OFID Director-General says access to energy at core of achieving SDGs

06.09.2017 | E27/2017  

Astana, Kazakhstan, September 6, 2017. “This Expo’s theme—Future Energy—reflects one of the most important of today’s global priorities: ensuring everyone has access to energy,” said OFID Director-General Suleiman J Al-Herbish today at Expo 2017 in Astana, Kazakhstan. “This is at the very core of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

Al-Herbish, speaking at the event’s official ‘OFID Day’, said that the Expo represented “a new and valuable contribution to the urgent global dialogue on energy.” He expressed the conviction that such events serve to foster participation and the exchange of ideas; and importantly, to come up with solutions. “Solutions that OFID and its partners,” the Director-General added, “stand ready to fund.”

Inviting delegates to OFID’s Expo exhibition, where the organization is hosting an expert panel session entitled Future of Energy for All, the Director-General said: “Access to energy is essential for economic growth, employment, education, poverty reduction, and health and safety. It has been the central theme of our work since 2007, when OFID received a special mandate from the Riyadh Declaration of the 3rd OPEC Summit. Since then, we have intensified our energy poverty alleviation initiatives.”

The Expo, which is addressing global energy-related challenges, has attracted countries from around the globe including OFID Member States Algeria, Gabon, Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and the UAE. Prominent international organizations are also in attendance, including OECD, OPEC, SEforALL, WPC, UNESCO, UNIDO and UNDP.

OFID’s participation includes facilitating an information stand for the entire duration of the Expo—between June 10 and September 10—and staging the aforementioned expert panel session. Panellists included: Pierce Riemer, Director General of the World Petroleum Council; Luis Gomez Echeverri, Senior Advisor, Transition to New Technologies Program, IIASA; Fuad Siala, Senior Advisor, Strategic Planning and Economic Services, OFID; and Milena Kozomara, Environment Portfolio Manager, UNDP.

Al-Herbish also met with Kazakhstan government ministers and high level officials Aidar Afrikhanov, Baiterek Deputy Chairman, and Erlan K. Khairov, Vice Minister, Ministry of Investment and Development. Discussions between OFID’s delegation and several counterparts focused on the framework of cooperation including the private sector development, and future collaboration.

When concluding his speech at the event, Al-Herbish commended the government of Kazakhstan for its commitment and continued cooperation with OPEC to stabilize the oil market. He then reiterated his thanks to the Republic of Kazakhstan for hosting the Expo and added: “OFID looks forward to working more closely with [Kazakhstan] in the future to support sustainable development in Central Asia.”

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Arabic version