Panel Discussions - Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Task Force: Energy Supply is Precondition for National and International Stability
“Being able to provide energy for people is crucial to assure stability in any country,” said Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, CEO of Masdar and co-chair of the IPI task force on energy and security, which held its second plenary meeting in New York on September 25th, in the margins of the UN General Assembly.
Participants in the discussion agreed that the question of energy subsidies is highly sensitive in a number of countries, and that inappropriate and abrupt policy changes might lead to instability, and discussed Egypt in that context.
Participants also discussed the Caucasus, the Caspian, and Central Asia, and concurred that, despite the existence of a plethora of energy security frameworks, there is no suitable forum to promote cooperation on energy-related issues in the Caspian.
In Central Asia, water is a major energy-related issue, and attempts to integrate Afghanistan into energy projects involving countries of Central Asia were pointed to as an opportunity to promote regional cooperation, economic development, and stability.
Concerning the Caucasus, it was noted that, while energy is not a source of tensions, it could be used as a means of promoting confidence and cooperation among countries of the region. The next regional expert round table will address challenges in the Arctic region, and will be organized in cooperation with International Gas Union and the Clingendael Institute in The Hague in November.
Task force members also discussed the findings of a Statoil report on the hostage crisis earlier this year in Algeria at the In Amenas gas facility. In order to be able to prevent such attacks, a much closer dialogue and stronger cooperation on intelligence is necessary between the industry and governments.
The task force was chaired by Terje Rød-Larsen, IPI President. Task force members in attendance included Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, CEO Masdar and co-chair of the task force; William Eacho, US Ambassador ret.; Christoph Frei, Secretary-General of the World Energy Council; Geert Greving, Chairman of the Taskforce on Geopolitics for the International Gas Union (IGU); and Kandeh Yumkella, CEO of the UN Sustainable Energy for all Programme (SE4ALL). Grace Reksten Skaugen, Deputy Chair of the Board of Directors of Statoil, participated as an observer.
The next plenary meeting of the task force is planned to take place in the margins of the Renewable Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi in January 2014. Read more about the previous task force meeting and IPI’s expert round table on the Caspian.
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December 02, 2013
Latin America Focus of Fourth ''Being a Peacekeeper'' Event
On December 2-3, IPI brought together 24 representatives from eleven Latin American countries with senior officials from the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department of Field Support to discuss the current state—as well as the future—of Latin American military and police contributions to UN peacekeeping operations.
November 28, 2013
Energy and Security in the Arctic: A New “Frozen” Conflict?
Is the Arctic a “region of cooperation,” or will competition for its potentially rich energy resources lead to conflict in the high north? This was the main question addressed during an expert workshop held in The Hague on November 28th by the International Peace Institute together with the International Gas Union and the Clingendael International Energy Programme.
November 22, 2013
Can Technology Play a Role in Drafting a Constitution?
The effects that new technologies can have on constitutional processes was the topic of this November 22nd IPI roundtable discussion. Approximately five new constitutions are written around the world every year, and their legitimacy is increasingly influenced by a new level of public participation in their drafting, not merely by a plebiscite on the final text. As rapidly advancing technology changes the way that governments and citizens interact, what role are new technologies playing in constitutions?