The date, 14th September, is a special day for OPEC, as in 1960, its five founding members - Iraq, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela - created the organisation during the historic Baghdad Conference.
Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, Secretary-General of OPEC, said, "Today is a day to remind ourselves of the qualities of the people who have served the organisation over many years, with vision, commitment, perseverance and sacrifice. This has helped us tackle our challenges and utilise the opportunities presented to the organisation and its member countries, to realise OPEC’s noble objectives."
The five founding members, representing their oil-producing nations, combined together around the premise of co-operation, with a commitment to safeguard their legitimate national interests and ensure order and stability in the international oil market. Since then, this group has been joined by many new members, and the organisation now comprises 14 countries that are respected far and wide as established players in the international energy community.
The organisation has helped to maintain a stable and regular supply of oil in the global market and has expanded its international role in the energy sector, which is now more interconnected and interdependent than in the 1960s. It has also helped to enhance and promote greater co-operation and dialogue among oil producers and consumers, as well as other international organisations. These are all enshrined in OPEC’s statute, which was created during its formation and remain relevant today, as its overall accomplishments, including the historic "Declaration of Co-operation" between 24 OPEC and non-OPEC producing nations, are clear to see.
On any anniversary, it is also important to look back and appreciate the efforts of those who have worked so hard over the past 57 years, which made OPEC the success it has become today. These include generations of heads of states and governments, ministers, secretaries-general, governors and senior experts, as well as the management and staff who have always driven the secretariat to advance over many decades.