On behalf of millions of poor people across the developing world, who are deprived of clean energy supplies, I thank and express my gratitude to Almighty God, as Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah has recovered from an ailment.
These millions of people remember and cherish that King Abdullah — the King of Humanity — was the first world leader to put the question of energy poverty on the international negotiating table before the United Nations did so. King Abdullah (may Allah protect him) has put the goal of eradicating energy poverty on the agenda of the third OPEC summit, which was held in Riyadh in November 2007, adding therefore a ninth goal to the eight Millennium Development Goals adopted by the United Nations in 2000, which omitted this goal for unknown reasons.
Furthermore, the king (may Allah protect him) launched at the Jeddah conference, which brought together the producers and consumers of energy in 2008, his initiative which became known as "Energy for the Poor," the second point of which called upon the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) — the institution I have the honor to manage — to allocate $ 1 billion; the amount committed in 2012 by the Declaration of the Ministerial Council of (OFID). This amount was pledged to combat energy poverty in developing countries as a minimum commitment that is to be increased in accordance with requirements. This declaration was among the most significant outcomes of the Rio de Janeiro Summit that took place last summer.
What will be recorded in history for King Abdullah is that he was the first to set this goal four years before United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced it under the title “Energy for All.”
For all these initiatives, I, on behalf of many representatives of the developing countries that have benefited from clean energy projects launched on the orders of the custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, thank Almighty God for King Abdullah's recovery, praying that he be protected from all harm, and that his way in this world and the hereafter be illuminated as he illuminated the roads for millions of poor people.
n Suleiman Jassir Al-Herbish is the director-general of OPEC Fund for International Development.