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the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010


About OIC The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) is the second largest inter-governmental organization after the United Nations with a membership of 57 states spread over four continents. The Organization is the collective voice of the Muslim world. It endeavors to safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony among various peoples of the world. The Organization was established pursuant a decision adopted by the historical summit which took place in Rabat, Kingdom of Morocco, on 12th Rajab 1389 AH/ 25 September 1969 AD, following the criminal arson of Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem. In 1970, the first ever meeting of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Minister (ICFM) was held in Jeddah. It adopted the decision to establish a permanent secretariat in Jeddah headed by the organization's secretary general. Prof Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu is the 9th Secretary General who assumed office in January 2005 after being elected by the 31st ICFM Session. The first OIC Charter was adopted by the 3rd ICFM Session held in 1972. The Charter was amended to keep pace with the developments that have unraveled recently across the world. The 11th Islamic Summit held in Dakar in March 2008 endorsed the new Charter, which has become the pillar of the OIC future Islamic action in line with the requirements of the 21st century. The new Charter provides for the dissemination and safeguard of Islamic teachings and values based on moderation and tolerance, as well as the need to strive for the projection and defense of the true image of Islam. The new Charter also called for encouraging inter-civilizational and interfaith dialogue. Over the last 40 years, the OIC membership has grown from its founding members of 30 to 57 states.

Flash Appeal for Emergency Assistance to the Floods Victims in Pakistan In view of the vital need for effective action to alleviate the ordeal faced by the Pakistani people, the OIC Secretary General launched a Flash Appeal to the Member States of the OIC, their citizens, philanthropists, civil society organizations, and to all people of good will in the international community at large to generously partake in the relief effort and contribute towards the alleviation of the plight of floods victims in Pakistan.

To this end, donations in cash and kind are all welcome. In terms of medicine, anti-typhoid, anti-cholera, anti-malaria, anti-tetanus, anti-diarrhea, anti-snake venom are urgently required. Additionally, food and non-food items such as dried milk for children and families, dates, high nutrition biscuits, food packets consisting of tea, sugar, milk, vegetable oil as well as water coolers, mosquito nets, blankets, floor mattresses are in urgent need. The government of Pakistan has entrusted the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to coordinate the relief efforts nationwide, whose contacts are as follows: Fax numbers (0092519202518//0092519224205//0092519206140) Website: www.ndma.gov.pk

The OIC General Secretariat has also opened a special account as indicated below for any cash assistance: Name of Account: OIC Pakistan Floods Assistance Fund Dollar Account No: 5600758 Swift Code: SAMBSARI IBAN: SA 294000 0000 000005600758 Samba Financial Group Main Branch, Al-Andalous Street Jeddah - Kingdom of Saudi Arabia the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

The Organization has the singular honor of galvanizing the Ummah into a unified voice and representing Muslims by espousing all causes close to the hearts of over 1.5 billion Muslims in the world. The Organization has consultative and cooperative relations with the UN and other inter-governmental organizations to protect the vital interests of the Muslims and to work for the settlement of conflicts and disputes involving Member States. In safeguarding the true values of Islam and Muslims, the organization has taken various steps to remove misperceptions and have strongly advocated elimination of discrimination against Muslims in all forms and manifestations. It has also engaged in fighting Islamophobia by setting up a dedicated observatory to track and monitor the phenomenon and its disturbing manifestations The Member States of the OIC face many challenges in the 21st century. To address these challenges, the 3rd Extraordinary Session of the Islamic Summit held in Makkah in December 2005, laid down a blue print called the Ten-Year Program of Action (TYPOA) which envisages joint action by the Member States, promotion of tolerance and moderation, modernization, extensive reforms in all spheres of activities including science and technology, education, and development of trade. It also emphasizes good governance and the promotion of human rights in the Muslim world, especially with regard to the children's and women's rights as well as family values enshrined in Islamic Shariah [law]. One of the outstanding achievements since the adoption of the Ten-Year Programme of Action (TYPOA) has been the recent reinvigoration and restructuring of the various OIC bodies. Among the OIC's key bodies the Islamic Summit, the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM), the General Secretariat, in addition to the Al-Quds Committee chaired by the king of the Kingdom of Morocco, as Al-Quds remains the paramount issue on the OIC's agenda, and three permanent committees, one of which is concerned with science and technology (COMSTECH) that is chaired by the President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the second committee is concerned with economy and trade (COMCEC) which is chaired by the President of the Republic of Turkey, while the third one is concerned with information and culture (COMIAC) which is chaired by the President of Senegal. The OIC has subsidiary organs, notably Statistical, Economic and Social Research and Training Centre for the Islamic Countries (SESRIC), the Research Center for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA), the International Islamic Fiqh Academy (IIFA) and the Islamic Center for the development of Trade (ICDT). Other specialized organs operating under the OIC include the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO). There are also affiliated organs such as the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) and the Islamic World Academy of Sciences (IAS). The OIC subsidiary, affiliated and specialized organs play a vital role in boosting cooperation in various fields among the OIC Member States. For more details, visit the OIC website at www.oic-oci.org


OUR MESSAGE

VIEWPOINT

Washington, DC - At a time when our nation is seeing a rise in intolerant behavior, crossing every cultural line, we seem simultaneously stuck with a national news media that is preoccupied with conflict and controversy when we desperately need one that weighs facts and reports fairly. A recent national news program reinforced these concerns. Let me explain what I mean.

those fears by allowing them to be expressed with fake innocence on respected news shows. Why are fears of Muslims validated by television airings?

Should we fear Islam?

Imagine a respected television show or news magazine article with the title, Should Americans Fear Black People?

Imagine the television cameras going in search of voices of “real” black people. Where do they go? The 'hood of course! I mean, where else do black people live? The intrepid host invites regular Americans to ask the experts to explain black pathology: "Why is their rap music so degrading to women?" Cynthia from Wyoming wonders. "Why are so many blacks at the bottom of the economic and educational ladder?" Chuck from New York muses. Is this starting to get a little uncomfortable? Of course it is. Just ask Don Imus, an American radio host fired in 2007 for making racist and sexist remarks, about the wisdom of indulging in racial stereotyping against blacks. Add Jews, Catholics, and others as well. Not a good idea. Now replace black with Muslim, and that's just about how ABC News treated Islam and Muslims on the recent television shows 20/20 and This Week with Christiane Amanpour.

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With all these factors and more it is only natural that the OIC should take particular interest in strengthening relations between Central Asian countries and the rest of the Muslim world. There has also been a growing interest of Central Asia in getting involved in the activities of the OIC. The rest of OIC Member States in turn are intensifying their engagement with the region.

No serious journalist would ask a random black guy with a briefcase on the street to explain the pathology of an African American criminal because of the coincidence of shared skin color. But serious journalists called on ordinary Muslim Americans to explain the behavior of homicidal maniacs and extremists, thereby making the link between the crazies and the mainstream community.

Imagine staccato hip-hop music for the teaser, with clips of black gang members toting guns, hanging around urban scenes, looking scary. Imagine the zoom-in close up of a shoulder tattoo, proclaiming "Thug for Life". As the host (some household name) opens the show, imagine that the white expert opining about the root causes of urban decay is a nationally recognized racist like, for instance, David Duke, a former Louisiana State Representative and a leader in the Ku Klux Klan - a once widespread white supremacy movement. With a straight face, and no sense of irony, the host solicits Duke's views, and he proceeds to declare, "When the American people saw the Los Angeles riots, they received a peek into their future", referring to the 1992 riots that erupted following the acquittal of four white police officers who were on trial for beating Rodney King, an African American motorist.

Central Asian countries occupy a strategic location and are endowed with natural resources still mostly untapped. Several of them are rich in Islamic heritage and their relations with the Muslim world is seeped in history. Some are among the last countries to join the family of OIC Member States in the 1990s; their entry was welcomed like a relative long lost in the cold and returned to the warm fold of the family.

Are there criminals in America who are African American? Yes, again. But they're not presented as representative figures of the community by reputable news programs. Why do such shows go out of their way to find the scariest, most cartoonish Muslims possible and present them as spokespeople for Muslims?

Are there people willing to offer all sorts of racist theories about black crime, from problems in black genes to deficiencies in black culture? Plenty. But the only time they show up on mainstream news shows are as examples of racism, not as experts on race.

Keith Ellison US Congressman

There were the obligatory clips of terrorist training camps, the planes flying into the Twin Towers, the victims of socalled “honor killings”. The Muslim experts - looking officially “Islamic” in their long beards and hats - included one who declared that one day the flag of Islam would fly over the White House. The non-Muslim experts - Robert Spencer (a leading anti-Muslim advocate in the Park51 Islamic centre controversy), Ayaan Hirsi Ali (a prolific anti-Muslim writer) and Franklin Graham (who has said Islam "is a very evil and wicked religion") - are well known, even famous, for spewing anti-Muslim hate. Of course, these characters emphatically agreed with the caricatures with long beards and white hats, repeating the propaganda that Islam requires its adherents to dominate people. Among the “normal” Muslims interviewed were a woman in niqab (fewer than one per cent of Muslim women in America wear the full face veil and accompanying robes), and Muslims in the Muslim ”hood”, cities like Dearborn, Michigan and Patterson, New Jersey. Do some Americans fear black people? For sure. But we don't validate

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

We are having a national conversation about belonging. The threatened Qur'an burning in Florida and the controversy over the proposed Islamic centre in lower Manhattan are examples of this national conversation about whether America can stretch her arms wide enough to embrace Muslims too. Irresponsible and sensational depictions of Muslims in the popular media are not the cause of Islamophobia, but they certainly can make it worse. Recent news shows and media reports do nothing to shed light or understanding on this national conversation, which is too bad. But the conversation must continue. And I hope it continues in our mosques, churches, synagogues and other holy places, with Americans of all faiths talking face to face about differences and about our shared humanity - free of the stereotypes that lately are so prominent in our television shows and magazines. * Representative Keith Ellison (DMN) was the first Muslim elected to US Congress. This article is distributed by the Common Ground News Service (CGNews) with permission from the author. Source: On Faith, 13 October 2010, newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith Copyright permission is granted for publication.

Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu OIC Secretary General

Maximizing potentials in Central Asia

The 2010 session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) took place for the first time in a Central Asian member state, Tajikistan. During that session, the 37th, a special brainstorming meeting was held to elaborate on the means for fostering cooperation between the Central Asian countries themselves and between them and the rest of OIC Member States. The discussions revealed the eagerness on all sides for such increased cooperation and the tremendous opportunities and potential for win-win relations in different fields. Since then, frequent high-level visits between Central Asian countries and the OIC and its institutions were reciprocated, economic development projects were signed, and OIC participation in the meetings of regional organizations concerning Central Asia region has beeen expanded. The next CFM, also in a Central Asian member, Kazakhstan, will most probably build on that momentum. However, just as there are great potentials there are also huge challenges facing the region, ranging from terrorism and drug trafficking to poverty, instability and natural disasters. Tackling them would require coordinated efforts and collective action. The OIC is committed to supporting the Central Asian member states in their individual and collective attempts towards tackling these challenges. A case in point is OIC's focused involvement in resolving the Afghanistan issue. It is our belief that stability and economic development are naturally related. Hence our conviction and promotion of a comprehensive approach led by greater Afghan ownership and with increased regional cooperation and effective international partnership as the way forward towards stability and development in Afghanistan and the region. The OIC has been present and active on the Afghan front and will continue and expand its engagement. It has appointed a permanent representative in Afghanistan with the aim of providing a platform for dialogue among the parties and direct assessment of developments and proposals. The OIC is determined to be a contributing factor to the process that would lead to peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region.


A word Afghanistan: Pushing for stability, security and development

Issued by the Organization of the Islamic Conference

4

________________

Muslim-West reconciliation

Education, networking and human rights emphasized at the OIC Muslim minorities symposium in Warsaw

36

Editor - in - Chief Isam Salim Shanti ________________

In New York the OIC makes its mark

General Supervisor & Managing Editor

OIC humanitarian delegation visits Gaza, Launches $30 million development programs

Maha Mostafa Akeel

14

________________

Editors

38

Ahmed Salem Abdelhamid Salehi Ihsanoglu addresses OSCE Summit: Underlines scope of cooperation between OIC and OSCE

________________

Layout & Design Mohammed Abdelqader Qalaba ________________

Advisory Board

28

Ali Abolhassani Shahreza Hasan Oker Gurler

26th Session of the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation

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_________________ Address: Madinah Road, P.O. Box 178, Jeddah21411 Tel: 6515222 Fax: 6512288 Telx.: 601366 Islami SJ. Website: www.oic-oci.org E-mail: journal@oic-oci.org OIC Permanent Observer to the UN New York Office 320 East - 51st Street New York 10022 New York - U.S.A. www.oicun.org oic@un.int OIC Permanent Observer to the UN Geneva Office ICC-20 Route Pre-BoisCase Postal 1818 CH 1215 Geneve - SUISSE www.oic-un.org oic@oic - un.org

8

Experts considers legal means of lifting Israel's siege on Gaza

61 Ninth Session of COMIAC

33

Sayeeda Warsi: OIC is a very important organization Conference of Agriculture

66 Ministers in Khartoum

OIC Related Links Subsidiary Organs The International Islamic Fiqh Academy (IIFA) www.fiqhacademy.org The Statistical, Economic and Social Research and Training Center for Islamic Countries (SESRIC) www.sesrtcic.org The Research Center for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA) www.ircica.org The Islamic Center for the Development of Trade (CIDC) www.icdt-oic.org The Islamic University of Technology (UIT) www.iutoic-dhaka.edu Specialized Institutions and Organs The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) www.isdb.org International Islamic News Agency (IINA) www.islamicnews.org.sa The Islamic States Broadcasting Organization (ISBO) www.isboo.org

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

The Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in Rabat (ISESCO) www.isesco.org.ma Affiliated Institutions Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) www.icci-oic.org Organization of Islamic Capitals and Cities (OICC) www.oicc.org Organization of the Islamic Shipowners Association (OISA) www.oisaonline.com World Federation of Arab Islamic International Schools (WFAIS) www.wfais.org Islamic Conference Youth Forum for Dialogue and Cooperation (ICYF-DC) www.icyf.com Islamic World Academy of Sciences (IAS) www.ias-worldwide.org

OIC Calendar December 2010-February 2011 19-21 December: 3rd Ministerial Conference on Women's Role in the Development of OIC Member States Tehran, Iran. 22-23 December: 19th Meeting of the ECO Council of Foreign Ministers and 11th Summit of the ECO - Istanbul, Turkey. 27-29 December: 39th Session of the Permanent Finance Committee (PFC) - OIC Headquarters, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. 11-13 January: 14th General Assembly of COMSTECH - Islamabad, Pakistan. 17-18 January: 2nd Meeting of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts (IGGE) on Considering the Rules for Observer Status - OIC Headquarters, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

22-23 January: Meeting of the Steering Committee on Health - OIC Headquarters, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. 25-26 January: 3rd Meeting of the Work Group Entrusted with the Consideration of Setting up an Implementation Program for the Causes and Issues Contained in the TenYear Program of Action - Cairo, Egypt. 28-29 January: 23rd University Council Meeting and 18th Graduation Ceremony of Islamic University in Uganda (IUIU) - Kampala, Uganda. 7-11 February: 3rd Session of the Islamic Conference of the Ministers in-charge of Childhood - Tripoli, Libya. 24-27 February: First OIC Health Expo - Tunis, Tunisia.

There seems to be a gap in the mutual perspective between the Muslim world and the West. Whether it is due to religious misunderstandings, historical residue of conflicts, wars and colonialism, or pure racism and hatred, a prism of distorted images and perceptions exists that is causing flares of bigoted expressions and sometimes, sadly, violent acts. The Organization of the Islamic Conference has repeatedly and emphatically emphasized the importance of cultural and interfaith dialogue to promote world peace and stability. It calls for and promotes tolerance, diversity and mutual respect. Addressing Islamophobia, Christianophobia, anti-Semitism and other forms of religious bigotry requires joint international efforts emanating from a genuine belief in the rights of all groups to live in dignity, and based on a broad long-term agenda that caters to the interest and well-being of the general society with all its shades of residences, protected by the common sought principles of justice and equality. Tools like education, media and dialogue forums are the keys to bridging the gaps and filtering the misconceptions. But each of us is also responsible, within our own communities and interactions, for correcting information, reaching out and creating opportunities for dialogue and community service. The OIC seeks a historic reconciliation between the Muslim world and the West. This might be a far-fetched objective, but it is a valid one and deserves our efforts. The road of a thousand miles starts with a step. We have to take that step for the benefit of all humanity. Good intentions and wise statements are not enough. They have to be backed by practical plans and active pursuits. The views expressed by the writers/ authors of the articles published in The Journal do not necessarily represent the views of the OIC, but are the personal views of the authors themselves. However, OIC reserves the right/discretion to amend, revise, edit, delete or scrutinize any part or portion of the text as and wherever deemed necessary.


A word Afghanistan: Pushing for stability, security and development

Issued by the Organization of the Islamic Conference

4

________________

Muslim-West reconciliation

Education, networking and human rights emphasized at the OIC Muslim minorities symposium in Warsaw

36

Editor - in - Chief Isam Salim Shanti ________________

In New York the OIC makes its mark

General Supervisor & Managing Editor

OIC humanitarian delegation visits Gaza, Launches $30 million development programs

Maha Mostafa Akeel

14

________________

Editors

38

Ahmed Salem Abdelhamid Salehi Ihsanoglu addresses OSCE Summit: Underlines scope of cooperation between OIC and OSCE

________________

Layout & Design Mohammed Abdelqader Qalaba ________________

Advisory Board

28

Ali Abolhassani Shahreza Hasan Oker Gurler

26th Session of the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation

68

_________________ Address: Madinah Road, P.O. Box 178, Jeddah21411 Tel: 6515222 Fax: 6512288 Telx.: 601366 Islami SJ. Website: www.oic-oci.org E-mail: journal@oic-oci.org OIC Permanent Observer to the UN New York Office 320 East - 51st Street New York 10022 New York - U.S.A. www.oicun.org oic@un.int OIC Permanent Observer to the UN Geneva Office ICC-20 Route Pre-BoisCase Postal 1818 CH 1215 Geneve - SUISSE www.oic-un.org oic@oic - un.org

8

Experts considers legal means of lifting Israel's siege on Gaza

61 Ninth Session of COMIAC

33

Sayeeda Warsi: OIC is a very important organization Conference of Agriculture

66 Ministers in Khartoum

OIC Related Links Subsidiary Organs The International Islamic Fiqh Academy (IIFA) www.fiqhacademy.org The Statistical, Economic and Social Research and Training Center for Islamic Countries (SESRIC) www.sesrtcic.org The Research Center for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA) www.ircica.org The Islamic Center for the Development of Trade (CIDC) www.icdt-oic.org The Islamic University of Technology (UIT) www.iutoic-dhaka.edu Specialized Institutions and Organs The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) www.isdb.org International Islamic News Agency (IINA) www.islamicnews.org.sa The Islamic States Broadcasting Organization (ISBO) www.isboo.org

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

The Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in Rabat (ISESCO) www.isesco.org.ma Affiliated Institutions Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) www.icci-oic.org Organization of Islamic Capitals and Cities (OICC) www.oicc.org Organization of the Islamic Shipowners Association (OISA) www.oisaonline.com World Federation of Arab Islamic International Schools (WFAIS) www.wfais.org Islamic Conference Youth Forum for Dialogue and Cooperation (ICYF-DC) www.icyf.com Islamic World Academy of Sciences (IAS) www.ias-worldwide.org

OIC Calendar December 2010-February 2011 19-21 December: 3rd Ministerial Conference on Women's Role in the Development of OIC Member States Tehran, Iran. 22-23 December: 19th Meeting of the ECO Council of Foreign Ministers and 11th Summit of the ECO - Istanbul, Turkey. 27-29 December: 39th Session of the Permanent Finance Committee (PFC) - OIC Headquarters, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. 11-13 January: 14th General Assembly of COMSTECH - Islamabad, Pakistan. 17-18 January: 2nd Meeting of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts (IGGE) on Considering the Rules for Observer Status - OIC Headquarters, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

22-23 January: Meeting of the Steering Committee on Health - OIC Headquarters, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. 25-26 January: 3rd Meeting of the Work Group Entrusted with the Consideration of Setting up an Implementation Program for the Causes and Issues Contained in the TenYear Program of Action - Cairo, Egypt. 28-29 January: 23rd University Council Meeting and 18th Graduation Ceremony of Islamic University in Uganda (IUIU) - Kampala, Uganda. 7-11 February: 3rd Session of the Islamic Conference of the Ministers in-charge of Childhood - Tripoli, Libya. 24-27 February: First OIC Health Expo - Tunis, Tunisia.

There seems to be a gap in the mutual perspective between the Muslim world and the West. Whether it is due to religious misunderstandings, historical residue of conflicts, wars and colonialism, or pure racism and hatred, a prism of distorted images and perceptions exists that is causing flares of bigoted expressions and sometimes, sadly, violent acts. The Organization of the Islamic Conference has repeatedly and emphatically emphasized the importance of cultural and interfaith dialogue to promote world peace and stability. It calls for and promotes tolerance, diversity and mutual respect. Addressing Islamophobia, Christianophobia, anti-Semitism and other forms of religious bigotry requires joint international efforts emanating from a genuine belief in the rights of all groups to live in dignity, and based on a broad long-term agenda that caters to the interest and well-being of the general society with all its shades of residences, protected by the common sought principles of justice and equality. Tools like education, media and dialogue forums are the keys to bridging the gaps and filtering the misconceptions. But each of us is also responsible, within our own communities and interactions, for correcting information, reaching out and creating opportunities for dialogue and community service. The OIC seeks a historic reconciliation between the Muslim world and the West. This might be a far-fetched objective, but it is a valid one and deserves our efforts. The road of a thousand miles starts with a step. We have to take that step for the benefit of all humanity. Good intentions and wise statements are not enough. They have to be backed by practical plans and active pursuits. The views expressed by the writers/ authors of the articles published in The Journal do not necessarily represent the views of the OIC, but are the personal views of the authors themselves. However, OIC reserves the right/discretion to amend, revise, edit, delete or scrutinize any part or portion of the text as and wherever deemed necessary.


IN FOCUS

AFGHANISTAN: PUSHING FOR STABI LITY, SECURITY AND DEVELOPMENT The Afghanistan issue remains at the forefront of OIC activities. With 57 Member States and the capacity of its subsidiary, specialized and affiliated organs the OIC is an important and potent stakeholder in Afghanistan. Recently, there has been increased attention by the OIC towards bringing peace and development to Afghanistan.

OIC attends International Contact Group Meeting on Afghanistan ICG meeting. Ambassador Moniruzzaman underlined the added value that the OIC can bring to process of intra-Afghan reconciliation, similar to the efforts carried out by the OIC in the 1980's. Quoting from the OIC Secretary General's statement at the Kabul International Conference held in July 2010, he spoke of the comprehensive strategy that needed to be taken forward by a greater Afghan ownership with increased regional cooperation and effective international partnership. OIC Special Representative also elaborated on the OIC's assistance to reconstruction and development of Afghanistan through the OIC Assistance Fund for the Afghan The meeting of the Special Representatives for Afghanistan people. and Pakistan (SRAP) at Villa Madama in Rome, Italy, 18 October 2010.(epa) Increased attendance of the OIC MemRome, Italy - Upon invitation by the Chairman of the ber States and the participation of the OIC Special RepreInternational Contact Group (ICG) and the Government of sentative drew particular attention as a significant develItaly, an OIC delegation led by interim Special Represenopment in line with the comprehensive strategy for tative of the OIC Secretary General for Afghanistan, Ambringing security, stability and prosperity to Afghanistan. bassador A.H.M. Moniruzzaman participated in the ICG Ambassador Moniruzzaman also represented OIC at Meeting on Afghanistan held in Rome on 18 October the first meeting of the High-Level Core Group on Af2010. Special Representatives for Afghanistan from 42 ghanistan, which was held on the sidelines of the Fourth countries and international organizations, including for the Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanifirst time 14 OIC Member States, were represented at the stan (RECCA-IV) in Istanbul on November 3.

Contributing to the peace process and stability in Afghanistan Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - OIC wishes to contribute to the process of peace and stability in Afghanistan, according to Ambassador Moniruzzaman, representative of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) in Kabul. “In my work, I shall always be guided by the mandate of the OIC and the directives of the Secretary General. The High Peace Council is already in place with the objective of providing a platform for dialogue among the parties in Afghanistan. The OIC supports this process,” said the Ambassador to the OIC Journal. As the Representative of OIC in Afghanistan, a newly established position, he will be based in Kabul. This will further facilitate the on-going efforts of the OIC Secretary General in political and socio-economic sectors as envisaged in the resolution 12/37-Pol adopted by the meeting of the council of Foreign Ministers held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan earlier this year. “My duties will include keeping contacts with the Afghan Government as well as all segments of the Afghan society and to make assessments on developments with proposals that can contribute to the process of development in Afghanistan,” explained Amb. Moniruzzaman, a career diplomat from Bangladesh. He had already undertaken a short visit to Kabul making contact with the Afghan Government and preparation 4

for setting up a resident Mission of OIC there. He also attended the meeting of the International Contact Group held in Rome on 18 October, 2010 . There are on-going OIC projects in humanitarian fields such as building and running schools, training centers and health centers. With a resident Mission of OIC now in Kabul, there will be further possibilities of carrying out more projects and holding conferences that focus on pertinent areas. Amb. Moniruzzaman would be working in close cooperation and coordination with the UN and other international organization generally and not necessarily only in humanitarian programs. “It is an accepted reality that there is no military solution. Peace is the way to normalcy and progress. Afghanistan is a country of enormous prospect and there is a dire need to give peace and normalcy a chance.” Five neighboring countries of Afghanistan are members of the OIC. The Organization believes that at the center of any approach towards the resolution of Afghanistan issue there should be more focus on potentials and capabilities of the region. “The next Islamic summit in Egypt will surely discuss the latest developments in Afghanistan and will decide on the necessary actions that the OIC needs to undertake in that regard,” said the Ambassador.

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

RECCA IV: Ihsanoglu indicates OIC's readiness to host the next ICG meeting on Afghanistan Istanbul, Turkey - In his address at the Fourth Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA IV), held in Istanbul on 3 November 2010, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary General of the OIC, underlined the OIC's commitment to peace, stability and socioeconomic recovery in Afghanistan and its role in the reconciliation and reintegration process in the country as it was the case in 1980's. Referring to the OIC's Member States active involvement and contribution to efforts at promoting peace and security in Afghanistan, through International and OIC Contact Groups on Afghanistan, the Secretary General indicated OIC's readiness to host the next ICG meeting on Afghanistan at the OIC Headquarters in Jeddah in coming months. The Plenary Session was opened on November 3rd by Dr. Zalmai Rassoul, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan and Ahmet Davutoglu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey and was attended by 27 countries and 14 regional and international organizations, institutions and bodies. It aimed at enhancing regional cooperation and coordination on Afghanistan among international community. The objective of the Conference was to build on the commitments made since previous RECCA Conferences (Kabul, New Delhi, and Islamabad) and to identify a set of results-based deliverables for consideration by regional and international partners to promote economic cooperation in support of Afghanistan and the region. The Fourth RECCA was designed to complement the achievements of the London and Kabul Conferences by focusing on, and committing to, the regional aspects of the objectives outlined under the five clusters of the Kabul Process. Ihsanoglu highlighted transportation, agriculture development, trade exchanges, energy, human resource and technological development as critical economic sectors for the rapid socio-economic revival of Afghanistan. He recalled the resolution adopted at the last OIC CFM in Dushanbe regarding the rail transportation project linking Dushanbe- Mazar-i Sharif-Herat and the railway project from Turkmenistan to Kazakhstan and Iran with the financing of the Islamic Development Bank, which would complement

the ongoing arrangements by the OIC General Secretariat to adopt a special program for the comprehensive development of the Central Asian countries in the OIC. He also stressed the importance of the OIC Trade Preferential System to improve the competiveness of the Afghan economy, including wealth creation and the opening up of the economy to intra-OIC foreign direct investment. He also welcomed recent signing by Afghanistan of the OIC Agreement for Promotion, Protection and Guarantee of Investment; and General Agreement for Economic, Technical and Commercial Cooperation during the last 26th Session of the OIC Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation (COMCEC) held in Istanbul the month before, which constitutes a major step towards generating momentum for active economic cooperation between Afghanistan and other OIC Member States. Finally, Ihsanoglu emphasized on developing strong cooperation with Afghanistan on the socio-economic front for achieving durable peace and security in Afghanistan and called on the international community to take advantage of the favorable regional and international compassion for the people of Afghanistan to mobilize the desired economic support for the immediate implementation of the various projects. The recommendations and deliverables that were considered at the Fourth RECCA Conference were presented through four working group papers and were approved at the Senior Officials Meeting on November 2nd which covered: a. Economic Development (Agriculture, SME and Labor Migration) b. Trade, Transit and Border Management c. Human Resources (Education and Vocational Training) and d. Infrastructure (Mines, Energy, and Transport). An Academic Forum and a Business to Business Forum were also held on the margins of the Conference on 2nd and 3rd of November respectively. The Fifth Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA V) will be hosted by the Republic of Tajikistan.

A Railway Line to link Afghanistan to neighboring countries Istanbul, Turkey - The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) announced a series of measures taken by the Foreign Ministers of the OIC Member States to achieve accelerated economic recovery in Afghanistan. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu said in his statement at RECCA IV that the Conference of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers held in the Tajik capital in May 2010 adopted a resolution to start building a railway line linking Dushanbe to Mazar-i-Sharif in Afghanistan. The railway line is expected to reinforce commercial exchanges among Central Asian countries and would link Afghanistan to its neighboring OIC Member States. The Dushanbe-Mazar-i-Sharif railway project is the second such project publicized by the OIC, which has previously announced the start of a feasibility study of Dakar-Port Sudan railway line which will link the east of Af-

rica to the west of the continent. Ihsanoglu stated that the coming into force of the OIC Trade Preferential System (TPS-OIC) would improve the competitiveness of the Afghan economy and create new trade opportunities, voicing his confidence that the Afghan trade deficit estimated at US$ 6.7 billion would go down with the chances offered by the OIC and the programs it is preparing for the development of strategic commodities in Afghanistan. The OIC Secretary General maintained that with the standard of living in Afghanistan drastically falling far below the poverty average of the OIC Member States (measured in terms of Human Poverty Index at nearly 60%), the OIC will introduce a number of humanitarian programs and projects with a view to reducing poverty in the country. 5


IN FOCUS

AFGHANISTAN: PUSHING FOR STABI LITY, SECURITY AND DEVELOPMENT The Afghanistan issue remains at the forefront of OIC activities. With 57 Member States and the capacity of its subsidiary, specialized and affiliated organs the OIC is an important and potent stakeholder in Afghanistan. Recently, there has been increased attention by the OIC towards bringing peace and development to Afghanistan.

OIC attends International Contact Group Meeting on Afghanistan ICG meeting. Ambassador Moniruzzaman underlined the added value that the OIC can bring to process of intra-Afghan reconciliation, similar to the efforts carried out by the OIC in the 1980's. Quoting from the OIC Secretary General's statement at the Kabul International Conference held in July 2010, he spoke of the comprehensive strategy that needed to be taken forward by a greater Afghan ownership with increased regional cooperation and effective international partnership. OIC Special Representative also elaborated on the OIC's assistance to reconstruction and development of Afghanistan through the OIC Assistance Fund for the Afghan The meeting of the Special Representatives for Afghanistan people. and Pakistan (SRAP) at Villa Madama in Rome, Italy, 18 October 2010.(epa) Increased attendance of the OIC MemRome, Italy - Upon invitation by the Chairman of the ber States and the participation of the OIC Special RepreInternational Contact Group (ICG) and the Government of sentative drew particular attention as a significant develItaly, an OIC delegation led by interim Special Represenopment in line with the comprehensive strategy for tative of the OIC Secretary General for Afghanistan, Ambringing security, stability and prosperity to Afghanistan. bassador A.H.M. Moniruzzaman participated in the ICG Ambassador Moniruzzaman also represented OIC at Meeting on Afghanistan held in Rome on 18 October the first meeting of the High-Level Core Group on Af2010. Special Representatives for Afghanistan from 42 ghanistan, which was held on the sidelines of the Fourth countries and international organizations, including for the Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanifirst time 14 OIC Member States, were represented at the stan (RECCA-IV) in Istanbul on November 3.

Contributing to the peace process and stability in Afghanistan Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - OIC wishes to contribute to the process of peace and stability in Afghanistan, according to Ambassador Moniruzzaman, representative of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) in Kabul. “In my work, I shall always be guided by the mandate of the OIC and the directives of the Secretary General. The High Peace Council is already in place with the objective of providing a platform for dialogue among the parties in Afghanistan. The OIC supports this process,” said the Ambassador to the OIC Journal. As the Representative of OIC in Afghanistan, a newly established position, he will be based in Kabul. This will further facilitate the on-going efforts of the OIC Secretary General in political and socio-economic sectors as envisaged in the resolution 12/37-Pol adopted by the meeting of the council of Foreign Ministers held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan earlier this year. “My duties will include keeping contacts with the Afghan Government as well as all segments of the Afghan society and to make assessments on developments with proposals that can contribute to the process of development in Afghanistan,” explained Amb. Moniruzzaman, a career diplomat from Bangladesh. He had already undertaken a short visit to Kabul making contact with the Afghan Government and preparation 4

for setting up a resident Mission of OIC there. He also attended the meeting of the International Contact Group held in Rome on 18 October, 2010 . There are on-going OIC projects in humanitarian fields such as building and running schools, training centers and health centers. With a resident Mission of OIC now in Kabul, there will be further possibilities of carrying out more projects and holding conferences that focus on pertinent areas. Amb. Moniruzzaman would be working in close cooperation and coordination with the UN and other international organization generally and not necessarily only in humanitarian programs. “It is an accepted reality that there is no military solution. Peace is the way to normalcy and progress. Afghanistan is a country of enormous prospect and there is a dire need to give peace and normalcy a chance.” Five neighboring countries of Afghanistan are members of the OIC. The Organization believes that at the center of any approach towards the resolution of Afghanistan issue there should be more focus on potentials and capabilities of the region. “The next Islamic summit in Egypt will surely discuss the latest developments in Afghanistan and will decide on the necessary actions that the OIC needs to undertake in that regard,” said the Ambassador.

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

RECCA IV: Ihsanoglu indicates OIC's readiness to host the next ICG meeting on Afghanistan Istanbul, Turkey - In his address at the Fourth Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA IV), held in Istanbul on 3 November 2010, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary General of the OIC, underlined the OIC's commitment to peace, stability and socioeconomic recovery in Afghanistan and its role in the reconciliation and reintegration process in the country as it was the case in 1980's. Referring to the OIC's Member States active involvement and contribution to efforts at promoting peace and security in Afghanistan, through International and OIC Contact Groups on Afghanistan, the Secretary General indicated OIC's readiness to host the next ICG meeting on Afghanistan at the OIC Headquarters in Jeddah in coming months. The Plenary Session was opened on November 3rd by Dr. Zalmai Rassoul, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan and Ahmet Davutoglu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey and was attended by 27 countries and 14 regional and international organizations, institutions and bodies. It aimed at enhancing regional cooperation and coordination on Afghanistan among international community. The objective of the Conference was to build on the commitments made since previous RECCA Conferences (Kabul, New Delhi, and Islamabad) and to identify a set of results-based deliverables for consideration by regional and international partners to promote economic cooperation in support of Afghanistan and the region. The Fourth RECCA was designed to complement the achievements of the London and Kabul Conferences by focusing on, and committing to, the regional aspects of the objectives outlined under the five clusters of the Kabul Process. Ihsanoglu highlighted transportation, agriculture development, trade exchanges, energy, human resource and technological development as critical economic sectors for the rapid socio-economic revival of Afghanistan. He recalled the resolution adopted at the last OIC CFM in Dushanbe regarding the rail transportation project linking Dushanbe- Mazar-i Sharif-Herat and the railway project from Turkmenistan to Kazakhstan and Iran with the financing of the Islamic Development Bank, which would complement

the ongoing arrangements by the OIC General Secretariat to adopt a special program for the comprehensive development of the Central Asian countries in the OIC. He also stressed the importance of the OIC Trade Preferential System to improve the competiveness of the Afghan economy, including wealth creation and the opening up of the economy to intra-OIC foreign direct investment. He also welcomed recent signing by Afghanistan of the OIC Agreement for Promotion, Protection and Guarantee of Investment; and General Agreement for Economic, Technical and Commercial Cooperation during the last 26th Session of the OIC Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation (COMCEC) held in Istanbul the month before, which constitutes a major step towards generating momentum for active economic cooperation between Afghanistan and other OIC Member States. Finally, Ihsanoglu emphasized on developing strong cooperation with Afghanistan on the socio-economic front for achieving durable peace and security in Afghanistan and called on the international community to take advantage of the favorable regional and international compassion for the people of Afghanistan to mobilize the desired economic support for the immediate implementation of the various projects. The recommendations and deliverables that were considered at the Fourth RECCA Conference were presented through four working group papers and were approved at the Senior Officials Meeting on November 2nd which covered: a. Economic Development (Agriculture, SME and Labor Migration) b. Trade, Transit and Border Management c. Human Resources (Education and Vocational Training) and d. Infrastructure (Mines, Energy, and Transport). An Academic Forum and a Business to Business Forum were also held on the margins of the Conference on 2nd and 3rd of November respectively. The Fifth Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA V) will be hosted by the Republic of Tajikistan.

