At the IEA Ministerial meeting in November 2015, the Joint Ministerial Declaration Expressing the Activation of Association formally welcomed China, Indonesia and Thailand as Association countries of the IEA. The activation of Association marked an important milestone in the IEA’s engagement worldwide, reflecting several years of concerted efforts on the part of IEA member countries, partner countries and the Secretariat, and opening doors to a new era of international energy co-operation. In October 2016, the IEA welcomed Singapore to join the Association just before welcoming Morocco in November.
The Joint Declaration lays out the following areas of engagement between the IEA and Associate countries:
Participation in IEA meetings
Association countries are welcome to participate in the meetings of the following IEA Standing Groups, Committees and Working Parties without advance invitation: Standing Group on Emergency Questions (SEQ), the Standing Group on the Oil Market (SOM), the Standing Group on Long-Term Co-Operation (SLT) and the Energy Efficiency Working Party (EEWP) under this group, the Standing Group on Global Energy Dialogue (SGD), the Committee on Energy Research and Technology (CERT) and the Working Party on Energy End-Use Technologies (EUWP), the Working Party on Fossil Fuels (WPFF), the Working Party on Renewable Energy Technologies (REWP) and the Fusion Power Co-ordinating Committee (FPCC) under this group.
Enhanced collaboration on energy security
The IEA and Association countries will work together on three different aspects of energy security. Firstly, Association countries expressed a shared priority on the importance of taking common effective measures to meet oil supply emergencies by developing emergency response systems. Secondly, Association countries would build and maintain emergency reserves and collaborate with the IEA in their use at the time of emergencies. Thirdly, Association countries would work with the IEA to test their level of preparedness to meet supply disruptions through IEA Emergency Response Exercises, Emergency Response Assessments or other means.
Enhanced collaboration on energy data and statistics
The IEA and Association countries will work together to improve the consistency, coherence and timeliness of energy data at the national level. Association countries expressed high appreciation for the role played by the IEA in global data and statistics, and declared their intention to co-operate further with the IEA in this area.
Joint co-operation on energy policy analysis
The IEA and Association countries agreed to conduct energy policy analyses on agreed energy topics at a time and under conditions mutually acceptable to both parties.
Prioritised access to training and capacity building, energy technology network and others
Association countries will be given priority access to IEA training and capacity building activities, as well as opportunities for secondment positions at the IEA, subject to agreed conditions. This co-operation is expected to be carried out in part through the Energy Efficiency in Emerging Economies Programme, IEA Technology Collaboration Programmes (TCPs), and other initiatives. Through these training and capacity-building activities, the IEA and Association countries aim to strengthen co-operation on such diverse energy topics as energy efficiency, energy technology, renewable energy, electricity security, grid integration and other issues of mutual interest.
Strengthened institutional ties
The IEA and Association countries will continue to explore new and emerging platforms to strengthen institutional ties and to broaden energy co-operation. Presently, the IEA is contributing targeted technical or advisory support for newly planned energy-related institutions in different Association countries on a case-by-case basis. For example, the IEA and Indonesia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to co-operate on renewable energy and energy efficiency in support of Indonesia’s Bali Centre of Excellence for Clean Energy.
According to the Joint Declaration, Association is "a progressive relationship that will have an evolving nature and that will serve as a basis for higher levels of mutual co-operation in the future" (para5). Association will be further enhanced and enriched in the future through joint consultations between the IEA and Association countries, under mutually agreed terms and conditions.
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