The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the Ministry of Oil of Iraq have launched a history book titled ‘OPEC 60 years and beyond: A story of courage, cooperation and commitment’.
The launch took place in Iraq on the sidelines of the sixth edition of Iraq Energy Forum to mark the 60th anniversary of the 13-member organisation, which has Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela as founding members.
A statement from OPEC on Sunday, made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) stated that the launch took place in the Bab Al-Muaatham district of Baghdad, the capital of Iraq.
It also stated that the area was the site where the organisation was founded in September 1960.
The publication was prepared by the OPEC Secretariat to commemorate the organisation’s 60th Anniversary and was published to bring OPEC’s objectives and achievements in the past six decades to a wider readership.
The first section of the book conducts a thorough review of OPEC’s history, including key events that predated its establishment, while the second part explores important topics for the organisation’s mission and work.
The two sections which involve international dialogue and sustainable development are divided into “Analysing the 60 Years’ and ‘Cross Cutting Issues”.
At the launch, HE Ihsan Abdul Jabbar Ismaael, Iraq’s Minister of Oil and Head of its Delegation to OPEC, said: “It is a great privilege to launch the special book commissioned for the 60th Anniversary of OPEC’s founding.
“For Iraq, and the city of Baghdad in particular, we are delighted to be the site of the launch of this book,” Ismaael said.
The minister, while recalling how OPEC was founded in September 1960 in Baghdad, said that the organisation came into existence as a result of the vision of its founding members.
He said; “The fact that our country is the birthplace of OPEC is an enormous source of pride for all Iraqis.
“We are proud of our role as a founder member; as a constructive force throughout the organisation’s history; a consensus forger and bridge builder.
“We are pleased that the Iraqi Government has sponsored this book and hope it will be a useful reference tool for future generations who seek to acquaint themselves better with our organisation”.
According to Ismaael, the book represents a singular accomplishment, meticulously researched, compellingly written to showcase the multitude of accomplishments of the organisation throughout its history.
OPEC Secretary-General, Dr Mohammad Barkindo, who delivered a brief remark at the launch, lauded the organisation for its many achievements over the last six decades.
Barkindo noted that surviving 60 years was a monumental achievement for OPEC, especially when it involved the most volatile commodities – oil.
“As an organisation, we have come a long way and have witnessed many ups and downs.
“We have seen seven major market cycles, including the latest in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and we have evolved as an integral part of the international energy community and we have seen reams of column inches written about OPEC.
“It is important to stress that in terms of OPEC’s history, the organisation is far more than an appendage to the history of oil.
“It is a story of a family of nations, of people and populations, of feelings, and emotions of countries rich in culture and heritage.
“It is also the struggle of a group of developing countries to exercise the inalienable right of all countries to exercise permanent sovereignty over their natural resources in the interest of their national development.
“The history of OPEC underscores the adversities the organisation has faced, the challenges overcome, the achievements made, and the value placed on dialogue and cooperation with other industry stakeholders, including both producers and consumers,” Barkindo said.
Barkindo commended those involved in producing the book, noting that the cooperation between the OPEC secretariat in Vienna and contributors from Iraq was encouraging.
Highlight of the event was the signing of a copy of the book by the Iraqi Minister of Oil and the OPEC Secretary-General to signify the launch of the book.
The event was attended by several Iraqi Ministers, as well as senior officials from the Ministries of Oil and Culture.
Other activities at the event include cultural traditional music from OPEC Member Countries including Iraq.
The event also featured a show of traditional Iraqi costumes, which was presented by the Iraqi Al Aziaa House in Baghdad.