A Railway Line to link Afghanistan to neighboring countries Istanbul, Turkey - The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) announced a series of measures taken by the Foreign Ministers of the OIC Member States to achieve accelerated economic recovery in Afghanistan. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu said in his statement at RECCA IV that the Conference of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers held in the Tajik capital in May 2010 adopted a resolution to start building a railway line linking Dushanbe to Mazar-i-Sharif in Afghanistan. The railway line is expected to reinforce commercial exchanges among Central Asian countries and would link Afghanistan to its neighboring OIC Member States. The Dushanbe-Mazar-i-Sharif railway project is the second such project publicized by the OIC, which has previously announced the start of a feasibility study of Dakar-Port Sudan railway line which will link the east of Af-

rica to the west of the continent. Ihsanoglu stated that the coming into force of the OIC Trade Preferential System (TPS-OIC) would improve the competitiveness of the Afghan economy and create new trade opportunities, voicing his confidence that the Afghan trade deficit estimated at US$ 6.7 billion would go down with the chances offered by the OIC and the programs it is preparing for the development of strategic commodities in Afghanistan. The OIC Secretary General maintained that with the standard of living in Afghanistan drastically falling far below the poverty average of the OIC Member States (measured in terms of Human Poverty Index at nearly 60%), the OIC will introduce a number of humanitarian programs and projects with a view to reducing poverty in the country. 5


OPINION

IN FOCUS

First Afghanistan International Investment Conference creates advisory group to attract investors, create jobs The country is about to complete a railway to Iran and is studying the feasibility of another line to Pakistan. Experts said during the conference that greater economic opportunities would help in the fight against extremism in the country. OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu said in his statement at the conference that stability and economic development are mutually related, and that a comprehensive approach encompassing all political and socio- economic aspects is of necessity to address the challenges in Afghanistan. “Afghanistan is a richly endowed country. It possesses enormous human and natural resources. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu (L), Secretary-General of the OIC and Zalmai Rassoul We need to continue to invest in (R), Minister of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan at the Afghanistan human capacity building as well as International Investment Conference (AIIC) in Dubai, UAE on 30 November 2010. (epa) meaningful economic cooperation to pursue concrete projects in critical areas,” he stressed. He Dubai, UAE - An international group was created to said that the OIC and its institutions are ready to expand advise the Afghan government on laws and policies that their engagement in Afghanistan in political, economic can attract investors in a bid to support job creation and and humanitarian fields. To underscore the importance of help stabilize the war-torn country. the development of infrastructural base as a priority toThe Afghanistan International Investment Friends, anwards achieving economic recovery in Afghanistan, the nounced at a conference in Dubai on November 30, would OIC Council of Foreign Ministers last May adopted a resohelp the government enact legislation to encourage and lution to embark on rail transportation project to link Duprotect private investments, economic growth and employshanbe-Mazare Sharif-Herat. The Islamic Development ment, said delegates. The UAE will separately advise releBank (IDB) has also financed the railway project linking vant Afghan ministries on implementing the conference's Turkmenistan-Kazakhstan-Iran. On vocational training, efrecommendations, including on the group's formation and forts are being intensified within the OIC subsidiary ordevelopment. gans to create special projects for Afghanistan. The first Afghanistan International Investment ConferThe Secretary General concluded by highlighting the ence was attended by more than 700 delegates. It brought commendable initiative and generous support of the Unittogether representatives from more than 500 companies to ed Arab Emirates towards the appointment of a new OIC look at possible projects such as farming, railways and Permanent Special Representative in Kabul in order to comining. ordinate and intensify the OIC's engagement with AfghaniZalmai Rassoul, the Afghan Foreign Minister, estimatstan. ed that in the next three to four years $10 billion would be The security situation remained high on the list of conused for foreign investments and government spending on cerns for foreign investors. infrastructure. Dr. Rassoul pledged the Afghan government's "strong Afghan officials focused the delegates on projects in commitment to ensure the safety and security of all commining, telecommunications and transport, with large railpanies and financial institutions who decide to invest in way systems being constructed in the country that they Afghanistan and take part in the reconstruction of our hoped would attract foreign partners and create jobs for country". Afghans. No major deals were announced and officials acknowlDr. Rassoul urged investors to take advantage of minedged that large-scale foreign investment will remain elueral concessions, farm the country's vast tracts of fertile sive until Taliban militants and others are brought under land and participate in railway and road construction. control.

OIC hails parliamentary elections in Afghanistan OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu congratulated the people of Afghanistan for their determination and courage to consolidate peace and democracy through their participation in the recent parliamentary elections. Reiterating his belief that democratic process will help people of Afghanistan build a better future for their country, the Secretary General conveyed his deep appreciation 6

to the Afghan Government, civil society and electoral bodies for their efforts towards holding the parliamentary elections under the current circumstances. Ihsanoglu expressed his hope that the outcome of the elections would further consolidate democracy, peace and stability as well as enhance economic welfare in the country.

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

"OIC is a crucial and strategic partner to the UN." This is what the Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban KiMoon, stated last September in New York during the 65th sessions of the General Assembly of the United Nations. Such statement and acknowledgment at this level reflected the echelon of relationships and cooperation between the UN and the OIC, the second largest international organization, and representing 57 Muslim countries and 1.5 billion Muslims around the world. Undoubtedly, the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), is now standing tall and confident about itself and its work at all levels, making qualitative leaps in all directions and handling international issues with professionalism and expertise, scoring positive and unprecedented results that are felt officially and publicly, and gaining reputation as a genuine and unique umbrella of a group of countries enjoying the largest voting bloc at the United Nations in New York and Geneva. Virtually, when Mr. Ki-Moon stated that OIC is a crucial and strategic partner to the UN he was alluding to the level of cooperation in politics, economic, cultural, humanitarian, and peace and security between the two largest inter-governmental organizations, not only in terms of their representations but too in terms of the capabilities of these two organizations to serve the world better and ensure peace and tranquility in many parts of today's turbulent world. The UN and the OIC have been engaging in various types of cooperation in Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan, Gaza Strip, Iraq, many parts of Africa, as well as in issues of cultural nature such as Islamophobia and the dialogue of civilizations. Both organizations are also conducting cooperation in issue related to natural disasters such as in Pakistan and Indonesia. Most recently, the UN and the OIC began to build partnership for Africa's Development and the UN's Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In addition, the OIC has already initiated implementation of humanitarian programs in cooperation with the United Nations in a number of Muslim countries, according to a plan for coordinating international efforts and redirecting them by taking advantage of the capacities of Islamic relief organizations and other humanitarian organizations that work with the OIC. But to understand the statement of Mr. Ki-Moon, and many other similar statements by leaders and officials around the world, and the level of cooperation not only with the United Nations but also with other international and regional organizations as well as the changes that have occurred over the past few years, would require a thorough examination based on objectivity and professionalism. This article, however, would only shed the light on certain qualitative initiatives and practices in a quick fashion. During the early years of the 1990s the world witnessed strategic changes to its international relations at the global and individual state levels. The old international system of the bi-polarity regime had come to an end when the Soviet Union collapsed and the Eastern Bloc dismantled. This dramatic change was accompanied with the emergence of the uni-polar regime under the leadership of the United States of America. In his speech in March 1992, the former US President George Bush announced that

Today's OIC: Successes and Challenges

Dr. Isam Salim Shanti Editor in Chief the Cold War had ended and that the new era would witness many changes including regional wars, internal disturbances, and even the disappearance of existing countries and the appearance of new countries. Unfortunately, many, if not most, of these regional wars and internal disturbances have actually taken place within the map of the Muslim World or in countries where Muslims form large minorities. Another dramatic event took place in 2001 when the United States was attacked in New York City and Washington DC by some terrorists, which led to the declaration of "war against terrorism" by the US Administration. This American declaration resulted in the occupation of two Muslim countries, Afghanistan and Iraq, and fullfledged campaigns against suspected terrorists mainly in the Muslim countries. Failing to differentiate between individual acts of some Islamists extremists and fundamentalists and the religion of Islam contributed to the formation of what is became known as "Islamophobia," mainly in the Western World. These important and critical developments as well as the growing sense of urgency by the leaders of the Muslim World to face-up the ever-changing world created catalysts to encounter the new challenges on the one hand, and to alleviate the impact of misunderstanding and misjudgment of Islam and Muslims around the world. In December 2005, in the holy City of Mecca, two important events took place marking a new watershed in the collective work of Muslims at the international arena. The former was the results of the extraordinary summit; and the latter was the new leadership of OIC, embodied in the election of Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu as the Secretary General of the OIC prior to the summit. The summit stressed in its futuristic vision and resolutions on the fact that the OIC should begin to move beyond the comfort zone of reacting to events and measures by other international bodies and

states, and to articulate a new less reactive and more assertive path in the Muslim World. Therefore, the summit presented the Ten-Year Program of Action (TYPOA), an unprecedented and significant document that guarantees different framework and mechanism to face up current and future challenges at all levels, and ensures the delivery of Islamic solidarity and joint Islamic action. The TYPOA in essence upholds transparency and accountability in governance, human rights, women rights, children and minorities, promotes sustainable development and poverty alleviation, presents a map for dealing with health, science and technology, and calls for an action in the defense of Islam and fighting extremism. It is a document that provides the OIC with a road map to overcome the main obstacles facing the Muslim World in today's world. As a result, the 11th Ordinary Summit of OIC, in March 2008 in Dakar, Senegal, was able to adopt the new Charter for the OIC, which provides the legal backgrounds and guidelines that would enable the OIC to embark on the process of change in the new world system. The new charter marked the beginning of using new mechanisms to achieve tangible results in terms of advancing the interests of the Muslim countries and Muslims in a contemporary manner. All these bold initiatives and visions coincided with a new leadership at the OIC of Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, an expert of OIC and international politics and a prominent academic, who from the early days of his tenure made clear that the OIC will not be as effective and as efficient unless the tools to be used are modernized, contemporary, practical and usable. Just like the leaders of the Muslim countries had a vision to effect change, Prof. Ihsanoglu had also the vision, the know-how, and the will to effect change and reform and transfer the OIC into the new world order safely but quickly. In his speech in January 2005 Prof. Ihsanoglu stated: "the OIC has not been able to fully achieve its potential and establish itself as a powerful entity capable of actively voicing the Muslim causes and making itself heard in the international arena…The OIC must acquire more weight and impact on the world scene…We can change our methodology for adopting resolutions and find mechanism for their implementation. Otherwise, many of our resolutions will remain a mere expression of good will towards each other." From his early days Prof. Ihsanoglu opened up the General Secretariat to the outside world. Nowadays, he became in demand in the key capitals of world countries, and his office in Jeddah has been hosting high-profile visitors from around the world. Five years since Mecca Summit, a lot have been done and a lot more still need to be done. The process of change and reform still ongoing, the implementation of the TYPOA is still ongoing, the will and determination of the Member States and the General Secretariat still at its peak, and the challenges ahead are still great and difficult. However, the past experience provided an important lesson, that the continuation of cooperation between the OIC and its members, between the OIC and its sister organizations, and between the OIC and the West are all crucial and strategically important to overcome the difficulties in the Muslim World and abroad at all levels

7


OPINION

IN FOCUS

First Afghanistan International Investment Conference creates advisory group to attract investors, create jobs The country is about to complete a railway to Iran and is studying the feasibility of another line to Pakistan. Experts said during the conference that greater economic opportunities would help in the fight against extremism in the country. OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu said in his statement at the conference that stability and economic development are mutually related, and that a comprehensive approach encompassing all political and socio- economic aspects is of necessity to address the challenges in Afghanistan. “Afghanistan is a richly endowed country. It possesses enormous human and natural resources. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu (L), Secretary-General of the OIC and Zalmai Rassoul We need to continue to invest in (R), Minister of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan at the Afghanistan human capacity building as well as International Investment Conference (AIIC) in Dubai, UAE on 30 November 2010. (epa) meaningful economic cooperation to pursue concrete projects in critical areas,” he stressed. He Dubai, UAE - An international group was created to said that the OIC and its institutions are ready to expand advise the Afghan government on laws and policies that their engagement in Afghanistan in political, economic can attract investors in a bid to support job creation and and humanitarian fields. To underscore the importance of help stabilize the war-torn country. the development of infrastructural base as a priority toThe Afghanistan International Investment Friends, anwards achieving economic recovery in Afghanistan, the nounced at a conference in Dubai on November 30, would OIC Council of Foreign Ministers last May adopted a resohelp the government enact legislation to encourage and lution to embark on rail transportation project to link Duprotect private investments, economic growth and employshanbe-Mazare Sharif-Herat. The Islamic Development ment, said delegates. The UAE will separately advise releBank (IDB) has also financed the railway project linking vant Afghan ministries on implementing the conference's Turkmenistan-Kazakhstan-Iran. On vocational training, efrecommendations, including on the group's formation and forts are being intensified within the OIC subsidiary ordevelopment. gans to create special projects for Afghanistan. The first Afghanistan International Investment ConferThe Secretary General concluded by highlighting the ence was attended by more than 700 delegates. It brought commendable initiative and generous support of the Unittogether representatives from more than 500 companies to ed Arab Emirates towards the appointment of a new OIC look at possible projects such as farming, railways and Permanent Special Representative in Kabul in order to comining. ordinate and intensify the OIC's engagement with AfghaniZalmai Rassoul, the Afghan Foreign Minister, estimatstan. ed that in the next three to four years $10 billion would be The security situation remained high on the list of conused for foreign investments and government spending on cerns for foreign investors. infrastructure. Dr. Rassoul pledged the Afghan government's "strong Afghan officials focused the delegates on projects in commitment to ensure the safety and security of all commining, telecommunications and transport, with large railpanies and financial institutions who decide to invest in way systems being constructed in the country that they Afghanistan and take part in the reconstruction of our hoped would attract foreign partners and create jobs for country". Afghans. No major deals were announced and officials acknowlDr. Rassoul urged investors to take advantage of minedged that large-scale foreign investment will remain elueral concessions, farm the country's vast tracts of fertile sive until Taliban militants and others are brought under land and participate in railway and road construction. control.

OIC hails parliamentary elections in Afghanistan OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu congratulated the people of Afghanistan for their determination and courage to consolidate peace and democracy through their participation in the recent parliamentary elections. Reiterating his belief that democratic process will help people of Afghanistan build a better future for their country, the Secretary General conveyed his deep appreciation 6

to the Afghan Government, civil society and electoral bodies for their efforts towards holding the parliamentary elections under the current circumstances. Ihsanoglu expressed his hope that the outcome of the elections would further consolidate democracy, peace and stability as well as enhance economic welfare in the country.

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

"OIC is a crucial and strategic partner to the UN." This is what the Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban KiMoon, stated last September in New York during the 65th sessions of the General Assembly of the United Nations. Such statement and acknowledgment at this level reflected the echelon of relationships and cooperation between the UN and the OIC, the second largest international organization, and representing 57 Muslim countries and 1.5 billion Muslims around the world. Undoubtedly, the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), is now standing tall and confident about itself and its work at all levels, making qualitative leaps in all directions and handling international issues with professionalism and expertise, scoring positive and unprecedented results that are felt officially and publicly, and gaining reputation as a genuine and unique umbrella of a group of countries enjoying the largest voting bloc at the United Nations in New York and Geneva. Virtually, when Mr. Ki-Moon stated that OIC is a crucial and strategic partner to the UN he was alluding to the level of cooperation in politics, economic, cultural, humanitarian, and peace and security between the two largest inter-governmental organizations, not only in terms of their representations but too in terms of the capabilities of these two organizations to serve the world better and ensure peace and tranquility in many parts of today's turbulent world. The UN and the OIC have been engaging in various types of cooperation in Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan, Gaza Strip, Iraq, many parts of Africa, as well as in issues of cultural nature such as Islamophobia and the dialogue of civilizations. Both organizations are also conducting cooperation in issue related to natural disasters such as in Pakistan and Indonesia. Most recently, the UN and the OIC began to build partnership for Africa's Development and the UN's Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In addition, the OIC has already initiated implementation of humanitarian programs in cooperation with the United Nations in a number of Muslim countries, according to a plan for coordinating international efforts and redirecting them by taking advantage of the capacities of Islamic relief organizations and other humanitarian organizations that work with the OIC. But to understand the statement of Mr. Ki-Moon, and many other similar statements by leaders and officials around the world, and the level of cooperation not only with the United Nations but also with other international and regional organizations as well as the changes that have occurred over the past few years, would require a thorough examination based on objectivity and professionalism. This article, however, would only shed the light on certain qualitative initiatives and practices in a quick fashion. During the early years of the 1990s the world witnessed strategic changes to its international relations at the global and individual state levels. The old international system of the bi-polarity regime had come to an end when the Soviet Union collapsed and the Eastern Bloc dismantled. This dramatic change was accompanied with the emergence of the uni-polar regime under the leadership of the United States of America. In his speech in March 1992, the former US President George Bush announced that

Today's OIC: Successes and Challenges

Dr. Isam Salim Shanti Editor in Chief the Cold War had ended and that the new era would witness many changes including regional wars, internal disturbances, and even the disappearance of existing countries and the appearance of new countries. Unfortunately, many, if not most, of these regional wars and internal disturbances have actually taken place within the map of the Muslim World or in countries where Muslims form large minorities. Another dramatic event took place in 2001 when the United States was attacked in New York City and Washington DC by some terrorists, which led to the declaration of "war against terrorism" by the US Administration. This American declaration resulted in the occupation of two Muslim countries, Afghanistan and Iraq, and fullfledged campaigns against suspected terrorists mainly in the Muslim countries. Failing to differentiate between individual acts of some Islamists extremists and fundamentalists and the religion of Islam contributed to the formation of what is became known as "Islamophobia," mainly in the Western World. These important and critical developments as well as the growing sense of urgency by the leaders of the Muslim World to face-up the ever-changing world created catalysts to encounter the new challenges on the one hand, and to alleviate the impact of misunderstanding and misjudgment of Islam and Muslims around the world. In December 2005, in the holy City of Mecca, two important events took place marking a new watershed in the collective work of Muslims at the international arena. The former was the results of the extraordinary summit; and the latter was the new leadership of OIC, embodied in the election of Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu as the Secretary General of the OIC prior to the summit. The summit stressed in its futuristic vision and resolutions on the fact that the OIC should begin to move beyond the comfort zone of reacting to events and measures by other international bodies and

states, and to articulate a new less reactive and more assertive path in the Muslim World. Therefore, the summit presented the Ten-Year Program of Action (TYPOA), an unprecedented and significant document that guarantees different framework and mechanism to face up current and future challenges at all levels, and ensures the delivery of Islamic solidarity and joint Islamic action. The TYPOA in essence upholds transparency and accountability in governance, human rights, women rights, children and minorities, promotes sustainable development and poverty alleviation, presents a map for dealing with health, science and technology, and calls for an action in the defense of Islam and fighting extremism. It is a document that provides the OIC with a road map to overcome the main obstacles facing the Muslim World in today's world. As a result, the 11th Ordinary Summit of OIC, in March 2008 in Dakar, Senegal, was able to adopt the new Charter for the OIC, which provides the legal backgrounds and guidelines that would enable the OIC to embark on the process of change in the new world system. The new charter marked the beginning of using new mechanisms to achieve tangible results in terms of advancing the interests of the Muslim countries and Muslims in a contemporary manner. All these bold initiatives and visions coincided with a new leadership at the OIC of Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, an expert of OIC and international politics and a prominent academic, who from the early days of his tenure made clear that the OIC will not be as effective and as efficient unless the tools to be used are modernized, contemporary, practical and usable. Just like the leaders of the Muslim countries had a vision to effect change, Prof. Ihsanoglu had also the vision, the know-how, and the will to effect change and reform and transfer the OIC into the new world order safely but quickly. In his speech in January 2005 Prof. Ihsanoglu stated: "the OIC has not been able to fully achieve its potential and establish itself as a powerful entity capable of actively voicing the Muslim causes and making itself heard in the international arena…The OIC must acquire more weight and impact on the world scene…We can change our methodology for adopting resolutions and find mechanism for their implementation. Otherwise, many of our resolutions will remain a mere expression of good will towards each other." From his early days Prof. Ihsanoglu opened up the General Secretariat to the outside world. Nowadays, he became in demand in the key capitals of world countries, and his office in Jeddah has been hosting high-profile visitors from around the world. Five years since Mecca Summit, a lot have been done and a lot more still need to be done. The process of change and reform still ongoing, the implementation of the TYPOA is still ongoing, the will and determination of the Member States and the General Secretariat still at its peak, and the challenges ahead are still great and difficult. However, the past experience provided an important lesson, that the continuation of cooperation between the OIC and its members, between the OIC and its sister organizations, and between the OIC and the West are all crucial and strategically important to overcome the difficulties in the Muslim World and abroad at all levels

7


PALESTINE FILE

Intergovernmental group of experts considers legal means of lifting Israel's siege on Gaza

Khalil Al-Rifai, Palestinian Deputy Minister of Justice (L)

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu said that condemnatory statements must be trumped in favor of international law in order to end long period of humanitarian tragedy caused in the Gaza Strip by the unjust Israeli blockade. The blockade is not only a violation of international law but also at variance with the simplest notions of morality and a tyranny of 1.5 million Palestinians. At the meeting of the Intergovernmental Group of Legal Experts considering ways and means of lifting the unjust Israeli seige, held at the OIC General Secretariat on 24 October 2010, the Secretary General called for practical proposals on how OIC Member States and private institutions can go about ending the siege. Ihsanoglu called on the participants to come up with ideas on how best international law can assist the subjugated people and hold their victimizers to account. The Secretary General said that dealing with the issue of Israeli blockade of Gaza Strip required multi-pronged action, including political, humanitarian and judicial. He added that this issue commands the greatest attention at OIC meetings, with the OIC Executive Committee having held several meetings to discuss Israel's aggression on Gaza where important decisions were made. Among those decisions was the one taken in November 2006 to break the siege and take necessary measures to bring Israeli war criminals to justice. The Secretary General explained that the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip is also among the top priorities of his bilateral and multilateral meetings with world leaders and other officials. He stressed that the Muslim world cannot allow the continuation of this disgraceful siege, which devastates the inhabitants of Gaza even as the whole world is watching. The meeting also listened to the head of the Palestinian delegation, Khalil Karaja Al-Rifai, Deputy Minister of Justice, who gave a presentation on the difficult situation in the Gaza Strip under the Israeli siege. After studying the issue from the different legal and political aspects of the ways and means for lifting the siege and facilitating the reconstruction of Gaza, including the follow up on implementing the recommendations in the Goldstone Report and the possibility of consulting the International Court of Justice on the illegality of the siege, the meeting decided to hold another meeting in light of new developments. Commenting on the meeting, Al-Rifai said to the OIC

8

Journal that it highlighted important aspects of the unjust siege of Gaza and that the recommendations will be instrumental in the joint Islamic action for the Palestinian cause. Regarding the suggestion to bring the case to the International Criminal Court, he said that the Palestinian Authority has been for almost a year and a half seeking to be recognized as a state at the ICC and there are requirements that need to be achieved to be members in the ICC, which is very important and needs presenting a strong legal file in order to be able to put pressure so that the court prosecutor investigates the war crimes committed during Israeli aggression the Gaza in 2009. As for the obstacles expected in bringing the Israeli officials to justice, Al-Rifai said that the main obstacle is that there are states that are allied with Israel and these states are influential and decision-makers in the United Nations, therefore might cause a break in the Arab and Muslim stand. This in turn means that it is vital to have a united Muslim stand, and he called for having a “work front” to lift the siege represented in a high-level Islamic delegation visiting the White House and other world capitals to put pressure on Israel to lift the siege. He also called for pressuring Hamas to sign the Egyptian reconciliation paper between the Palestinian factions in order to have a united Palestinian front. On the role of the Humanitarian movements such as the Freedom Flotilla, Al-Rifai said that they are important in reaching the international public opinion and highlighting the plight of the Palestinians, which raises the moral of our people and indicates that there is support for our cause. As for Israel's claim that these humanitarian campaigns are illegal, he retaliated that Israel's presence in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip is illegal and its siege is illegal. And on the implications of Israel's insistence that it will not hold negotiations with the Palestinians unless they recognize Israel as a Jewish state, he said that such recognition means forfeiting our right of return, the rights of the Arab Muslims and Christians living in Israel, the right of protecting our religious heritage and other rights. “This is a racist request.” Finally, Al-Rifai expressed his confidence that the OIC would continue its support for the Palestinian Authority towards lifting the siege.

OIC condemns torching of Jerusalem Baptist Church building by Israeli extremists The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu condemned racist campaign by Israeli extremists against holy places in Jerusalem. The Secretary General stated that the burning of the Baptist Church building in Jerusalem on October 30 is a blatant aggression against the holy sites and freedom of worship. Ihsanoglu called on the international community to shoulder its responsibilities by protecting holy places, which are being abused by Israeli extremists in Jerusalem, stressing the need to protect them against mischief and assaults.

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

Israeli occupiers torch a mosque in West Bank

A Palestinian man holds a burnt copy of the Koran at the mosque in Beit Fajjar.(epa)

Israeli occupiers set fire to a mosque in the West Bank village of Beit Fajjar on October 4 and sprayed graffiti

blaspheming the Prophet Mohamed (PBUH) on several of the mosque's walls. The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu condemned the attack by a group of extremist Israeli settlers. He described the wicked attack as a breach of the Geneva Convention and international law. The Secretary General said that the desecration of the mosque, including the burning of copies of the Quran and the writing of racist remarks on walls are a flagrant infringement of freedom of worship and the inviolability of holy places. He reiterated that the presence of settlements on occupied Palestinian lands is illegal, a blatant violation of international law, and a real obstacle to progress in the peace process. The Secretary General called on the quartet and the international community to compel Israel to stop all forms of settlements and practices inimical to the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.

New Settlements planned in Occupied Jerusalem Israel has signed off in mid October on the construction of 240 new homes in East Jerusalem, bringing an end to an official building freeze that began at the end of November 2009 in the traditionally Arab sector of the city and further complicating peace talks stuck over the broader fate of West Bank settlements. The Secretary General of the OrConstruction site in the Israeli settlement of Har ganization of the Islamic Confer- Gillo in the West Bank on 11 November 2010.(epa) ence (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu condemned very strongly the Israeli tions carrying international legitimagovernment's approval for the concy. He stressed that the United Nastruction of 240 new housing units in tions had a special responsibility to occupied Jerusalem. He described the halt Israel's aggression. He called for move as provocative, disdainful of action at all levels to stop the settlethe will of the international communiments and violations, to get Israel to ty, and capable of thwarting the international efforts to restart the peace comply with the provisions of interprocess. national law, and to end its occupaThe Secretary General stated the tion of Palestinian lands. belief of the OIC that Israel's behavOn November 8, Israel announced ior and measures call for action by the it is pushing ahead with plans to build international community to check this 1300 new apartments for Jewish famiarrogance and disregard for resolulies in Arab East Jerusalem.

The Secretary General strongly condemned the Israeli government's decision to construct these new settler homes in East Jerusalem, in addition to other 800 settlement units in “Ariel settlement”, built on the West Bank lands. Ihsanoglu emphasized that Israeli settlement, not only affects the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, but also represents a flagrant violation of international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention. He said that the intransigence of Israel in its violation of the international law, through imposing a new reality on the ground, settlement building, isolating and judaizing Al-Quds city, is a blatant challenge to the international legitimacy. The Secretary General called on the Quartet and the international community to compel Israel to stop all settlement acts that violate the fundamental rights of the Palestinian people.

OIC denounces the holding of a tourism conference in Jerusalem by the OECD The Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Conference Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu strongly condemned the convening of a Tourism Conference in Jerusalem by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on October 20-22. The Secretary General expressed OIC's deep concern over this step whereby Israel is trying to mis-

lead the world's public opinion and attempts to falsely suggest that the international community accepts Israel's illegal claims in Jerusalem. The Secretary General emphasized that occupied East Jerusalem is part and parcel of the occupied Palestinian territory; and international law and UN resolutions do not recognize Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem. He

also called on all world countries and international institutions to abide by international resolutions on Jerusalem as an integral part of the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967, and invited them to refrain from participating in any meeting or activity that serves Israel's illegal objectives in reinforcing its occupation and annexation of the Holy City. 9


PALESTINE FILE

Intergovernmental group of experts considers legal means of lifting Israel's siege on Gaza

Khalil Al-Rifai, Palestinian Deputy Minister of Justice (L)

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu said that condemnatory statements must be trumped in favor of international law in order to end long period of humanitarian tragedy caused in the Gaza Strip by the unjust Israeli blockade. The blockade is not only a violation of international law but also at variance with the simplest notions of morality and a tyranny of 1.5 million Palestinians. At the meeting of the Intergovernmental Group of Legal Experts considering ways and means of lifting the unjust Israeli seige, held at the OIC General Secretariat on 24 October 2010, the Secretary General called for practical proposals on how OIC Member States and private institutions can go about ending the siege. Ihsanoglu called on the participants to come up with ideas on how best international law can assist the subjugated people and hold their victimizers to account. The Secretary General said that dealing with the issue of Israeli blockade of Gaza Strip required multi-pronged action, including political, humanitarian and judicial. He added that this issue commands the greatest attention at OIC meetings, with the OIC Executive Committee having held several meetings to discuss Israel's aggression on Gaza where important decisions were made. Among those decisions was the one taken in November 2006 to break the siege and take necessary measures to bring Israeli war criminals to justice. The Secretary General explained that the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip is also among the top priorities of his bilateral and multilateral meetings with world leaders and other officials. He stressed that the Muslim world cannot allow the continuation of this disgraceful siege, which devastates the inhabitants of Gaza even as the whole world is watching. The meeting also listened to the head of the Palestinian delegation, Khalil Karaja Al-Rifai, Deputy Minister of Justice, who gave a presentation on the difficult situation in the Gaza Strip under the Israeli siege. After studying the issue from the different legal and political aspects of the ways and means for lifting the siege and facilitating the reconstruction of Gaza, including the follow up on implementing the recommendations in the Goldstone Report and the possibility of consulting the International Court of Justice on the illegality of the siege, the meeting decided to hold another meeting in light of new developments. Commenting on the meeting, Al-Rifai said to the OIC

8

Journal that it highlighted important aspects of the unjust siege of Gaza and that the recommendations will be instrumental in the joint Islamic action for the Palestinian cause. Regarding the suggestion to bring the case to the International Criminal Court, he said that the Palestinian Authority has been for almost a year and a half seeking to be recognized as a state at the ICC and there are requirements that need to be achieved to be members in the ICC, which is very important and needs presenting a strong legal file in order to be able to put pressure so that the court prosecutor investigates the war crimes committed during Israeli aggression the Gaza in 2009. As for the obstacles expected in bringing the Israeli officials to justice, Al-Rifai said that the main obstacle is that there are states that are allied with Israel and these states are influential and decision-makers in the United Nations, therefore might cause a break in the Arab and Muslim stand. This in turn means that it is vital to have a united Muslim stand, and he called for having a “work front” to lift the siege represented in a high-level Islamic delegation visiting the White House and other world capitals to put pressure on Israel to lift the siege. He also called for pressuring Hamas to sign the Egyptian reconciliation paper between the Palestinian factions in order to have a united Palestinian front. On the role of the Humanitarian movements such as the Freedom Flotilla, Al-Rifai said that they are important in reaching the international public opinion and highlighting the plight of the Palestinians, which raises the moral of our people and indicates that there is support for our cause. As for Israel's claim that these humanitarian campaigns are illegal, he retaliated that Israel's presence in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip is illegal and its siege is illegal. And on the implications of Israel's insistence that it will not hold negotiations with the Palestinians unless they recognize Israel as a Jewish state, he said that such recognition means forfeiting our right of return, the rights of the Arab Muslims and Christians living in Israel, the right of protecting our religious heritage and other rights. “This is a racist request.” Finally, Al-Rifai expressed his confidence that the OIC would continue its support for the Palestinian Authority towards lifting the siege.

OIC condemns torching of Jerusalem Baptist Church building by Israeli extremists The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu condemned racist campaign by Israeli extremists against holy places in Jerusalem. The Secretary General stated that the burning of the Baptist Church building in Jerusalem on October 30 is a blatant aggression against the holy sites and freedom of worship. Ihsanoglu called on the international community to shoulder its responsibilities by protecting holy places, which are being abused by Israeli extremists in Jerusalem, stressing the need to protect them against mischief and assaults.

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

Israeli occupiers torch a mosque in West Bank

A Palestinian man holds a burnt copy of the Koran at the mosque in Beit Fajjar.(epa)

Israeli occupiers set fire to a mosque in the West Bank village of Beit Fajjar on October 4 and sprayed graffiti

blaspheming the Prophet Mohamed (PBUH) on several of the mosque's walls. The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu condemned the attack by a group of extremist Israeli settlers. He described the wicked attack as a breach of the Geneva Convention and international law. The Secretary General said that the desecration of the mosque, including the burning of copies of the Quran and the writing of racist remarks on walls are a flagrant infringement of freedom of worship and the inviolability of holy places. He reiterated that the presence of settlements on occupied Palestinian lands is illegal, a blatant violation of international law, and a real obstacle to progress in the peace process. The Secretary General called on the quartet and the international community to compel Israel to stop all forms of settlements and practices inimical to the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.

New Settlements planned in Occupied Jerusalem Israel has signed off in mid October on the construction of 240 new homes in East Jerusalem, bringing an end to an official building freeze that began at the end of November 2009 in the traditionally Arab sector of the city and further complicating peace talks stuck over the broader fate of West Bank settlements. The Secretary General of the OrConstruction site in the Israeli settlement of Har ganization of the Islamic Confer- Gillo in the West Bank on 11 November 2010.(epa) ence (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu condemned very strongly the Israeli tions carrying international legitimagovernment's approval for the concy. He stressed that the United Nastruction of 240 new housing units in tions had a special responsibility to occupied Jerusalem. He described the halt Israel's aggression. He called for move as provocative, disdainful of action at all levels to stop the settlethe will of the international communiments and violations, to get Israel to ty, and capable of thwarting the international efforts to restart the peace comply with the provisions of interprocess. national law, and to end its occupaThe Secretary General stated the tion of Palestinian lands. belief of the OIC that Israel's behavOn November 8, Israel announced ior and measures call for action by the it is pushing ahead with plans to build international community to check this 1300 new apartments for Jewish famiarrogance and disregard for resolulies in Arab East Jerusalem.

The Secretary General strongly condemned the Israeli government's decision to construct these new settler homes in East Jerusalem, in addition to other 800 settlement units in “Ariel settlement”, built on the West Bank lands. Ihsanoglu emphasized that Israeli settlement, not only affects the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, but also represents a flagrant violation of international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention. He said that the intransigence of Israel in its violation of the international law, through imposing a new reality on the ground, settlement building, isolating and judaizing Al-Quds city, is a blatant challenge to the international legitimacy. The Secretary General called on the Quartet and the international community to compel Israel to stop all settlement acts that violate the fundamental rights of the Palestinian people.

