…Event now to hold early 2022
Lagos — The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, has postponed its 60th anniversary celebrations originally scheduled for this month in Baghdad, Iraq, where the organisation was founded in 1960.
The event originally scheduled for September 30 is now to hold early next year.
OPEC had sent out invitations for the event in June, but the COVID-19 restrictions disrupted the meeting.
The postponement of the meeting followed a letter to the OPEC Secretary General, Dr. Mohammed Barkindo, by the Iraq’s Oil Minister, Ihsan Abdul Jabbar Ismaael, saying the country could not guarantee the safety of all.
“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,” a statement by OPEC on its website read.
“The health and safety of all are of utmost importance,” the statement quoted the minister as emphasising.
According to the statement, “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.
OPEC is an intergovernmental organisation that was established on September 14, 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, including Nigeria.
This month, OPEC is also marking the 55th year since the organisation’s secretariat moved to the Austrian capital of Vienna.