Speech of Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger at the opening of the new OPEC headquarters in Vienna
OPEC headquarters, Vienna
Check against delivery
Mr. President (Minister Germánico Pinto),
Mr. Secretary General (Mr. El-Badri),
Distinguished Mayor of the City of Vienna
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is with great pleasure that I am participating in today’s event in this impressive new OPEC-building. The inauguration of these state-of-the-art premises is a symbol of the fruitful cooperation that OPEC and Austria have had since the establishment of the OPEC-Secretariat in Vienna 45 years ago.
As a result of joint efforts between the OPEC Secretariat, the Austrian Government and the city of Vienna over the last years we have succeeded in finding – and I am sure I can say so for all involved – an excellent solution. Mr. Secretary General, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you personally and your entire team for your vital engagement in this process and also congratulate you on the successful installation in your new home.
This is a historic day in the partnership between OPEC and Austria and a good start for the festivities marking OPEC’s 50th anniversary. The premises, however, do not only represent an impressive new home to OPEC, but they will also enhance the organizations capacity to carry out its mandate even more effectively for the next 50 years – as we hope - and beyond.
During the first five decades, the Organisations nowadays pivotal role in ensuring secure and timely oil supplies to consumers and a steady income to producers has taken shape. Stability of global energy markets has become a main focus of your planning and coordinating activities. Market and price volatility with its disturbing, disruptive and damaging effects on both economic growth and investment into the energy industry, which is so vital for future supply at affordable prices, have been addressed by the Organisation. This is especially true with regard to OPEC’s efforts to counter the erratic ups and downs of prices as well as of demand in a volatile crisis-stricken financial and economic environment. At this moment, when the world is slowly emerging from recession, a strong stabilizing role of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries is of even greater importance.
In carrying out this role, to contribute to a more secure, stable and sustainable world, OPEC has chosen the avenue of engaging in and promoting an enhanced dialogue between all stake holders, consumer and producer countries, and international organisations.
Enhanced energy dialogue with consumer-, producer- and transit-countries is also at the heart of the European Union’s New Energy Policy. I am happy to note that in this context, a meaningful dialogue between the European Union and OPEC has been initiated to control market volatilities and foster cooperation – that the EU representation is your direct neighbour here should augur well for this cooperation.
I would also like to welcome the informal dialogue on energy issues which has recently been initiated between the Vienna based International Organisations with energy mandates such as UNIDO, International Atomic Energy Agency, OSCE; REEP, Energy Community.
Mr. President, Mr. Secretary General, Distinguished Ministers,
Let me once again congratulate you on the inauguration of the new premises and let me assure you that we will continue our support for you and your staff in the future. May the modernity of the building be a symbol of the constant reinvigoration of our partnership.