OIC denounces the holding of a tourism conference in Jerusalem by the OECD The Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Conference Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu strongly condemned the convening of a Tourism Conference in Jerusalem by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on October 20-22. The Secretary General expressed OIC's deep concern over this step whereby Israel is trying to mis-

lead the world's public opinion and attempts to falsely suggest that the international community accepts Israel's illegal claims in Jerusalem. The Secretary General emphasized that occupied East Jerusalem is part and parcel of the occupied Palestinian territory; and international law and UN resolutions do not recognize Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem. He

also called on all world countries and international institutions to abide by international resolutions on Jerusalem as an integral part of the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967, and invited them to refrain from participating in any meeting or activity that serves Israel's illegal objectives in reinforcing its occupation and annexation of the Holy City. 9


PALESTINE FILE

Bayt Mal Al-Quds Asharif ... A Moroccan window to look over Jerusalem

Abdelkebir Alaoui M'daghri speaking at Beit Mal Al-Quds Meeting

Rabat, Morocco - (dpa): Moroccans have a close relationship with the Palestinians, particularly with Jerusalemites. The figures announced by Bayt Mal Al-Quds Asharif (Al-Quds Al-Sharif Fund), under the chairmanship of H.M. King Mohammed VI of Morocco, bears palpable testimony to this emotional relationship in spite of the geographical distance separating the two countries, and despite the limited visits undertaken by Moroccans to this occupied city. Every year, ordinary Moroccan citizens, together with the government and civil institutions, organize on a specific date a fundraising campaign to collect donations for the benefit of Jerusalemites. _Droves of Moroccans wait and watch for the launch of the fund-raising campaigns to rush to banks with dedicated counters for this purpose. Most voluntary donors give out money in the strictest confidence. For them, it is a purely charitable and humanitarian gesture. Some deem it a religious duty not to be boasted or buzzed about. Haj Ahmad, a Moroccan who assiduously takes part in the fundraising campaigns for the benefit of Al-Quds Asharif told DPA, "We feel greatly delighted when we hear about projects built with funds collected by Bayt Mal Al-Quds. We decide hence to donate again whenever we have the resources.� H.M. King Mohammed VI appointed Abdelkebir Alaoui M'daghri, after being relieved from his position as Minister of Awqaf [endowments] and Islamic Affairs which he had retained for a long time under King Hassan II, as Director-General of the Bayt Mal Al-Quds Agency. Having held the reins of the religious sector in the Kingdom of Morocco, M'daghri found himself on 12th April 2006 entrusted with the management of the work and activities of the Agency in line with the powers inscribed in its statutes. A four-year period was quite enough for M'daghri to fathom the ins and outs of communicating with officials in Al-Quds City. He strived within the limits of the possible to reinvigorate the work of the Agency, which embraced the motto 'To Preserve the Arabo-Islamic City of Al-Quds and its religious and cultural heritage. When M'daghri talks about the donations collected by Bayt Mal Al-Quds, he does not hide the fact that there is still much to be done. He speaks in figures and does not hesitate to reveal the names of contributors. He points out that the Agency has adopted a realistic approach in keeping with instructions from King Mohammed VI, by focusing on projects that benefit the inhabitants of Al-Quds ac10

cording to Arabo-Islamic civic politics. Within its work programs the Agency develops a set of criteria for the selection of projects to be undertaken in the City with the support of collected funds and donations. Among these criteria is the need for the beneficiary party to be Arab Jerusalemite. The project should also cater to an existing need, just as the project must be feasible and meets the technical and administrative conditions for implementation. The Agency is keen to fund projects linked to education through the construction or restoration of schools as well as re-financing student activities and providing scholarships. Housing is another sector in which the Agency is much active, by supporting and financing individual and collective loan programs for house construction, and the restoration and rehabilitation of decrepit houses, as well as providing small grants to improve housing conditions for the poor and the marginalized. Health-care figures high on the Agency's agenda. A wide number of medical equipment and supplies are provided by the Agency for the benefit of hospitals and clinics in the City of Al-Quds. Support is also provided for the expansion and development of health services, medicine procurement and treatment provision. The size of the projects implemented over the past two years picked up from US$ 2.6 million to US$ 5.7 million. The Agency expects to increase this funding to US$ 12 million before the end of 2010. The figures reflect the total volume of donations the Agency collected from voluntary contributions by the OIC Member States or from private institutions and charities, and the income and proceeds derived from the assets, properties and projects managed by the Agency. In the period running from early January to the end of June 2010, contributions for Al-Quds hovered close to US$ 65 million. Contributions by the Moroccan government make up the lion's share while contributions by Arab and Moroccan institutions reached nearly US$ 4.5 million. Contributions by Moroccan citizens constituted US$ 1.7 million. Indeed, support for Jerusalemites is not confined to merely raising donations; it goes far beyond by considering the creation of activities for children. Last summer, the Kingdom of Morocco received a delegation of Jerusalemite children, who were taken on a tour across various Moroccan cities and benefited from the recreational activities conducted at a summer camp held for the third year in a row. The latest tour and camp carried the name of Princess Lalla Khadija, the King's daughter. The summer camp was set up in the northern Moroccan city of Tangier with a touring that included visits to other Moroccan cities such as Casablanca and Tetouan. Mohammed Salim Al-Cherkaoui, Director of Public Relation at the Agency emphasized that the Agency deployed efforts to involve the largest number of official and notfor-profit institutions in order to enable participating children to open up to the external world, network with their peers, gain knowledge and skills, and acquire good behavioral manners that would strengthen their character in the face of crises and be able to face up to daily challenges. As a matter of fact, the camp was prepared on socioeducational grounds. It was intended to teach children how to achieve the greatest benefits from their visit to Morocco.

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

The 2010 program was distinct from previous sessions by incorporating maritime leisure excursions and enabling participants to enjoy Moroccan shores of northern cities bordering both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. Under the directives of King Mohammed VI, Chairman of the Committee of Al-Quds, Bayt Mal Al-Quds Asharif has been the engine of an institutional drive to serve Jerusalemite children and youth from various groups and ages out of a desire to enhance its presence on the field in various social areas in the City of Al-Quds, by launching youth and sports programs. Besides the camps in Morocco, the Agency took it upon itself to organize summer camps for children in the City of Al-Quds, including, according to figures from the Agency, nearly 25 camps in 2009 spread over Sur Baher, Al-Thawri, Shuafat, Beit Hanina and A-Tur, in addition to camps set up in various districts in the Old City. Through its representative office in Al-Quds, the Agency has deployed efforts to ensure that all material and logistical conditions are secured to organize these

camps, which benefited 2500 children Jerusalemites. It allocated a hefty budget for the summer program by increasing the budget from US$ 80 thousand in 2009 to US$ 120 thousand dollars in 2010._ The Agency financed the purchase of sports wear, stationery and special tools for art studios. It also incurred the cost of food supply for children's camps and trips to areas outside of Jerusalem, including Beit Sahour, Bir Zeit, Umm al-Fahm, Jaffa, and other areas. On a different note, the Agency allocated some US$ 40 thousand to support summer camps organized by the Palestinian Committee for Summer Camps. The Agency team in Jerusalem works under severe circumstances due to the measures imposed by the Israeli occupation authorities that restrict the ability of organizers to complete the programs set for the camps, including the occupation's interventions on many occasions to disrupt the activities of the camps, and sometimes the utter closure under any fabricated pretext of institutions in charge of managing the programs and projects.

OIC strongly condemns Israel's passage of a bill to Judaize Jerusalem and the plans to alter Al-Buraq Square The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu condemned very strongly the passage and ratification by the Israeli cabinet of a new legislation designating Jerusalem a city of special priority for the occupation government. He warned of the dangerous consequences of this wrong-headed and unjust law, which concretizes Israel's avowed plan to Judaize Jerusalem. The Secretary General also condemned strongly the decision of the Israeli Government to alter the landmarks of Al-Buraq Square and its

neighboring area, within a systematic policy to judaize the city of Al-Quds, stating that the square is an Islamic waqf (endowment) and constitutes part of the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque. The Secretary General reiterated that East Jerusalem is an integral part of Palestinian territories occupied in 1967, stressing that Israel's measures to change its geographic and demographic nature is illegal, a flagrant violation of international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention, and an infringement of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. The Secretary General also called

on the Quartet and the international community to compel Israel to stop all violations aimed at Judaizing and changing the Arab and Islamic character of the holy city. The Secretary General warned of the serious threats posed on the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque and its surrounding area due to the judaization policy targeting all religious, architectural, historical and civilizational aspects of Al-Quds, calling on the international community to assume its responsibility regarding the protection of Islamic and Christian holy sites in the city.

Israeli attack on the flotilla broke international law: UN A report by three UN-appointed human rights experts said on September 22 that Israeli forces violated international law when they raided a Gaza-bound aid flotilla killing nine activists earlier this year. The UN Human Rights Council's fact-finding mission concluded that Israel's naval blockade of the Palestinian territory was unlawful because of the humanitarian crisis there, and described the military raid on the flotilla as brutal and disproportionate. Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu has welcomed the timely submission of the Report of the International Fact-Finding Mission to investigate violations of international law, including international humanitarian and human rights law, resulting from the Israeli attacks on the flotilla of ships carrying hu-

manitarian assistance. In a statement issued in New York, the Secretary General expressed satisfaction at the submission of the Report that afforded ample opportunity for the ongoing 15th Session of the Human Rights Council in terms of taking appropriate decision on the future course of action, in accordance with the contents of the Report, towards meeting the ends of justice with regard to the unfortunate and brutal Israeli aggression on the Freedom Flotilla. Highlighting that the Fact Finding Mission was essentially formed in light of the decision taken by the OIC Executive Committee Meeting held immediately after the Israeli attack, the Secretary General drew attention to the unambiguous and firm conclusion drawn in the Report that a humanitarian crisis existed on the 31

May 2010 in Gaza. He further highlighted the conclusion made in the Report that the brutal and disproportionate action taken by the Israeli forces could not be justified in the circumstances even under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter. The Secretary General called upon the Human Rights Council to act swiftly in terms of meeting its obligations - as the Human Rights conscience of the international community - towards ensuring that the violations of international law including international humanitarian and human rights law, established in the Report, are taken seriously and the perpetrator as well as its functionaries brought to face the responsibility and consequences of their deplorable acts with a view to avoiding recurrence of such incidents that result in the loss of precious and innocent lives. 11


PALESTINE FILE

Bayt Mal Al-Quds Asharif ... A Moroccan window to look over Jerusalem

Abdelkebir Alaoui M'daghri speaking at Beit Mal Al-Quds Meeting

Rabat, Morocco - (dpa): Moroccans have a close relationship with the Palestinians, particularly with Jerusalemites. The figures announced by Bayt Mal Al-Quds Asharif (Al-Quds Al-Sharif Fund), under the chairmanship of H.M. King Mohammed VI of Morocco, bears palpable testimony to this emotional relationship in spite of the geographical distance separating the two countries, and despite the limited visits undertaken by Moroccans to this occupied city. Every year, ordinary Moroccan citizens, together with the government and civil institutions, organize on a specific date a fundraising campaign to collect donations for the benefit of Jerusalemites. _Droves of Moroccans wait and watch for the launch of the fund-raising campaigns to rush to banks with dedicated counters for this purpose. Most voluntary donors give out money in the strictest confidence. For them, it is a purely charitable and humanitarian gesture. Some deem it a religious duty not to be boasted or buzzed about. Haj Ahmad, a Moroccan who assiduously takes part in the fundraising campaigns for the benefit of Al-Quds Asharif told DPA, "We feel greatly delighted when we hear about projects built with funds collected by Bayt Mal Al-Quds. We decide hence to donate again whenever we have the resources.� H.M. King Mohammed VI appointed Abdelkebir Alaoui M'daghri, after being relieved from his position as Minister of Awqaf [endowments] and Islamic Affairs which he had retained for a long time under King Hassan II, as Director-General of the Bayt Mal Al-Quds Agency. Having held the reins of the religious sector in the Kingdom of Morocco, M'daghri found himself on 12th April 2006 entrusted with the management of the work and activities of the Agency in line with the powers inscribed in its statutes. A four-year period was quite enough for M'daghri to fathom the ins and outs of communicating with officials in Al-Quds City. He strived within the limits of the possible to reinvigorate the work of the Agency, which embraced the motto 'To Preserve the Arabo-Islamic City of Al-Quds and its religious and cultural heritage. When M'daghri talks about the donations collected by Bayt Mal Al-Quds, he does not hide the fact that there is still much to be done. He speaks in figures and does not hesitate to reveal the names of contributors. He points out that the Agency has adopted a realistic approach in keeping with instructions from King Mohammed VI, by focusing on projects that benefit the inhabitants of Al-Quds ac10

cording to Arabo-Islamic civic politics. Within its work programs the Agency develops a set of criteria for the selection of projects to be undertaken in the City with the support of collected funds and donations. Among these criteria is the need for the beneficiary party to be Arab Jerusalemite. The project should also cater to an existing need, just as the project must be feasible and meets the technical and administrative conditions for implementation. The Agency is keen to fund projects linked to education through the construction or restoration of schools as well as re-financing student activities and providing scholarships. Housing is another sector in which the Agency is much active, by supporting and financing individual and collective loan programs for house construction, and the restoration and rehabilitation of decrepit houses, as well as providing small grants to improve housing conditions for the poor and the marginalized. Health-care figures high on the Agency's agenda. A wide number of medical equipment and supplies are provided by the Agency for the benefit of hospitals and clinics in the City of Al-Quds. Support is also provided for the expansion and development of health services, medicine procurement and treatment provision. The size of the projects implemented over the past two years picked up from US$ 2.6 million to US$ 5.7 million. The Agency expects to increase this funding to US$ 12 million before the end of 2010. The figures reflect the total volume of donations the Agency collected from voluntary contributions by the OIC Member States or from private institutions and charities, and the income and proceeds derived from the assets, properties and projects managed by the Agency. In the period running from early January to the end of June 2010, contributions for Al-Quds hovered close to US$ 65 million. Contributions by the Moroccan government make up the lion's share while contributions by Arab and Moroccan institutions reached nearly US$ 4.5 million. Contributions by Moroccan citizens constituted US$ 1.7 million. Indeed, support for Jerusalemites is not confined to merely raising donations; it goes far beyond by considering the creation of activities for children. Last summer, the Kingdom of Morocco received a delegation of Jerusalemite children, who were taken on a tour across various Moroccan cities and benefited from the recreational activities conducted at a summer camp held for the third year in a row. The latest tour and camp carried the name of Princess Lalla Khadija, the King's daughter. The summer camp was set up in the northern Moroccan city of Tangier with a touring that included visits to other Moroccan cities such as Casablanca and Tetouan. Mohammed Salim Al-Cherkaoui, Director of Public Relation at the Agency emphasized that the Agency deployed efforts to involve the largest number of official and notfor-profit institutions in order to enable participating children to open up to the external world, network with their peers, gain knowledge and skills, and acquire good behavioral manners that would strengthen their character in the face of crises and be able to face up to daily challenges. As a matter of fact, the camp was prepared on socioeducational grounds. It was intended to teach children how to achieve the greatest benefits from their visit to Morocco.

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

The 2010 program was distinct from previous sessions by incorporating maritime leisure excursions and enabling participants to enjoy Moroccan shores of northern cities bordering both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. Under the directives of King Mohammed VI, Chairman of the Committee of Al-Quds, Bayt Mal Al-Quds Asharif has been the engine of an institutional drive to serve Jerusalemite children and youth from various groups and ages out of a desire to enhance its presence on the field in various social areas in the City of Al-Quds, by launching youth and sports programs. Besides the camps in Morocco, the Agency took it upon itself to organize summer camps for children in the City of Al-Quds, including, according to figures from the Agency, nearly 25 camps in 2009 spread over Sur Baher, Al-Thawri, Shuafat, Beit Hanina and A-Tur, in addition to camps set up in various districts in the Old City. Through its representative office in Al-Quds, the Agency has deployed efforts to ensure that all material and logistical conditions are secured to organize these

camps, which benefited 2500 children Jerusalemites. It allocated a hefty budget for the summer program by increasing the budget from US$ 80 thousand in 2009 to US$ 120 thousand dollars in 2010._ The Agency financed the purchase of sports wear, stationery and special tools for art studios. It also incurred the cost of food supply for children's camps and trips to areas outside of Jerusalem, including Beit Sahour, Bir Zeit, Umm al-Fahm, Jaffa, and other areas. On a different note, the Agency allocated some US$ 40 thousand to support summer camps organized by the Palestinian Committee for Summer Camps. The Agency team in Jerusalem works under severe circumstances due to the measures imposed by the Israeli occupation authorities that restrict the ability of organizers to complete the programs set for the camps, including the occupation's interventions on many occasions to disrupt the activities of the camps, and sometimes the utter closure under any fabricated pretext of institutions in charge of managing the programs and projects.

OIC strongly condemns Israel's passage of a bill to Judaize Jerusalem and the plans to alter Al-Buraq Square The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu condemned very strongly the passage and ratification by the Israeli cabinet of a new legislation designating Jerusalem a city of special priority for the occupation government. He warned of the dangerous consequences of this wrong-headed and unjust law, which concretizes Israel's avowed plan to Judaize Jerusalem. The Secretary General also condemned strongly the decision of the Israeli Government to alter the landmarks of Al-Buraq Square and its

neighboring area, within a systematic policy to judaize the city of Al-Quds, stating that the square is an Islamic waqf (endowment) and constitutes part of the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque. The Secretary General reiterated that East Jerusalem is an integral part of Palestinian territories occupied in 1967, stressing that Israel's measures to change its geographic and demographic nature is illegal, a flagrant violation of international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention, and an infringement of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. The Secretary General also called

on the Quartet and the international community to compel Israel to stop all violations aimed at Judaizing and changing the Arab and Islamic character of the holy city. The Secretary General warned of the serious threats posed on the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque and its surrounding area due to the judaization policy targeting all religious, architectural, historical and civilizational aspects of Al-Quds, calling on the international community to assume its responsibility regarding the protection of Islamic and Christian holy sites in the city.

Israeli attack on the flotilla broke international law: UN A report by three UN-appointed human rights experts said on September 22 that Israeli forces violated international law when they raided a Gaza-bound aid flotilla killing nine activists earlier this year. The UN Human Rights Council's fact-finding mission concluded that Israel's naval blockade of the Palestinian territory was unlawful because of the humanitarian crisis there, and described the military raid on the flotilla as brutal and disproportionate. Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu has welcomed the timely submission of the Report of the International Fact-Finding Mission to investigate violations of international law, including international humanitarian and human rights law, resulting from the Israeli attacks on the flotilla of ships carrying hu-

manitarian assistance. In a statement issued in New York, the Secretary General expressed satisfaction at the submission of the Report that afforded ample opportunity for the ongoing 15th Session of the Human Rights Council in terms of taking appropriate decision on the future course of action, in accordance with the contents of the Report, towards meeting the ends of justice with regard to the unfortunate and brutal Israeli aggression on the Freedom Flotilla. Highlighting that the Fact Finding Mission was essentially formed in light of the decision taken by the OIC Executive Committee Meeting held immediately after the Israeli attack, the Secretary General drew attention to the unambiguous and firm conclusion drawn in the Report that a humanitarian crisis existed on the 31

May 2010 in Gaza. He further highlighted the conclusion made in the Report that the brutal and disproportionate action taken by the Israeli forces could not be justified in the circumstances even under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter. The Secretary General called upon the Human Rights Council to act swiftly in terms of meeting its obligations - as the Human Rights conscience of the international community - towards ensuring that the violations of international law including international humanitarian and human rights law, established in the Report, are taken seriously and the perpetrator as well as its functionaries brought to face the responsibility and consequences of their deplorable acts with a view to avoiding recurrence of such incidents that result in the loss of precious and innocent lives. 11


PALESTINE FILE

The OIC welcomes the EU declaration on the Middle East Peace Process The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu welcomed the positive positions contained in the Council of the European Union's declaration on the Middle East Peace Process on December 13th, 2010. The Secretary General hailed in particular the clear European stance, which considers the Israeli settlements, including in East Jerusa-

lem, illegal under international law and obstacle to peace. The European refusal to recognize any changes to the pre-1967 borders, including with regard to Jerusalem, as reiterated by the declaration, was positively received. The OIC also shares with the EU the view that peace in the Middle East should be comprehensive and based on the two-state solution in accordance with the relevant UN reso-

lutions and the Arab Peace Initiative. Ihsanoglu emphasized that the OIC supports the EU call for the immediate, sustained and unconditional opening of crossings to allow the movement of humanitarian aid, commercial goods and persons to and from Gaza. The blockade is unjust and exacerbates the ordeal of the Palestinian civilians, and should be lifted.

OIC welcomes Brazil and Argentina's recognition of the Palestinian State The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu welcomed Brazil and Argentina's announcements in early December of recognizing Palestine as a free and independent State according to its 1967

borders. Uruguay has also followed suit. The Secretary General stated that this step is an important qualitative development in the international support to Palestine's national inalienable rights. The Secretary General expressed

his hope that many other countries would follow suit, which will lead to a wide international recognition of Palestine as a free and fully sovereign State on the entire Palestinian territories occupied by Israel in 1967, with Eastern Jerusalem as its capital.

Dangers threatening El-Marwani Mosque, OIC calls on the Islamic Ummah to take prompt action Israeli officials indicated in early December the possible collapse of ElMarwani Mosque within Al Aqsa compound, which prompted the Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu to warn of such dangers and hold Israel, the occupation authority, fully responsible for the

safety of the Mosque. He stated that any dangers facing the Aqsa Mosque are a result of Israel's continued excavations underneath and around the holy site. The Secretary General called on the leaders of the Islamic Ummah to act promptly with a view to putting an end to Israeli violations. The Secretary General said that the serious reports coming from the

occupied city of Al-Quds on the situation in the Holy Aqsa Mosque indicate that Muslims' first qiblah is now in real and direct danger. The OIC considers the Holy Aqsa Mosque a red line which the Islamic Ummah will not hesitate to defend and that any prejudice to the mosque will have consequences for which Israel alone will be responsible.

No serious student of Jerusalem politics can overlook the devastating impacts that the current Israeli measures inflict on the future status of occupied East Jerusalem. Combined with the frequently repeated rhetoric of its politicians about what they term “indivisibility of Jerusalem”, Israel has invested heavily, and at unprecedented rates, in enforcing several plans aimed at not only shrinking the Palestinian presence in the city but also obliterating the Arab identity, which has characterized Jerusalem for centuries. The unmatched escalation in Israel's bid to transform East Jerusalem into a nonPalestinian urban space reveals a host of unpleasant realities such as the fragility of the Palestinian situation and the limited options available to have counter actions as well as the absence of serious international intervention capable of leashing the massive attempts aimed at Israelizing East Jerusalem. There is much evidence to suggest that Jerusalem's unique character has become the most visible casualty of such realities. . A long-held belief, which has prevailed for decades, suggests that Jerusalem has a special ability to preserve its own unique Palestinian identity. This belief, which has typified mainstream thinking, stemmed from the erroneous assumption that Jerusalem's demographic fabric as well as architectural and urban landscape provide the city with enough self-immunity, thus making it terribly difficult to imagine the occurrence of ground-breaking changes to the core components of the City's Palestinian identity. Even in the very stretched imagination, this was unconceivable. The course of events, nonetheless, proved that the very core components, mentioned above, were all under attack; and safe they were not. At the demographic level, it should be noted that Israel has spared no effort in pursuing its attempts to create Jewish demographic supremacy in East Jerusalem. In Israel's view, the high Palestinian birth-rate could be countered only by large-scale settlement schemes. Thanks to numerous settlement projects, mainly in large settlement blocks in the metropolitan area of Jerusalem such as Giv'at Ze'ev in the north, Ma'ale Adumim in the east and Efrat in the south, government-facilitated immigration enabled Israeli settlers to outnumber the indigenous Palestinian population in occupied East Jerusalem.

12

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

they used to be.

It is written on the wall:

Jerusalem's indigenous identity is left high and dry

Dr. Shaher Awawdeh Department of Palestine, OIC General Secretariat While most of settlement expansion efforts are made on Jerusalem's outskirts mentioned above, the most dangerous settlement activities, yet, are undertaken in the heart of Palestinian neighborhoods. Unlike settlement projects in the outer reaches of Jerusalem, which are intended to seal off East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank, settlement activities in the Old City and its vicinity are there for a different motive as indicated by a board member of the Israeli settler Elad Association: “Our aim is to hold on to the settlements in East Jerusalem, and create an irreversible annexation around the Old City.” Forcefully confiscating Palestinian real estate has become the bread-and-butter of the aforementioned views of Elad and similar settler groups. Recent reports estimate that approximately 2000 settlers live in Palestinian districts in the Old City and its immediate vicinity. Neighborhoods of Silwan, Sowaneh, Ras el-Amoud, Mount of Olives, Sheikh Jarrah and the Christian Quarter, provide a case in point. It is worth noting that until few years back, the above-mentioned neighborhoods were exclusively Palestinian populated areas. Sadly enough, some parts of these localities have become today the mere shadow of what

Parallel to the above populationoriented settlement schemes, a different brand of settlement project is carving its way through the City's alleyways, parks, ancient walls, graveyards and archeological sites. This is the landscape dimension of the Israeli attempt to judaize East Jerusalem. Chief in these projects is the settlers-made tunnel network system zigzagging underneath various parts of the Old City walls and buildings. These tunnels connect archeological sites and several synagogues erected by settlers in various parts of the Old City. Some tunnels, reportedly, are well lit and provide safe and easy passage for settlers and tourists. Most importantly, some tunnels are manned with settler tour guides who also provide audio-visual presentations for guided tours. Little could be left to the imagination when it comes to the kind of presentation given to tourist groups by these fanatic settler tour guides. Equally important, a large-scale Israeli project is underway to irrevocably change the city skyline. This project involves erecting oversized synagogues in various parts of the city, altering major landmarks such as the centuries-old walls, and establishing Talmudic parks around the city walls. The most recent chapter of this project has been a plan to drastically change the historical area of Bab El-Amoud or Damascus Gate. Similar to what had been made to the Dung Gate, the Jaffa Gate is now the subject of massive plans to remodel its entire shape. All these changes are designed to impose a Jewish character on Jerusalem's landscape. To wrap up, all the abovementioned examples represent limited cases in a wider and systematic mega project aimed not only at obliterating the indigenous character of Jerusalem, but also at fraudulently replacing it with a Jewish identity. One can not help but think that Jerusalem's AraboIslamic character is ebbing and is in immediate danger. Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims do not have the luxury of sitting on the fence or doing little to save their sacred city. It is absolutely right to suggest that workable multisectoral counter strategies should be designed and put into force. Quick fixes are not ideal solutions in such cases.

13


PALESTINE FILE

The OIC welcomes the EU declaration on the Middle East Peace Process The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu welcomed the positive positions contained in the Council of the European Union's declaration on the Middle East Peace Process on December 13th, 2010. The Secretary General hailed in particular the clear European stance, which considers the Israeli settlements, including in East Jerusa-

lem, illegal under international law and obstacle to peace. The European refusal to recognize any changes to the pre-1967 borders, including with regard to Jerusalem, as reiterated by the declaration, was positively received. The OIC also shares with the EU the view that peace in the Middle East should be comprehensive and based on the two-state solution in accordance with the relevant UN reso-

lutions and the Arab Peace Initiative. Ihsanoglu emphasized that the OIC supports the EU call for the immediate, sustained and unconditional opening of crossings to allow the movement of humanitarian aid, commercial goods and persons to and from Gaza. The blockade is unjust and exacerbates the ordeal of the Palestinian civilians, and should be lifted.

OIC welcomes Brazil and Argentina's recognition of the Palestinian State The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu welcomed Brazil and Argentina's announcements in early December of recognizing Palestine as a free and independent State according to its 1967

borders. Uruguay has also followed suit. The Secretary General stated that this step is an important qualitative development in the international support to Palestine's national inalienable rights. The Secretary General expressed

his hope that many other countries would follow suit, which will lead to a wide international recognition of Palestine as a free and fully sovereign State on the entire Palestinian territories occupied by Israel in 1967, with Eastern Jerusalem as its capital.

Dangers threatening El-Marwani Mosque, OIC calls on the Islamic Ummah to take prompt action Israeli officials indicated in early December the possible collapse of ElMarwani Mosque within Al Aqsa compound, which prompted the Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu to warn of such dangers and hold Israel, the occupation authority, fully responsible for the

safety of the Mosque. He stated that any dangers facing the Aqsa Mosque are a result of Israel's continued excavations underneath and around the holy site. The Secretary General called on the leaders of the Islamic Ummah to act promptly with a view to putting an end to Israeli violations. The Secretary General said that the serious reports coming from the

occupied city of Al-Quds on the situation in the Holy Aqsa Mosque indicate that Muslims' first qiblah is now in real and direct danger. The OIC considers the Holy Aqsa Mosque a red line which the Islamic Ummah will not hesitate to defend and that any prejudice to the mosque will have consequences for which Israel alone will be responsible.

No serious student of Jerusalem politics can overlook the devastating impacts that the current Israeli measures inflict on the future status of occupied East Jerusalem. Combined with the frequently repeated rhetoric of its politicians about what they term “indivisibility of Jerusalem”, Israel has invested heavily, and at unprecedented rates, in enforcing several plans aimed at not only shrinking the Palestinian presence in the city but also obliterating the Arab identity, which has characterized Jerusalem for centuries. The unmatched escalation in Israel's bid to transform East Jerusalem into a nonPalestinian urban space reveals a host of unpleasant realities such as the fragility of the Palestinian situation and the limited options available to have counter actions as well as the absence of serious international intervention capable of leashing the massive attempts aimed at Israelizing East Jerusalem. There is much evidence to suggest that Jerusalem's unique character has become the most visible casualty of such realities. . A long-held belief, which has prevailed for decades, suggests that Jerusalem has a special ability to preserve its own unique Palestinian identity. This belief, which has typified mainstream thinking, stemmed from the erroneous assumption that Jerusalem's demographic fabric as well as architectural and urban landscape provide the city with enough self-immunity, thus making it terribly difficult to imagine the occurrence of ground-breaking changes to the core components of the City's Palestinian identity. Even in the very stretched imagination, this was unconceivable. The course of events, nonetheless, proved that the very core components, mentioned above, were all under attack; and safe they were not. At the demographic level, it should be noted that Israel has spared no effort in pursuing its attempts to create Jewish demographic supremacy in East Jerusalem. In Israel's view, the high Palestinian birth-rate could be countered only by large-scale settlement schemes. Thanks to numerous settlement projects, mainly in large settlement blocks in the metropolitan area of Jerusalem such as Giv'at Ze'ev in the north, Ma'ale Adumim in the east and Efrat in the south, government-facilitated immigration enabled Israeli settlers to outnumber the indigenous Palestinian population in occupied East Jerusalem.

12

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

they used to be.

It is written on the wall:

Jerusalem's indigenous identity is left high and dry

Dr. Shaher Awawdeh Department of Palestine, OIC General Secretariat While most of settlement expansion efforts are made on Jerusalem's outskirts mentioned above, the most dangerous settlement activities, yet, are undertaken in the heart of Palestinian neighborhoods. Unlike settlement projects in the outer reaches of Jerusalem, which are intended to seal off East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank, settlement activities in the Old City and its vicinity are there for a different motive as indicated by a board member of the Israeli settler Elad Association: “Our aim is to hold on to the settlements in East Jerusalem, and create an irreversible annexation around the Old City.” Forcefully confiscating Palestinian real estate has become the bread-and-butter of the aforementioned views of Elad and similar settler groups. Recent reports estimate that approximately 2000 settlers live in Palestinian districts in the Old City and its immediate vicinity. Neighborhoods of Silwan, Sowaneh, Ras el-Amoud, Mount of Olives, Sheikh Jarrah and the Christian Quarter, provide a case in point. It is worth noting that until few years back, the above-mentioned neighborhoods were exclusively Palestinian populated areas. Sadly enough, some parts of these localities have become today the mere shadow of what

Parallel to the above populationoriented settlement schemes, a different brand of settlement project is carving its way through the City's alleyways, parks, ancient walls, graveyards and archeological sites. This is the landscape dimension of the Israeli attempt to judaize East Jerusalem. Chief in these projects is the settlers-made tunnel network system zigzagging underneath various parts of the Old City walls and buildings. These tunnels connect archeological sites and several synagogues erected by settlers in various parts of the Old City. Some tunnels, reportedly, are well lit and provide safe and easy passage for settlers and tourists. Most importantly, some tunnels are manned with settler tour guides who also provide audio-visual presentations for guided tours. Little could be left to the imagination when it comes to the kind of presentation given to tourist groups by these fanatic settler tour guides. Equally important, a large-scale Israeli project is underway to irrevocably change the city skyline. This project involves erecting oversized synagogues in various parts of the city, altering major landmarks such as the centuries-old walls, and establishing Talmudic parks around the city walls. The most recent chapter of this project has been a plan to drastically change the historical area of Bab El-Amoud or Damascus Gate. Similar to what had been made to the Dung Gate, the Jaffa Gate is now the subject of massive plans to remodel its entire shape. All these changes are designed to impose a Jewish character on Jerusalem's landscape. To wrap up, all the abovementioned examples represent limited cases in a wider and systematic mega project aimed not only at obliterating the indigenous character of Jerusalem, but also at fraudulently replacing it with a Jewish identity. One can not help but think that Jerusalem's AraboIslamic character is ebbing and is in immediate danger. Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims do not have the luxury of sitting on the fence or doing little to save their sacred city. It is absolutely right to suggest that workable multisectoral counter strategies should be designed and put into force. Quick fixes are not ideal solutions in such cases.

13


SPECIAL REPORT: ACM 2010

In New York City OIC makes its mark New York City, USA-During the OIC Foreign Ministers Annual Coordination Meeting (ACM) in September 2010 held on the sidelines of the annual meetings of the United Nations General Assembly at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, the OIC attended several meetings and events prior and after the ACM.

