The celebrations of Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) 60th Anniversary, which were originally scheduled this month in Baghdad where the Organization was founded, have been postponed.
The Organisation is an intergovernmental organization that was established on 14 September 1960 in Baghdad by its five Founder Members: Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Its membership has grown since then to 13 oil producing countries.
This month, OPEC is also marking the 55th year since the Organisation’s Secretariat moved to the Austrian capital of Vienna.
Few would have foreseen six decades ago that the Organization would have risen to the heights it has today in the global energy arena.
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Back then in Baghdad, the five Founding Fathers of OPEC, Juan Pablo Pérez Alfonzo of Venezuela; Abdullah al-Tariki of Saudi Arabia; Dr Tala’at al-Shaibani of Iraq; Dr Fuad Rouhani of Iran; and Ahmed Sayed Omar of Kuwait gathered together in the Al-Shaab Hall in Baghdad, to midwife OPEC into the world.
The celebrations of OPEC’s 60th Anniversary, which were originally scheduled this month in Baghdad where the Organization was founded, have been postponed.
HE Ihsan Abdul Jabbar Ismaael, Iraq’s Oil Minister and Head of its Delegation to OPEC, said in a letter to HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, OPEC Secretary General, that it is “genuinely disappointing not to be able to host the 60th Anniversary” following months of preparations for the historic event.
“The health and safety of all are of utmost importance,” the Minister emphasised.
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The OPEC Secretary General expressed his sincere gratitude for Iraq’s gracious initiative to host OPEC’s Diamond Anniversary in the Al-Shaab Hall in Bab Al-Muaadham, Baghdad, the site of OPEC’s founding in 1960.
“It is very unfortunate that we are unable to mark OPEC’s Diamond Anniversary in September at the same site where the historic ‘Baghdad Conference’ was held between 10 and 14 September 1960. It was a historic meeting in all senses that saw the common vision and wisdom of our Founder Members and led to the creation of a foresighted organization that grew in stature and influence to become a distinguished entity within the global energy community,” Barkindo said.
“Yet we look forward with high anticipation to attend OPEC’s homecoming in the very near future,” he added.
By Peace Obi