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18 Oct 2023

OPEC Secretary General receives highest rank of Brazil’s prestigious Order of Rio Branco

HE Haitham Al Ghais, OPEC Secretary General, was presented today with the highest rank of the Order of Rio Branco (rank: Grand Cross) of the Federative Republic of Brazil in recognition of his distinctive achievements in the fields of energy and international cooperation, as well as the exceptional efforts exerted to promote dialogue and cooperation between OPEC and non-OPEC oil-producing countries in the interest of stability in the global oil market.

The honour was conferred by HE Ambassador Mauro Vieira, Brazil’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, during a ceremony held at the Itamaraty Palace in Brasilia.

The prestigious Order is bestowed by the President of the Federative Republic of Brazil, who serves as the Grand Master of the Order, through a presidential decree. It was created in memory of the notable Brazilian diplomat and former Minister of Foreign Affairs, HE Jose Maria da Silva Paranhos Junior, who is widely regarded as the father of the Brazilian diplomacy, to recognize distinguished individuals with outstanding merits that have provided meritorious service, and carried out actions and deeds worthy of honourable mention.

In his acceptance speech, Secretary General Al Ghais thanked the Government of Brazil led by HE President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva for the recognition, noting that receiving such an acknowledgement is a testament to the efforts undertaken by the Organization and its 13 Member Countries in the interest of sustainable stability in the global oil market and energy security.

“I am deeply honoured and humbled to receive this distinction on behalf of OPEC from a leading oil-producing country and influential player in the global energy industry like Brazil,” HE Al Ghais stated, adding, “Brazil possesses a long-standing history in the energy markets and will continue to enjoy a bright future as a leading global energy provider.”

“We look forward to working closely together with Brazil as we continue investing in the industry to ensure energy security, reduce emissions and eradicate energy poverty in just, inclusive energy transitions that leave no one behind,” the Secretary General added.

The Secretary General also said: “I wish to thank the dedicated staff of the OPEC Secretariat in Vienna, as they continue to exceed all expectations every day. It is my colleagues’ team spirit, competence and remarkable knowledge that allowed us to reach today’s milestone.”

HE Al Ghais, accompanied by an OPEC Delegation, is currently visiting Brazil in a first formal visit by an OPEC Secretary General to the country.