Bilateral meetings President of Tajikistan: On the sideline of the 65th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, the Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu met with the President of Tajikistan Emamali Rahmon. The Secretary General said there is a need for an integration of Central President Asia in terms of economRahmon ic, development, and security in order to address the problems of the region, especially on issues are related to extremism and terrorism. Ihsanoglu also discussed the issue of Afghanistan with the Tajik President and stressed that it is necessary to contribute to the stability of the country. Improving bilateral relations between the OIC and Tajikistan was also discussed. On his part, the Tajik President stressed the importance of working towards stabilizing Afghanistan, which is imperative for the security of the region. President Rahmon emphasized the importance of delinking terrorism with Islam and spoke about the need for an international cooperation to tackle the threat of terrorism. Vice President of Sudan: On another occasion, the Secretary General met with the Vice President of Sudan Ali Othman Mohammad Taha where he reiterated the OIC's support and solidarity with Sudan, and commended the bilateral relations and cooperation between Sudan and the OIC. Ihsanoglu also touched on the situation in Sudan in general, and the implementation of a comprehensive peace agreement between the north and the south as well as the peace talks to reach a resolution in Darfur. The Secretary General emphasized the OIC position vis-Ă -vis the unity of Sudan for the interest of Sudan and the region as a whole. On his part, the Vice President of Sudan commended the OIC and the Secretary General's efforts to improve the profile of OIC at the international level, and the OIC's support and efforts for preserving the unity of Sudan and reconstruction and recovering processes in Darfur, particularly the International Donor Conference which the OIC

14

held in Cairo early this year. Foreign Minister of Indonesia: OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia, Dr. R.M. Marty M. Natalegawa on 20 September 2010 in New York City. They discussed the bilateral relations and the means and ways towards closer cooperation and coordination between OIC and Indonesia. The Secretary General, upon the request of the Indonesian Foreign Minister, gave a brief on the priorities of the OIC at the present time and in the future, emphasizing the issue of Islamophobia as it worsened worldwide in general and in the western world in particular, especially that it became a tool for many western politicians to use during election periods. The Secretary General stated that the OIC has done its best to combat Islamophobia. However, without the political support of the OIC Member States, the success will not be foreseeable, he added. He said that the OIC has taken the issue of Islamophobia in all diplomatic arenas as well as academic and media institutions. The Secretary General also stated that there is a need for an effective disaster management system and rapid response mechanism within the OIC structure to face natural disasters like tsunami in 2005, the earthquake in Pakistan in 2006, and the flood in Pakistan that occurred the month before. On the issue of the Philippines - Moro, Ihsanoglu stressed the importance of having Indonesia playing a stronger role and deploying greater efforts to bring about a peaceful and sustainable settlement in the Philippines. On his part, the Indonesian Foreign Minister expressed his full support for the OIC Secretary General on the priorities set by the OIC, and stated that the OIC Member States should be playing a greater role and be more pragmatic in their support for the OIC to make it more effective in the international arena. He also commended the role played by the OIC Secretary General with regard to Islamophobia and agreed that OIC Member States should do more to support the OIC initiatives in fighting Islamophobia. The Foreign Minister said that Indonesia is doing its best in this regard, and stated that the Natalegawa Indonesian President

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

wrote to the US President Barack Obama and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, terming Islamophobia as a threat to the international security, and suggested that the UN Security Council should look into this matter. On the issue of Philippines, the Indonesian Foreign Minister stated that Indonesia is in the same position with OIC, and that positive outcomes have been achieved in this regard such as the enactment of a monitoring team for the peace process and the establishment of a Moro development fund. On the issue of natural disasters, the Indonesian Foreign Minister stressed that Indonesia, which has suffered immensely from Tsunami, is thus ready to support OIC initiatives related to disaster management and establishment of a rapid response mechanism. Foreign Minister of Somalia: The Secretary General also met in New York City with the Foreign Minister of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in Somalia, Yusuf Hassan Ibrahim, who briefed the Secretary General on the latest situation in Somalia. The Foreign Minister explained that despite its best of intentions, the government in not being able to control the situation in the country. The Secretary General said that the OIC has been instrumental in bringing an international support for the Somali TFG of President Sharif, however, the TFG should minimize the in-fighting in order to move forward with its initiative to bring peace and security in Somalia. The Secretary General briefed the Foreign Minister on the project of food distribution in Somalia in coordination with World Food Program (WFP). He said that the OIC is going to run the project on a test-case basis, and that the success of the project will ensure its effective implementation. The Somali Foreign Minister thanked the OIC for its extensive support to his country and assured the Secretary General of his government's support and full cooperation with the OIC. President of Kyrgyzstan: OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu met in New York City with the President of Kyrgyzstan Roza Otunbayeva, who briefed him on the latest situation in Kyrgyzstan. The President said that her country is improving slowly but steadily and that an investigation in the July incident has been completed, adding that a trial has begun to punish those responsible for the tragic incident. The President, however, said that Kyrgyzstan is facing big challenges due to drug trafficking and extremism as some foreign elements are trying to disrupt stability in Kyrgyzstan. The President thanked the Secretary General for the OIC support to her government during the troubled period. She invited the Secretary General to visit Kyrgyzstan in the near future and stated that the upcoming elections in her country would be crucial to decide on the political future of the country. The Secretary General briefed the President on the OIC initiative towards the development of CenPresident tral Asia as a whole as Otunbayeva well as on its endeavors

to bring the region closer to the Muslim World. President of Palestine: OIC Secretary General met on 23 September with the Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas. The Secretary General expressed to the Palestinian President the OIC deep concern over the issue of Israeli settlements in the Palestinian occupied territories and Jerusalem and assured the President the full support of the OIC to the Palestinian National Authority and the Palestinian people. Ihsanoglu expressed his wish for a success in the peace proPresident cess and the current negoAbbas tiations towards the full attainment of the national rights of the Palestinian people. President Abbas commended the efforts of the OIC and those of the Secretary General to support and help the Palestinians in their endeavor to establish a Palestinian State with Jerusalem as its capital. With regard to Israeli settlement, he reiterated to the Secretary General his position and the position of Palestinian Authority that there will be no direct negotiations if Israel fails to extend the halt of settlement building in the Palestinian territories. Foreign Minister of Gambia: Ihsanoglu met Momodou Tangara, Gambia's Minister of Foreign Affairs, on 23 September. They had a useful and wide-ranging exchange on the bilateral relations and the ways and means to further cooperation, including means to implement the Special African Development Program and the OIC Summit, which will be held in Egypt in March 2011. Foreign Minister of Egypt: The Secretary General met on 26 September with the Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmad Abu Gheit, and discussed the overall preparations for the 13th Islamic Summit, which will be held in Sharm AlSheikh, Egypt in March 2011. Presidents of Guyana and Suriname: Ihsanoglu met with the President of Guyana Bharrat Jagdeo and the President of Suriname DĂŠsi Bouterse. The Secretary General discussed bi- Abu Gheit lateral relations and cooperation that the leaders of OIC Member States identified in Southern American Continent, especially issues related to the implementation of the Ten-Year Action Plan, and he called for more engagement of both countries in the overall activities of the OIC. The Presidents of Guyana and Suriname expressed their commitment to enhance and promote cooperation with the OIC.

15


SPECIAL REPORT: ACM 2010

In New York City OIC makes its mark New York City, USA-During the OIC Foreign Ministers Annual Coordination Meeting (ACM) in September 2010 held on the sidelines of the annual meetings of the United Nations General Assembly at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, the OIC attended several meetings and events prior and after the ACM.

Bilateral meetings President of Tajikistan: On the sideline of the 65th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, the Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu met with the President of Tajikistan Emamali Rahmon. The Secretary General said there is a need for an integration of Central President Asia in terms of economRahmon ic, development, and security in order to address the problems of the region, especially on issues are related to extremism and terrorism. Ihsanoglu also discussed the issue of Afghanistan with the Tajik President and stressed that it is necessary to contribute to the stability of the country. Improving bilateral relations between the OIC and Tajikistan was also discussed. On his part, the Tajik President stressed the importance of working towards stabilizing Afghanistan, which is imperative for the security of the region. President Rahmon emphasized the importance of delinking terrorism with Islam and spoke about the need for an international cooperation to tackle the threat of terrorism. Vice President of Sudan: On another occasion, the Secretary General met with the Vice President of Sudan Ali Othman Mohammad Taha where he reiterated the OIC's support and solidarity with Sudan, and commended the bilateral relations and cooperation between Sudan and the OIC. Ihsanoglu also touched on the situation in Sudan in general, and the implementation of a comprehensive peace agreement between the north and the south as well as the peace talks to reach a resolution in Darfur. The Secretary General emphasized the OIC position vis-Ă -vis the unity of Sudan for the interest of Sudan and the region as a whole. On his part, the Vice President of Sudan commended the OIC and the Secretary General's efforts to improve the profile of OIC at the international level, and the OIC's support and efforts for preserving the unity of Sudan and reconstruction and recovering processes in Darfur, particularly the International Donor Conference which the OIC

14

held in Cairo early this year. Foreign Minister of Indonesia: OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia, Dr. R.M. Marty M. Natalegawa on 20 September 2010 in New York City. They discussed the bilateral relations and the means and ways towards closer cooperation and coordination between OIC and Indonesia. The Secretary General, upon the request of the Indonesian Foreign Minister, gave a brief on the priorities of the OIC at the present time and in the future, emphasizing the issue of Islamophobia as it worsened worldwide in general and in the western world in particular, especially that it became a tool for many western politicians to use during election periods. The Secretary General stated that the OIC has done its best to combat Islamophobia. However, without the political support of the OIC Member States, the success will not be foreseeable, he added. He said that the OIC has taken the issue of Islamophobia in all diplomatic arenas as well as academic and media institutions. The Secretary General also stated that there is a need for an effective disaster management system and rapid response mechanism within the OIC structure to face natural disasters like tsunami in 2005, the earthquake in Pakistan in 2006, and the flood in Pakistan that occurred the month before. On the issue of the Philippines - Moro, Ihsanoglu stressed the importance of having Indonesia playing a stronger role and deploying greater efforts to bring about a peaceful and sustainable settlement in the Philippines. On his part, the Indonesian Foreign Minister expressed his full support for the OIC Secretary General on the priorities set by the OIC, and stated that the OIC Member States should be playing a greater role and be more pragmatic in their support for the OIC to make it more effective in the international arena. He also commended the role played by the OIC Secretary General with regard to Islamophobia and agreed that OIC Member States should do more to support the OIC initiatives in fighting Islamophobia. The Foreign Minister said that Indonesia is doing its best in this regard, and stated that the Natalegawa Indonesian President

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

wrote to the US President Barack Obama and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, terming Islamophobia as a threat to the international security, and suggested that the UN Security Council should look into this matter. On the issue of Philippines, the Indonesian Foreign Minister stated that Indonesia is in the same position with OIC, and that positive outcomes have been achieved in this regard such as the enactment of a monitoring team for the peace process and the establishment of a Moro development fund. On the issue of natural disasters, the Indonesian Foreign Minister stressed that Indonesia, which has suffered immensely from Tsunami, is thus ready to support OIC initiatives related to disaster management and establishment of a rapid response mechanism. Foreign Minister of Somalia: The Secretary General also met in New York City with the Foreign Minister of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in Somalia, Yusuf Hassan Ibrahim, who briefed the Secretary General on the latest situation in Somalia. The Foreign Minister explained that despite its best of intentions, the government in not being able to control the situation in the country. The Secretary General said that the OIC has been instrumental in bringing an international support for the Somali TFG of President Sharif, however, the TFG should minimize the in-fighting in order to move forward with its initiative to bring peace and security in Somalia. The Secretary General briefed the Foreign Minister on the project of food distribution in Somalia in coordination with World Food Program (WFP). He said that the OIC is going to run the project on a test-case basis, and that the success of the project will ensure its effective implementation. The Somali Foreign Minister thanked the OIC for its extensive support to his country and assured the Secretary General of his government's support and full cooperation with the OIC. President of Kyrgyzstan: OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu met in New York City with the President of Kyrgyzstan Roza Otunbayeva, who briefed him on the latest situation in Kyrgyzstan. The President said that her country is improving slowly but steadily and that an investigation in the July incident has been completed, adding that a trial has begun to punish those responsible for the tragic incident. The President, however, said that Kyrgyzstan is facing big challenges due to drug trafficking and extremism as some foreign elements are trying to disrupt stability in Kyrgyzstan. The President thanked the Secretary General for the OIC support to her government during the troubled period. She invited the Secretary General to visit Kyrgyzstan in the near future and stated that the upcoming elections in her country would be crucial to decide on the political future of the country. The Secretary General briefed the President on the OIC initiative towards the development of CenPresident tral Asia as a whole as Otunbayeva well as on its endeavors

to bring the region closer to the Muslim World. President of Palestine: OIC Secretary General met on 23 September with the Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas. The Secretary General expressed to the Palestinian President the OIC deep concern over the issue of Israeli settlements in the Palestinian occupied territories and Jerusalem and assured the President the full support of the OIC to the Palestinian National Authority and the Palestinian people. Ihsanoglu expressed his wish for a success in the peace proPresident cess and the current negoAbbas tiations towards the full attainment of the national rights of the Palestinian people. President Abbas commended the efforts of the OIC and those of the Secretary General to support and help the Palestinians in their endeavor to establish a Palestinian State with Jerusalem as its capital. With regard to Israeli settlement, he reiterated to the Secretary General his position and the position of Palestinian Authority that there will be no direct negotiations if Israel fails to extend the halt of settlement building in the Palestinian territories. Foreign Minister of Gambia: Ihsanoglu met Momodou Tangara, Gambia's Minister of Foreign Affairs, on 23 September. They had a useful and wide-ranging exchange on the bilateral relations and the ways and means to further cooperation, including means to implement the Special African Development Program and the OIC Summit, which will be held in Egypt in March 2011. Foreign Minister of Egypt: The Secretary General met on 26 September with the Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmad Abu Gheit, and discussed the overall preparations for the 13th Islamic Summit, which will be held in Sharm AlSheikh, Egypt in March 2011. Presidents of Guyana and Suriname: Ihsanoglu met with the President of Guyana Bharrat Jagdeo and the President of Suriname DĂŠsi Bouterse. The Secretary General discussed bi- Abu Gheit lateral relations and cooperation that the leaders of OIC Member States identified in Southern American Continent, especially issues related to the implementation of the Ten-Year Action Plan, and he called for more engagement of both countries in the overall activities of the OIC. The Presidents of Guyana and Suriname expressed their commitment to enhance and promote cooperation with the OIC.

15


SPECIAL REPORT: ACM 2010

Poverty remains a big challenge for OIC Countries The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu addressed the Roundtable Session of the High Level Plenary meeting on Poverty, Hunger and Gender Equality on 20 September 2010. He commended the initiative of the President of the UN General Assembly for organizing this thematic interactive roundtable session. Poverty is a complex issue and needs to be tackled on a range of fronts including, but not limited to, improving economic growth, Ihsanoglu stated. He stressed that poverty remains one of the big challenges to the socio-economic development of a majority of developing countries, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Besides, this phenomenon has brought about problems such as illiteracy, malnutrition, disease and even crime. Global food crisis further worsened the already precarious conditions of poor people in these countries, the Secretary General said. Ihsanoglu said the OIC has to reinvigorate its machinery for economic growth and cooperation among member countries through comprehensive mobilization of the resources, within and outside the OIC community. A new approach to economic cooperation was, therefore fashioned out to ensure that all stakeholders are sensitized on the need for the accelerated transformation of the economies of OIC Member States and the welfare of their peoples. He added that since almost all OIC countries are classified as developing countries, their respective economies are still plagued by many constraints. These constraints vary from low and unsustainable agricultural productivity, subsistence farming, population pressure, unemployment, to technological problems and closed food markets.

Ihsanoglu emphasized the major thrust of OIC action for combating wide-spread poverty in its Member States is the development of the human productive capacity through such projects as vocational training and agro-food industrial capacity-building; wealth creation through intra-OIC trade and development of strategic commodities; as well as investment promotion and micro-finance. Among major programs to arrest poverty within the OIC Member States, the Secretary General numerated the establishment of poverty alleviation funds, the OIC 'Special Program for the Development of Africa' with its $12 billion facility aimed at catering for pro-poor activities, and 'Food Security and Agricultural Development'. OIC strategy on multi-stakeholder's partnership for addressing the issue of poverty alleviation is well pronounced in the domain of agriculture and food security, where the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) had launched, in 2008, a landmark $ 1.5 billion 'Jeddah Food Initiative', and Cotton Action Plan (2007-2011). In conclusion, the Secretary General stated that the OIC objective of enhancing multi-stakeholder partnership for economic development in OIC countries has added a new impetus to the existing and long-standing relations between OIC and the United Nations. Pointedly, the elaboration of the Millennium Development Goals and the establishment of the OIC Ten Year Program of Action have provided the basis for policy consultation and coordination among these two important global institutions. He stressed that this would assist greatly in promoting the global agenda on pro-poor activities and human capital development.

OIC commemorates the International Day of Peace On the occasion of International Day of Peace observed on 21st September 2010 under the theme 'Youth for Peace and Development' proposed by the UN Secretary General Ban Kimoon, the Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu has called for the cessation of hostilities and the peaceful resolution of all con-

flicts in the Member States. Ihsanoglu who lamented the destructive effects of conflicts on the development of societies, noted that only a peaceful environment could guarantee their progress in achieving the targets of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). He appealed to the youth in the Muslim world to use this day and rededicate themselves for the

cause of peace and development in their respective countries. The Secretary General then restated the determination of the OIC to continue its existing cooperation with the UN and other international and regional organizations to maintain global peace and security as well as the attainment of the MDGs.

OIC Contact Group Meeting on Sierra Leone The OIC Contact Group on Sierra Leone met at the Ministerial level on the 22nd of September 2010 and reviewed the latest situation in the country. The meeting expressed its satisfaction at the progress made by democracy, the rule of law and good governance in Sierra Leone and urged its political leaders and people to shun violence and political intolerance, and to develop a national culture of peace, dialogue and participation. The meeting acknowledged the important progress made by Sierra Leone in the areas of infrastructure development, education and agriculture throughout the country under the able 16

leadership of H.E. President Ernest Bai Koroma, despite the economic challenges facing Sierra Leone. The meeting expressed its thanks and appreciation to the State of Qatar, Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam and the Islamic Solidarity Fund for the financial support extended to the OIC Assistance Fund for Sierra Leone. The meeting invited all stakeholders to come up with concrete proposals aimed at giving a new lease of life to the OIC Assistance Fund for Sierra Leone, which has been unable to cope with the pressing socioeconomic needs due to its scant financial resources exhausted since December 2006. The meeting expressed its thanks

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

to the international community, to DFID/UK and the OIC Member States and financial institutions which played an important role during the OICDFID international donors' conference held in London in November 2009. The Meeting took note of the progress of the Capacity Building Program for Oil Palm Plantation Project in Sierra Leone and the vigorous efforts undertaken by the Sierra Leone Government to overcome the 9 issues identified by the Malaysia - IDB Assessment Mission undertaken on 1 - 10 November 2009, to facilitate the implementation of the Rescue Plans of the project.

OIC and Global Fund call for fighting diseases in OIC Countries In the spirit of the shared commitment to progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and in his opening remarks at the special lunch co-hosted by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the Secretary General of the OIC Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu stated that this meeting is for a noble cause which is central to the achievement of the vision embodied in the OIC Ten Year Program of Action and the Millennium Development Goals. The OIC General Secretariat and the Global Fund has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) during the 36th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) held in May 2009 in Damascus, Syria. The MoU aims at strengthening cooperation between the two organizations in the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. In line with the objectives of this MoU, the General Secretariat has been working with the OIC Member States and other partners, including the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), to advocate action against AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis (TB), and to raise awareness about the Global Fund's vision, mission and work. The Secretary General said since the creation of the Global Fund, 46 OIC Member States have benefitted in the form of US$ 4 billion allocated for fighting AIDS, 3 billion US dollars for Malaria and 2 billion US dollars for TB. Ihsanoglu said that the 10-Year Program of Action adopted by the Makkah Summit placed special emphasis on fighting diseases and epidemics. This was based on the realization of the fact that the achievement of the goals and benchmarks for socio-economic development cannot be possible without addressing serious threats to the health and well being of the population of the OIC countries. The 10 Year Program of Action therefore mandated the OIC Gener-

al Secretariat and the IDB to draw up programs for fighting disease and epidemics in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other relevant institutions, the Secretary General mentioned. Ihsanoglu expressed his appreciation and gratitude to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Nigeria, Uganda and BruneiDarussalam for coming forward and extending a helping hand to others through the Global Fund. The cooperation and support of the IDB extended to the Global Fund is also commendable. However, the Secretary General stated that there is still a long way to go in the attainment of the targets set out by the Makkah Summit as well as the Millennium Development Goals. He appealed to the governments of the OIC Member States to re-double their national efforts in the fight against AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis, and to collaborate with the Global Fund in this regard. He called upon the donor countries among the OIC Member States to come forward, in line with the lofty Islamic values of compassion and giving, to assist the Global Fund in its activities, and continue and further enhance their financial contributions to the Fund. In addition, he strongly urged the private sector in affluent Member States to come forward and contribute to the Global Fund as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR). The Secretary General also drew attention to the tragic floods disaster in Pakistan, which has affected more than 20 million people, ravaged lives, destroyed infrastructure and deprived people of their livelihoods. He said that among other things, 3.5 million people are threatened with hunger and disease. The terrible disaster has adversely impacted the health sector, in particular with the possibilities of outbreaks of Malaria, Cholera and other diseases, Ihsanoglu concluded.

OIC-EU Troika discuss issues of common interest OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu stated on 22 September 2010 that the OIC - EU relations date back to 2002 with the first fora of OIC - EU ministers held in Istanbul. He stated this during the OIC troika meeting with the European Union (EU). The OIC troika included the Foreign Ministers of Tajikistan and Kazakhstan and Deputy Foreign Minister of Syria. The Secretary General said the relationship between the OIC and the EU, although progressing and developing, has not reached a desired level. However, he said that the OIC - EU relations have high potential for development with OIC being the proponent, stressing that OIC and EU enjoy good cooperation on issues related to Middle East, Afghanistan and many other issues of international political importance. Ihsanoglu mentioned that the OIC appreciates the role played by the EU, particularly with regard to the Middle East Peace Process. However, he said

Baroness Ashton

that the OIC believes that the EU should exert more pressure on Israel to withdraw from occupied territories and urge parties to reach a sustainable peaceful settlement of the Middle East conflict. The Secretary General highlighted then the need for cooperation between the OIC and the EU Groups at the United Nations in Geneva and New York with an open mind particularly with regard to OIC sponsored resolution on defamation of religions. On the EU part, the High Representative, Baroness Catherine Ashton, welcomed the frank and candid discussion expressed by the OIC troika and the Secretary General concerning issues of significant importance. Baroness Ashton stressed the importance of having the EU and the OIC working together on various issues, and reiterated the EU's commitment to protect individuals and fight against discrimination and all forms of intolerance and of discrimination based on religion or belief.

17


SPECIAL REPORT: ACM 2010

Poverty remains a big challenge for OIC Countries The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu addressed the Roundtable Session of the High Level Plenary meeting on Poverty, Hunger and Gender Equality on 20 September 2010. He commended the initiative of the President of the UN General Assembly for organizing this thematic interactive roundtable session. Poverty is a complex issue and needs to be tackled on a range of fronts including, but not limited to, improving economic growth, Ihsanoglu stated. He stressed that poverty remains one of the big challenges to the socio-economic development of a majority of developing countries, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Besides, this phenomenon has brought about problems such as illiteracy, malnutrition, disease and even crime. Global food crisis further worsened the already precarious conditions of poor people in these countries, the Secretary General said. Ihsanoglu said the OIC has to reinvigorate its machinery for economic growth and cooperation among member countries through comprehensive mobilization of the resources, within and outside the OIC community. A new approach to economic cooperation was, therefore fashioned out to ensure that all stakeholders are sensitized on the need for the accelerated transformation of the economies of OIC Member States and the welfare of their peoples. He added that since almost all OIC countries are classified as developing countries, their respective economies are still plagued by many constraints. These constraints vary from low and unsustainable agricultural productivity, subsistence farming, population pressure, unemployment, to technological problems and closed food markets.

Ihsanoglu emphasized the major thrust of OIC action for combating wide-spread poverty in its Member States is the development of the human productive capacity through such projects as vocational training and agro-food industrial capacity-building; wealth creation through intra-OIC trade and development of strategic commodities; as well as investment promotion and micro-finance. Among major programs to arrest poverty within the OIC Member States, the Secretary General numerated the establishment of poverty alleviation funds, the OIC 'Special Program for the Development of Africa' with its $12 billion facility aimed at catering for pro-poor activities, and 'Food Security and Agricultural Development'. OIC strategy on multi-stakeholder's partnership for addressing the issue of poverty alleviation is well pronounced in the domain of agriculture and food security, where the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) had launched, in 2008, a landmark $ 1.5 billion 'Jeddah Food Initiative', and Cotton Action Plan (2007-2011). In conclusion, the Secretary General stated that the OIC objective of enhancing multi-stakeholder partnership for economic development in OIC countries has added a new impetus to the existing and long-standing relations between OIC and the United Nations. Pointedly, the elaboration of the Millennium Development Goals and the establishment of the OIC Ten Year Program of Action have provided the basis for policy consultation and coordination among these two important global institutions. He stressed that this would assist greatly in promoting the global agenda on pro-poor activities and human capital development.

OIC commemorates the International Day of Peace On the occasion of International Day of Peace observed on 21st September 2010 under the theme 'Youth for Peace and Development' proposed by the UN Secretary General Ban Kimoon, the Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu has called for the cessation of hostilities and the peaceful resolution of all con-

flicts in the Member States. Ihsanoglu who lamented the destructive effects of conflicts on the development of societies, noted that only a peaceful environment could guarantee their progress in achieving the targets of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). He appealed to the youth in the Muslim world to use this day and rededicate themselves for the

cause of peace and development in their respective countries. The Secretary General then restated the determination of the OIC to continue its existing cooperation with the UN and other international and regional organizations to maintain global peace and security as well as the attainment of the MDGs.

OIC Contact Group Meeting on Sierra Leone The OIC Contact Group on Sierra Leone met at the Ministerial level on the 22nd of September 2010 and reviewed the latest situation in the country. The meeting expressed its satisfaction at the progress made by democracy, the rule of law and good governance in Sierra Leone and urged its political leaders and people to shun violence and political intolerance, and to develop a national culture of peace, dialogue and participation. The meeting acknowledged the important progress made by Sierra Leone in the areas of infrastructure development, education and agriculture throughout the country under the able 16

leadership of H.E. President Ernest Bai Koroma, despite the economic challenges facing Sierra Leone. The meeting expressed its thanks and appreciation to the State of Qatar, Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam and the Islamic Solidarity Fund for the financial support extended to the OIC Assistance Fund for Sierra Leone. The meeting invited all stakeholders to come up with concrete proposals aimed at giving a new lease of life to the OIC Assistance Fund for Sierra Leone, which has been unable to cope with the pressing socioeconomic needs due to its scant financial resources exhausted since December 2006. The meeting expressed its thanks

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

to the international community, to DFID/UK and the OIC Member States and financial institutions which played an important role during the OICDFID international donors' conference held in London in November 2009. The Meeting took note of the progress of the Capacity Building Program for Oil Palm Plantation Project in Sierra Leone and the vigorous efforts undertaken by the Sierra Leone Government to overcome the 9 issues identified by the Malaysia - IDB Assessment Mission undertaken on 1 - 10 November 2009, to facilitate the implementation of the Rescue Plans of the project.

OIC and Global Fund call for fighting diseases in OIC Countries In the spirit of the shared commitment to progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and in his opening remarks at the special lunch co-hosted by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the Secretary General of the OIC Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu stated that this meeting is for a noble cause which is central to the achievement of the vision embodied in the OIC Ten Year Program of Action and the Millennium Development Goals. The OIC General Secretariat and the Global Fund has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) during the 36th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) held in May 2009 in Damascus, Syria. The MoU aims at strengthening cooperation between the two organizations in the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. In line with the objectives of this MoU, the General Secretariat has been working with the OIC Member States and other partners, including the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), to advocate action against AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis (TB), and to raise awareness about the Global Fund's vision, mission and work. The Secretary General said since the creation of the Global Fund, 46 OIC Member States have benefitted in the form of US$ 4 billion allocated for fighting AIDS, 3 billion US dollars for Malaria and 2 billion US dollars for TB. Ihsanoglu said that the 10-Year Program of Action adopted by the Makkah Summit placed special emphasis on fighting diseases and epidemics. This was based on the realization of the fact that the achievement of the goals and benchmarks for socio-economic development cannot be possible without addressing serious threats to the health and well being of the population of the OIC countries. The 10 Year Program of Action therefore mandated the OIC Gener-

al Secretariat and the IDB to draw up programs for fighting disease and epidemics in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other relevant institutions, the Secretary General mentioned. Ihsanoglu expressed his appreciation and gratitude to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Nigeria, Uganda and BruneiDarussalam for coming forward and extending a helping hand to others through the Global Fund. The cooperation and support of the IDB extended to the Global Fund is also commendable. However, the Secretary General stated that there is still a long way to go in the attainment of the targets set out by the Makkah Summit as well as the Millennium Development Goals. He appealed to the governments of the OIC Member States to re-double their national efforts in the fight against AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis, and to collaborate with the Global Fund in this regard. He called upon the donor countries among the OIC Member States to come forward, in line with the lofty Islamic values of compassion and giving, to assist the Global Fund in its activities, and continue and further enhance their financial contributions to the Fund. In addition, he strongly urged the private sector in affluent Member States to come forward and contribute to the Global Fund as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR). The Secretary General also drew attention to the tragic floods disaster in Pakistan, which has affected more than 20 million people, ravaged lives, destroyed infrastructure and deprived people of their livelihoods. He said that among other things, 3.5 million people are threatened with hunger and disease. The terrible disaster has adversely impacted the health sector, in particular with the possibilities of outbreaks of Malaria, Cholera and other diseases, Ihsanoglu concluded.

OIC-EU Troika discuss issues of common interest OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu stated on 22 September 2010 that the OIC - EU relations date back to 2002 with the first fora of OIC - EU ministers held in Istanbul. He stated this during the OIC troika meeting with the European Union (EU). The OIC troika included the Foreign Ministers of Tajikistan and Kazakhstan and Deputy Foreign Minister of Syria. The Secretary General said the relationship between the OIC and the EU, although progressing and developing, has not reached a desired level. However, he said that the OIC - EU relations have high potential for development with OIC being the proponent, stressing that OIC and EU enjoy good cooperation on issues related to Middle East, Afghanistan and many other issues of international political importance. Ihsanoglu mentioned that the OIC appreciates the role played by the EU, particularly with regard to the Middle East Peace Process. However, he said

Baroness Ashton

that the OIC believes that the EU should exert more pressure on Israel to withdraw from occupied territories and urge parties to reach a sustainable peaceful settlement of the Middle East conflict. The Secretary General highlighted then the need for cooperation between the OIC and the EU Groups at the United Nations in Geneva and New York with an open mind particularly with regard to OIC sponsored resolution on defamation of religions. On the EU part, the High Representative, Baroness Catherine Ashton, welcomed the frank and candid discussion expressed by the OIC troika and the Secretary General concerning issues of significant importance. Baroness Ashton stressed the importance of having the EU and the OIC working together on various issues, and reiterated the EU's commitment to protect individuals and fight against discrimination and all forms of intolerance and of discrimination based on religion or belief.

17


SPECIAL REPORT: ACM 2010

Meeting of the OIC Contact Group on Somalia The OIC Contact Group on Somalia met at Ministerial level on the 22nd of September 2010 on the sidelines of the Annual Coordination Meeting of Foreign Ministers in New York. The meeting reviewed the latest developments in Somalia and received a briefing from the Somali Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Prof. Abdurrahman Adan Ibrahim, and the Secretary General of the OIC. It also heard interventions from other members of the Contact Group. During deliberations on the ways and means that could contribute to the restoration of durable peace to the country, the meeting agreed on the following: i. The meeting reaffirmed its respect for the unity, stability and territorial integrity of Somalia and urged

all countries to do the same. ii. The meeting condemned all acts of insurgency and violence targeted against the TFG, its functionaries and innocent persons stressing that such criminal acts were contrary to the noble values of Islam and called on the militants to drop their weapons and join the peace process. iii. The meeting reaffirmed its full support for the TFG under President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed and encouraged it to continue its efforts to achieve national reconciliation under the Djibouti Peace Agreement, which remains the only basis recognized internationally for a comprehensive peaceful settlement of the conflict in Somalia. iv. The meeting commended the initiative of the OIC to open a Humanitarian Coordination Office in Mogadishu and urged other Somali partners to

enhance their presence in the country and to intensify their engagement with the TFG. v. The meeting requested the Member States to increase their assistance to the TFG in its peace building efforts during the remaining period of the transition and reminded the international community to live up to its obligations by intensifying its assistance to the TFG, especially in the security sector and by redeeming all its pledges as contained in the Istanbul Declaration of 23 May 2010. In this regard, it commended Turkey and the UN for jointly organizing the Istanbul Conference on Somalia. It also expressed its deep appreciation to the AU, IGAD and AMISOM for their sacrifices and concrete support to the TFG.

Meeting of the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir The Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir met on the 22nd of September 2010 at the Ministerial level on the sidelines of the ACM in New York. The meeting was opened by Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the OIC Secretary General, who reaffirmed, once more, full support of the OIC for and solidarity with the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Referring to the latest round of violence perpetrated by the Indian forces against Kashmiri people, the Secretary General briefed the meeting on the OIC's position in this regard and called on India once more to end its human rights violations in the area. The meeting then listened to the statements made by distinguished Members of the Contact Group in which they reiterated their continued support to the people of Jammu and Kashmir and called for peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. Statements were also made by the True Representatives of the Kashmiri people.

Meeting of the OIC Contact Group on Iraq The OIC Contact Group Meeting on Iraq was held on 23 September 2010, and reviewed the latest developments in Iraq. The meeting was chaired by the OIC Secretary General and attended by delegations from Azerbaijan, Egypt, Iraq, Pakistan and Senegal. The meeting stressed the need to promote national dialogue, reconciliation and broad-based political participation to ensure the country's unity, security and stability and peace. The Meeting commended the elections that took place on 7 March 2010 and on which the Iraqi people expressed determination to opt for democracy in running the country and stressed the importance of forming a strong Iraqi government, involving all sections of the Iraqi people specially that Iraq is facing major challenges to ensure security and reconstruction. The Meeting requested the General Secretariat to endeavor to support Iraq 18

in the phase of reconstruction and development. The Meeting stressed the need to continue to hold regular meetings between the Iraqi State and the General Secretariat of the OIC and its various organs, in order to implement the joint communiquĂŠ signed in February 2009. The Meeting recalled the adoption by the OIC in a successful precedent of the Makkah Al-Mukaramah Document on the situation in Iraq on October 20, 2006.It underlined the need for the General Secretariat to follow up the implementation of this important document within the framework of the Organization's contribution to national reconciliation through the promotion of unity and coherence between Sunnis and Shiites to work to build a stable Iraq, secure, democratic, prosperous and unified Iraq. The meeting condemned acts of violence that took place recently in Iraq.

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

It also expressed support for the efforts made by the Iraqi government to put an end to the wave of violence and defeat terrorism. The Meeting welcomed the outcome of all expanded conferences of the neighboring countries of Iraq and urged neighboring countries of Iraq to continue their cooperation with the Iraqi government. The Meeting expressed its appreciation to OIC Member States, which maintained its diplomatic presence in Iraq, hailed the declaration of many Muslim countries to appoint ambassadors to Iraq, and called on all other members of the organization to open or reopen their embassies in Iraq. The Meeting also called upon all Member States to write off their debts to Iraq, as part of their contribution to the reconstruction of Iraq. In this respect, the Meeting commended the Member States which have written off their debts to Iraq.

Meeting of the OIC Contact Group on Bosnia and Herzegovina The OIC Ministerial Contact Group on Bosnia Herzegovina convened on 22 September 2010 in New York. The OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihasnoglu and other members of the OIC Contact Group addressed the meeting. The representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina briefed the meeting on the current situation in Bosnia Herzegovina. The meeting discussed in depth the developments in Bosnia Herzegovina and reiterated the OIC support to preserve unity, territorial integrity, sovereignty and international personality of Bosnia and Herzegovina, within internationally recognized borders, as a fully functional and self-sustainable state capable of carrying out its powers and fulfilling its international obligations without absolute blockade mechanisms as well as its multiethnic, multi-cultural and multireligious structure. The OIC Contact Group, in this respect, emphasized the importance of the decision making powers of the Bosnia and Herzegovina legal structures of the proper functioning of the state and stresses the need to tackle any existing mechanisms that may hamper theses powers, as part of the constitutional reform process. The meeting condemned recent open call for secession of one part of Bosnia and Herzegovina coming from the Highest State-level officials of the

Serb nationality and considers these statements to be a threat to the peace and stability in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in the region. The meeting expressed its deep concern over inadequate implementation of the key elements of the Dayton Peace Agreement, particularly relating to the building of the state institutions, regulatory framework, and return of refugees and displaced persons of their origin. The meeting observed that the lack of implementation of some key elements of the Dayton Peace Agreement have been found to obstruct the process of the reconstruction, democratization, and the reintegration of the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina . The meeting expressed its concern that these violations, particularly relating to the right of the refugees to return, have solidified blockades and prevented the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina from rebuilding a multicultural society. The meeting stressed the need for more efforts and work to implement these elements and to fully respect other key aspects of Dayton, particularly regarding Bosnia and Herzegovina's rights over state property that had been confirmed in Dayton and subsequent international agreements. Since the 5+2 objectives and conditions (state defense property) rule of law, financial adequacy, status of Brcko, signing of the Stabilization and

Association Agreement with the EU decision by the Peace Implementation Council on stable political situation identified by the Peace Implementation Council and its February 2008 meeting for the closure of the Office of the High Representative have not been fully implemented and the constitutional reform package by the international community have not been endorsed by Bosnia and Herzegovina stakeholders, the OIC Contact Group underlined that in early step from the transition of the Office of the High Representative (OHR) to the EU Special Representation (EUSR) should be carefully considered to allow for the functioning of the Bosnia and Herzegovina central state satisfactorily. The OIC Contact Group underlined the importance of the rule of law as part of any settlement impacting on the future of the country and invites all local and international actors to focus on the need to fully implement the existing legal obligations when presenting solutions for the future. The meeting called upon OIC Member States and OIC Financial institutions to contribute generously to the OIC Trust Fund for the Return of the Displaced Persons in Bosnia and Herzegovina to enable the Fund to continue its reconstruction and development activities in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

OIC Secretary General attends High Level Meeting on Somalia at the UN On the sidelines of the 65th Session of United Nations General Assembly the OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu attended on 23 September a high level meeting on Somalia in the presence of the Somali President, Sheikh Sharif Ahmad, and the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon. Ihsanoglu stated that consistent with the OIC's commitment to contribute to any international endeavor aimed at advancing the peace building process in the war-torn country, the OIC participated in the International Conference on Somalia jointly organized by Turkey and the UN on 21-23 May 2010 in Istanbul. The conference, held within the framework of the Djibouti Peace Agreement, sent out an unequivocal message of international solidarity and commitment to strengthen the Transitional Federal Govern-

ment (TFG). The Secretary General said that despite the Istanbul Conference, the situation on the ground in Somalia has remained a source of concern as insurgents continued to launch bold attacks on government targets and AMISOM as well as on innocent civilians. He commended the TFG for its laudable efforts to achieve reconciliation, but warned the militants that there cannot be any military solution to this conflict, as the Djibouti Peace Agreement remains the only internationally recognized valuable option to achieve comprehensive national reconciliation. The Secretary General expressed disappointment that the TRG still not receiving the financial support that was pledged by the international committee, which has contributed to the weakening the loyalty of the people to

the TFG and exposing its vulnerability. He added that this also is contributing to undermine the cohesion and unity within the TFG as demonstrated by the recent resignations of some ministers and high-level officials. As for the OIC, he said that the OIC on its part has signed an agreement with the World Food Program (WFP) to deliver food worth $36 million dollars through the Afgoye Corridor. The Secretary General called on the partners of Somalia, especially the UN, to effectively implement its strategy by intensifying their assistance to the TFG as well as consolidating their presence on the ground by relocating their offices from Nairobi to Somalia. He said that the OIC has opened its Humanitarian Coordination Office in Mogadishu to help advance the peace process. 19


SPECIAL REPORT: ACM 2010

Meeting of the OIC Contact Group on Somalia The OIC Contact Group on Somalia met at Ministerial level on the 22nd of September 2010 on the sidelines of the Annual Coordination Meeting of Foreign Ministers in New York. The meeting reviewed the latest developments in Somalia and received a briefing from the Somali Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Prof. Abdurrahman Adan Ibrahim, and the Secretary General of the OIC. It also heard interventions from other members of the Contact Group. During deliberations on the ways and means that could contribute to the restoration of durable peace to the country, the meeting agreed on the following: i. The meeting reaffirmed its respect for the unity, stability and territorial integrity of Somalia and urged

all countries to do the same. ii. The meeting condemned all acts of insurgency and violence targeted against the TFG, its functionaries and innocent persons stressing that such criminal acts were contrary to the noble values of Islam and called on the militants to drop their weapons and join the peace process. iii. The meeting reaffirmed its full support for the TFG under President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed and encouraged it to continue its efforts to achieve national reconciliation under the Djibouti Peace Agreement, which remains the only basis recognized internationally for a comprehensive peaceful settlement of the conflict in Somalia. iv. The meeting commended the initiative of the OIC to open a Humanitarian Coordination Office in Mogadishu and urged other Somali partners to

enhance their presence in the country and to intensify their engagement with the TFG. v. The meeting requested the Member States to increase their assistance to the TFG in its peace building efforts during the remaining period of the transition and reminded the international community to live up to its obligations by intensifying its assistance to the TFG, especially in the security sector and by redeeming all its pledges as contained in the Istanbul Declaration of 23 May 2010. In this regard, it commended Turkey and the UN for jointly organizing the Istanbul Conference on Somalia. It also expressed its deep appreciation to the AU, IGAD and AMISOM for their sacrifices and concrete support to the TFG.

