On June 29, 2017 the United Arab Emirates (UAE) signed the International Energy Charter political declaration, becoming the 86th country to take this significant step within the context of its energy policy development. The signing ceremony took place in Paris and was attended by high level state officials, including the Minister of Energy of the United Arab Emirates, H.E. Suhail Al Mazrouei, who signed the Declaration on behalf of the UAE, Secretary General Dr Urban Rusnak of the Energy Charter Secretariat, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Turkmenistan in France, the Ambassador of the Netherlands at the Permanent Representation to the OECD.
By signing the International Energy Charter, governments from near to a hundred countries around the world have been making a political commitment to endorse the principles contained in the aforementioned Declaration and to work amicably towards international cooperation in the field of energy. The principles in the Declaration refer to key areas of international energy cooperation such as investment protection and promotion, energy trade and transit, energy efficiency and due concern for environmental issues, risk reduction, as well as conflict mitigation and dispute settlement.
The UAE becomes the first country of the Gulf Cooperation Council to sign the Declaration, joining the International Energy Charter family. The UAE is likewise a member of OPEC, and it is worth noting that three other OPEC members – Nigeria, Iraq and Iran – have also signed the International Energy Charter. The UAE is one of the world’s leading oil producers and plays a highly significant role in international energy security. The country is also at the forefront of supporting renewable energy efforts and technological advances in the sector, hosting the International Renewable Energy Agency in Abu Dhabi.
The International Energy Charter political declaration aims to guide governments into the direction of promoting a thriving international energy trade based on market principles and mutual complementarities. The Declaration upgrades earlier definitions of energy security in a way that it now balances the interests of energy producing, consuming and transiting states. It continues to endorse the principle of national sovereignty over national resources. The Declaration foresees the work of the Energy Charter Treaty, in advocating the rule of law and a level playing field in the context of energy cooperation between the world’s nation states.