14.03.2012 | PR04/2012
Kuwait City, Kuwait, March 14, 2012
The Director-General of OFID, Mr. Suleiman J. Al-Herbish, today addressed the 13th International Energy Forum (IEF) holding in Kuwait City, Kuwait. The IEF Forum, attended by high level energy government officials, mainly Ministers, from 72 consuming and producing countries, was preceded by the 5th International Energy Business Forum (IEBF).
The Emir of the State of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, declared in his opening address that all countries of the world had the right to seek social and economic advancement as well as some upgrade of the standards of living of their peoples. This, he said, would require fighting energy-poverty and securing energy for everyone.
Echoing the Emir, Mr. Al-Herbish, in his address at IEF Session on “Achieving Environmental and Social Sustainability: Lower Emissions and Access for All”, declared that the first priority toward sustainable energy is universal access. He said OFID was working with others to provide such access to the poor. Mr. Al-Herbish highlighted OFID’s global efforts at combating energy poverty since the institution’s inception in 1976. He said OFID’s priority has always been the many millions of people still reliant on fuel wood, candles and batteries for daily domestic needs - cooking, lighting and contact with the outside world.
Mr. Al-Herbish informed the Session that OFID was committed to raising the profile of energy poverty in the development debate. He explained that sustained advocacy from OFID (and other institutions) has been essential in pushing energy poverty up the international agenda. This is reflected by the UN declaration of the year 2012 as the Year for Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL). For OFID, Mr. Al-Herbish said, working toward universal energy access for the poor is an essential part of the SE4ALL Initiative.
Concluding his statement, Mr. Al- Herbish said the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have played a vital role in boosting social provisions in many developing countries. “We should build on the success of the MDGs as we go forward to the Rio+20 Summit and take advantage of the momentum provided by the SE4ALL and other initiatives to promote energy access in a comparable way.” Rio+20 is the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) scheduled for June 20-22, 2012, to mark the 20th anniversary of the earlier 1992 Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) which was also held in Rio de Janeiro.
IEF is the world's largest gathering of energy ministers; an intergovernmental arrangement which works to facilitate dialogue among its members: energy producing and energy consuming countries.