Meeting of the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir The Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir met on the 22nd of September 2010 at the Ministerial level on the sidelines of the ACM in New York. The meeting was opened by Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the OIC Secretary General, who reaffirmed, once more, full support of the OIC for and solidarity with the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Referring to the latest round of violence perpetrated by the Indian forces against Kashmiri people, the Secretary General briefed the meeting on the OIC's position in this regard and called on India once more to end its human rights violations in the area. The meeting then listened to the statements made by distinguished Members of the Contact Group in which they reiterated their continued support to the people of Jammu and Kashmir and called for peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. Statements were also made by the True Representatives of the Kashmiri people.

Meeting of the OIC Contact Group on Iraq The OIC Contact Group Meeting on Iraq was held on 23 September 2010, and reviewed the latest developments in Iraq. The meeting was chaired by the OIC Secretary General and attended by delegations from Azerbaijan, Egypt, Iraq, Pakistan and Senegal. The meeting stressed the need to promote national dialogue, reconciliation and broad-based political participation to ensure the country's unity, security and stability and peace. The Meeting commended the elections that took place on 7 March 2010 and on which the Iraqi people expressed determination to opt for democracy in running the country and stressed the importance of forming a strong Iraqi government, involving all sections of the Iraqi people specially that Iraq is facing major challenges to ensure security and reconstruction. The Meeting requested the General Secretariat to endeavor to support Iraq 18

in the phase of reconstruction and development. The Meeting stressed the need to continue to hold regular meetings between the Iraqi State and the General Secretariat of the OIC and its various organs, in order to implement the joint communiquĂŠ signed in February 2009. The Meeting recalled the adoption by the OIC in a successful precedent of the Makkah Al-Mukaramah Document on the situation in Iraq on October 20, 2006.It underlined the need for the General Secretariat to follow up the implementation of this important document within the framework of the Organization's contribution to national reconciliation through the promotion of unity and coherence between Sunnis and Shiites to work to build a stable Iraq, secure, democratic, prosperous and unified Iraq. The meeting condemned acts of violence that took place recently in Iraq.

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

It also expressed support for the efforts made by the Iraqi government to put an end to the wave of violence and defeat terrorism. The Meeting welcomed the outcome of all expanded conferences of the neighboring countries of Iraq and urged neighboring countries of Iraq to continue their cooperation with the Iraqi government. The Meeting expressed its appreciation to OIC Member States, which maintained its diplomatic presence in Iraq, hailed the declaration of many Muslim countries to appoint ambassadors to Iraq, and called on all other members of the organization to open or reopen their embassies in Iraq. The Meeting also called upon all Member States to write off their debts to Iraq, as part of their contribution to the reconstruction of Iraq. In this respect, the Meeting commended the Member States which have written off their debts to Iraq.

Meeting of the OIC Contact Group on Bosnia and Herzegovina The OIC Ministerial Contact Group on Bosnia Herzegovina convened on 22 September 2010 in New York. The OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihasnoglu and other members of the OIC Contact Group addressed the meeting. The representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina briefed the meeting on the current situation in Bosnia Herzegovina. The meeting discussed in depth the developments in Bosnia Herzegovina and reiterated the OIC support to preserve unity, territorial integrity, sovereignty and international personality of Bosnia and Herzegovina, within internationally recognized borders, as a fully functional and self-sustainable state capable of carrying out its powers and fulfilling its international obligations without absolute blockade mechanisms as well as its multiethnic, multi-cultural and multireligious structure. The OIC Contact Group, in this respect, emphasized the importance of the decision making powers of the Bosnia and Herzegovina legal structures of the proper functioning of the state and stresses the need to tackle any existing mechanisms that may hamper theses powers, as part of the constitutional reform process. The meeting condemned recent open call for secession of one part of Bosnia and Herzegovina coming from the Highest State-level officials of the

Serb nationality and considers these statements to be a threat to the peace and stability in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in the region. The meeting expressed its deep concern over inadequate implementation of the key elements of the Dayton Peace Agreement, particularly relating to the building of the state institutions, regulatory framework, and return of refugees and displaced persons of their origin. The meeting observed that the lack of implementation of some key elements of the Dayton Peace Agreement have been found to obstruct the process of the reconstruction, democratization, and the reintegration of the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina . The meeting expressed its concern that these violations, particularly relating to the right of the refugees to return, have solidified blockades and prevented the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina from rebuilding a multicultural society. The meeting stressed the need for more efforts and work to implement these elements and to fully respect other key aspects of Dayton, particularly regarding Bosnia and Herzegovina's rights over state property that had been confirmed in Dayton and subsequent international agreements. Since the 5+2 objectives and conditions (state defense property) rule of law, financial adequacy, status of Brcko, signing of the Stabilization and

Association Agreement with the EU decision by the Peace Implementation Council on stable political situation identified by the Peace Implementation Council and its February 2008 meeting for the closure of the Office of the High Representative have not been fully implemented and the constitutional reform package by the international community have not been endorsed by Bosnia and Herzegovina stakeholders, the OIC Contact Group underlined that in early step from the transition of the Office of the High Representative (OHR) to the EU Special Representation (EUSR) should be carefully considered to allow for the functioning of the Bosnia and Herzegovina central state satisfactorily. The OIC Contact Group underlined the importance of the rule of law as part of any settlement impacting on the future of the country and invites all local and international actors to focus on the need to fully implement the existing legal obligations when presenting solutions for the future. The meeting called upon OIC Member States and OIC Financial institutions to contribute generously to the OIC Trust Fund for the Return of the Displaced Persons in Bosnia and Herzegovina to enable the Fund to continue its reconstruction and development activities in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

OIC Secretary General attends High Level Meeting on Somalia at the UN On the sidelines of the 65th Session of United Nations General Assembly the OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu attended on 23 September a high level meeting on Somalia in the presence of the Somali President, Sheikh Sharif Ahmad, and the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon. Ihsanoglu stated that consistent with the OIC's commitment to contribute to any international endeavor aimed at advancing the peace building process in the war-torn country, the OIC participated in the International Conference on Somalia jointly organized by Turkey and the UN on 21-23 May 2010 in Istanbul. The conference, held within the framework of the Djibouti Peace Agreement, sent out an unequivocal message of international solidarity and commitment to strengthen the Transitional Federal Govern-

ment (TFG). The Secretary General said that despite the Istanbul Conference, the situation on the ground in Somalia has remained a source of concern as insurgents continued to launch bold attacks on government targets and AMISOM as well as on innocent civilians. He commended the TFG for its laudable efforts to achieve reconciliation, but warned the militants that there cannot be any military solution to this conflict, as the Djibouti Peace Agreement remains the only internationally recognized valuable option to achieve comprehensive national reconciliation. The Secretary General expressed disappointment that the TRG still not receiving the financial support that was pledged by the international committee, which has contributed to the weakening the loyalty of the people to

the TFG and exposing its vulnerability. He added that this also is contributing to undermine the cohesion and unity within the TFG as demonstrated by the recent resignations of some ministers and high-level officials. As for the OIC, he said that the OIC on its part has signed an agreement with the World Food Program (WFP) to deliver food worth $36 million dollars through the Afgoye Corridor. The Secretary General called on the partners of Somalia, especially the UN, to effectively implement its strategy by intensifying their assistance to the TFG as well as consolidating their presence on the ground by relocating their offices from Nairobi to Somalia. He said that the OIC has opened its Humanitarian Coordination Office in Mogadishu to help advance the peace process. 19


SPECIAL REPORT: ACM 2010

OIC Foreign Ministers discuss measures against Islamophobia, and issues of Member States The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Member States of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) condemned the mounting trend of Islamophobia, systematic defamation of Islam and discrimination against Muslims, including measures like the ban on constructions of minarets, and other discriminatory measures that incite religious hatred. This came in the Final Communiqué of the OIC Foreign Ministers Annual Coordination Meeting at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on 24 September 2010. The Meeting, which was held under the chairmanship of Tajikistan and with participation of a representative of the United Nations Secretary General, requested the OIC Secretary General to continue OIC initiatives to effectively counter the issue of Islamophobia through discussions and deliberations in various international fora as this issue has dangerous implications on world peace and security. In this context the Ministers expressed their recognition of the strong effort of religious organizations in standing strongly against the heinous act of burning the Holy Koran. Palestine: The Meeting also called for the urgent intensification of efforts by the international community, including the Quartet and particularly by the Security Council, to support and promote the resumption and early conclusion

of peace process negotiations aimed at ending the occupation of the Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, and the achievement of a just, lasting and peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict as a whole. The OIC Foreign Ministers also strongly condemned the heinous Israeli military aggression on 31 May 2010 in international waters against the Gaza-bound convoy of humanitarian assistance 'Freedom Flotilla', which resulted in the death of 9 innocent civilians and injury to many others, and emphasized the need to carry out a prompt, credible, independent, impartial and transparent international investigation of the Israeli attack in accordance with international standards. To this end, they welcomed the UN Secretary General's establishment of a 'Panel of Inquiry' as well as the Human Rights Council's Fact-Finding Mission towards establishing the facts of this deplorable incident and ensuring accountability. Iraq: On the issue of Iraq, the Foreign Ministers welcomed the parliamentary elections that took place in Iraq on 7 March 2010 and stressed the urgent need for the formation of an inclusive government, which will be based on a broad consensus, representing the balance reflected in the elections.

Afghanistan: With regard to Afghanistan, Foreign Ministers emphasized the importance of effectively involving the OIC in the efforts deployed to promote peace and development, ensure security and stability in Afghanistan and welcomed the decision to appoint a special OIC Permanent Representative for Afghanistan. They also welcomed the Parliamentary elections held in Afghanistan on 18 September 2010 and expressed the hope that it would contribute to strengthen stability in the country. Somalia: Furthermore, the Ministers deliberated on the issue of violence in Somalia and condemned the continued acts of terrorism and piracy off the coast of Somalia. They reaffirmed their full support for the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) as the only internationally recognized government in Somalia and welcomed the decision to open an OIC Coordination Office in Mogadishu. Pakistan floods: The Final Communiqué also stressed the deep sympathy of the Foreign Ministers with Pakistan over the devastating floods affecting the country and appealed to the OIC Member States to generously and urgently contribute towards the alleviation of the plight of the flood victims in the country.

Meeting of the OIC Contact Group on Palestine The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu attended, on the sidelines of the United Nations meetings, the Palestine Contact Group Meeting in New York. The Secretary General expressed deep concern given the tension characterizing the Middle East region and the absence of any prospects for peace and stability, with the threats to resort to use of force and the widening of the circle of injustice and oppression resulting from the continuation of occupation and its practices. He also expressed deep concern with regard to the situation in the city of Al-Quds as he described it “a source of grief that requires our collective action to put an end to the suffering of this steadfast and resolute city which undergoes several forms of Judaization and obliteration intended to establish control over the holy city, alter its demography and falsify its Arab Islamic identity”. Ihsanoglu stated that the mounting daily aggressions endured by the city of Al-Quds require the Islamic World to take a firm position to support its sacred places and shore up its steadfast inhabitants. He called on the Islamic World to

20

provide support to Al-Quds' institutions to enable them to continue their role in defending its identity against all the blurring attempts it faces. With regard to Gaza Strip the Secretary General said that the siege imposed by Israel on the Gaza Strip is one of the major preoccupations of the OIC. He described the siege as a war crime and a serious violation of international law as well as a collective punishment that causes suffering to over 1.5 million Palestinians. He stressed that it is time to end the agony of more than a million and a half Palestinians through lifting the siege and enabling them to live free, in dignity and peace. The Secretary General called on the international community and its influential actors to compel Israel to comply with the international will, which is the necessity to reach a political solution to end the occupation that began in 1967, enabling the establishment of a Palestinian State with East Al-Quds as its capital, consistent with international legitimacy resolutions, the Roadmap and the Arab Peace Initiative.

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

OIC Secretary General attends High Level Meeting on Sudan

Sudanese Vice-President Ali Osman Mohammed Taha (L) addresses a high level meeting on Sudan as United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon (R) looks on, during the general debate of the 65th session General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York, 24 September.(epa)

On the sidelines of the 65th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, the Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu attended the high level meeting on Sudan, of which he commended the UN Secretary General for the timely and important initiative. The Secretary General underlined again the special importance which the OIC attaches to Sudan's stability, unity and security, and its close interest in the decisive events ahead for Sudan concerning the peace process in Darfur and the prospects of the referendum on Southern Sudan due to be held in January 2011. He stated that as the Sudanese parties are now approaching the end of the implementation period of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), the OIC is glad to note that both signatories, the National Congress Party (NCP) and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) continue to express commitment to the full implementation of the CPA, including the timely conduct of the referendums in Southern Sudan and Ab-

yei, as well as the popular consultations in the Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan states in addition to the continuation of the discussions on the agreement on post-referendum arrangements on key issues of common concern. In this regard, he made an appeal to all Sudanese to earnestly rally their efforts to preserve the unity of their country. Ihsanoglu reiterated that the OIC has stood firm in its commitment to the unity of the Sudan, and underscored the need to fully implement the Comprehensive Peace Agreement for Southern Sudan, while making the option of unity attractive in the referendum on self-determination in Southern Sudan, taking into account the fact that States' strength, security and stability lies in maintaining their unity within diversity and plurality. He declared that the OIC will soon start implementing what has been agreed upon during a high-level delegation visit to Southern Sudan regarding its development. On the issue of Darfur, the Secretary General stressed the need to reach a peaceful, lasting and comprehensive

solution to the Darfur conflict in the framework of the Doha Process. The Secretary General reiterated that the OIC is fully committed to pursue its program in humanitarian, recovery and rehabilitation as well as reconstruction areas in Darfur. He paid tribute to the genuine efforts of the Joint African Union-United Nations peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID). Ihsanoglu also emphasized that the International Criminal Court's (ICC) moves against the President of the Sudan could jeopardize peace efforts aimed at fostering the political democratization of the country and the resolution of the conflict in Darfur through the Doha peace talks as well as the referendum on self-determination for Southern Sudan scheduled in 2011. In conclusion, the Secretary General appealed to the UN Security Council to work out a solution, as the situation in Darfur and South Sudan could experience an aggravation and unpredictable developments that might impact not just the stability of Sudan but of the wider region as well.

Meeting of the International Contact Group on Guinea The OIC participated in the Session of the International Conduct Group on Guinea, which was held on the sidelines of the 65th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City. The meeting reviewed the overall situation in Guinea especially as it relates to the conduct of the second round of the presidential election in that country. The meeting recommended to the international community to continue to support the transitional process in Guinea.

A woman from Guinea casts her ballot in the presidential elections in Conakry, Guinea 7 November 2010.(epa)

21


SPECIAL REPORT: ACM 2010

OIC Foreign Ministers discuss measures against Islamophobia, and issues of Member States The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Member States of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) condemned the mounting trend of Islamophobia, systematic defamation of Islam and discrimination against Muslims, including measures like the ban on constructions of minarets, and other discriminatory measures that incite religious hatred. This came in the Final Communiqué of the OIC Foreign Ministers Annual Coordination Meeting at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on 24 September 2010. The Meeting, which was held under the chairmanship of Tajikistan and with participation of a representative of the United Nations Secretary General, requested the OIC Secretary General to continue OIC initiatives to effectively counter the issue of Islamophobia through discussions and deliberations in various international fora as this issue has dangerous implications on world peace and security. In this context the Ministers expressed their recognition of the strong effort of religious organizations in standing strongly against the heinous act of burning the Holy Koran. Palestine: The Meeting also called for the urgent intensification of efforts by the international community, including the Quartet and particularly by the Security Council, to support and promote the resumption and early conclusion

of peace process negotiations aimed at ending the occupation of the Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, and the achievement of a just, lasting and peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict as a whole. The OIC Foreign Ministers also strongly condemned the heinous Israeli military aggression on 31 May 2010 in international waters against the Gaza-bound convoy of humanitarian assistance 'Freedom Flotilla', which resulted in the death of 9 innocent civilians and injury to many others, and emphasized the need to carry out a prompt, credible, independent, impartial and transparent international investigation of the Israeli attack in accordance with international standards. To this end, they welcomed the UN Secretary General's establishment of a 'Panel of Inquiry' as well as the Human Rights Council's Fact-Finding Mission towards establishing the facts of this deplorable incident and ensuring accountability. Iraq: On the issue of Iraq, the Foreign Ministers welcomed the parliamentary elections that took place in Iraq on 7 March 2010 and stressed the urgent need for the formation of an inclusive government, which will be based on a broad consensus, representing the balance reflected in the elections.

Afghanistan: With regard to Afghanistan, Foreign Ministers emphasized the importance of effectively involving the OIC in the efforts deployed to promote peace and development, ensure security and stability in Afghanistan and welcomed the decision to appoint a special OIC Permanent Representative for Afghanistan. They also welcomed the Parliamentary elections held in Afghanistan on 18 September 2010 and expressed the hope that it would contribute to strengthen stability in the country. Somalia: Furthermore, the Ministers deliberated on the issue of violence in Somalia and condemned the continued acts of terrorism and piracy off the coast of Somalia. They reaffirmed their full support for the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) as the only internationally recognized government in Somalia and welcomed the decision to open an OIC Coordination Office in Mogadishu. Pakistan floods: The Final Communiqué also stressed the deep sympathy of the Foreign Ministers with Pakistan over the devastating floods affecting the country and appealed to the OIC Member States to generously and urgently contribute towards the alleviation of the plight of the flood victims in the country.

Meeting of the OIC Contact Group on Palestine The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu attended, on the sidelines of the United Nations meetings, the Palestine Contact Group Meeting in New York. The Secretary General expressed deep concern given the tension characterizing the Middle East region and the absence of any prospects for peace and stability, with the threats to resort to use of force and the widening of the circle of injustice and oppression resulting from the continuation of occupation and its practices. He also expressed deep concern with regard to the situation in the city of Al-Quds as he described it “a source of grief that requires our collective action to put an end to the suffering of this steadfast and resolute city which undergoes several forms of Judaization and obliteration intended to establish control over the holy city, alter its demography and falsify its Arab Islamic identity”. Ihsanoglu stated that the mounting daily aggressions endured by the city of Al-Quds require the Islamic World to take a firm position to support its sacred places and shore up its steadfast inhabitants. He called on the Islamic World to

20

provide support to Al-Quds' institutions to enable them to continue their role in defending its identity against all the blurring attempts it faces. With regard to Gaza Strip the Secretary General said that the siege imposed by Israel on the Gaza Strip is one of the major preoccupations of the OIC. He described the siege as a war crime and a serious violation of international law as well as a collective punishment that causes suffering to over 1.5 million Palestinians. He stressed that it is time to end the agony of more than a million and a half Palestinians through lifting the siege and enabling them to live free, in dignity and peace. The Secretary General called on the international community and its influential actors to compel Israel to comply with the international will, which is the necessity to reach a political solution to end the occupation that began in 1967, enabling the establishment of a Palestinian State with East Al-Quds as its capital, consistent with international legitimacy resolutions, the Roadmap and the Arab Peace Initiative.

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

OIC Secretary General attends High Level Meeting on Sudan

Sudanese Vice-President Ali Osman Mohammed Taha (L) addresses a high level meeting on Sudan as United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon (R) looks on, during the general debate of the 65th session General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York, 24 September.(epa)

On the sidelines of the 65th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, the Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu attended the high level meeting on Sudan, of which he commended the UN Secretary General for the timely and important initiative. The Secretary General underlined again the special importance which the OIC attaches to Sudan's stability, unity and security, and its close interest in the decisive events ahead for Sudan concerning the peace process in Darfur and the prospects of the referendum on Southern Sudan due to be held in January 2011. He stated that as the Sudanese parties are now approaching the end of the implementation period of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), the OIC is glad to note that both signatories, the National Congress Party (NCP) and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) continue to express commitment to the full implementation of the CPA, including the timely conduct of the referendums in Southern Sudan and Ab-

yei, as well as the popular consultations in the Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan states in addition to the continuation of the discussions on the agreement on post-referendum arrangements on key issues of common concern. In this regard, he made an appeal to all Sudanese to earnestly rally their efforts to preserve the unity of their country. Ihsanoglu reiterated that the OIC has stood firm in its commitment to the unity of the Sudan, and underscored the need to fully implement the Comprehensive Peace Agreement for Southern Sudan, while making the option of unity attractive in the referendum on self-determination in Southern Sudan, taking into account the fact that States' strength, security and stability lies in maintaining their unity within diversity and plurality. He declared that the OIC will soon start implementing what has been agreed upon during a high-level delegation visit to Southern Sudan regarding its development. On the issue of Darfur, the Secretary General stressed the need to reach a peaceful, lasting and comprehensive

solution to the Darfur conflict in the framework of the Doha Process. The Secretary General reiterated that the OIC is fully committed to pursue its program in humanitarian, recovery and rehabilitation as well as reconstruction areas in Darfur. He paid tribute to the genuine efforts of the Joint African Union-United Nations peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID). Ihsanoglu also emphasized that the International Criminal Court's (ICC) moves against the President of the Sudan could jeopardize peace efforts aimed at fostering the political democratization of the country and the resolution of the conflict in Darfur through the Doha peace talks as well as the referendum on self-determination for Southern Sudan scheduled in 2011. In conclusion, the Secretary General appealed to the UN Security Council to work out a solution, as the situation in Darfur and South Sudan could experience an aggravation and unpredictable developments that might impact not just the stability of Sudan but of the wider region as well.

Meeting of the International Contact Group on Guinea The OIC participated in the Session of the International Conduct Group on Guinea, which was held on the sidelines of the 65th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City. The meeting reviewed the overall situation in Guinea especially as it relates to the conduct of the second round of the presidential election in that country. The meeting recommended to the international community to continue to support the transitional process in Guinea.

A woman from Guinea casts her ballot in the presidential elections in Conakry, Guinea 7 November 2010.(epa)

21


WORLD AFFAIRS

OIC Secretary General calls for joint action against Islamophobia Chicago, USA - OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, in his address to the conference on Islam and Muslims in America, on 29 September 2010 in Chicago, USA, which was the first event of its kind organized by the OIC in cooperation with the American Islamic College in Chicago, said that the primary objective of the conference was to reach out to the US public with a clear and straightforward message about the role of the OIC as well as the scope of its relations with the USA. Ihsanoglu stressed that the conference was guided by the principle of due respect to the sovereignty of the host country and in total compliance with its relevant laws and regulations. He also stated that the OIC considers the individuals of the American Muslim community being the US citizens as first and foremost, and that the Muslim community is an integral part of the people of the USA and they have contributed to the development

The OIC considers the individuals of the American Muslim community being the US citizens as first and foremost, and that the Muslim community is an integral part of the people of the USA. and achievements of the USA in every field and walk of life. Speaking on the presence of Muslims in the United States, Prof. Ihsanoglu stated that it goes a long way back in history to 1797 when President John Adam signed a treaty declaring “the United States had no character of enmity against the law, religion or tranquility with Muslims.” He added that in the year 1790 South Carolina legislative body granted special legal status to a community of Muslim Moroccans, twelve years after the Sultan of Morocco became the first foreign Head of State recognizing the independence of the United States of America. The Secretary General stated that according to President Obama's Cairo Speech, the Muslim population in

22

Tolerance, stability and prosperity are nurtured only when nations and cultures communicate and respect each other.

America is 7 million Muslims. According to the New York Times, in a year “nearly 960,000 Muslim immigrants became legal permanent US residents. This number exceeds any other number recorded in the previous two decades”. The Times added: “it is said that this took place after a decision taken by the White House Executive Office to nominate a US Special Envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference, with a view to promoting relations between the Muslim world and the US government,” he quoted. On the issue of Islamophobia, the Secretary General said that it has become among the major preoccupations and concerns facing Muslims nowadays. He said that the mounting surge of Islamophobia has shown how vulnerable basic misunderstanding and deep rooted bigotry of minority marginal groups can resurface to pit one part of humanity against the other, thus amplifying cultural fault-lines on a global scale. He added that it shows the dire need for forging a new relationship and understanding through respect for cultural diversity to combat confrontation mainly drawn on cultural considerations. Prof. Ihsanoglu said that in calling for the meeting the OIC sought to initiate a new relationship and interconnection with Muslim organizations established in the United States in order to facilitate their full integration into the US society and act as a cultural bridge between the US and the Muslim World. He assured that all OIC initiatives are taken in full coordination and consultation with the US authorities. He stated that the OIC was convinced and determined to work hard and would continue to maintain its strong belief that diverse cultures should complement and enhance one another. Toler-

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

ance, stability and prosperity are nurtured only when nations and cultures communicate and respect each other. The Secretary General called for joint actions against Islamophobia and for cooperation to counter anti-Semitism, Christianophobia and misperceptions about western culture. In conclusion, the Secretary General stressed that American Muslims have a role and duty to lead the way through sound moral conduct and active participation in positive political movements towards the creation of a just, peaceful and righteous society. He added that several indications reveal positive signs of developments and engender hope for a better and more promising future for the American Muslim community, and that this community has been blessed with countless individuals who have been able to rise to respectable positions in the society and have in the process succeeded in pulling others along with them. The two-day conference served as a platform to discuss issues pertaining to Islam and Muslims in the United States from a variety of viewpoints. Topics of discussions included the role of OIC and the scope for its relations with American Muslims, American foreign policy and the Muslim World; Islam in the American context and discussions surrounding the future of the

American Muslims have a role and duty to lead the way through sound moral conduct and active participation in positive political movements towards the creation of a just, peaceful and righteous society Muslim community in the United States. At the official level, the Conference was attended by Ambassador Rashad Hussain, the Special Envoy of the White House to the OIC, and Ambassador Sada Cumber, the First US Special Envoy to the OIC and a prominent businessman in the United States.

OIC Secretary General inaugurates the reopening of the American Islamic College (AIC) in Chicago Chicago, USA - Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), inaugurated on 28 September 2010 in Chicago City, the USA, the reopening of the American Islamic College (AIC) after it has been renovated. The AIC is the first college in the United States to provide educational programs within an Islamic framework and philosophical orientation. As the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Ihsanoglu commended the hard work and valuable contribution of Dr. Ali Yurtsever and his team for the excellent work and dedication to bring a new life to the only Muslim college in the

United States. On his part, Dr. Yurtsever praised the important role and leadership of the OIC Secretary General and his tremendous efforts to help revive the college. The American Islamic College was established in 1981 as a private, not-for-profit, four-year College offering programs leading to the Bachelor of Arts degree in Arabic and Islamic Studies. In March 1983, the college purchased its present landmark building on 'Lake Shore Drive', and in September 1983 began its first academic semester. Today, the college offers courses on Calligraphy, Contemporary Islamic Movements, Islamic Arts, and History of Muslim-Christian Relations. The College was the only Islamic institution of higher education with degree granting authority in North America that provided a living context of Islamic faith, practice and ethics. In 1991 the College was granted the authority to offer the Associate of Arts degree in addition to the Bachelor of Arts degree. After some period of silence, now, under its new administration, the American Islamic College opens its doors to educate the Chicago community in particular and the American Community in general with a variety of degrees, programs and events.

Ihsanoglu speaks to Muslim American leaders in Chicago:

Education, moderation, and full involvement at local and national levels The Secretary General met in Chicago City with Muslim American leaders on the sidelines of the 'Islam and Muslims in America' Conference. The Secretary General described the Conference as an important first-time meeting that brought Muslim American leaders together in order to discuss ways and means to improve the conditions of Muslims in the United States, and to invest heavily in the Muslim American youths who will be leading and representing the Muslim communities in America in the future. He called on all Muslims in the United States to get involved in all aspects of American life, including the economic and political processes at the local and national levels. Ihsanoglu told the Muslim American leaders that they should be independent and not count on the OIC on issues of domestic nature. He stressed the fact the OIC is an international intergovernmental organization, which can merely play a role of facilitator, but will not be involved in domestic affairs. He also stressed that Muslims in the United States need to work hard on education, be moderate, and to assimilate with all Americans of all faiths. In this context, the Secretary General told the Muslim American leaders that Muslims in the United States should be contributing positively to all aspects of life in Ameri-

ca, and to respect the rules and regulations of this great nation in accordance with the American constitution. Rashad Hussein in his remarks, which, he said, would be a sort of assessment of the progress in the US-Muslim world relations after the Cairo speech of the President, and underlined that the most important issue for the Muslims Ihssanoglu speaking at the meeting with Hussein to his was the jobs, like it is for right and Yurtsever to his left many other non-Muslim communities, and to the contrary to the aspartnership with the Muslim countersumption that it would be mainly Isparts in the field of entrepreneurship, lamic issues. education, health, and science and He stressed that the Obama admintechnology. In this context, he cited the istration had three priorities while reUS-OIC cooperation in the field of povitalizing the US-Muslim world relalio eradication. Finally, he stressed that tions, which were respectively (I) the administration was sincere in terms establishing a framework to engage of making progress in resolution of with Muslims around the world, (II) some of the ongoing political conflicts. establishing partnerships, and (III) engaging the political conflicts such as The participants' discussion at the the Israeli-Palestinian issue, Afghanimeeting centered on supporting a comstan and Iraq. mon agenda for Muslims in the US, enFirst, he explained, the administragaging with the larger community and tion did not want the security conthe media, Islamic education, economcerns to dominate the US-Muslim ic development and learning from the world relations. It wanted to prevent experiences of other previously, or the sense of “otherization” from prestill, discriminated against minority vailing among the Muslims. Similarly, groups in gaining rights and fighting the administration wanted to build discrimination. 23


WORLD AFFAIRS

OIC Secretary General calls for joint action against Islamophobia Chicago, USA - OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, in his address to the conference on Islam and Muslims in America, on 29 September 2010 in Chicago, USA, which was the first event of its kind organized by the OIC in cooperation with the American Islamic College in Chicago, said that the primary objective of the conference was to reach out to the US public with a clear and straightforward message about the role of the OIC as well as the scope of its relations with the USA. Ihsanoglu stressed that the conference was guided by the principle of due respect to the sovereignty of the host country and in total compliance with its relevant laws and regulations. He also stated that the OIC considers the individuals of the American Muslim community being the US citizens as first and foremost, and that the Muslim community is an integral part of the people of the USA and they have contributed to the development

The OIC considers the individuals of the American Muslim community being the US citizens as first and foremost, and that the Muslim community is an integral part of the people of the USA. and achievements of the USA in every field and walk of life. Speaking on the presence of Muslims in the United States, Prof. Ihsanoglu stated that it goes a long way back in history to 1797 when President John Adam signed a treaty declaring “the United States had no character of enmity against the law, religion or tranquility with Muslims.” He added that in the year 1790 South Carolina legislative body granted special legal status to a community of Muslim Moroccans, twelve years after the Sultan of Morocco became the first foreign Head of State recognizing the independence of the United States of America. The Secretary General stated that according to President Obama's Cairo Speech, the Muslim population in

22

Tolerance, stability and prosperity are nurtured only when nations and cultures communicate and respect each other.

America is 7 million Muslims. According to the New York Times, in a year “nearly 960,000 Muslim immigrants became legal permanent US residents. This number exceeds any other number recorded in the previous two decades”. The Times added: “it is said that this took place after a decision taken by the White House Executive Office to nominate a US Special Envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference, with a view to promoting relations between the Muslim world and the US government,” he quoted. On the issue of Islamophobia, the Secretary General said that it has become among the major preoccupations and concerns facing Muslims nowadays. He said that the mounting surge of Islamophobia has shown how vulnerable basic misunderstanding and deep rooted bigotry of minority marginal groups can resurface to pit one part of humanity against the other, thus amplifying cultural fault-lines on a global scale. He added that it shows the dire need for forging a new relationship and understanding through respect for cultural diversity to combat confrontation mainly drawn on cultural considerations. Prof. Ihsanoglu said that in calling for the meeting the OIC sought to initiate a new relationship and interconnection with Muslim organizations established in the United States in order to facilitate their full integration into the US society and act as a cultural bridge between the US and the Muslim World. He assured that all OIC initiatives are taken in full coordination and consultation with the US authorities. He stated that the OIC was convinced and determined to work hard and would continue to maintain its strong belief that diverse cultures should complement and enhance one another. Toler-

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

ance, stability and prosperity are nurtured only when nations and cultures communicate and respect each other. The Secretary General called for joint actions against Islamophobia and for cooperation to counter anti-Semitism, Christianophobia and misperceptions about western culture. In conclusion, the Secretary General stressed that American Muslims have a role and duty to lead the way through sound moral conduct and active participation in positive political movements towards the creation of a just, peaceful and righteous society. He added that several indications reveal positive signs of developments and engender hope for a better and more promising future for the American Muslim community, and that this community has been blessed with countless individuals who have been able to rise to respectable positions in the society and have in the process succeeded in pulling others along with them. The two-day conference served as a platform to discuss issues pertaining to Islam and Muslims in the United States from a variety of viewpoints. Topics of discussions included the role of OIC and the scope for its relations with American Muslims, American foreign policy and the Muslim World; Islam in the American context and discussions surrounding the future of the

American Muslims have a role and duty to lead the way through sound moral conduct and active participation in positive political movements towards the creation of a just, peaceful and righteous society Muslim community in the United States. At the official level, the Conference was attended by Ambassador Rashad Hussain, the Special Envoy of the White House to the OIC, and Ambassador Sada Cumber, the First US Special Envoy to the OIC and a prominent businessman in the United States.

OIC Secretary General inaugurates the reopening of the American Islamic College (AIC) in Chicago Chicago, USA - Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), inaugurated on 28 September 2010 in Chicago City, the USA, the reopening of the American Islamic College (AIC) after it has been renovated. The AIC is the first college in the United States to provide educational programs within an Islamic framework and philosophical orientation. As the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Ihsanoglu commended the hard work and valuable contribution of Dr. Ali Yurtsever and his team for the excellent work and dedication to bring a new life to the only Muslim college in the

United States. On his part, Dr. Yurtsever praised the important role and leadership of the OIC Secretary General and his tremendous efforts to help revive the college. The American Islamic College was established in 1981 as a private, not-for-profit, four-year College offering programs leading to the Bachelor of Arts degree in Arabic and Islamic Studies. In March 1983, the college purchased its present landmark building on 'Lake Shore Drive', and in September 1983 began its first academic semester. Today, the college offers courses on Calligraphy, Contemporary Islamic Movements, Islamic Arts, and History of Muslim-Christian Relations. The College was the only Islamic institution of higher education with degree granting authority in North America that provided a living context of Islamic faith, practice and ethics. In 1991 the College was granted the authority to offer the Associate of Arts degree in addition to the Bachelor of Arts degree. After some period of silence, now, under its new administration, the American Islamic College opens its doors to educate the Chicago community in particular and the American Community in general with a variety of degrees, programs and events.

