IEF and GECF Heads discuss expanded cooperation in first meeting

Source: press release, 6 October 2020

Virtual meeting between new IEF Secretary General HE Joseph McMonigle and HE Yury Sentyurin to review ongoing and future cooperation (photo: GECF)
Virtual meeting between new IEF Secretary General HE Joseph McMonigle and HE Yury Sentyurin to review ongoing and future cooperation (photo: GECF)

The International Energy Forum (IEF) and the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) conducted the first virtual meeting between new IEF Secretary General HE Joseph McMonigle and HE Yury Sentyurin to review ongoing and future cooperation.

The GECF and IEF have had a close relationship dating back to 2010 and cemented further in 2011 with the MoU, focused on exchange of data and market research, as well as joint high-level activities and events.

In the area of high-level activities, HE Yury Sentyurin participated in the 16th IEF Ministerial Meeting, held under the auspices of HE Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India in New Delhi in 2018. The GECF leadership also attended the 7th and 8th Asian Ministerial Energy Roundtables in 2017 and 2019, respectively, which typically gather both IEF and GECF Energy Ministers, heads of the major international organisations and expert community.

On reciprocal basis, the IEF leadership attended some of the major GECF events, including the 4th and 5th GECF Summits. Further, at the launch ceremony of the GECF Global Gas Outlook in 2019, the organisation was awarded with a ‘Friend of the GECF’ token, marking yet another milestone in the relations between the Forums.

During the meeting, HE McMonigle invited Secretary General Sentyurin to attend the next IEF Ministerial Meeting scheduled to take place in 2021. Furthermore, the upcoming 7th IEF – IGU Ministerial Gas Forum, hosted by Malaysia on 3 December in 2020, represents another significant opportunity for mutual engagement in a virtual setting.

In turn, HE Sentyurin invited HE McMonigle to be a keynote speaker at the signature GECF Monthly Gas Lecture Series. These lectures feature policymakers and experts who share their knowledge and insights on contemporary issues related to the gas industry and its interconnected influencers of geopolitics and economy.

Both IEF and GECF officials discussed their respective participation in the recently held G20 Energy Ministerial Meeting and exchanged views on the importance of the stability of energy markets in the economy recovery from the pandemic.

With the annual GECF Global Gas Outlook attracting the attention on a global scale, the heads of both organisations also discussed the growing presence of the GECF at the IEA-IEF-OPEC Symposiums on Energy Outlooks, where the GECF successfully added value at the 9th and 10th editions in 2019 and 2020, respectively.

Secretary General Sentyurin says, “We are looking to ramp up our participation in the IEA-IEF-OPEC Symposiums on Energy Outlooks. This is an area where the GECF is ready to demonstrate our hallmark capability of energy forecasts and become a full-fledged partner organisation.”

His Excellency Joseph McMonigle says, “The GECF actively participates in the Joint Organisations Data Initiative and the IEF energy dialogue at ministerial and senior expert level meetings, including in the context of the trilateral programme of work with the International Energy Agency and Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.”

Data and statistics are another hallmark of the GECF and both HE McMonigle and HE Sentyurin reiterated their shared belief in the importance of data to inform scientifically grounded analyses. The Joint Organisations Data Initiative (JODI) – a data transparency and exchange programme, coordinated by the IEF and extensively supported by the GECF – occupies a special place within this information-driven dialogue. Among other participants of the Initiative are Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), Statistical Office of the European Communities (Eurostat), the International Energy Agency (IEA), Latin American Energy Organisation (OLADE), OPEC, and UN Statistics Division (UNSD).

The GECF became the only gas organisation to join JODI-Gas in 2014 when it became an official partner of the programme. Secretary General Sentyurin highlighted the GECF’s engagement at the 6th Meeting of Heads of JODI in 2018 and JODI Inter-Secretariat Meeting, as well as other JODI and JODI-Gas events, as a showcase of the GECF’s commitment to this important programme.

Secretary General Sentyurin noted: “I am proud of our association with the IEF and would like to reiterate our intention to continue supporting the IEF and the JODI initiative into the future for the benefit of our respective stakeholders.”

His Excellency Joseph McMonigle added: “I look forward to expand our engagement into new areas and strengthen our collaboration during my Secretariat.”

The GECF regularly organises JODI training sessions for its members, in addition to presenting speaking opportunities to IEF officials in its thought leaders’ meetings. To promote the initiative furthermore, an invite to jointly organise a JODI-Gas Information Session for the MENA region on the sidelines of the 6th GECF Gas Summit of Heads of State and Government, to be held in Qatar in 2021, was extended and welcomed.