IPI HomeEventsPanel DiscussionsEnergy Diplomacy in the Caspian

 

print print  |  share share back back

Panel Discussions - Friday, June 28, 2013

Energy Diplomacy in the Caspian

On June 28th, the IPI Vienna Office hosted an expert roundtable on energy and security in the Caspian, Caucasus, and Central Asia. The roundtable focused on the region around the Caspian Sea, which is potentially the world’s third largest oil producing region, with reserves of more than 200 billion barrels of oil and 800 billion cubic feet of gas.

Energy is a major factor in the political and economic relationship between countries of the region and major markets in Europe and China. Particular attention was paid to Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan, which are the biggest producers of oil and gas in the region.

The meeting was the first in a series of regional roundtables that will provide input to IPI’s energy and security task force, which has these aims: 1) to identify the impact of energy on security (and vice versa); 2) to examine what structures and mechanisms exist to promote multilateral cooperation on energy issues; and 3) to make recommendations on how energy-related governance structures can improve regional stability.

Participants in the roundtable observed that, despite a plethora of energy security frameworks, very few are suited to promoting cooperation on energy-related issues. For example, there is no body to promote cooperation among states of the Caspian, nor a legal agreement among the five littoral states to resolve disputes or to ensure long-term security and development in the Caspian. Past attempts to promote Caspian economic cooperation and a Caspian bank were recalled. The precedents of regional and sub-regional councils in other parts of the world (such as the Arctic, Baltic Sea, Black Sea, and among Nordic countries) were cited as possible models.

In Central Asia, water is a major energy-related issue. Upstream countries (i.e., Tajikistan) seek to use rivers for hydro-electric power which concerns downstream countries (i.e., Uzbekistan) that rely on the water for irrigation. While bilateral and regional agreements are essential to resolve water-related disputes, thus far the countries of Central Asia have been unable to find ways to work together. Attempts to integrate Afghanistan into energy projects involving countries of Central Asia were pointed to as an opportunity to promote regional cooperation, economic development, and stability.

Concerning the Caucuses, it was noted that energy is not a source of tensions, but could be used as a means of promoting confidence and cooperation among countries of the region. The importance of the Southern Corridor and Turkey’s growing role as an energy hub were highlighted.

Observations and recommendations from the expert-level meeting will be shared with the energy and security task force, which is scheduled to meet on the margins of the high-level segment of the UN General Assembly at the end of September.

The Global Observatory

With UN Withdrawal, Sierra Leone Takes Lead of Own Peacebuilding Process
The withdrawal of the UN mission is an important indicator that peacebuilding is now more in the hands of Sierra Leone nationals, and there is a lot of work still to be done.

Key Global Events to Watch in April
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.

2014 Top 10 Issues to Watch in Peace & Security: The Global Arena
A list of ten key issues to watch that are likely to impact international peace and security in 2014, compiled by IPI's Francesco Mancini.

The Global Observatory, produced by IPI, provides timely analysis on peace and security issues, interviews with leading policymakers, interactive maps, and more.

Recent Events

March 25, 2014
Adebajo, Panel Discuss African and African-American Nobel Peace Laureates
The ten Africans and three African-Americans who have won the Nobel Peace Prize comprise a complex group of peace leaders, said Adekeye Adebajo, Executive Director of Centre for Conflict Resolution, on March 25th. He spoke as part of a panel at the International Peace Institute’s launch of Africa’s Peacemakers, Nobel Laureates of African Descent, edited by Mr. Adebajo.

March 20, 2014
Ukraine Foreign Minister: Crisis is "Stress Test for the International Community"
“We are open to dialogue,” said Andriy Deshchytsia, acting Foreign Minister of Ukraine, at IPI in Vienna on March 20th. However, he noted, at this time, there is no communication between him and his Russian counterpart. “We need to talk,” he said.

March 19, 2014
Maritime Collaboration in Asia-Pacific Focus of JIDD Conference in Jakarta
"The sea is at the center of the Asia-Pacific region; it has the potential to unite us, but also risks dividing countries in the region," Indonesia's Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro told an audience of 1,000 as he opened the fourth annual Jakarta International Defense Dialogue (JIDD).

View More