Ihsanoglu speaks to Muslim American leaders in Chicago:

Education, moderation, and full involvement at local and national levels The Secretary General met in Chicago City with Muslim American leaders on the sidelines of the 'Islam and Muslims in America' Conference. The Secretary General described the Conference as an important first-time meeting that brought Muslim American leaders together in order to discuss ways and means to improve the conditions of Muslims in the United States, and to invest heavily in the Muslim American youths who will be leading and representing the Muslim communities in America in the future. He called on all Muslims in the United States to get involved in all aspects of American life, including the economic and political processes at the local and national levels. Ihsanoglu told the Muslim American leaders that they should be independent and not count on the OIC on issues of domestic nature. He stressed the fact the OIC is an international intergovernmental organization, which can merely play a role of facilitator, but will not be involved in domestic affairs. He also stressed that Muslims in the United States need to work hard on education, be moderate, and to assimilate with all Americans of all faiths. In this context, the Secretary General told the Muslim American leaders that Muslims in the United States should be contributing positively to all aspects of life in Ameri-

ca, and to respect the rules and regulations of this great nation in accordance with the American constitution. Rashad Hussein in his remarks, which, he said, would be a sort of assessment of the progress in the US-Muslim world relations after the Cairo speech of the President, and underlined that the most important issue for the Muslims Ihssanoglu speaking at the meeting with Hussein to his was the jobs, like it is for right and Yurtsever to his left many other non-Muslim communities, and to the contrary to the aspartnership with the Muslim countersumption that it would be mainly Isparts in the field of entrepreneurship, lamic issues. education, health, and science and He stressed that the Obama admintechnology. In this context, he cited the istration had three priorities while reUS-OIC cooperation in the field of povitalizing the US-Muslim world relalio eradication. Finally, he stressed that tions, which were respectively (I) the administration was sincere in terms establishing a framework to engage of making progress in resolution of with Muslims around the world, (II) some of the ongoing political conflicts. establishing partnerships, and (III) engaging the political conflicts such as The participants' discussion at the the Israeli-Palestinian issue, Afghanimeeting centered on supporting a comstan and Iraq. mon agenda for Muslims in the US, enFirst, he explained, the administragaging with the larger community and tion did not want the security conthe media, Islamic education, economcerns to dominate the US-Muslim ic development and learning from the world relations. It wanted to prevent experiences of other previously, or the sense of “otherization” from prestill, discriminated against minority vailing among the Muslims. Similarly, groups in gaining rights and fighting the administration wanted to build discrimination. 23


WORLD AFFAIRS

Iraq forms new government OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu expressed his satisfaction at the agreement reached among the Iraqi political blocks on the distribution of sovereign posts and the formation of a new Iraqi government. Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu expressed his hope that the recent positive developments at the Iraqi political scene will lead to the materialization of the Iraqi people's unity and the return of security and stability in Iraq. The Secretary General of the OIC also stressed that the formation of the national unity government should contribute to a serious engagement in the building of the Iraqi State on sound and sustainable foundations in order to achieve national peace and socio-economic development for the benefit of the entire Iraqi people. Iraqi President Jalal Talabani formally requested Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki to form the next government on November 25, part of a deal to end an eight-month deadlock over who would lead the country - Al-Maliki or former prime minister Iyad Allawi whose party won the March 7 elections - in the next four years. The long-awaited request from the President set in motion a 30-day deadline to accomplish the daunting task of finding a team of that includes all of Iraq's rival factions and will oversee the country during the departure of American troops.

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani (R) and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki (L) during the officially assign of Maliki to form new government on 25 November 2010.(epa)

OIC expresses concern over human rights violations in Iraq reported by Wikileaks The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu has expressed concern at the recent release of documents by wikiLeaks indicating breaches of international human rights law in Iraq in terms of the reported summary executions of civilians, torture and ill-treatment of de-

tainees. Characterizing the reports as grave and most disturbing, the Secretary General urged the need for appropriate measures towards investigating allegations made therein with a view to bringing the perpetrators to justice in accordance with obligations under international human rights law. According to 400,000 classified

US military documents obtained by WikiLeaks.org, released on October 22, there were cases of US military officials failing to investigate hundreds of reports of abuse, torture, rape and murder by Iraqi security forces and details the deaths of 15,000 civilians in previously unreported incidents.

One in five young Iraqis illiterate: UN One in five Iraqis aged 10 to 49 cannot read or write, with large discrepancies in literacy levels between men and women, a report by United Nations has found. The report, released by the UN Inter-Agency Information and Analysis Unit in September, found that illiteracy among women in Iraq (24 percent) is more than double that of men (11 percent) while inhabitants of rural areas are much more likely to be illiterate (25 percent) than those in urban areas (14 percent). These numbers are in contrast to those in the 1980s when Iraq was recognized by UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization 24

(UNESCO) as achieving zero illiteracy. It was one of the few countries in the world to do so. According to the UN report, the areas worst affected by illiteracy are the Kurdish provinces of Dahuk, Irbil and Sulaimaniya in Iraq's north, and the predominantly Shiite provinces of Wassit, Qadissiya and Muthanna in the south. The UN financial sanctions imposed on Iraq in 1990 have had a disastrous effect on Iraq's educational system. The US invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the prolonged state of war compounded the education crisis. Significant school dropout levels and pupils' internal displacement as a result of the war were the principle rea-

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

sons for illiteracy in Iraq. According to Iraq's National Bureau of Statistics, 55 percent of Iraqis aged 6 to 24 do not attend schools. The UN report found that illiteracy impacts civilian attitudes regarding participation in social and political life. Illiterate youth in Iraq felt that their voices were less heard in the country's institutions. UNESCO hopes to reduce illiteracy in Iraq by 50 percent before the year 2015 through several programs that aim to reintegrate school dropouts in formal educational systems, as well as create parallel informal educational frameworks where literacy classes take place alongside vocational training.

Ihsanoglu hails Kuwait's initiative for development of East Sudan wait's contribution to achieve its unity Kuwait - His Highness Sheikh Saand solidarity. bah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah, In another respect, the Secretary Emir of the State of Kuwait, received General stressed that the achievement the Secretary General of the Organiof peace and stability in the Member zation of the Islamic Conference States is a top priority for the Organi(OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu during zation, stating that the latter has been the Secretary General's visit to Kuseeking to focus all its efforts on wait, to participate at the International achieving the success of the Sudan Conference for Reconstruction and peace negotiations, from the CompreDevelopment of East Sudan, which hensive Peace Agreement which put started on December 1, 2010 at the an end to the war in Southern Sudan capital city of Kuwait. Ihsanoglu also to the OIC General Secretariat's uninmet His Highness Sheikh Nasser Al terrupted contribution to pushing forMohammad Al Ahmad Al Sabah, ward peace negotiations on Darfur. Prime Minister of the State of Kuwait, A number of development and inand the Deputy Prime Minister, Forvestment projects were presented to eign Minister of Kuwait, Sheikh Dr. the conference amounting to 149 deMohamed Sabah Al Salem Al Sabah. velopment projects with a total value The Secretary General of the OrSheikh Sabah Al Ahmad of approximately $2.2 billion in the ganization of the Islamic Conference Al Jaber Al Sabah areas of peace and security keeping, discussed with the political leadership poverty reduction, infrastructure, and in the State of Kuwait bilateral relations and issues of common concern. The meetings also ad- manpower development sectors. Another 28 investment dressed arrangements underway to hold the 12th session of projects with a total value of approximately $2 billion were the Islamic Summit Conference in Sharm El-Sheikh, presented to the conference in the agriculture, fisheries, tourism, industry and real estate sectors. Egypt. The Conference was attended by representatives of 42 The Kuwaiti side expressed its appreciation for the efforts made by the OIC Secretary General to develop and re- countries and states, 30 international, regional and national form the Organization and to promote its role. Ihsanoglu, organizations, 78 non-government organizations and 84 in turn, expressed his thanks and gratitude for the initiative private sectors companies. The representatives of the countries and financial interof the State of Kuwait to organize the International Conference for Reconstruction and Development of East Sudan, national, regional and national institutions pronounced as well as for the generous assistance provided by Kuwait statements expressing support to the development and prosperity of East Sudan. The announcements included pledges to this end. to provide an amount in excess of $3 billion. Furthermore, the closing statement of the meeting of In his statement before the opening ceremony of the Conference, the OIC Secretary General hailed with appre- the non-government organizations stated that participants ciation the great initiative of the State of Kuwait, stating from gulf organizations decided establish a charity fund for that it is one of the noble initiatives which His Highness East Sudan with a capital of $100 million. In addition, parSheikh Sabah Al Jaber Al Ahmed Al Sabah, Emir of the ticipants from non-government organizations pledged to State of Kuwait, has been taking. Ihsanoglu said that the cover the stated amount. The participants agreed on the importance of looking government of Kuwait has always been there and never hesitated in providing generous assistance whenever it was into the establishment of means to follow-up the conferneeded and whenever the Ummah looked forward to Ku- ence decisions.

The OIC participates in the Second Meeting of the Sudan Consultative Forum Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - The OIC participated to the 2nd Meeting of the Sudan Consultative Forum (SCF), which took place in Addis Ababa on 6 November 2010 at the initiative of the African Union. In his statement, the representative of the OIC, ambassador Habib Kaabachi, stressed the special importance the organization attaches to the unity, stability and security of the Sudan as well as the great interest it is giving to the decisive events ahead for Sudan concerning the referendum on Southern Sudan, due to be held in January 2011 and the peace

process in Darfur. He also highlighted the need to immediately solve the outstanding issues, namely the status of Abyei, the finalization of the demarcation of the borders between the North and the South and the need to reach an agreement on post-referendum arrangements on the key issues of common interest, in order to pave the way for a free, fair, credible and transparent referendum in Southern Sudan. The OIC underscored the need to fully implement the Comprehensive Peace Agreement for Southern Sudan, while making the option of unity attractive in the referendum on self-

determination in Southern Sudan, taking into account that the strength, security and stability of any State lie in its ability to maintain unity in diversity. On the Darfur issue, the OIC stressed the importance of reaching a peaceful, lasting and comprehensive solution to the Darfur conflict in the framework of the Doha Process and urged all the parties concerned to show more sincere political will and reiterated a strong appeal to the armed movements which did not join the Doha process to join the peace process in order to restore durable peace and security in Darfur. 25


WORLD AFFAIRS

Iraq forms new government OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu expressed his satisfaction at the agreement reached among the Iraqi political blocks on the distribution of sovereign posts and the formation of a new Iraqi government. Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu expressed his hope that the recent positive developments at the Iraqi political scene will lead to the materialization of the Iraqi people's unity and the return of security and stability in Iraq. The Secretary General of the OIC also stressed that the formation of the national unity government should contribute to a serious engagement in the building of the Iraqi State on sound and sustainable foundations in order to achieve national peace and socio-economic development for the benefit of the entire Iraqi people. Iraqi President Jalal Talabani formally requested Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki to form the next government on November 25, part of a deal to end an eight-month deadlock over who would lead the country - Al-Maliki or former prime minister Iyad Allawi whose party won the March 7 elections - in the next four years. The long-awaited request from the President set in motion a 30-day deadline to accomplish the daunting task of finding a team of that includes all of Iraq's rival factions and will oversee the country during the departure of American troops.

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani (R) and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki (L) during the officially assign of Maliki to form new government on 25 November 2010.(epa)

OIC expresses concern over human rights violations in Iraq reported by Wikileaks The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu has expressed concern at the recent release of documents by wikiLeaks indicating breaches of international human rights law in Iraq in terms of the reported summary executions of civilians, torture and ill-treatment of de-

tainees. Characterizing the reports as grave and most disturbing, the Secretary General urged the need for appropriate measures towards investigating allegations made therein with a view to bringing the perpetrators to justice in accordance with obligations under international human rights law. According to 400,000 classified

US military documents obtained by WikiLeaks.org, released on October 22, there were cases of US military officials failing to investigate hundreds of reports of abuse, torture, rape and murder by Iraqi security forces and details the deaths of 15,000 civilians in previously unreported incidents.

One in five young Iraqis illiterate: UN One in five Iraqis aged 10 to 49 cannot read or write, with large discrepancies in literacy levels between men and women, a report by United Nations has found. The report, released by the UN Inter-Agency Information and Analysis Unit in September, found that illiteracy among women in Iraq (24 percent) is more than double that of men (11 percent) while inhabitants of rural areas are much more likely to be illiterate (25 percent) than those in urban areas (14 percent). These numbers are in contrast to those in the 1980s when Iraq was recognized by UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization 24

(UNESCO) as achieving zero illiteracy. It was one of the few countries in the world to do so. According to the UN report, the areas worst affected by illiteracy are the Kurdish provinces of Dahuk, Irbil and Sulaimaniya in Iraq's north, and the predominantly Shiite provinces of Wassit, Qadissiya and Muthanna in the south. The UN financial sanctions imposed on Iraq in 1990 have had a disastrous effect on Iraq's educational system. The US invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the prolonged state of war compounded the education crisis. Significant school dropout levels and pupils' internal displacement as a result of the war were the principle rea-

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

sons for illiteracy in Iraq. According to Iraq's National Bureau of Statistics, 55 percent of Iraqis aged 6 to 24 do not attend schools. The UN report found that illiteracy impacts civilian attitudes regarding participation in social and political life. Illiterate youth in Iraq felt that their voices were less heard in the country's institutions. UNESCO hopes to reduce illiteracy in Iraq by 50 percent before the year 2015 through several programs that aim to reintegrate school dropouts in formal educational systems, as well as create parallel informal educational frameworks where literacy classes take place alongside vocational training.

Ihsanoglu hails Kuwait's initiative for development of East Sudan wait's contribution to achieve its unity Kuwait - His Highness Sheikh Saand solidarity. bah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah, In another respect, the Secretary Emir of the State of Kuwait, received General stressed that the achievement the Secretary General of the Organiof peace and stability in the Member zation of the Islamic Conference States is a top priority for the Organi(OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu during zation, stating that the latter has been the Secretary General's visit to Kuseeking to focus all its efforts on wait, to participate at the International achieving the success of the Sudan Conference for Reconstruction and peace negotiations, from the CompreDevelopment of East Sudan, which hensive Peace Agreement which put started on December 1, 2010 at the an end to the war in Southern Sudan capital city of Kuwait. Ihsanoglu also to the OIC General Secretariat's uninmet His Highness Sheikh Nasser Al terrupted contribution to pushing forMohammad Al Ahmad Al Sabah, ward peace negotiations on Darfur. Prime Minister of the State of Kuwait, A number of development and inand the Deputy Prime Minister, Forvestment projects were presented to eign Minister of Kuwait, Sheikh Dr. the conference amounting to 149 deMohamed Sabah Al Salem Al Sabah. velopment projects with a total value The Secretary General of the OrSheikh Sabah Al Ahmad of approximately $2.2 billion in the ganization of the Islamic Conference Al Jaber Al Sabah areas of peace and security keeping, discussed with the political leadership poverty reduction, infrastructure, and in the State of Kuwait bilateral relations and issues of common concern. The meetings also ad- manpower development sectors. Another 28 investment dressed arrangements underway to hold the 12th session of projects with a total value of approximately $2 billion were the Islamic Summit Conference in Sharm El-Sheikh, presented to the conference in the agriculture, fisheries, tourism, industry and real estate sectors. Egypt. The Conference was attended by representatives of 42 The Kuwaiti side expressed its appreciation for the efforts made by the OIC Secretary General to develop and re- countries and states, 30 international, regional and national form the Organization and to promote its role. Ihsanoglu, organizations, 78 non-government organizations and 84 in turn, expressed his thanks and gratitude for the initiative private sectors companies. The representatives of the countries and financial interof the State of Kuwait to organize the International Conference for Reconstruction and Development of East Sudan, national, regional and national institutions pronounced as well as for the generous assistance provided by Kuwait statements expressing support to the development and prosperity of East Sudan. The announcements included pledges to this end. to provide an amount in excess of $3 billion. Furthermore, the closing statement of the meeting of In his statement before the opening ceremony of the Conference, the OIC Secretary General hailed with appre- the non-government organizations stated that participants ciation the great initiative of the State of Kuwait, stating from gulf organizations decided establish a charity fund for that it is one of the noble initiatives which His Highness East Sudan with a capital of $100 million. In addition, parSheikh Sabah Al Jaber Al Ahmed Al Sabah, Emir of the ticipants from non-government organizations pledged to State of Kuwait, has been taking. Ihsanoglu said that the cover the stated amount. The participants agreed on the importance of looking government of Kuwait has always been there and never hesitated in providing generous assistance whenever it was into the establishment of means to follow-up the conferneeded and whenever the Ummah looked forward to Ku- ence decisions.

The OIC participates in the Second Meeting of the Sudan Consultative Forum Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - The OIC participated to the 2nd Meeting of the Sudan Consultative Forum (SCF), which took place in Addis Ababa on 6 November 2010 at the initiative of the African Union. In his statement, the representative of the OIC, ambassador Habib Kaabachi, stressed the special importance the organization attaches to the unity, stability and security of the Sudan as well as the great interest it is giving to the decisive events ahead for Sudan concerning the referendum on Southern Sudan, due to be held in January 2011 and the peace

process in Darfur. He also highlighted the need to immediately solve the outstanding issues, namely the status of Abyei, the finalization of the demarcation of the borders between the North and the South and the need to reach an agreement on post-referendum arrangements on the key issues of common interest, in order to pave the way for a free, fair, credible and transparent referendum in Southern Sudan. The OIC underscored the need to fully implement the Comprehensive Peace Agreement for Southern Sudan, while making the option of unity attractive in the referendum on self-

determination in Southern Sudan, taking into account that the strength, security and stability of any State lie in its ability to maintain unity in diversity. On the Darfur issue, the OIC stressed the importance of reaching a peaceful, lasting and comprehensive solution to the Darfur conflict in the framework of the Doha Process and urged all the parties concerned to show more sincere political will and reiterated a strong appeal to the armed movements which did not join the Doha process to join the peace process in order to restore durable peace and security in Darfur. 25


WORLD AFFAIRS

Guinea elects new president OIC launches Joint Programs with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

The Secretary General addresses the Nuclear Non-proliferation and security Forum

Cairo, Egypt - The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, rejected in his statement at the Nuclear NonProliferation and Security Forum in Cairo in October 2010, any justification that allows a handful of states to continue to possess nuclear weapons on the grounds of national security while defending the cause of nuclear nonproliferation. He underscored the need to build efforts for nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation on a comprehensive approach involving equitable, non-discriminatory and balanced measures, if these efforts are to succeed. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Security Conference was organized by the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs, in cooperation with the Arab Institute for Security Studies in Jordan, and the Bajwash Organization. Ihsanoglu pointed out that Israel's possession of nuclear

Ihsanoglu visits Djibouti Djibouti - At the invitation of His Excellency President of the Republic of Djibouti, Ismail Omar Guelleh, the Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu paid an official visit to Djibouti on 5 and 6 December 2010. The Secretary General held extensive talks with the President at the presidential palace covering the excellent relations between the OIC and Djibouti in all areas and the desire of the two sides to enhance them. President Guelleh expressed his profound thanks for the supportive positions of the OIC for Djibouti. For his part the Secretary General renewed the OIC's continued support for the sovereignty of the Republic of Djibouti and for the preservation of its territorial integrity. The two sides also talked about the situation in Somalia and the regional and international efforts for security and stability to gain ground in that country so that the Somali people can live in peace. Both sides underscored the need to support joint Islamic action for the benefit, progress and prosperity of the Is26

weapons, which he describes as a dangerous challenge to the security of neighboring states, is a threat to regional and international peace and security. He therefore stressed that Israel must relinquish its nuclear weapons and accede as a matter of urgency to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. He also said that its entire nuclear facilities must be subjected to the comprehensive safeguards system of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The Secretary General urged the international community to ensure that the implementation of the resolutions of the General Assembly and of the Nuclear NonProliferation Follow up conferences are effectively pursued, in order to create a nuclear-weapons-free zone in the Middle East, indicating that such a measure would complement the peace efforts in the region. On the other hand, Ihsanoglu considered that the development of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is a right of each state. He emphasized that the Organization of the Islamic Conference has considerable interest in the promotion of peaceful uses of nuclear energy in OIC Member States for the purpose of social and economic development. In this regard, the Secretary General underscored the need to reach a peaceful and negotiated settlement on the Iranian nuclear issue. In the same vein, the Secretary General announced that the OIC General Secretariat and the IAEA were examining the possibility of providing assistance to OIC Member States in Africa and Asia to access water, produce food and treat cancer. He also announced that the OIC reached an agreement with the IAEA and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) to identify cancer radiotherapy centers in their countries to receive grants of US$ 300,000.00 to be provided by the IDB in 2011. Meanwhile, the Secretary General explained that the IAEA would contribute to obtain mosquito extermination equipment for the Project of Insect Sterilization Technique to eradicate mosquitoes in the Sudan. lamic Ummah. The President decorated the Secretary General with the 27 June First Class Medal, the highest in the land. The 27 June First Class Medal, according to President Guelleh, was conferred on the Ihsanoglu with President Guelleh Secretary General in appreciation of his important achievements at the helm of the OIC and in acknowledgment of his role and contributions to boosting joint Islamic action and giving greater visibility to the OIC in the international scene. The Secretary General also had meetings with the Acting Prime Minister, the Deputy Foreign Minister and the Minister for Religious Affairs and Awqaf. During the meetings, the two sides exchanged views on the existing relations between the OIC and Djibouti and ways to enhance them, with emphasis on greater participation of Djibouti in the activities, programs and projects of the OIC.

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

Conakry, Guinea - The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu has congratulated the declared winner of the presidential election, Prof. Alpha Conde and hoped that this victory will be for all Guineans and will be considered as a triumph for democracy in the country. He appealed to the president-elect to pursue policies of inclusiveness and national reconciliation. Ihsanoglu also conveyed commendation to Cellou Dalein Diallo for his exemplary statesmanship by conceding defeat in a true spirit of democracy. The Secretary General reiterated the preparedness of the OIC to continue to support the deepening of the democratic process in Guinea. He has commended the people of the Republic of Guinea over the suc-

Presidnetial candidate Alpha Conde, voting in Conakry, Guinea, 27 June 2010.(epa)

cessful holding of the second round of the presidential election, which took place on 7th November 2010. Ihsanoglu noted with satisfaction the

high level of participation of the electorate in the exercise, which was satisfactorily conducted in peace and serenity, and further pointed out that the maturity demonstrated by Guineans was an indication of their strong faith in the democratic process. Earlier, the OIC has participated in the 15th meeting of the International Contact Group on Guinea, which took place in Conakry on 2-3 September 2010 at the joint invitation of the Commissions of the African Union and ECOWAS. The meeting was held two weeks from the second round of the presidential election that was scheduled on 19th September 2010 but then postponed to November by the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) due to material and logistic constraints.

Following presidential elections in Cote d'Ivoire

OIC recommends suspending participation of Côte d'Ivoire in its meetings Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - The Organization duplicate situation in Côte d'Ivoire resulting in of the Islamic Conference (OIC) has been the existence of two parallel governments, one closely monitoring developments in Cote headed by the former President Gbagbo and the d'Ivoire since the holding of the second round other headed by President Outara. He warned of the presidential election especially following that this flagrant violation may lead to a major the announcement on 2nd December 2010 of setback for the collective efforts that aim to build the results by the Independent Electoral Coman Islamic world endowed with prosperity and mission. The Secretary General of the OIC Ekpeace. meleddin Ihsanoglu has urged for calm and reThe OIC Secretary General has earlier anstraint in Cote d'Ivoire. nounced that he is determined to make endeavors Ihsanoglu appealed to the two candidates as to mediate or contribute in the framework of any democrats, to respect the will of the electorate other international initiative which ensures as clearly expressed in the 28th November Ivorian presidential can- reaching a peaceful solution to the crisis. didate Alassane Dramane 2010 vote which took place under a free and He appealed to the former President Gbagbo Ouattara.(epa) fair atmosphere. He urged the candidates and to use wisdom and utmost restraint in order to their supporters to consider the declared outavoid further escalation and urged him to recome by the Electoral Commission as a victory for all Ivospectfully accept the outcome of the election for the sake rians. of top national interest, and to spare his country falling On December 16, the OIC held an Expanded Emergeninto a prolonged conflict. cy Meeting of the Executive Committee at the AmbassadoIn the meantime, the participants in the meeting comrial level on the situation in Côte d'Ivoire, and issued a Fimended the work of the peace-broker in the conflict of nal Communiqué in which it decided to submit a Côte d'Ivoire, the President of Burkina Faso, Blaise Comrecommendation to the Council of Foreign Ministers of the paore, for his tireless efforts for the implementation of the OIC Member States to suspend participation of Côte Ouagadougou Peace Agreement. d'Ivoire in all OIC meetings and activities until the legitimate President of the country (Alassane Dramane OuattaIvory Coast supporters of Ouattara ra) assumes his full responsibilities as Head of State. during a street protest in Abidjan, The Final Communiqué of the meeting, which was Ivory Coast 16 December 2010.(epa) held at the OIC headquarters in Jeddah, urged the outgoing President Laurent Gbagbo to respect the outcome of the election and to immediately transfer power in a proper way to the duly elected President Alassane Outara. The meeting decided to invite the OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu to continue his close contacts with all partners and stakeholders in order to restore democracy, durable peace and stability in Cote d'Ivoire. In his statement at the meeting, Ihsanoglu refused the 27


WORLD AFFAIRS

Guinea elects new president OIC launches Joint Programs with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

The Secretary General addresses the Nuclear Non-proliferation and security Forum

Cairo, Egypt - The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, rejected in his statement at the Nuclear NonProliferation and Security Forum in Cairo in October 2010, any justification that allows a handful of states to continue to possess nuclear weapons on the grounds of national security while defending the cause of nuclear nonproliferation. He underscored the need to build efforts for nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation on a comprehensive approach involving equitable, non-discriminatory and balanced measures, if these efforts are to succeed. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Security Conference was organized by the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs, in cooperation with the Arab Institute for Security Studies in Jordan, and the Bajwash Organization. Ihsanoglu pointed out that Israel's possession of nuclear

Ihsanoglu visits Djibouti Djibouti - At the invitation of His Excellency President of the Republic of Djibouti, Ismail Omar Guelleh, the Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu paid an official visit to Djibouti on 5 and 6 December 2010. The Secretary General held extensive talks with the President at the presidential palace covering the excellent relations between the OIC and Djibouti in all areas and the desire of the two sides to enhance them. President Guelleh expressed his profound thanks for the supportive positions of the OIC for Djibouti. For his part the Secretary General renewed the OIC's continued support for the sovereignty of the Republic of Djibouti and for the preservation of its territorial integrity. The two sides also talked about the situation in Somalia and the regional and international efforts for security and stability to gain ground in that country so that the Somali people can live in peace. Both sides underscored the need to support joint Islamic action for the benefit, progress and prosperity of the Is26

weapons, which he describes as a dangerous challenge to the security of neighboring states, is a threat to regional and international peace and security. He therefore stressed that Israel must relinquish its nuclear weapons and accede as a matter of urgency to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. He also said that its entire nuclear facilities must be subjected to the comprehensive safeguards system of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The Secretary General urged the international community to ensure that the implementation of the resolutions of the General Assembly and of the Nuclear NonProliferation Follow up conferences are effectively pursued, in order to create a nuclear-weapons-free zone in the Middle East, indicating that such a measure would complement the peace efforts in the region. On the other hand, Ihsanoglu considered that the development of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is a right of each state. He emphasized that the Organization of the Islamic Conference has considerable interest in the promotion of peaceful uses of nuclear energy in OIC Member States for the purpose of social and economic development. In this regard, the Secretary General underscored the need to reach a peaceful and negotiated settlement on the Iranian nuclear issue. In the same vein, the Secretary General announced that the OIC General Secretariat and the IAEA were examining the possibility of providing assistance to OIC Member States in Africa and Asia to access water, produce food and treat cancer. He also announced that the OIC reached an agreement with the IAEA and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) to identify cancer radiotherapy centers in their countries to receive grants of US$ 300,000.00 to be provided by the IDB in 2011. Meanwhile, the Secretary General explained that the IAEA would contribute to obtain mosquito extermination equipment for the Project of Insect Sterilization Technique to eradicate mosquitoes in the Sudan. lamic Ummah. The President decorated the Secretary General with the 27 June First Class Medal, the highest in the land. The 27 June First Class Medal, according to President Guelleh, was conferred on the Ihsanoglu with President Guelleh Secretary General in appreciation of his important achievements at the helm of the OIC and in acknowledgment of his role and contributions to boosting joint Islamic action and giving greater visibility to the OIC in the international scene. The Secretary General also had meetings with the Acting Prime Minister, the Deputy Foreign Minister and the Minister for Religious Affairs and Awqaf. During the meetings, the two sides exchanged views on the existing relations between the OIC and Djibouti and ways to enhance them, with emphasis on greater participation of Djibouti in the activities, programs and projects of the OIC.

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

Conakry, Guinea - The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu has congratulated the declared winner of the presidential election, Prof. Alpha Conde and hoped that this victory will be for all Guineans and will be considered as a triumph for democracy in the country. He appealed to the president-elect to pursue policies of inclusiveness and national reconciliation. Ihsanoglu also conveyed commendation to Cellou Dalein Diallo for his exemplary statesmanship by conceding defeat in a true spirit of democracy. The Secretary General reiterated the preparedness of the OIC to continue to support the deepening of the democratic process in Guinea. He has commended the people of the Republic of Guinea over the suc-

Presidnetial candidate Alpha Conde, voting in Conakry, Guinea, 27 June 2010.(epa)

cessful holding of the second round of the presidential election, which took place on 7th November 2010. Ihsanoglu noted with satisfaction the

high level of participation of the electorate in the exercise, which was satisfactorily conducted in peace and serenity, and further pointed out that the maturity demonstrated by Guineans was an indication of their strong faith in the democratic process. Earlier, the OIC has participated in the 15th meeting of the International Contact Group on Guinea, which took place in Conakry on 2-3 September 2010 at the joint invitation of the Commissions of the African Union and ECOWAS. The meeting was held two weeks from the second round of the presidential election that was scheduled on 19th September 2010 but then postponed to November by the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) due to material and logistic constraints.

Following presidential elections in Cote d'Ivoire

OIC recommends suspending participation of Côte d'Ivoire in its meetings Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - The Organization duplicate situation in Côte d'Ivoire resulting in of the Islamic Conference (OIC) has been the existence of two parallel governments, one closely monitoring developments in Cote headed by the former President Gbagbo and the d'Ivoire since the holding of the second round other headed by President Outara. He warned of the presidential election especially following that this flagrant violation may lead to a major the announcement on 2nd December 2010 of setback for the collective efforts that aim to build the results by the Independent Electoral Coman Islamic world endowed with prosperity and mission. The Secretary General of the OIC Ekpeace. meleddin Ihsanoglu has urged for calm and reThe OIC Secretary General has earlier anstraint in Cote d'Ivoire. nounced that he is determined to make endeavors Ihsanoglu appealed to the two candidates as to mediate or contribute in the framework of any democrats, to respect the will of the electorate other international initiative which ensures as clearly expressed in the 28th November Ivorian presidential can- reaching a peaceful solution to the crisis. didate Alassane Dramane 2010 vote which took place under a free and He appealed to the former President Gbagbo Ouattara.(epa) fair atmosphere. He urged the candidates and to use wisdom and utmost restraint in order to their supporters to consider the declared outavoid further escalation and urged him to recome by the Electoral Commission as a victory for all Ivospectfully accept the outcome of the election for the sake rians. of top national interest, and to spare his country falling On December 16, the OIC held an Expanded Emergeninto a prolonged conflict. cy Meeting of the Executive Committee at the AmbassadoIn the meantime, the participants in the meeting comrial level on the situation in Côte d'Ivoire, and issued a Fimended the work of the peace-broker in the conflict of nal Communiqué in which it decided to submit a Côte d'Ivoire, the President of Burkina Faso, Blaise Comrecommendation to the Council of Foreign Ministers of the paore, for his tireless efforts for the implementation of the OIC Member States to suspend participation of Côte Ouagadougou Peace Agreement. d'Ivoire in all OIC meetings and activities until the legitimate President of the country (Alassane Dramane OuattaIvory Coast supporters of Ouattara ra) assumes his full responsibilities as Head of State. during a street protest in Abidjan, The Final Communiqué of the meeting, which was Ivory Coast 16 December 2010.(epa) held at the OIC headquarters in Jeddah, urged the outgoing President Laurent Gbagbo to respect the outcome of the election and to immediately transfer power in a proper way to the duly elected President Alassane Outara. The meeting decided to invite the OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu to continue his close contacts with all partners and stakeholders in order to restore democracy, durable peace and stability in Cote d'Ivoire. In his statement at the meeting, Ihsanoglu refused the 27


WORLD AFFAIRS

OSCE participants pose for a family picture during the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Summit in Astana, Kazakhstan 01 December 2010.(epa)

Ihsanoglu addresses OSCE Summit: Underlines scope of cooperation between OIC and OSCE Astana, Kazakhstan - The OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu participated in the OSCE Summit held in Astana on 1-2 December 2010. In his statement to the Summit, Ihsanoglu underlined the immense scope of cooperation between the OIC and the OSCE and urged for a need to take full advantage of the opportunity by giving further impetus to existing cooperation through increased interaction and consultations. The Secretary General highlighted OIC's active involvement in various conflict resolution initiatives, and underscored that the conflict in Palestine as probably the most serious challenge to global peace and security. He also stated that peace is indivisible and resolving conflicts in the Muslim World would significantly contribute to the security and stability in Europe. Drawing attention to the rise of Islamophobia, as well as intolerance and discrimination against Muslims particularly in Europe, Ihsanoglu called for joint efforts between the OIC and OSCE to put together tangible and result oriented actions to motivate the people to reject the extremists on both sides and to develop in them a culture of respect and tolerance for the whole range of civil and political, as well as economic, social and cultural rights of people of all beliefs and backgrounds. The statement briefed the Summit on OIC's efforts to promote human rights and good governance as well as socioeconomic development in Member States. During the visit to Astana, the Secretary General had an audience with H.E. Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The Secretary General stated that Kazakhstan's OSCE Chairmanship will assume greater significance when it assumes the Chairmanship of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) as 28

of June 2011. He briefed the President on the agenda of the OIC Summit to be held in March 2011 in Egypt as well as the preparations for the OIC CFM to be hosted by Kazakhstan next year. The Secretary General and the President agreed to further cooperation and continue contacts between the OIC and Kazakhstan in this regard. In his meeting with Kanat Saudabayev, Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan, the Secretary General discussed bilateral collaboration between the OIC and Kazakhstan and the preparations for the “International Forum on OIC-Kazakhstan: Prospects for New Cooperation” scheduled to be held in Astana on 8 December 2010. They also discussed regional developments and the support of OIC to the region in line with the initiative on solidarity with Central Asia. The first OSCE Summit in 11 years concluded with Kazakhstan's President Nazarbayev welcoming the work of Heads of State and Government from the 56 OSCE participating States, saying their adoption of the Astana Commemorative Declaration reconfirmed the Organization's comprehensive approach to security based on trust and transparency. "We have reconfirmed our support to the comprehensive approach to security based on trust and transparency in the politico-military field, on rational economic and environmental policy and on the full-fledged observation of human rights, basic freedoms and the rule of law,” he said. “We intend to raise the level and quality of security and understanding between our states and peoples.” Nazarbayev, whose country holds the 2010 OSCE Chairmanship, described the two-day Summit as “an historic event for the entire OSCE community” that had been characterized by “the spirit of Astana”.

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

The leaders at the Summit adopted the “Astana Commemorative Declaration: Towards a Security Community” that reaffirmed their commitment to OSCE principles. “While we have made much progress, we also acknowledge that more must be done to ensure full respect for, and implementation of, these core principles and commitments that we have undertaken in the politicomilitary dimension, the economic and environmental dimension, and the human dimension, notably in the areas of human rights and fundamental freedoms,” the declaration said. “The security of each participating State is inseparably linked to that of all others. Each participating State has an equal right to security. We reaffirm the inherent right of each and every participating State to be free to choose or change its security arrangements, including treaties of alliance, as they evolve. Each State also has the right to neutrality. Each participating State will respect the rights of all others in these regards. They will not strengthen their security at the expense of the security of other States.” “Increased efforts should be made to resolve existing conflicts in the OSCE area in a peaceful and negotiated manner, within agreed formats, fully respecting the norms and principles of international law enshrined in the United Nations Charter, as well as the Helsinki Final Act. New crises must be prevented.” “We underscore the need to contribute effectively, based on the capacity and national interest of each participating State, to collective international efforts to promote a stable, independent, prosperous and democratic Afghanistan.” The declaration calls for an action plan to be developed under the leadership of future chairmanships.

