context, some of Secretary General’s high level bilateral meetings with Observer states that took place included:  

  • The State Minister of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources of Bangladesh, H.E. Nasrul Hamid MP;
  • The Minister of Oil and Energy of Chad, H.E. Bechir Madet; 
  • The Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources of Jordan, H.E. Saleh Al Kharabsheh; 
  • The Minister of Energy, Mines and Sustainable Development of Morocco. H.E. Aziz Rabbah;  
  • The Minister of Energy and Mineral Development of Uganda, H.E. Engineer Irene Nafuna Muloni;
  • The Minister of Natural Resources and Energy of Swaziland, Hon. Jabulile Mashwama;  
  • The Minister of Electricity and Energy of Yemen, H.E. Engineer Abdullah Mohsen Al-Akwa; 
  • The Undersecretary, Ministry of Energy of the UAE and Chairman of the Board of the Gulf Cooperation Council Interconnection Authority H.E. Dr Matar Al Niyadi;
  • The Deputy Minister of Mines and Energy of Colombia, H.E. Alonso Mayelo Cardona Delgado;
  • The Assistant Minister of Mining and Energy of Serbia, H.E. Professor Milos Banjac;
  • Acting Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs of the Department of State of the United States of America, H.E. Sue Saarnio; 

A number of the above mentioned Observer countries are in the final stage of accession to the ETC including Jordan, and Yemen. Bangladesh, Chad, and Swaziland have also expressed an evidently keen interest in the accession process and are currently finalising all necessary reports to enter the final stage of accession.  

Dr Rusnák confirmed that the Energy Charter Secretariat is committed to offering full support for all countries which desire to accede to the ECT and close cooperation continues between the Secretariat and the given countries at present. 

The Secretary-General also took the opportunity of his visit to meet with the high-level officials from ECT Member states including Armenia, Mongolia, Spain and Switzerland, with whom he discussed issues relating to the forthcoming Chairmanship of the Energy Charter Conference in 2020, modernisation of the ECT and the Energy Charter Investment Risk Assessments (EIRA) project.  

Dr Rusnák also met with the Minister of Oil and Gas of Oman, H.E. Mohammad bin Hamad Al Rumhy, and the Minister of Energy and Water of Lebanon, Cesar R Abi Khalil, to discuss the possibility of these countries re-joining the International Energy Charter as Observers. 

The Secretary-General was assisted by Knowledge Centre Principle Coordinator, Dr Marat Terterov, during this Mission, who also took the opportunity to raise awareness about the International Energy Charter with delegations from South Sudan, South Africa and Botswana.