Strength in diversity

OPEC Bulletin Commentary – January-February 2023

At the end of 2022, the OPEC Secretary General, Haitham Al Ghais, paid tribute to the staff at the Secretariat at a Long Service Award Ceremony. It was an opportunity to not only honour career milestones, with some witnessing a remarkable 40 years of service, but also to thank each and every staff member for their professional dedication.

Al Ghais said: “Your integrity, commitment and teamwork guarantee the quality and consistency of services to all stakeholders and help ensure OPEC’s prominence among international energy institutions.”

The event underscored the importance of teamwork, of working toward common goals, promoting a positive work culture, inspiring innovation and improving productivity. It was the legendary Henry Ford that once said: “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.”

The OPEC Secretariat is the Organization’s executive organ and home to 124 staff, representing 40 nationalities from six continents. It is a multicultural workplace, an enduring legacy to the history of the Organization.

The value of the staff is evident in the high quality of every aspect of the Secretariat’s work. This includes its industry-leading research, data and analysis, its informative publications, its outreach activities, as well as the technical, administrative, human resource and logistical support it provides.

Often working in the background, the Secretariat team directly supports it Member Countries, enabling them and the Organization to carry out its decade’s long mission of supporting a stable and sustainable supply of oil, which is vital to the world’s energy security and economic vitality.

The history of OPEC was on display most recently in Egypt in February when the Secretary General visited the Maadi Yacht Club on the River Nile to unveil a commemorative installation dedicated to the history shared by OPEC and the club.

It is a location that played a pivotal role in the Organization’s founding when in April 1959, a small group of visionaries met at the club to explore ways to protect their countries’ sovereign energy resources, which eventually led to the formation of OPEC in Baghdad in September 1960.

It was also an opportune time to reflect upon what the Organization has been through in the period since, both the success it has had and the challenges it has faced. It is a story that encapsulates a family of nations, of feelings and emotions of countries rich in culture and heritage, and of the struggle of a group of developing countries to exercise their inalienable right to permanent sovereignty over their natural resources in the interest of their national development.

It is also at its heart a story of people, and this includes the many staff that have passed through the doors of the Secretariat. Some have stayed for a short period, but many have made careers at the Organization, serving with great loyalty and commitment.

In fact at the recent Long Service Award Ceremony there were 15 staff members recognized for ten years of service, seven for 15 years, ten for 20 years, five for 30 years, and two for 40 years. It is testament to the special relationship between the Organization and the staff that support it.

It is a special privilege to pay tribute to the two colleagues who have spent 40 years and more serving the Organization, both of whom will retire in the next month or so.

The first is Diana Lavnick, Senior Production Assistant in the Public Relations & Information Department. Diana, an Australian-Austrian, has been the backbone of the OPEC Bulletin for many decades, helping put together more than 350 editions, as well as many other publications. A true professional, who has made an exceptional contribution to the Secretariat’s work.

The second is Nadir Guerer, Senior Research Analyst in the Research Division. Nadir, originally from Türkiye, has served with incredible commitment, objectivity and expertise in a number of roles over his years at the Organization, earning the respect of everyone at OPEC. He has been a true public servant, often going above and beyond in his work at the Secretariat.

We ‘tip our hat’ to Diana and Nadir and hope their legacies inspire the newer generations of OPEC staff, to help drive the Organization’s innovation, growth and development in the coming years, through working together as a team.

OPEC Bulletin January-February 2023

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