Kazakhstan hosts International Forum on Prospects of Cooperation with the OIC Almaty, Kazakhstan - An OIC delegation led by Assistant Secretary General Ambassador Abdul Moiz Bokhari attended a two-day International Forum entitled "Kazakhstan and the OIC: New Prospects for Cooperation"

organized in Almaty by the Foundation of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The Forum was characterized by in-depth discussions on the important role of the OIC in the international politics with a view to determining the prospects of Kazakhstan's contribution towards the enhancement of this role, as an emerging key player in the regional as well as the global politics.

The delegation also visited Astana where it held meetings in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to discuss important issues on the OIC agenda. The delegation conveyed the Secretary General's appreciation of Kazakhstan's professional approach in preparation for the chairmanship of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers in June 2011 and assured full cooperation of the General Secretariat to that end.

The Secretary General emphasizes OIC's commitment to support Central Asian member countries Ashgabat, Turkmenistan - At the invitation of His Excellency President of the Republic of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, the Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu paid an official visit to Turkmenistan on 10 and 11 December 2010.

peace, security, stability and cooperation in the region deserve our admiration and as a matter of fact, Turkmenistan, with its huge potentials, history, culture and strong political will of its leaders, remains a key player in the cause of peace, security and development in the region. He expressed his confidence that Turkmenistan along with other countries in Central Asia would continue to strive towards adopting a series of confidence building measures in the region. He expressed his commitment to mobilize OIC technical and financial support for development activities and investment in specific areas of agriculture, food security, water and energy emphasizing that Central Asia, with its rich natural assets and cultural heritage, is an important eye-catching hub for tour-

The Secretary General delivered a statement at the International Conference entitled “Permanent Neutrality of Turkmenistan: Cooperation for the sake of Peace, Security and Development”, which was convened in the capital city Ashgabat on 11 December 2010. He congratulated the government and people of Turkmenistan for its consistent PresidentBerdimuhamedov pursuit of a peaceful foreign policy and a wise ism. economic, social and cultural development plan. Ihsanoglu highlighted the need for collective coordinat"I am confident that the status of the positive neutrality which was officially adopted fifteen years ago, as empha- ed efforts to address the challenges faced by the region insized by the Turkmen leaders, would be a basis for the over- cluding its exposure to natural disasters, which may cause all development of Turkmenistan and for a constructive in- huge socioeconomic and humanitarian impacts, noting that ternational partnership seeking to promote regional and the OIC has increased its efforts and visibility in addressing these challenges. He emphasized the OIC's continued cominternational peace and security," he added. Ihsanoglu expressed his happiness that there is now a mitment to support particularly the Central Asian OIC growing interest of Central Asia to get more involved in the Member States in their individual and collective attempts toactivities of the OIC, and stated that the rest of the OIC wards tackling those challenges. He underscored TurkmeniMember States are intensifying their engagement with the stan's vital role and leadership along with other Central Asian countries to further develop regional coordination and region. The Secretary General underlined that the efforts and in- cooperation and prepare necessary grounds for a stronger itiatives of Turkmenistan in strengthening and promoting and deeper mutual engagement with the rest of the globe.

29


WORLD AFFAIRS

OSCE participants pose for a family picture during the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Summit in Astana, Kazakhstan 01 December 2010.(epa)

Ihsanoglu addresses OSCE Summit: Underlines scope of cooperation between OIC and OSCE Astana, Kazakhstan - The OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu participated in the OSCE Summit held in Astana on 1-2 December 2010. In his statement to the Summit, Ihsanoglu underlined the immense scope of cooperation between the OIC and the OSCE and urged for a need to take full advantage of the opportunity by giving further impetus to existing cooperation through increased interaction and consultations. The Secretary General highlighted OIC's active involvement in various conflict resolution initiatives, and underscored that the conflict in Palestine as probably the most serious challenge to global peace and security. He also stated that peace is indivisible and resolving conflicts in the Muslim World would significantly contribute to the security and stability in Europe. Drawing attention to the rise of Islamophobia, as well as intolerance and discrimination against Muslims particularly in Europe, Ihsanoglu called for joint efforts between the OIC and OSCE to put together tangible and result oriented actions to motivate the people to reject the extremists on both sides and to develop in them a culture of respect and tolerance for the whole range of civil and political, as well as economic, social and cultural rights of people of all beliefs and backgrounds. The statement briefed the Summit on OIC's efforts to promote human rights and good governance as well as socioeconomic development in Member States. During the visit to Astana, the Secretary General had an audience with H.E. Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The Secretary General stated that Kazakhstan's OSCE Chairmanship will assume greater significance when it assumes the Chairmanship of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) as 28

of June 2011. He briefed the President on the agenda of the OIC Summit to be held in March 2011 in Egypt as well as the preparations for the OIC CFM to be hosted by Kazakhstan next year. The Secretary General and the President agreed to further cooperation and continue contacts between the OIC and Kazakhstan in this regard. In his meeting with Kanat Saudabayev, Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan, the Secretary General discussed bilateral collaboration between the OIC and Kazakhstan and the preparations for the “International Forum on OIC-Kazakhstan: Prospects for New Cooperation” scheduled to be held in Astana on 8 December 2010. They also discussed regional developments and the support of OIC to the region in line with the initiative on solidarity with Central Asia. The first OSCE Summit in 11 years concluded with Kazakhstan's President Nazarbayev welcoming the work of Heads of State and Government from the 56 OSCE participating States, saying their adoption of the Astana Commemorative Declaration reconfirmed the Organization's comprehensive approach to security based on trust and transparency. "We have reconfirmed our support to the comprehensive approach to security based on trust and transparency in the politico-military field, on rational economic and environmental policy and on the full-fledged observation of human rights, basic freedoms and the rule of law,” he said. “We intend to raise the level and quality of security and understanding between our states and peoples.” Nazarbayev, whose country holds the 2010 OSCE Chairmanship, described the two-day Summit as “an historic event for the entire OSCE community” that had been characterized by “the spirit of Astana”.

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

The leaders at the Summit adopted the “Astana Commemorative Declaration: Towards a Security Community” that reaffirmed their commitment to OSCE principles. “While we have made much progress, we also acknowledge that more must be done to ensure full respect for, and implementation of, these core principles and commitments that we have undertaken in the politicomilitary dimension, the economic and environmental dimension, and the human dimension, notably in the areas of human rights and fundamental freedoms,” the declaration said. “The security of each participating State is inseparably linked to that of all others. Each participating State has an equal right to security. We reaffirm the inherent right of each and every participating State to be free to choose or change its security arrangements, including treaties of alliance, as they evolve. Each State also has the right to neutrality. Each participating State will respect the rights of all others in these regards. They will not strengthen their security at the expense of the security of other States.” “Increased efforts should be made to resolve existing conflicts in the OSCE area in a peaceful and negotiated manner, within agreed formats, fully respecting the norms and principles of international law enshrined in the United Nations Charter, as well as the Helsinki Final Act. New crises must be prevented.” “We underscore the need to contribute effectively, based on the capacity and national interest of each participating State, to collective international efforts to promote a stable, independent, prosperous and democratic Afghanistan.” The declaration calls for an action plan to be developed under the leadership of future chairmanships.

Kazakhstan hosts International Forum on Prospects of Cooperation with the OIC Almaty, Kazakhstan - An OIC delegation led by Assistant Secretary General Ambassador Abdul Moiz Bokhari attended a two-day International Forum entitled "Kazakhstan and the OIC: New Prospects for Cooperation"

organized in Almaty by the Foundation of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The Forum was characterized by in-depth discussions on the important role of the OIC in the international politics with a view to determining the prospects of Kazakhstan's contribution towards the enhancement of this role, as an emerging key player in the regional as well as the global politics.

The delegation also visited Astana where it held meetings in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to discuss important issues on the OIC agenda. The delegation conveyed the Secretary General's appreciation of Kazakhstan's professional approach in preparation for the chairmanship of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers in June 2011 and assured full cooperation of the General Secretariat to that end.

The Secretary General emphasizes OIC's commitment to support Central Asian member countries Ashgabat, Turkmenistan - At the invitation of His Excellency President of the Republic of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, the Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu paid an official visit to Turkmenistan on 10 and 11 December 2010.

peace, security, stability and cooperation in the region deserve our admiration and as a matter of fact, Turkmenistan, with its huge potentials, history, culture and strong political will of its leaders, remains a key player in the cause of peace, security and development in the region. He expressed his confidence that Turkmenistan along with other countries in Central Asia would continue to strive towards adopting a series of confidence building measures in the region. He expressed his commitment to mobilize OIC technical and financial support for development activities and investment in specific areas of agriculture, food security, water and energy emphasizing that Central Asia, with its rich natural assets and cultural heritage, is an important eye-catching hub for tour-

The Secretary General delivered a statement at the International Conference entitled “Permanent Neutrality of Turkmenistan: Cooperation for the sake of Peace, Security and Development”, which was convened in the capital city Ashgabat on 11 December 2010. He congratulated the government and people of Turkmenistan for its consistent PresidentBerdimuhamedov pursuit of a peaceful foreign policy and a wise ism. economic, social and cultural development plan. Ihsanoglu highlighted the need for collective coordinat"I am confident that the status of the positive neutrality which was officially adopted fifteen years ago, as empha- ed efforts to address the challenges faced by the region insized by the Turkmen leaders, would be a basis for the over- cluding its exposure to natural disasters, which may cause all development of Turkmenistan and for a constructive in- huge socioeconomic and humanitarian impacts, noting that ternational partnership seeking to promote regional and the OIC has increased its efforts and visibility in addressing these challenges. He emphasized the OIC's continued cominternational peace and security," he added. Ihsanoglu expressed his happiness that there is now a mitment to support particularly the Central Asian OIC growing interest of Central Asia to get more involved in the Member States in their individual and collective attempts toactivities of the OIC, and stated that the rest of the OIC wards tackling those challenges. He underscored TurkmeniMember States are intensifying their engagement with the stan's vital role and leadership along with other Central Asian countries to further develop regional coordination and region. The Secretary General underlined that the efforts and in- cooperation and prepare necessary grounds for a stronger itiatives of Turkmenistan in strengthening and promoting and deeper mutual engagement with the rest of the globe.

29


WORLD AFFAIRS

British Secretary of State for International Development visits OIC and IDB

OIC Parliamentary Union rejects all Israeli measures in Jerusalem Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, hosted the meeting of the 24th Session of the Executive Committee of the OIC Parliamentary Union held to discuss Member States proposals concerning the reform of statute and the development of technical action mechanisms of the Union's General Secretariat. Professor Mahmoud Arol Galig, Secretary General of the Union participated in the meeting. The 'Abu Dhabi Declaration', issued at the end of the meeting of 24 October 2010, called the United Nations and all international and regional organizations of international influence to fulfill their international and legal obligations towards reaching a just and permanent settlement for the Arab-Israeli conflict and for the Palestinian cause pursuant to the relevant international resolutions. The statement issued by the Executive Committee called on the OIC Parliamentary Union to take concrete steps through reinforcing contacts with all international and regional parliamentary organizations and specialized international organizations for an action to stop the Israeli settlements, particularly in Jerusalem, the attempt to judaize the occupied Palestinian territories, and to end the blockade on Gaza and the harmful effects that may result from the Israeli government decision confirming the “Jewish character of Israel” as regards changing the demographic structure of the holy city, its character and legal status. The 'Abu Dhabi Declaration' called on the Union to make the necessary contacts with OIC Secretariat as regards its contribution to the work of the Governmental Group of Experts in charge of making proposals for a peaceful settlement to all conflicts in the Muslim World and cooperation in this regard, particularly in the framework of preventive diplomacy and parliamentary good offices. The participants called for the need to take all effective measures to enhance cooperation between OIC and the Union in a way that makes the latter more effective in OIC work, and that activates the Union's role in its Islamic sphere. The Declaration also welcomed the statement issued by the Human Rights Council on 30 September 2010 regarding the threats to burn the Holy Qur'an, and called the international community to take concrete steps to end all kinds of religious extremism so as to reinforce cooperation and reciprocal respect among all religions and beliefs, and to confirm the need to deal positively with human values, divine laws and statutory laws that call for the respect of beliefs, freedom of worship and human rights. The Declaration rejected all political and media allegations linking Islam with terrorism and defaming its divine symbols. It called for the need to spread Islamic teachings all over the world, and to introduce the values of our noble

30

religion to others, urging everyone to do their best to call for stopping defamation of Islam in all its forms and from all sources, and to seek the most effective ways and means to defend the Islamic symbols through dialogue, wisdom and advice. The Declaration stressed that the struggle of peoples under foreign occupation and their fight for their rights to freedom and sovereignty is not, by any means, a terrorist act. It also highlighted the importance to devote parliamentary diplomacy to assert the legitimate rights of this Ummah, and to defend it in international fora so as to liberate Jerusalem, the Palestinian territory and to enable the Palestinian people of self-determination. Abdul Aziz Al-Ghurair, President of the Federal National Council in UAE and Chairman of the Session, warned in his opening address of the severe consequences of Israel continued refusal to accede to the Nuclear Weapons Non-Proliferation Treaty, and to place all its nuclear facilities under the comprehensive IAEA safeguards, emphasizing the necessity to take concrete and urgent steps to establish a nuclear weapon- free zone in the Middle East. Al-Ghurair stressed that the security right of each country in the region should be in balance with other countries, so that no individual country or a group of countries may have privileges in security and armament at the expense of another, underlining the need to consider the results and recommendations of the “Non-Nuclear Proliferation Review Conference 2010” during the next meeting of the Union's Council, particularly in the framework of the conference direct encouragement to all parties to take urgent and concrete actions to establish a nuclear weaponfree zone in the Middle East. Al-Ghurair said the meeting's objective was to explore the best ways to address the various threat and challenges that face the Muslim Ummah, noting that what is included in the agenda of the Executive Committee meeting as regards upgrading the Union's Secretariat and enhancing its role is very important for the Union. The President of the Federal National Council in UAE stressed that enhancing the Union's work in the coming phase to enable it to undertake its role requires reinforcing the relationship with OIC and allowing that relation to develop in a way that enables the Union of high influence in the OIC functions in a framework that makes the OIC take into account the Union's resolutions and work to implement them through governments, which will make the Union's resolutions more important and more effective. The Executive Committee has nine State Members of the OIC. In addition to the UAE, the host country, there were delegates from Egypt, Indonesia, Uganda, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Iran, Turkey, Cameroon and Burkina Faso.

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - British Secrethe OIC and the UK in particular in providtary of State for International Development ing humanitarian assistance to the victims Andrew Mitchell met with OIC Secretary of both manmade and natural disasters. General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu at OIC Both sides agreed on having continued Headquarters in Jeddah on 25 October contact in this regard. 2010. The Secretary of State was accompaMitchell also met the President of the nied by a five-member delegation including Islamic Development Bank Group Dr. Ahthe new UK Ambassador to Saudi Arabia mad Mohamed Ali at the Bank's HeadquarHM Ambassador Sir Tom Phillips. ters in Jeddah. During the meeting at IDB, The Secretary of State briefed the Secrethe two sides discussed ways for coordinattary General on the policy of the new Coaliing efforts to assist Pakistan with overcomtion Government on issues related to intering the aftermath of the recent destructive national development and their specific flooding and exchanged views on particiresult oriented approach. He expressed his pating in the upcoming Pakistan Developgovernment's willingness to work in partment Forum slated for mid November, nership with the OIC in the humanitarian 2010, in Islamabad. Dr. Ali and Andrew field in particular in places where the OIC Mitchell also touched upon coordinating enjoys comparative advantages compared efforts aimed at upgrading development to its western counterparts. The Secretary and alleviating poverty in IDB member Secretary of State for InternaGeneral welcomed the idea of having closer British countries particularly in Palestine and tional Development Andrew Mitchell. cooperation between the OIC and the UK Yemen taking advantage of British experand briefed the Secretary of State on the actise especially in the fields of capacity tivities of the OIC in the humanitarian field i.e. in Gaza, building for member countries of the Bank. Pakistan, Indonesia, Somalia, Yemen etc. MP Mitchell reEarlier in January 2009 in Riyadh, the two sides had ferred to the appointment of HM Consul General Kate inked a memorandum of understanding agreeing on a Rudd as the UK Special Envoy to the OIC as an indication framework for joint efforts in cooperation and coordination of his government's intent to strengthen the UK-OIC rela- in a number of areas of mutual interest, including providtions. ing support for development and poverty alleviating efforts Earlier in the day, MP Mitchell was received by Am- in accordance with the millennium development goals. bassador Atta El-Manan Bakhiet, OIC Assistant Secretary The Islamic Development Bank Group has so far conGeneral for Humanitarian Affairs at his office. Both dele- tributed to 17 educational projects in favor of the Muslim gations had detailed discussion on the possible ways and community in the United Kingdom mainly as grants worth means of enhancing cooperation and collaboration between $5.6 million.

Ban Ki-moon: The OIC is a strategic and crucial partner of the United Nations Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - The Organization ism”. of the Islamic Conference (OIC) is determined In this vein, the OIC indicated that the situato expand its cooperation agreements with the tion in Afghanistan is a subject of particular atUnited Nations in seeking solutions to a wide tention to the OIC and that a special envoy has range of global problems, chief among which is been appointed to Afghanistan. the Arab-Israeli conflict in the Middle East and Concerning Ban Ki-moon's aspirations for stability in Iraq and Afghanistan. the support of the Organization of the Islamic UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon had Conference in Southern Sudan, the OIC will expressed his appreciation of the major role help develop the capacities of institutions in played by the OIC on the issues of Al-Quds, Southern Sudan, regardless of the outcome of Darfur, Somalia, Sudan, Mauritania, and Guinthe referendum. ea and on other global issues. The relation between the OIC and the UN is General a new model of cooperation in facing global chalAt the meetings of the 65th Session of the UN Secretary Ban Ki-moon UN General Assembly, Ban Ki-moon stated that lenges in political, humanitarian and economic “the OIC is a strategic and crucial partner of the United fields, as well as in issues related to human development, Nations and plays a significant role in helping to resolve a science and technology, human rights, refugees and migrawide range of issues facing the world community”. tion. The OIC believes that there is a need for further coopBan Ki-moon added: “I have been pleased to note the eration with UN programs, agencies and funds, insisting on solidarity of Islamic countries with Afghanistan, the gener- the necessity to address the weaknesses in bilateral cooperous assistance provided, and the clear stand against terror- ation between the two organizations.

31


WORLD AFFAIRS

British Secretary of State for International Development visits OIC and IDB

OIC Parliamentary Union rejects all Israeli measures in Jerusalem Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, hosted the meeting of the 24th Session of the Executive Committee of the OIC Parliamentary Union held to discuss Member States proposals concerning the reform of statute and the development of technical action mechanisms of the Union's General Secretariat. Professor Mahmoud Arol Galig, Secretary General of the Union participated in the meeting. The 'Abu Dhabi Declaration', issued at the end of the meeting of 24 October 2010, called the United Nations and all international and regional organizations of international influence to fulfill their international and legal obligations towards reaching a just and permanent settlement for the Arab-Israeli conflict and for the Palestinian cause pursuant to the relevant international resolutions. The statement issued by the Executive Committee called on the OIC Parliamentary Union to take concrete steps through reinforcing contacts with all international and regional parliamentary organizations and specialized international organizations for an action to stop the Israeli settlements, particularly in Jerusalem, the attempt to judaize the occupied Palestinian territories, and to end the blockade on Gaza and the harmful effects that may result from the Israeli government decision confirming the “Jewish character of Israel” as regards changing the demographic structure of the holy city, its character and legal status. The 'Abu Dhabi Declaration' called on the Union to make the necessary contacts with OIC Secretariat as regards its contribution to the work of the Governmental Group of Experts in charge of making proposals for a peaceful settlement to all conflicts in the Muslim World and cooperation in this regard, particularly in the framework of preventive diplomacy and parliamentary good offices. The participants called for the need to take all effective measures to enhance cooperation between OIC and the Union in a way that makes the latter more effective in OIC work, and that activates the Union's role in its Islamic sphere. The Declaration also welcomed the statement issued by the Human Rights Council on 30 September 2010 regarding the threats to burn the Holy Qur'an, and called the international community to take concrete steps to end all kinds of religious extremism so as to reinforce cooperation and reciprocal respect among all religions and beliefs, and to confirm the need to deal positively with human values, divine laws and statutory laws that call for the respect of beliefs, freedom of worship and human rights. The Declaration rejected all political and media allegations linking Islam with terrorism and defaming its divine symbols. It called for the need to spread Islamic teachings all over the world, and to introduce the values of our noble

30

religion to others, urging everyone to do their best to call for stopping defamation of Islam in all its forms and from all sources, and to seek the most effective ways and means to defend the Islamic symbols through dialogue, wisdom and advice. The Declaration stressed that the struggle of peoples under foreign occupation and their fight for their rights to freedom and sovereignty is not, by any means, a terrorist act. It also highlighted the importance to devote parliamentary diplomacy to assert the legitimate rights of this Ummah, and to defend it in international fora so as to liberate Jerusalem, the Palestinian territory and to enable the Palestinian people of self-determination. Abdul Aziz Al-Ghurair, President of the Federal National Council in UAE and Chairman of the Session, warned in his opening address of the severe consequences of Israel continued refusal to accede to the Nuclear Weapons Non-Proliferation Treaty, and to place all its nuclear facilities under the comprehensive IAEA safeguards, emphasizing the necessity to take concrete and urgent steps to establish a nuclear weapon- free zone in the Middle East. Al-Ghurair stressed that the security right of each country in the region should be in balance with other countries, so that no individual country or a group of countries may have privileges in security and armament at the expense of another, underlining the need to consider the results and recommendations of the “Non-Nuclear Proliferation Review Conference 2010” during the next meeting of the Union's Council, particularly in the framework of the conference direct encouragement to all parties to take urgent and concrete actions to establish a nuclear weaponfree zone in the Middle East. Al-Ghurair said the meeting's objective was to explore the best ways to address the various threat and challenges that face the Muslim Ummah, noting that what is included in the agenda of the Executive Committee meeting as regards upgrading the Union's Secretariat and enhancing its role is very important for the Union. The President of the Federal National Council in UAE stressed that enhancing the Union's work in the coming phase to enable it to undertake its role requires reinforcing the relationship with OIC and allowing that relation to develop in a way that enables the Union of high influence in the OIC functions in a framework that makes the OIC take into account the Union's resolutions and work to implement them through governments, which will make the Union's resolutions more important and more effective. The Executive Committee has nine State Members of the OIC. In addition to the UAE, the host country, there were delegates from Egypt, Indonesia, Uganda, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Iran, Turkey, Cameroon and Burkina Faso.

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - British Secrethe OIC and the UK in particular in providtary of State for International Development ing humanitarian assistance to the victims Andrew Mitchell met with OIC Secretary of both manmade and natural disasters. General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu at OIC Both sides agreed on having continued Headquarters in Jeddah on 25 October contact in this regard. 2010. The Secretary of State was accompaMitchell also met the President of the nied by a five-member delegation including Islamic Development Bank Group Dr. Ahthe new UK Ambassador to Saudi Arabia mad Mohamed Ali at the Bank's HeadquarHM Ambassador Sir Tom Phillips. ters in Jeddah. During the meeting at IDB, The Secretary of State briefed the Secrethe two sides discussed ways for coordinattary General on the policy of the new Coaliing efforts to assist Pakistan with overcomtion Government on issues related to intering the aftermath of the recent destructive national development and their specific flooding and exchanged views on particiresult oriented approach. He expressed his pating in the upcoming Pakistan Developgovernment's willingness to work in partment Forum slated for mid November, nership with the OIC in the humanitarian 2010, in Islamabad. Dr. Ali and Andrew field in particular in places where the OIC Mitchell also touched upon coordinating enjoys comparative advantages compared efforts aimed at upgrading development to its western counterparts. The Secretary and alleviating poverty in IDB member Secretary of State for InternaGeneral welcomed the idea of having closer British countries particularly in Palestine and tional Development Andrew Mitchell. cooperation between the OIC and the UK Yemen taking advantage of British experand briefed the Secretary of State on the actise especially in the fields of capacity tivities of the OIC in the humanitarian field i.e. in Gaza, building for member countries of the Bank. Pakistan, Indonesia, Somalia, Yemen etc. MP Mitchell reEarlier in January 2009 in Riyadh, the two sides had ferred to the appointment of HM Consul General Kate inked a memorandum of understanding agreeing on a Rudd as the UK Special Envoy to the OIC as an indication framework for joint efforts in cooperation and coordination of his government's intent to strengthen the UK-OIC rela- in a number of areas of mutual interest, including providtions. ing support for development and poverty alleviating efforts Earlier in the day, MP Mitchell was received by Am- in accordance with the millennium development goals. bassador Atta El-Manan Bakhiet, OIC Assistant Secretary The Islamic Development Bank Group has so far conGeneral for Humanitarian Affairs at his office. Both dele- tributed to 17 educational projects in favor of the Muslim gations had detailed discussion on the possible ways and community in the United Kingdom mainly as grants worth means of enhancing cooperation and collaboration between $5.6 million.

Ban Ki-moon: The OIC is a strategic and crucial partner of the United Nations Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - The Organization ism”. of the Islamic Conference (OIC) is determined In this vein, the OIC indicated that the situato expand its cooperation agreements with the tion in Afghanistan is a subject of particular atUnited Nations in seeking solutions to a wide tention to the OIC and that a special envoy has range of global problems, chief among which is been appointed to Afghanistan. the Arab-Israeli conflict in the Middle East and Concerning Ban Ki-moon's aspirations for stability in Iraq and Afghanistan. the support of the Organization of the Islamic UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon had Conference in Southern Sudan, the OIC will expressed his appreciation of the major role help develop the capacities of institutions in played by the OIC on the issues of Al-Quds, Southern Sudan, regardless of the outcome of Darfur, Somalia, Sudan, Mauritania, and Guinthe referendum. ea and on other global issues. The relation between the OIC and the UN is General a new model of cooperation in facing global chalAt the meetings of the 65th Session of the UN Secretary Ban Ki-moon UN General Assembly, Ban Ki-moon stated that lenges in political, humanitarian and economic “the OIC is a strategic and crucial partner of the United fields, as well as in issues related to human development, Nations and plays a significant role in helping to resolve a science and technology, human rights, refugees and migrawide range of issues facing the world community”. tion. The OIC believes that there is a need for further coopBan Ki-moon added: “I have been pleased to note the eration with UN programs, agencies and funds, insisting on solidarity of Islamic countries with Afghanistan, the gener- the necessity to address the weaknesses in bilateral cooperous assistance provided, and the clear stand against terror- ation between the two organizations.

31


WORLD AFFAIRS

Ihsanoglu discusses Islamophobia and defamation of religions with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Geneva, Switzerland - The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu discussed on 16 September 2010 in Geneva several important issues with Navenathem Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. He also updated the High Commissioner on the establishment of the OIC Independent Permanent Commission on Human Rights. The Secretary General emphasized that the Commission would mark the beginning of a new era at the OIC with the mainstreaming of human rights matters in the agenda and the work of the Organization. On the issue of Israeli aggression on the Freedom Flotilla, a fact finding Mission on the tragic episode by the Human Rights Council was formed upon the insistence and initiative of the OIC in accordance with the decision taken at the Meeting of the Executive Committee held in Jeddah. He recalled that OIC had played a similarly active role in commissioning the Goldstone Report. He informed the High Commissioner with regard to the OIC's strong condemnation of the unfortunate hoax regarding 'Burning the Koran Day' and emphasized the establishment of an Observatory at the Office of the High Commissioner in the interest of instituting an international Monitoring Mechanism to document such matters that posed grave danger to global peace, security and stability. The Secretary General also raised other matters of importance to the OIC including the “Resolution on Defamation of Religions”, and the assistance and support for the OIC's Commission on Human Rights to be established later this year. The High Commissioner in turn informed the Secretary General with regard to progress on the Fact Finding Mission. Pillay assured full support and cooperation of her Office during and after the establishment of the OIC Independent Permanent Commission on Human Rights. She also assured to look into reviving the issue of the Observatory and requested for OIC participation as a cross regional organization in all forthcoming regional workshops on incitement to hatred. The meeting was held at the Office of the High Commissioner and ended with agreement on continuation of coordination and cooperation between the two bodies on all matters common to the respective agenda. OIC Secretary General urges OIC Group in Geneva for greater unity During his presence in Geneva, the Secretary General addressed a meeting of the Permanent Representatives to the UN of the OIC Member States. The Secretary General expressed his appreciation to the role played by the OIC Group towards enhancing the visibility and credibility of OIC. He emphasized the need for improved coordination and greater unity in the ranks with a view to presenting a unified stance on issues of importance to the OIC, including the Defamation of Religions. The Secretary General informed the Permanent Representatives that the initiative taken by the OIC Group towards commissioning the Goldstone Report must be built upon and maintained in dealing with similar situations of vital concern to the OIC, like the Israeli aggression on Freedom Flotilla. Addressing the Human Rights Council, OIC Chief expresses regret at increasing acts of Islamophobia The Secretary General made a special statement at the 15th Session of the Human Rights Council during his visit to Geneva, wherein he expressed profound regret and deep concern at the increasing acts of Islamophobia and violence against Muslims with reference to the recent unfortunate episode pertaining to 'Burn a Koran Day'. 32

The Secretary General called for strong condemnation by the international community both in terms of policy and practice against all xenophobic campaigns of fear mongering and discriminatory measures. He reiterated OIC's calls for a normative approach to deal with defamation of all religions and protection of the human rights of their followers. He emphasized that the international community should stand united against such events that endangered peaceful coexistence between nations and created environment conducive to violence and violation of human rights of individuals and communities. He further emphasized the active role the Council had to play in this regard. Ihsanoglu specified concrete measures to be taken by states with a view to fostering an environment of respect for all religions. The Secretary General expressed his appreciation of the strong statements made by the US President Barak Obama, Secretary of State Clinton, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the Vatican as well as other members of international community against the outrageous announcement pertaining to 'Burn a Koran Day'. OIC Chief calls for intensive cultural diplomacy and multilateral efforts to combat Islamophobia Secretary General Ihsanoglu was a guest speaker at the fifth edition of the 'Geneva Lecture Series' by United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). He lent his perspective to a distinguished gathering of diplomats, academician, intelligentsia and international civil servants on “Building Bridges: Intercultural Dialogue, Identities and Migrations”. In his lecture, the Secretary General emphasized that shared human values as well as identities of migrants needed to be protected in the era of globalization wherein the phenomena of migration was essentially economic in nature induced by the prevailing interconnectivity of our times. Contending that Muslims' contributions had helped evolve the contemporary European identity, he expressed concern at the Islamophobic campaign launched by motivated individuals and groups against Muslims and Islam. Prof. Ihsanoglu classified contemporary form of racism as bad economics and dangerous politics. He added that the current practice of promoting and protecting identities on the basis of difference was antithetical to the very essence of globalization and emphasized the need for 'ethical globalization' wherein every cultural identity could be maintained. He stressed that any discussion on the interlinked issues of migration, identity and the need for intercultural dialogue will have to be contextualized in this era of globalization, which constitute the defining characteristics of our times. The Secretary General, highlighting the importance of creating spaces for intercultural dialogue warned against leaving spaces to be filled in and agenda to be hijacked by the radicals. The Secretary General reiterated his call for an historical reconciliation between Islam and Christianity, and suggested the evolution of a new social contract in the run-up to the knowledge society in the global village. He proposed that good governance of globalization; sustained, constructive and result oriented engagement on all issues, including migration; multiculturalism; and evaluation of norms geared towards ensuring respect of human rights of all without discrimination formed part of such a contract. He also emphasized that the western world go beyond expressions of good intent and event-based calls for inter cultural dialogue and place a premium on cultural diplomacy.

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

Sayeeda Warsi: The British government views the OIC as a very important organization

by Maha Akeel Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu met British Cabinet Minister Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, the first Muslim British Minister, at the OIC's Headquarters in Jeddah on 20 November 2010. Secretary General Ihsanoglu indicated his pleasure on the willingness of the UK for further strengthening relations with the OIC, as evident in the growing number of high level officials from the UK meeting with the OIC Secretary General in recent months. In their second meeting in six months, Ihsanoglu and Warsi discussed opportunities for deepening UK-OIC relations. In addition, Baroness Warsi expressed her firm support for the recent agreement between the UK's Department of

International Development and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) to send a secondment from DFID to the IDB, which was announced during Secretary of State Andrew Mitchell's visit last month. Warsi had completed Haj the day before calling upon the Secretary General. After meeting him she spoke with the OIC Journal about the meeting. “The British government views the OIC as a very important organization which we want to deepen our relationships and our links with,” emphasized Baroness warsi. During her meeting with Secretary General Ihsanoglu she discussed two things: formalizing the areas where Britain and the OIC can develop stronger relationships, such as on Afghanistan and Islamophobia, in order to better follow up on progress made, and to formalize the role of the UK Special Representative to the OIC. Speaking about Islamophobia particularly considering that she is the first British Muslim to be appointed in cabinet in the history of Britain, she said that it was a tremendous moment of pride and humility for her, and that British Muslims have a history of progress and contributions in Britain in different fields, but more needs to be done especially in the face of the rise of far right movements. Nevertheless, she feels that in many ways Britain is far ahead of many of its European partners in the way it integrates its diverse religious and racial communities. “Integration is at its best when you give people the opportunity to engage so they don't face barriers because of their religion or race from achieving things,” she said. However, she clarified that a

challenge in Britain has been not to confuse integration and extremism, and that one of the first moves of the new coalition government is to disconnect the two even in terms of the different government departments that are dealing with integration and dealing with extremism. “Different religious or racial communities have historically and now had extremists amongst them, and yes, of course, within the Muslim community there are extremists who do more harm to the reputation of Islam than anyone else, but I do not think that we need to confuse the two.” As for the role of the OIC in that regard, she said, “I think the OIC is a very powerful voice because it speaks for so many different nations, and I think it is a very constructive voice.” She recommends for the OIC, on the issue of Islamophobia, to work with individual EU member states, and reiterated that Britain is keen on working on this with the OIC. And on the burqa debate, which lately has been a hotly contested issue across Europe, Warsi said that what women choose to wear is entirely a matter for them. “In my country, we had a debate less than a hundred years ago about the rights of women and the emancipation of women, and we don't tell women their skirts are too short and we don't tell women their veils are too long,” she added. Furthermore, the fact that she was appointed as cabinet member and three other Muslim women were elected in parliament in addition to other positive roles they play in society indicates the huge progress made as far as British Muslim women are concerned, which is counter to some anti-Islamic views the public may have about Muslim women.

OIC and France hold first political consultations in Paris Paris, France - The first round of political consultations between the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) and France was held on 5 October at the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs at Quai d'Orsai in Paris. The meeting addressed issues of human rights, Alliance of Civiliza-

tions, prevention and resolution of conflicts, peace-building, combating terrorism and extremism as well as the latest developments in Africa and the Middle East and current political issues. The political consultations between OIC and France were held as a follow up to the agreement between

the Secretary General of OIC and the French Foreign Minister as a regular mechanism in order to jointlyexamine issues of mutual interest and concern. The OIC delegation to these consultations was led by the Director General of Political Affairs Department Ambassador Mahdi Fathallah.

