The pandemic has posed an unforeseen challenge before the oil sector. The sudden slump in demand and commercial activities left the industry in peril for a while. The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries is mulling ways to recover from this predicament as the body celebrates the 60th year of its foundation.
OPEC stands ready to meet the many challenges it will face as it enters the next 60 years of its history, affirmed the Vienna-based organisation on the occasion of its anniversary on Monday.
The five Founding Fathers of OPEC: Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela gathered at the historic ‘Baghdad Conference’ in 1960, to midwife OPEC into the world. OPEC established itself with courage, persistence and diligence, through the development of its Statute that remains in place today. The seminal ‘Baghdad Conference’, saw these five visionaries from the Founder Member Countries gather together around the premise of cooperation and with the need to write their own story.
”We remain focused on a balanced and stable oil market, in the interests of both producers and consumers, as most recently exhibited through the Declaration of Cooperation and the historic production adjustments of 2020; further elevating dialogue and cooperation through the Charter of Cooperation; and providing options and solutions to some of the major challenges facing humankind, such as sustainable development and energy poverty alleviation,” said Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, OPEC Secretary-General, in a statement on the occasion.
”The 60th anniversary is a time to reflect and appreciate the efforts of all those who have worked so hard throughout our history to make OPEC the resounding success it has become.
This includes generations of heads of state and government, ministers, governors and other high-level experts from outside the Secretariat and, from within the Secretariat, Secretary Generals, management and staff of every relevant discipline. They have all enriched the Organisation, through commitment, perseverance and sacrifice, to cope with the many ups and downs experienced by OPEC and its Member Countries,” Mohammad Barkindo remarked.
In reflecting on this, Barkindo said, “I often think back to that day in 1960, the mood in Baghdad, how those visionaries envisaged the future of OPEC and the oil industry. What is clear is that what was set in motion has stood the test of time; OPEC still has the same core objectives, of order and stability in global oil markets, but its role has also broadened considerably, in terms of deeper cooperation with other producers, dialogue with a host of industry stakeholders, and an embrace of human concerns such as sustainable development, the environment and energy poverty eradication.”
Sixty years on, he added, the Organisation that is today 13 Member Countries is now an integral part of the international energy community and the multilateral system. It is widely consulted on oil industry affairs, remains firmly committed to secure and steady supplies and fair returns to investors, Member Countries run their own domestic oil sectors across the entire value chain, and the Organisation has expanded its activities to champion issues affecting mankind as a whole.
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