On 9 December 2009, the 20th Meeting of the Energy Charter Conference convened in Rome at the invitation of the Government of Italy. The Rome Meeting of the Conference was one of the most important in recent years and brought together representatives of over 60 states, as well of international organisations and the energy industry.
The Conference Meeting took place following a difficult year for the energy sector as a whole due to the world economic crisis. Within the Energy Charter constituency, the year had seen the major challenge of the Russian-Ukrainian gas dispute in January. Significant new energy initiatives were also launched, notably the Russian President Medvedev's Conceptual Approach to the New Legal Framework for Energy Cooperation in April 2009. The 20th Meeting of the Conference provided an opportunity for the Energy Charter community of states to reflect on the challenges facing the global energy economy and to agree upon a positive and forward looking agenda to respond to new developments.
Following welcoming remarks by H.E. Vincenzo Scotti, Undersecretary of State of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy, the Conference unanimously adopted a proposal for the accession of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to the Energy Charter Treaty. The Conference was particularly pleased to welcome H.R.H. Princess Wijdan Al-Hashemi as Head of the Jordian delegation.
In the afternoon, H.E. Claudio Scajola, Minister of Economic Development of Italy, led a discussion of major energy states focused on their common challenges and on possible solutions through the framework of the Energy Charter. During this discussion, statements were provided by the delegations of the Russian Federation, the European Union, Japan, Turkey, and China. The Rome Meeting, for the first time, was the occasion for the participation by Mexico, South Africa and Brazil, which are currently not observers to the Conference.
At the conclusion of the dialogue, the Conference adopted the Rome Statement. With the Energy Charter Treaty as the foundation, the states agreed by the Statement to launch a process of modernisation, taking into account the Russian President Medvedev's Conceptual Approach to the New Legal Framework for Energy Cooperation. This process is designed to ensure the continuing relevance of the Energy Charter. A key element of modernisation will be a renewed focus on expanding the membership of the Treaty to major new energy markets, notably those in Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.
During 2009, the Energy Charter also underwent its regular five-yearly process of Review, conducted on this occasion by Professor Sergio Garribba of Italy, as Special Representative for the Review. The report and conclusions of the 2009 Review were presented to delegates at the Rome Conference Meeting. The 2009 Review sets out a number of practical proposals to support the process of modernisation. In Rome, the Conference agreed to one of these: the creation of a standing Strategy Group as a means to guide the future modernisation of the Charter process. The new Strategy Group will begin operation in 2010.
Conference Meeting Agenda
Session One - Opening Ceremony
- Welcome by the Hon. Vincenzo Scotti, Undersecretary of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy
- Approval of the Agenda
- Summary Record of the 19th Meeting of the Energy Charter Conference on November 28, 2008
Session Two - Implementing the Energy Charter Treaty
- Relations with Non-member States
- Report by the Secretary General
- Accession of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to the Energy Charter Treaty
- Reports from the Energy Charter Groups
- Ad Hoc Energy Charter Strategy Group
- Energy Investments
- Trade and Transit Issues
- Energy Efficiency and Environmental Aspects
- 2009 Policy Conference 'Ensuring Investment in Secure and Sustainable Energy: Benefits of Multilateral Action'
- Dialogue with Energy Industry
- Legal Issues
Special Session - Ministerial Dialogue
Chaired by H.E. Claudio Scajola, Minister of Economic Development of Italy
- Keynote Address by H.E. Mr Claudio Scajola
- Dialogue with Industry
- Presentations by Ministers and Heads of Delegations, Discussion and Joint Statement
Session Three - Administrative Obligations
- Adoption of Joint Statement
- Energy Charter Review under Article 34(7) of the Energy Charter Treaty
- Budgetary Issues
- Energy Charter Secretariat's Work Programme for 2010
- Designation of the Conference Chairman, Vice-Chairmen and Officers of the Conference's Subsidiary Bodies for 2010
- Venue of the Next Meeting of the Energy Charter Conference