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    • ECO Secretariat attended a series of sustainable energy events in Vienna
      ECO Secretariat attended a series of sustainable energy events in Vienna
      The High Level Conference on Sustainable Energy and Development under the guiding theme of “Regional Cooperation to Accelerate Sustainable Energy Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Developing Countries” was held on 3 October 2018 in Vienna, Austria. The Conference held under the auspices of the Austrian Presidency of the Council of European Union (EU), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) featured a series of other sustainable energy events between 1st and 5th of October.

      The major goal of the Conference was to accelerate global efforts to enhance regional cooperation and integration as a catalyst for scaling up renewable energy and energy efficiency investment, innovation and entrepreneurship in developing countries. The Conference addressed recent case studies and lessons learned from different regions across the globe and highlighted the partnership opportunities within the Global Network of Regional Sustainable Energy Centres (GN-SEC). It brought together selected key players from international organizations, development banks, utilities and regulatory bodies, private sector, academia and senior officials from EU Member States.

      Director of Energy, Minerals and Environment of ECO Secretariat, Mr. Fuad Farzalibeyov participated in the High Level Conference, as well as at the 4th Meeting of GN-SEC Platform titled “UNIDO GN-SEC Joint Programming Initiatives under GEF-7 and the Green Climate Fund”, held on 1 October and the Meeting on Creating Opportunities for Sustainable Energy Investments and Businesses in Developing Countries, held on 2 October.

      ECO Director delivered the presentation on the joint ECO-UNIDO initiative on the Preparatory Phase for the establishment of ECO Clean Energy Centre as a panelist in “Session 2: Regional Cooperation Innovations – Case Studies” of the High Level Conference. Having briefed the audience on the above initiative in his presentation, ECO Director characterized the ECO Clean Energy Centre as a promising future element of GN-SEC being implemented across the globe that could complement and potentially interconnect other Centres within GN-SEC framework. He highlighted that the establishment of the Centre will be an explicit example on how the countries mostly abundant with hydrocarbons resolve on a regional level on contributing to the Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) Initiative.

      On the sidelines of the event, ECO Director had the meeting with Mr. Tareq Emtairah, UNIDO Director of Energy and his team in charge of GN-SEC activities. They deliberated on the ways and means of implementation of the Preparatory Phase for the establishment of ECO Clean Energy Centre, its fund-raising aspects and technical design, as well as synergies with potential partners. Meanwhile, ECO Director had consultation with the officials of the European Commission in charge of development cooperation and sustainable energy, and exchanged views on collaboration opportunities within the establishment of ECO Clean Energy Centre and ECO Regional Electricity Market, as well as ECO’s possible support to EU Strategy for Central Asia. ECO Director proposed the European Commission to consider rendering continuous technical support during preparatory and implementation phases of the joint ECO-UNIDO Project, and advocate this project among EU Member States with a view to mobilize a portion of necessary funds for implementation of the next - Operational Phase.

      ECO Director also held the meeting with Mr. Fuad Siala, Acting Director for Strategic Planning and Economic Services of OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID). During the course of the meeting, they followed up the ECO-OFID high-level meetings between Heads of institutions in 2014, which laid ground for the dialogue between two institutions. Notably, they discussed the possibilities for building strong and continuous institutional linkages, OFID’s possible engagement in the joint ECO-UNIDO initiative on establishment of ECO Clean Energy Centre, as well as proposals for study projects/surveys in ECO Region. The Director of Energy, Minerals and Environment underscored ECO’s readiness to contribute to OFID’s “Energy for the Poor” initiative (EPI) in its 10th Anniversary and support OFID’s efforts towards eradication of energy poverty in the ECO Region. Both sides also shared views on collaboration opportunities in the framework of the Water-Energy-Food Nexus, which is the central theme of OFID’s Corporate Plan and has also the critical importance for ECO Region.

      It is worth mentioning that the ECO Vision 2025 – a key strategic document of the Organization – stipulates the establishment of an ECO Clean Energy Centre up to 2025 by the ECO Secretariat and Member States. This joint endeavour is also a result of UNIDO’s long-lasting cooperative relationship with ECO, based on a 1994 Agreement. UNIDO is a long-standing partner of ECO countries regarding the promotion of cleaner and resource efficient production practices, as well as renewable energy and industrial energy efficiency.

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