Signing of International Energy Charter

May 21. Kazenergy

Signing of International Energy CharterMay 20-21, the Hague (the Netherlands) hosted a Ministerial Conference that signed the International Energy Charter. The Ministerial Conference was a historical event that marked a new milestone. The European Energy Charter was updated twenty years after its adoption. The Conference was attended by all the signatories of the European Energy Charter and observer countries. The delegation of Kazakhstan was headed by the first Vice Minister of Energy of the Republic of Kazakhstan, U. S. Karabalin.

The need for the International Energy Charter arose due to significant changes in the geopolitical situation and the increasing interest in the Energy Charter from the countries in the Middle East, China, etc. In the past, this document was called the European Energy Charter (EEC). The singing the IEC was negotiated by approximately eighty states, including the sixty-four European Energy Charter member states. The new document will extend the scope and boundaries of international agreements in resolving global energy issues.

The high-level speeches made by the heads of delegations of all the attending countries were very important. Every speech emphasized that the time for change has come. Therefore, the adoption of the International Energy Charter has become particularly timely.

The Minister for Foreign Trade and Cooperation Development of the Netherlands, Lilianne Ploumen chaired a business meeting. At the meeting, the Deputy Chairman of the KAZENERGY Association, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the Energy Charter, Dzhambulat Sarsenov, made a report on “Investing in Energy”.

Besides, the participants discussed the issues of investment in the green economy, the role of governments, international bodies and companies in developing renewable energy sources, and energy innovations.

The increasing globalization and interdependence of States in the energy sector, the improvement of mechanisms for settlement of investment disputes, the introduction of mechanisms for pre-trial settlement were the subject of the discussions at the Hague Legal Forum of the Energy Charter held during that Conference.

To strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation in the oil and gas sector, Mr. Uzakbai Karabalin met during his visit to the Netherlands with his counterparts from the USA, Hungary, Georgia, Turkey, China and other countries. Additionally, experience was shared during the visit of the Kazakhstani delegation to the Shell Project Technology and Engineering in Rijswijk, which renders technical services and provides technological tools in the field of exploration, production, refining and marketing of petroleum products.


The Energy Charter was signed in 1991. Originally, this organization was established as a mechanism for energy interaction between Western and Eastern Europe. The Energy Charter Treaty and the Protocol on Energy Efficiency and Related Environmental Aspects were signed in 1994. Unlike the European Charter, which called for increased political ties in the energy sector, the Treaty was a legally binding multilateral agreement. The Energy Charter Treaty provided for unified rules that had to be observed by all the participating governments to avoid the risks associated with investment and trade in energy. Over the years, the Charter has broadened and expanded to Eurasia.

The Republic of Kazakhstan signed and ratified the Energy Charter Treaty by the Decree of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan dated 18/10/1995.

The Energy Charter Treaty (ECT), signed in 1994 and entered into force in 1998, is the only set of international rules designed specifically for the energy sector.

The International Energy Charter (IEC) is a political declaration regulating the general principles of international cooperation and the main directions in the field of energy. Namely, energy efficiency, including environmental protection; exploration, extraction, production, transportation and use of hydrocarbons; modernization of refineries; integration of pipeline systems and transport of natural gas via high pressure pipelines; all aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle, including the enhancement of safety in this sector; modernization of power plants; the integration of power systems and the transmission of electricity via high-voltage lines; the development of integrated regional energy markets; all aspects of the coal cycle, including the technologies for “clean” coal; development of renewable energy; access to sustainable energy, etc.