Remarks by OPEC Secretary General at the 14th JMMC Meeting

Delivered by HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, OPEC Secretary General, at the 14th Meeting of the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC), 19 May 2019, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Mr. Chairman, Excellencies, distinguished delegates,

Ramadan Kareem. Allow me to stand on existing protocols.

For centuries, the good people of Jeddah and Arabia have opened their homes and their hearts to visitors from across the globe, and in doing so, this city has earned its reputation as one of the most hospitable and welcoming places on earth. I am in the fortunate position of being able to personally attest to this generosity and graciousness, as I made my first trip to Saudi Arabia in 1977 (42 years ago), along with my parents to my first Haj, and have eagerly returned at least once almost every year, since then.

The excellent arrangements for our meetings are even more remarkable given the fact that we are meeting during the holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims from across the world descend on Mecca and Medina to perform blessed Umrah. Of course, this presented a logistical challenge for our hosts, in catering for each and every one of us.

On behalf of the OPEC Secretariat, I would like to extend our sincere thanks and deep appreciation to HE Khalid Al-Falih, Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Chairman of the JMMC, for the outstanding provision made for our meetings this week. I’d also like to thank his very able team for their tireless work, in particular Eng. Adeeb Al-Aama, Dr. Nasser A. Al-Dossary, Sami Mehaid, Mohammed Al-Thomairi, Mohammad Al-Khaldi, Tariq Nasser, Dr. Samiha Al Khayat, Eissa Elzerma, Fahad Toryf, Abbad Fantani, Abdullah Al Issa, Khaled Al Attiby, Jamil Dandany, Huda Alshwaier, Amal Alsayegh, Eiman Saad and all other representatives from Saudi Arabia who have made these meetings possible.

Returning to our own work, I would also like to pay tribute to Saudi Arabia for its outstanding leadership role in our collective endeavours. From the inception of our voluntary production adjustments under the DoC in January 2017, the Kingdom has led by example, demonstrating selflessness, responsibility and willingness to prioritize the common good. We deeply appreciate that this has not been easy and has required your country to make difficult decisions and painful sacrifices. Simply put, the exceptional rate of success that we have enjoyed to date, would not have been possible without this exemplary leadership on your part.

The Hadith tells us that the Messenger of Allah said of the month of Ramadan:

“It is the month of patience, and the reward of patience is Heaven. It is the month of charity, and a month in which a believer’s sustenance is increased.” [Narrated by Ibn Khuzaymah]

During Ramadan, all of us have the opportunity to recommit ourselves to the bonds of friendship, community and collegiality that unite us. We are called to demonstrate a spirit of cooperation, collaboration and fraternal respect among all nations. May the spirit of this holy month enthuse our meeting today and all our meetings going forward.

Adherence to the spirit of Ramadan necessitates that in our deliberations, we must focus on areas of agreement, common interest and seek convergence of opinion. Occasional divergence in viewpoints is, of course, natural, even among friends. Nevertheless, we stand to gain so much more when we remain focused on our multitude of mutual interests and shared objectives.


Throughout our Organization’s history, we have overcome obstacles which appeared insurmountable at the time. Some of these challenges in the past were much more daunting than any uncertainties in our current times. Yet we persevered. And in doing so, we excelled and attained even greater heights than anyone could have imagined.

The reasons our Organization and partnership continues to thrive are multifarious and too numerous to list in their entirety now. But throughout our history, just as the Bedouins navigate their journey guided by the stars in the heavens, we have been guided by the constellation of the core principles of transparency, fairness and equity. These principles have been critical to our successes and have ensured our cohesiveness. If we continue to place our trust in these principles, our group interests will triumph.

Another critical factor in our success is the fact that OPEC has benefitted from the contribution of outstanding and dedicated public servants and leaders from our Member Countries. And I can think of no better exemplification of the type of intelligence, wisdom and selfless commitment to duty that has immeasurably enriched our Organization than the chairman of this Committee, HE Khalid Al-Falih.

How fortunate for all of us that his partner from the Russian Federation, HE Alexander Novak, would demonstrate a similar array of extraordinary talents. The positive symbiosis between OPEC and non-OPEC is an enormous credit to these two gentlemen, who exemplify the umbilical cord that brings us together.

Allow me to conclude by once again thanking our Saudi Arabian hosts and wishing us all fruitful discussions.

HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, OPEC Secretary General (l); and HE Khalid A. Al-Falih, Saudi Arabia's Minister of Energy, Industry & Mineral Resources; and Chairman of the JMMC

HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, OPEC Secretary General (l); and HE Khalid A. Al-Falih, Saudi Arabia's Minister of Energy, Industry & Mineral Resources; and Chairman of the JMMC

The 14th meeting of the JMMC took place in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

The 14th meeting of the JMMC took place in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia