From Uche Usim, Abuja
Global oil cartel, the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), on Monday voted to appoint Kuwaiti candidate Haitham Al-Ghais as its new Secretary-General.
OPEC in a statement said Al-Ghais emerged after a special meeting of the Conference of OPEC held via video conference.
He will replace Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, a Nigerian representative, when his second term as OPEC SG ends July this year.
Al-Ghais’ election draws strength from Article 28 of the OPEC Statute and in the application of the procedure decided at the 182nd Meeting of the Conference on 1 December 2021.
“The Conference decided by acclamation to appoint Mr Haitham Al-Ghais of Kuwait as Secretary-General of the Organization, with effect from 1 August 2022, for a period of three years,” the statement read.
“Mr Al-Ghais, a veteran of the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) and Kuwait’s OPEC Governor from 2017 to June 2021, currently serves as Deputy Managing Director for International Marketing at KPC. He Chaired the Joint Technical Committee (JTC) of the Declaration of Cooperation (DoC) in 2017 and subsequently served as a Member of the JTC until June 2021.”
According to the statement, the Conference of OPEC expressed appreciation to Barkindo for his leadership during his two-term tenure as secretary-general from August 1, 2016 — to end by July 31, 2022.
“A long-serving veteran of Nigeria’s oil industry and OPEC, Mr Barkindo has been instrumental in expanding OPEC’s historical efforts to support sustainable oil market stability through enhanced dialogue and cooperation with many energy stakeholders, including the landmark DoC since its inception in December 2016,” the statement adds.
These efforts are widely credited with helping to stabilize the global oil market since the unprecedented market downturn related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and providing a platform for recovery.
“Before being appointed Secretary-General, Mr Barkindo held a number of key roles at OPEC between 1986 and 2010, including as Acting Secretary-General in 2006. He is known internationally for helping to produce the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol as the leader of Nigeria’s technical delegation to the UN negotiations in 1991.
“He has remained a key contributor to the UNFCCC process, including most recently at the 26th Conference of Parties (COP) meeting in Glasgow in October and November 2021”, the statement added.
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