Mr Haitham Al-Ghais of Kuwait has been appointed new Secretary-General of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) by a special meeting conducted via videoconference on Monday, 3 January 2022, under the Chairmanship of the Organization’s President, HE Bruno Jean-Richard Itoua.
The OPEC Conference decided by acclamation to appoint Al-Ghais of Kuwait as Secretary-General of the Organization, with effect from 1 August 2022, for three years, based on Article 28 of the OPEC Statute and by the procedure decided at the 182nd Meeting of the Conference on 1 December 2021.
Mr Al-Ghais is now the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation’s (KPC) Deputy Managing Director for International Marketing. He previously served as Kuwait’s OPEC Governor from 2017 until June 2021. In 2017, he served as Chair of the Joint Technical Committee (JTC) of the Declaration of Cooperation (DoC), and thereafter as a Member of the JTC until June 2021.
The conference in its decision expressed its appreciation to Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo for his leadership during his two-term tenure as Secretary-General beginning on 1 August 2016 and ending on 31 July 2022.
Mr Barkindo has been key in expanding OPEC’s historical efforts to ensure sustainable oil market stability through greater engagement and cooperation with numerous energy stakeholders, including the landmark DoC, since its launch in December 2016. These measures are widely recognized for stabilizing the global oil market and laying the groundwork for recovery following the severe market collapse caused by the COVID-19 epidemic.
From 1986 to 2010, Mr Barkindo served in several key positions at OPEC, including as Acting Secretary-General in 2006. As the leader of Nigeria’s technical delegation to the UN negotiations in 1991, he helped produce the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol.
He has continued to be an active participant in the UNFCCC process, most recently at the 26th Conference of Parties (COP) conference in Glasgow in October and November 2021.