33


WORLD AFFAIRS

Ihsanoglu discusses Islamophobia and defamation of religions with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Geneva, Switzerland - The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu discussed on 16 September 2010 in Geneva several important issues with Navenathem Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. He also updated the High Commissioner on the establishment of the OIC Independent Permanent Commission on Human Rights. The Secretary General emphasized that the Commission would mark the beginning of a new era at the OIC with the mainstreaming of human rights matters in the agenda and the work of the Organization. On the issue of Israeli aggression on the Freedom Flotilla, a fact finding Mission on the tragic episode by the Human Rights Council was formed upon the insistence and initiative of the OIC in accordance with the decision taken at the Meeting of the Executive Committee held in Jeddah. He recalled that OIC had played a similarly active role in commissioning the Goldstone Report. He informed the High Commissioner with regard to the OIC's strong condemnation of the unfortunate hoax regarding 'Burning the Koran Day' and emphasized the establishment of an Observatory at the Office of the High Commissioner in the interest of instituting an international Monitoring Mechanism to document such matters that posed grave danger to global peace, security and stability. The Secretary General also raised other matters of importance to the OIC including the “Resolution on Defamation of Religions”, and the assistance and support for the OIC's Commission on Human Rights to be established later this year. The High Commissioner in turn informed the Secretary General with regard to progress on the Fact Finding Mission. Pillay assured full support and cooperation of her Office during and after the establishment of the OIC Independent Permanent Commission on Human Rights. She also assured to look into reviving the issue of the Observatory and requested for OIC participation as a cross regional organization in all forthcoming regional workshops on incitement to hatred. The meeting was held at the Office of the High Commissioner and ended with agreement on continuation of coordination and cooperation between the two bodies on all matters common to the respective agenda. OIC Secretary General urges OIC Group in Geneva for greater unity During his presence in Geneva, the Secretary General addressed a meeting of the Permanent Representatives to the UN of the OIC Member States. The Secretary General expressed his appreciation to the role played by the OIC Group towards enhancing the visibility and credibility of OIC. He emphasized the need for improved coordination and greater unity in the ranks with a view to presenting a unified stance on issues of importance to the OIC, including the Defamation of Religions. The Secretary General informed the Permanent Representatives that the initiative taken by the OIC Group towards commissioning the Goldstone Report must be built upon and maintained in dealing with similar situations of vital concern to the OIC, like the Israeli aggression on Freedom Flotilla. Addressing the Human Rights Council, OIC Chief expresses regret at increasing acts of Islamophobia The Secretary General made a special statement at the 15th Session of the Human Rights Council during his visit to Geneva, wherein he expressed profound regret and deep concern at the increasing acts of Islamophobia and violence against Muslims with reference to the recent unfortunate episode pertaining to 'Burn a Koran Day'. 32

The Secretary General called for strong condemnation by the international community both in terms of policy and practice against all xenophobic campaigns of fear mongering and discriminatory measures. He reiterated OIC's calls for a normative approach to deal with defamation of all religions and protection of the human rights of their followers. He emphasized that the international community should stand united against such events that endangered peaceful coexistence between nations and created environment conducive to violence and violation of human rights of individuals and communities. He further emphasized the active role the Council had to play in this regard. Ihsanoglu specified concrete measures to be taken by states with a view to fostering an environment of respect for all religions. The Secretary General expressed his appreciation of the strong statements made by the US President Barak Obama, Secretary of State Clinton, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the Vatican as well as other members of international community against the outrageous announcement pertaining to 'Burn a Koran Day'. OIC Chief calls for intensive cultural diplomacy and multilateral efforts to combat Islamophobia Secretary General Ihsanoglu was a guest speaker at the fifth edition of the 'Geneva Lecture Series' by United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). He lent his perspective to a distinguished gathering of diplomats, academician, intelligentsia and international civil servants on “Building Bridges: Intercultural Dialogue, Identities and Migrations”. In his lecture, the Secretary General emphasized that shared human values as well as identities of migrants needed to be protected in the era of globalization wherein the phenomena of migration was essentially economic in nature induced by the prevailing interconnectivity of our times. Contending that Muslims' contributions had helped evolve the contemporary European identity, he expressed concern at the Islamophobic campaign launched by motivated individuals and groups against Muslims and Islam. Prof. Ihsanoglu classified contemporary form of racism as bad economics and dangerous politics. He added that the current practice of promoting and protecting identities on the basis of difference was antithetical to the very essence of globalization and emphasized the need for 'ethical globalization' wherein every cultural identity could be maintained. He stressed that any discussion on the interlinked issues of migration, identity and the need for intercultural dialogue will have to be contextualized in this era of globalization, which constitute the defining characteristics of our times. The Secretary General, highlighting the importance of creating spaces for intercultural dialogue warned against leaving spaces to be filled in and agenda to be hijacked by the radicals. The Secretary General reiterated his call for an historical reconciliation between Islam and Christianity, and suggested the evolution of a new social contract in the run-up to the knowledge society in the global village. He proposed that good governance of globalization; sustained, constructive and result oriented engagement on all issues, including migration; multiculturalism; and evaluation of norms geared towards ensuring respect of human rights of all without discrimination formed part of such a contract. He also emphasized that the western world go beyond expressions of good intent and event-based calls for inter cultural dialogue and place a premium on cultural diplomacy.

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

Sayeeda Warsi: The British government views the OIC as a very important organization

by Maha Akeel Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu met British Cabinet Minister Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, the first Muslim British Minister, at the OIC's Headquarters in Jeddah on 20 November 2010. Secretary General Ihsanoglu indicated his pleasure on the willingness of the UK for further strengthening relations with the OIC, as evident in the growing number of high level officials from the UK meeting with the OIC Secretary General in recent months. In their second meeting in six months, Ihsanoglu and Warsi discussed opportunities for deepening UK-OIC relations. In addition, Baroness Warsi expressed her firm support for the recent agreement between the UK's Department of

International Development and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) to send a secondment from DFID to the IDB, which was announced during Secretary of State Andrew Mitchell's visit last month. Warsi had completed Haj the day before calling upon the Secretary General. After meeting him she spoke with the OIC Journal about the meeting. “The British government views the OIC as a very important organization which we want to deepen our relationships and our links with,” emphasized Baroness warsi. During her meeting with Secretary General Ihsanoglu she discussed two things: formalizing the areas where Britain and the OIC can develop stronger relationships, such as on Afghanistan and Islamophobia, in order to better follow up on progress made, and to formalize the role of the UK Special Representative to the OIC. Speaking about Islamophobia particularly considering that she is the first British Muslim to be appointed in cabinet in the history of Britain, she said that it was a tremendous moment of pride and humility for her, and that British Muslims have a history of progress and contributions in Britain in different fields, but more needs to be done especially in the face of the rise of far right movements. Nevertheless, she feels that in many ways Britain is far ahead of many of its European partners in the way it integrates its diverse religious and racial communities. “Integration is at its best when you give people the opportunity to engage so they don't face barriers because of their religion or race from achieving things,” she said. However, she clarified that a

challenge in Britain has been not to confuse integration and extremism, and that one of the first moves of the new coalition government is to disconnect the two even in terms of the different government departments that are dealing with integration and dealing with extremism. “Different religious or racial communities have historically and now had extremists amongst them, and yes, of course, within the Muslim community there are extremists who do more harm to the reputation of Islam than anyone else, but I do not think that we need to confuse the two.” As for the role of the OIC in that regard, she said, “I think the OIC is a very powerful voice because it speaks for so many different nations, and I think it is a very constructive voice.” She recommends for the OIC, on the issue of Islamophobia, to work with individual EU member states, and reiterated that Britain is keen on working on this with the OIC. And on the burqa debate, which lately has been a hotly contested issue across Europe, Warsi said that what women choose to wear is entirely a matter for them. “In my country, we had a debate less than a hundred years ago about the rights of women and the emancipation of women, and we don't tell women their skirts are too short and we don't tell women their veils are too long,” she added. Furthermore, the fact that she was appointed as cabinet member and three other Muslim women were elected in parliament in addition to other positive roles they play in society indicates the huge progress made as far as British Muslim women are concerned, which is counter to some anti-Islamic views the public may have about Muslim women.

OIC and France hold first political consultations in Paris Paris, France - The first round of political consultations between the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) and France was held on 5 October at the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs at Quai d'Orsai in Paris. The meeting addressed issues of human rights, Alliance of Civiliza-

tions, prevention and resolution of conflicts, peace-building, combating terrorism and extremism as well as the latest developments in Africa and the Middle East and current political issues. The political consultations between OIC and France were held as a follow up to the agreement between

the Secretary General of OIC and the French Foreign Minister as a regular mechanism in order to jointlyexamine issues of mutual interest and concern. The OIC delegation to these consultations was led by the Director General of Political Affairs Department Ambassador Mahdi Fathallah.

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WORLD AFFAIRS

OIC welcomes international call to place Israel’s nuclear facilities under IAEA Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, has welcomed the recent call on Israel by the Director General of the IAEA to consider signing up the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) and place its nuclear facilities under the IAEA safeguards. While noting that proliferation of nuclear weapons in the Middle East constitutes a grave danger to international

peace and security, the Secretary General reiterated the long standing position of the OIC in supporting the establishment of a Nuclear Weapon Free Zone in the Middle East. He urged the international community to exert more pressure on Israel to renounce possession of its nuclear weapons, to accede promptly to the NPT and to place all its nuclear facilities under the comprehensive safeguards regime of the IAEA.

Somali President appoints new Prime Minister

OIC participates as observer in the 3rd Africa-European Union Summit

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu has congratulated Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, the new Prime Minister of Somalia, on his appointment by President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed. Ihsanoglu urged the new Prime Minister to act swiftly to constitute an all inclusive and cohesive cabinet in order to conclude the remaining tasks under the transition. The Secretary General then reiterated the determination of the OIC and its institutions to conPrime Minister Mohamed tinue to support the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia in its peace building efforts. Somalia's parliament approved on October 31 the Somali-American Mohamed as the country's prime minister.

Tripoli, Libya - The OIC General Secretariat participated, as observer, in the 3rd Africa-European Union Summit, which took place in Tripoli, Libya on 29-30 November 2010. The Summit was attended by leaders and heads of delegations of 53 African countries and 26 European countries, the African Union and the European Union commissions as well as observers from regional and international organizations. It discussed ways and means of strengthening partnership and cooperation between the two continents and adopted the action plan for the period 2011-2013 and the Tripoli Declaration, which highlighted the strategic significance of the Africa-European Union relationships in all fields of cooperation. The participation of the OIC in the Africa-European Union Third Summit translates the recognition by the international community of the importance of the growing role of the OIC in the international arena and its involvement in regional and international affairs.

Exhaustive study to be prepared on the establishment of a Peace and Security Department at the OIC Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - The second meeting of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on the Future Role of the OIC in the Maintenance Security, Peace-Keeping and Conflict Resolution concluded on 7 December 2010 at the OIC Headquarters in Jeddah. Addressing the IGGE meeting in its opening on 6 December, the OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu said that "It is my fervent hope that because time is of essence this meeting will finalize all discussions especially on such key proposals that will enrich the study undertaken by the General Secretariat on the creation of the Peace and Security Department". In the speech, which was read on his behalf by the Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs Ambassador Abdallah bin Abderrrahman Alim, the OIC Secretary General recalled the valuable contributions made by various delegations during the first meeting on the future role of the OIC in the maintenance of peace and security, and conflict resolution. He added that the new Charter and the OIC Ten Year Program of Action seek to empower the OIC General Secretariat and the Member States to confront the challenges of the 21st century, and noted that despite the sensitive nature of the subject and the need to conduct exhaustive dis34

cussions, this meeting requires to make substantial progress by making concrete and far reaching proposals that will enable the OIC decisively address the numerous peace and security problems retarding the progress of the Member States. The Secretary General stressed that these issues will, as usual, feature high on the agenda of the forthcoming 12th Islamic Summit to be held next March in Sharm El-Sheikh, Arab Republic of Egypt. At the conclusion of the meeting, it was agreed to continue consultations on the issue once the General Secretariat has prepared an exhaustive study on the establishment of a 'Peace and Security Department' at the OIC General Secretariat. The issue is expected to be examined at the 38th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) in Astana, Kazakhstan. As mandated by the CFM, the meeting discussed the different aspects related to the future role of OIC in the maintenance of security, peace-keeping and conflict resolution. The meeting also commended the efforts of the OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu in the field of preventive diplomacy and mediation in the Muslim World, and urged him to continue his action and to intensify his good offices in this regard.

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

OIC hails UN Resolution on Jordan’s proposal for World Interfaith Harmony Week Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu hailed the passing of the UN General Assembly Resolution proclaiming the first week of February each year as the 'World Interfaith Harmony Week'. He highlighted the fact that the UN resolution falls in line with OIC policies, including the initiative for interfaith dialogue by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia. The OIC Secretary General extended his warm felicitations and congratulations to His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan for his vision and wisdom in initiating the propo-

sal and for its ultimate adoption by the world body. He called on the OIC Member States and the international community to observe the World Interfaith Harmony Week every year in a befitting manner so as to help engender a culture of tolerance and understanding among diverse faiths and civilizations. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu further stated that promoting interfaith harmony lies at the heart of the priority accorded to cultural diplomacy of the OIC. He added that the observance of the World Interfaith Harmony Week would serve peoples of all faiths and beliefs to coexist in peace, harmony and goodwill.

OIC observers monitor legislative elections in Kyrgyzstan Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan - On the invitation of the government of Kyrgyz Republic, a delegation of observers from the OIC General Secretariat took part in the monitoring of the legislative elections held on 10th October 2010. OIC Secretary General congratulated Kyrgyz authorities and people for the smooth organization of the elections and the high turnout of voters in performing their civic duty in calm and democratic maturity. On the eve of the elections, the OIC delegation was received by the Kyrgyz Minister of Foreign Affairs and held a meeting with the Chairman of the Central Election Commission. The elections resulted in five parties winning seats in a new legislature designed to devolve power from the president to the prime minister. The vote failed to produce a clear winner in a country where tensions still run high after more than 400 people were killed in June during clashes between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbeks.

Voters cast their ballots in Kyrgyzstan on 10 October 2010 (epa)

On December 15 three Kyrgyz political parties agreed to form a governing coalition, in a second attempt to build an effective government.

Message of OIC on International Human Rights Day The Organization of the Islamic Conference joins the international community on this day in its observance of the International Human Rights Day 2010 (10 December). The OIC is deeply committed to the Human Rights and in upholding the noble principles enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948. This Day is, therefore, of particular significance to the OIC and is being observed by all Member States in a befitting manner. “I am happy that the theme for 2010 for the observance of the Day is 'human rights defenders who act to end discrimination'. The Organization of the Islamic Conference believes that it is a fitting theme that should bind the international community to stand up against all forms of discrimination. This year's theme should also be an inspiration to all

who believe in the sanctity of human rights to protect individuals, families and people in general, against discrimination, negative stereotyping and intolerance on account of religious beliefs, diverse cultural and civilizational backgrounds. The OIC's unwavering commitment to uphold human rights is reflected in the decision taken by the leadership of the 57-member Organization at the Third Extra-ordinary Summit in Makkah in 2005 to establish the OIC Independent Permanent Commission on Human Rights (IPCHR). The proposed Commission was accorded a statutory status at the 11th Summit in Dakar in 2008. The unanimous decision to establish the Commission reflects the resolve of the continuation of a progressive approach at the OIC in terms of mainstreaming the human rights perspective in the activities of the

Organization aimed at enhancing cooperation among Member States. The Commission will validate that universal human rights and freedoms flow together with Islamic values to offer a coherent and strong protection system aimed at facilitating the full enjoyment of all human rights in the OIC Member States. The establishment of the Department of Family Affairs in the OIC General Secretariat and emphasis on the rights of children and activities of youth depict an integrated approach of the OIC in the domain of Human Rights. Human Dignity and Human Rights are sacred to humankind and we must be united in our determination and will to protect and uphold it by ending discrimination and intolerance to ensure peaceful and harmonious cohabitation for the present and the future generations. 35


WORLD AFFAIRS

OIC welcomes international call to place Israel’s nuclear facilities under IAEA Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, has welcomed the recent call on Israel by the Director General of the IAEA to consider signing up the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) and place its nuclear facilities under the IAEA safeguards. While noting that proliferation of nuclear weapons in the Middle East constitutes a grave danger to international

peace and security, the Secretary General reiterated the long standing position of the OIC in supporting the establishment of a Nuclear Weapon Free Zone in the Middle East. He urged the international community to exert more pressure on Israel to renounce possession of its nuclear weapons, to accede promptly to the NPT and to place all its nuclear facilities under the comprehensive safeguards regime of the IAEA.

Somali President appoints new Prime Minister

OIC participates as observer in the 3rd Africa-European Union Summit

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu has congratulated Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, the new Prime Minister of Somalia, on his appointment by President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed. Ihsanoglu urged the new Prime Minister to act swiftly to constitute an all inclusive and cohesive cabinet in order to conclude the remaining tasks under the transition. The Secretary General then reiterated the determination of the OIC and its institutions to conPrime Minister Mohamed tinue to support the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia in its peace building efforts. Somalia's parliament approved on October 31 the Somali-American Mohamed as the country's prime minister.

Tripoli, Libya - The OIC General Secretariat participated, as observer, in the 3rd Africa-European Union Summit, which took place in Tripoli, Libya on 29-30 November 2010. The Summit was attended by leaders and heads of delegations of 53 African countries and 26 European countries, the African Union and the European Union commissions as well as observers from regional and international organizations. It discussed ways and means of strengthening partnership and cooperation between the two continents and adopted the action plan for the period 2011-2013 and the Tripoli Declaration, which highlighted the strategic significance of the Africa-European Union relationships in all fields of cooperation. The participation of the OIC in the Africa-European Union Third Summit translates the recognition by the international community of the importance of the growing role of the OIC in the international arena and its involvement in regional and international affairs.

Exhaustive study to be prepared on the establishment of a Peace and Security Department at the OIC Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - The second meeting of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on the Future Role of the OIC in the Maintenance Security, Peace-Keeping and Conflict Resolution concluded on 7 December 2010 at the OIC Headquarters in Jeddah. Addressing the IGGE meeting in its opening on 6 December, the OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu said that "It is my fervent hope that because time is of essence this meeting will finalize all discussions especially on such key proposals that will enrich the study undertaken by the General Secretariat on the creation of the Peace and Security Department". In the speech, which was read on his behalf by the Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs Ambassador Abdallah bin Abderrrahman Alim, the OIC Secretary General recalled the valuable contributions made by various delegations during the first meeting on the future role of the OIC in the maintenance of peace and security, and conflict resolution. He added that the new Charter and the OIC Ten Year Program of Action seek to empower the OIC General Secretariat and the Member States to confront the challenges of the 21st century, and noted that despite the sensitive nature of the subject and the need to conduct exhaustive dis34

cussions, this meeting requires to make substantial progress by making concrete and far reaching proposals that will enable the OIC decisively address the numerous peace and security problems retarding the progress of the Member States. The Secretary General stressed that these issues will, as usual, feature high on the agenda of the forthcoming 12th Islamic Summit to be held next March in Sharm El-Sheikh, Arab Republic of Egypt. At the conclusion of the meeting, it was agreed to continue consultations on the issue once the General Secretariat has prepared an exhaustive study on the establishment of a 'Peace and Security Department' at the OIC General Secretariat. The issue is expected to be examined at the 38th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) in Astana, Kazakhstan. As mandated by the CFM, the meeting discussed the different aspects related to the future role of OIC in the maintenance of security, peace-keeping and conflict resolution. The meeting also commended the efforts of the OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu in the field of preventive diplomacy and mediation in the Muslim World, and urged him to continue his action and to intensify his good offices in this regard.

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

OIC hails UN Resolution on Jordan’s proposal for World Interfaith Harmony Week Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu hailed the passing of the UN General Assembly Resolution proclaiming the first week of February each year as the 'World Interfaith Harmony Week'. He highlighted the fact that the UN resolution falls in line with OIC policies, including the initiative for interfaith dialogue by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia. The OIC Secretary General extended his warm felicitations and congratulations to His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan for his vision and wisdom in initiating the propo-

sal and for its ultimate adoption by the world body. He called on the OIC Member States and the international community to observe the World Interfaith Harmony Week every year in a befitting manner so as to help engender a culture of tolerance and understanding among diverse faiths and civilizations. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu further stated that promoting interfaith harmony lies at the heart of the priority accorded to cultural diplomacy of the OIC. He added that the observance of the World Interfaith Harmony Week would serve peoples of all faiths and beliefs to coexist in peace, harmony and goodwill.

OIC observers monitor legislative elections in Kyrgyzstan Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan - On the invitation of the government of Kyrgyz Republic, a delegation of observers from the OIC General Secretariat took part in the monitoring of the legislative elections held on 10th October 2010. OIC Secretary General congratulated Kyrgyz authorities and people for the smooth organization of the elections and the high turnout of voters in performing their civic duty in calm and democratic maturity. On the eve of the elections, the OIC delegation was received by the Kyrgyz Minister of Foreign Affairs and held a meeting with the Chairman of the Central Election Commission. The elections resulted in five parties winning seats in a new legislature designed to devolve power from the president to the prime minister. The vote failed to produce a clear winner in a country where tensions still run high after more than 400 people were killed in June during clashes between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbeks.

Voters cast their ballots in Kyrgyzstan on 10 October 2010 (epa)

On December 15 three Kyrgyz political parties agreed to form a governing coalition, in a second attempt to build an effective government.

Message of OIC on International Human Rights Day The Organization of the Islamic Conference joins the international community on this day in its observance of the International Human Rights Day 2010 (10 December). The OIC is deeply committed to the Human Rights and in upholding the noble principles enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948. This Day is, therefore, of particular significance to the OIC and is being observed by all Member States in a befitting manner. “I am happy that the theme for 2010 for the observance of the Day is 'human rights defenders who act to end discrimination'. The Organization of the Islamic Conference believes that it is a fitting theme that should bind the international community to stand up against all forms of discrimination. This year's theme should also be an inspiration to all

who believe in the sanctity of human rights to protect individuals, families and people in general, against discrimination, negative stereotyping and intolerance on account of religious beliefs, diverse cultural and civilizational backgrounds. The OIC's unwavering commitment to uphold human rights is reflected in the decision taken by the leadership of the 57-member Organization at the Third Extra-ordinary Summit in Makkah in 2005 to establish the OIC Independent Permanent Commission on Human Rights (IPCHR). The proposed Commission was accorded a statutory status at the 11th Summit in Dakar in 2008. The unanimous decision to establish the Commission reflects the resolve of the continuation of a progressive approach at the OIC in terms of mainstreaming the human rights perspective in the activities of the

Organization aimed at enhancing cooperation among Member States. The Commission will validate that universal human rights and freedoms flow together with Islamic values to offer a coherent and strong protection system aimed at facilitating the full enjoyment of all human rights in the OIC Member States. The establishment of the Department of Family Affairs in the OIC General Secretariat and emphasis on the rights of children and activities of youth depict an integrated approach of the OIC in the domain of Human Rights. Human Dignity and Human Rights are sacred to humankind and we must be united in our determination and will to protect and uphold it by ending discrimination and intolerance to ensure peaceful and harmonious cohabitation for the present and the future generations. 35


WORLD AFFAIRS

Warsaw symposium: OIC emphasizes education, networking and human rights for Muslim minorities by Maha Akeel Warsaw, Poland - The three-day symposium organized by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) on Muslim minorities and communities in Central and Eastern Europe recommended implementing steps and mechanisms to improve the Islamic education system, networking process and human rights conditions of these Muslim communities. The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu inaugurated the 'Second Symposium on Muslim Minorities and Communities in Central and Eastern Europe: Reality and Perspectives' in Warsaw, Poland on 8 December 2010. In his opening speech he stated that Muslim minorities may articulate for the protection of their religious, cultural, civil, political, economic and social rights, but this should be within the framework of respect for the sovereignty and domestic rule of law of their countries of residence. The other speakers in the opening ceremony were the Under-Secretary of State Ministry of Foreign Affairs Henryk Litwin on behalf of the Foreign Minister, the Mufti of Poland Tomasz Ahmed Miskiewicz, the Director of Department for Denominations and National and Ethnic Minorities Jozef Rozanski on behalf of the Minister of Interior, Representative of the Council of Catholics and Muslims in Poland ks. Dr. Adam Was Svd, the Chairman of the Diplomatic Corps of Islamic Countries Ambassador of Algeria Abdelkader Khemri, and the Director of Muslim Minorities and Communities Department in the OIC Talal Daous. A greeting letter was also read from the President of Poland addressed to the symposium organizers and participants. In attendance were high Polish government officials and ambassadors of member and nonmember states in Warsaw. Representatives of 23 countries participated in the symposium, which was held under the

patronage of the Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs Radoslow Sikorski and in coordination with the Muslim Religious Union of Poland. The Secretary General said in his speech that the OIC has heeded and responded to the concerns of Muslim minorities and communities in non-OIC Member States and set up a special department within the OIC in 1978 to address their issues. Ihsanoglu added that the OIC has provided, through its Member States and specialized organs, multifaceted assistance in many domains, mainly in the educational field, to Muslim communities in non-Muslim countries. However, he said that it is necessary to invest more in modern education, Islamic schools and religious education to bring-up and shape well-equipped Muslims to assume a tangible and edifying role in society. He also emphasized revitalizing the role of the mosque, not just as a place for worship but also as the centerpiece of every Muslim society. “Those who address Muslims and non-Muslims from the mosque should set the example of knowledge, moderation, tolerance and wisdom,” said Ihsanoglu. He reiterated the principled position of the OIC of moderation and modernization while rejecting all forms of extremism and violence. He also stressed that Europe is a home for Islam and not a host. During his visit to Warsaw the Secretary General had a meeting with the Head of the Chancellery of the President of Poland Jacek Michalowski at the Presidential Palace. The Secretary General expressed the keenness of the OIC to enlarge its scope of activities, establish contacts on bilateral and multilateral levels with countries and international organizations, and communicate with countries where there are Muslim communities. For his part, the Head of the Chancellery said that it is important for Poland as a “new democracy” to have good

The Islamic Center in Warsaw.

36

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

links with other cultures, including the Muslim populations in the world. He emphasized the need to know more about each other's cultures. Michalowski suggested creating joint OICPolish development, human rights and good-governance programs for third world countries. The Secretary General welcomed the idea and proposed further contacts between the OIC and Poland. The Secretary General also met with the Polish Minister of Interior Jerzy Miller who stressed that the state treats the followers of all religions equally and that the law protects the rights of religious minorities. Ihsanoglu requested the government of Poland to increase its positive expression towards Muslim Minorities within the European Union. The symposium addressed the opportunities and challenges facing Muslim communities and minorities in East and Central Europe; the role of Muslim communities and minorities in combating Islamophobia; their role in promoting inter-faith and intercultural dialogue; the role of educational institutions in preserving the Islamic identity in East and Central Europe; and the role of Islamic organizations and centers in promoting links between the Muslim communities and minorities in Central and Eastern Europe, and the Muslim world. In his speech at the opening ceremony, the Director of Muslim Minorities and Communities Department in the OIC, Talal Daous, said that Muslim minorities can be the target of efforts aimed at alienating them from their religious values and integrating them culturally into the larger community. With 500 million Muslims living in non-OIC Member States spread across the four continents, especially in Asia, Africa, Europe and the growing population in America, the complexity of political, social, economic and cultural challenges facing these minorities have consistently gained tremendous and critical importance for the OIC. “Ever since the tragic events of 9/11, Muslim minorities and communities all over the world have faced dramatic ordeals. These problems can also be classified as imported, or domestic,” said the Director. However, he pointed out that the problems and challenges confronting minorities are not confined merely to Muslim minorities; rather, they often yield broader implications for many non-OIC Member Countries. Ethnic, cultural, linguistic, religious political peculiarities have led to the denial of minority rights, he said. After informative presentations and intense discussions, the symposium adopted a final communiqué which stressed the need for Muslim communities in Central and Eastern Europe to enhance their cooperation Mufti of Poland and networking amongst themselves, Miskiewicz with the rest of the Muslim world, with

the OIC and with organizations in Europe. It also stressed the importance of improving Islamic education within the context of the local education system and on establishing endowments that support Muslim projects in Europe as well as plans for the overall economic development of Muslims in Europe. There was also great emphasis on addressing the human rights violations and infringements against Muslims in some Eastern European countries. The symposium stressed that Islamic organizations should utilize the facilities available in international human rights bodies, such as ODIHR, UNCHR to fulfill their right in all matters of their concern. This included developing strategies to tackle Islamophobia particularly in the media and to raise the positive profile of the Muslim community in the media. Conference participants condemned the violations of Human Rights wherever they occur. The participants called for opportunities for Youth which would make them more active citizens in their communities, such as summer schools and vocational training programs. They particularly noted the need to encourage the Muslim youth to maintain their fealty to their faith, and their loyalty to their communities for the betterment of Europe as a whole. Commenting on the outcome and importance of the forum to the OIC Journal, the Mufti of Poland Tomasz Ahmed Miskiewicz said that as Muslims in Poland and as the Mufti of Poland the symposium was important being the first such event for Muslims in Central and Eastern Europe. He said it was important due the information that was exchanged about the lives of Muslims in the countries represented and in improving communication and cooperation among the Islamic institutions in these countries for preserving and defending Islamic identity and the rights of Muslims. The Mufti stressed that the symposium had added significance of being organized by the OIC and with the attendance of the Secretary General who also met with Polish officials, which gave Muslims in these countries a feeling of being supported and attended to by the Islamic countries. He also stressed on the need to follow up on the recommendations.

37


WORLD AFFAIRS

Warsaw symposium: OIC emphasizes education, networking and human rights for Muslim minorities by Maha Akeel Warsaw, Poland - The three-day symposium organized by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) on Muslim minorities and communities in Central and Eastern Europe recommended implementing steps and mechanisms to improve the Islamic education system, networking process and human rights conditions of these Muslim communities. The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu inaugurated the 'Second Symposium on Muslim Minorities and Communities in Central and Eastern Europe: Reality and Perspectives' in Warsaw, Poland on 8 December 2010. In his opening speech he stated that Muslim minorities may articulate for the protection of their religious, cultural, civil, political, economic and social rights, but this should be within the framework of respect for the sovereignty and domestic rule of law of their countries of residence. The other speakers in the opening ceremony were the Under-Secretary of State Ministry of Foreign Affairs Henryk Litwin on behalf of the Foreign Minister, the Mufti of Poland Tomasz Ahmed Miskiewicz, the Director of Department for Denominations and National and Ethnic Minorities Jozef Rozanski on behalf of the Minister of Interior, Representative of the Council of Catholics and Muslims in Poland ks. Dr. Adam Was Svd, the Chairman of the Diplomatic Corps of Islamic Countries Ambassador of Algeria Abdelkader Khemri, and the Director of Muslim Minorities and Communities Department in the OIC Talal Daous. A greeting letter was also read from the President of Poland addressed to the symposium organizers and participants. In attendance were high Polish government officials and ambassadors of member and nonmember states in Warsaw. Representatives of 23 countries participated in the symposium, which was held under the

patronage of the Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs Radoslow Sikorski and in coordination with the Muslim Religious Union of Poland. The Secretary General said in his speech that the OIC has heeded and responded to the concerns of Muslim minorities and communities in non-OIC Member States and set up a special department within the OIC in 1978 to address their issues. Ihsanoglu added that the OIC has provided, through its Member States and specialized organs, multifaceted assistance in many domains, mainly in the educational field, to Muslim communities in non-Muslim countries. However, he said that it is necessary to invest more in modern education, Islamic schools and religious education to bring-up and shape well-equipped Muslims to assume a tangible and edifying role in society. He also emphasized revitalizing the role of the mosque, not just as a place for worship but also as the centerpiece of every Muslim society. “Those who address Muslims and non-Muslims from the mosque should set the example of knowledge, moderation, tolerance and wisdom,” said Ihsanoglu. He reiterated the principled position of the OIC of moderation and modernization while rejecting all forms of extremism and violence. He also stressed that Europe is a home for Islam and not a host. During his visit to Warsaw the Secretary General had a meeting with the Head of the Chancellery of the President of Poland Jacek Michalowski at the Presidential Palace. The Secretary General expressed the keenness of the OIC to enlarge its scope of activities, establish contacts on bilateral and multilateral levels with countries and international organizations, and communicate with countries where there are Muslim communities. For his part, the Head of the Chancellery said that it is important for Poland as a “new democracy” to have good

The Islamic Center in Warsaw.

36

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

links with other cultures, including the Muslim populations in the world. He emphasized the need to know more about each other's cultures. Michalowski suggested creating joint OICPolish development, human rights and good-governance programs for third world countries. The Secretary General welcomed the idea and proposed further contacts between the OIC and Poland. The Secretary General also met with the Polish Minister of Interior Jerzy Miller who stressed that the state treats the followers of all religions equally and that the law protects the rights of religious minorities. Ihsanoglu requested the government of Poland to increase its positive expression towards Muslim Minorities within the European Union. The symposium addressed the opportunities and challenges facing Muslim communities and minorities in East and Central Europe; the role of Muslim communities and minorities in combating Islamophobia; their role in promoting inter-faith and intercultural dialogue; the role of educational institutions in preserving the Islamic identity in East and Central Europe; and the role of Islamic organizations and centers in promoting links between the Muslim communities and minorities in Central and Eastern Europe, and the Muslim world. In his speech at the opening ceremony, the Director of Muslim Minorities and Communities Department in the OIC, Talal Daous, said that Muslim minorities can be the target of efforts aimed at alienating them from their religious values and integrating them culturally into the larger community. With 500 million Muslims living in non-OIC Member States spread across the four continents, especially in Asia, Africa, Europe and the growing population in America, the complexity of political, social, economic and cultural challenges facing these minorities have consistently gained tremendous and critical importance for the OIC. “Ever since the tragic events of 9/11, Muslim minorities and communities all over the world have faced dramatic ordeals. These problems can also be classified as imported, or domestic,” said the Director. However, he pointed out that the problems and challenges confronting minorities are not confined merely to Muslim minorities; rather, they often yield broader implications for many non-OIC Member Countries. Ethnic, cultural, linguistic, religious political peculiarities have led to the denial of minority rights, he said. After informative presentations and intense discussions, the symposium adopted a final communiqué which stressed the need for Muslim communities in Central and Eastern Europe to enhance their cooperation Mufti of Poland and networking amongst themselves, Miskiewicz with the rest of the Muslim world, with

the OIC and with organizations in Europe. It also stressed the importance of improving Islamic education within the context of the local education system and on establishing endowments that support Muslim projects in Europe as well as plans for the overall economic development of Muslims in Europe. There was also great emphasis on addressing the human rights violations and infringements against Muslims in some Eastern European countries. The symposium stressed that Islamic organizations should utilize the facilities available in international human rights bodies, such as ODIHR, UNCHR to fulfill their right in all matters of their concern. This included developing strategies to tackle Islamophobia particularly in the media and to raise the positive profile of the Muslim community in the media. Conference participants condemned the violations of Human Rights wherever they occur. The participants called for opportunities for Youth which would make them more active citizens in their communities, such as summer schools and vocational training programs. They particularly noted the need to encourage the Muslim youth to maintain their fealty to their faith, and their loyalty to their communities for the betterment of Europe as a whole. Commenting on the outcome and importance of the forum to the OIC Journal, the Mufti of Poland Tomasz Ahmed Miskiewicz said that as Muslims in Poland and as the Mufti of Poland the symposium was important being the first such event for Muslims in Central and Eastern Europe. He said it was important due the information that was exchanged about the lives of Muslims in the countries represented and in improving communication and cooperation among the Islamic institutions in these countries for preserving and defending Islamic identity and the rights of Muslims. The Mufti stressed that the symposium had added significance of being organized by the OIC and with the attendance of the Secretary General who also met with Polish officials, which gave Muslims in these countries a feeling of being supported and attended to by the Islamic countries. He also stressed on the need to follow up on the recommendations.

37


HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS eye surgeries in Gaza over a twoweek period. The team performed hundreds of surgical operations on patients in Gaza who lacked the money to perform the operations abroad. The delegation also visited the University College, and identified the most important needs of technical education and applied research. The delegation reviewed priorities for intervention in this important sector, suffering from neglect and in need of attention. The Kuwaiti Al-Rahma Foundation agreed to donate $100 thousand for a youth employment project in the field of programming by establishing a humanitarian association in the form of an endowment. The Turkish Deniz Feneri Foundation also pledged to donate $70 thousand for the project. The delegation visited Al-Fadhila (Virtue) Women Association, where they were briefed on the tragic situation of the Palestinian women and their suffering as a result of the surrounding circumstances. The delegation also listened about the suffering of youth unemployment and poverty, and had been asked to take practical steps towards the implementation of projects to enable women and youth,

OIC humanitarian delegation visits Gaza, Launches $30 million development programs by Abdulazeem Dafa’Allah Gaza Strip, Palestine- The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and its humanitarian partners succeeded in launching 14 development and humanitarian projects in the Gaza Strip with a total value of more than $30 million. During a visit by an OIC delegation, headed by the Director of the Department of Humanitarian Affairs in the OIC Fouad Al-Maznai, to Gaza on 27 November 2010, projects in diverse fields were launched, the most prominent of which was the rehabilitation project. The project transformed the OIC's relief effort in Gaza from provision of temporary humanitarian aid to delivery of development projects. The five-day visit of the OIC delegation to Gaza took place within the context of the resolutions adopted by the Ministerial Council, which recommended that assistance be provided to the inhabitants of the Strip, and in fulfillment of OIC's pledges to the people of Gaza to contribute in the compensation and rebuilding of the destruction caused by Israel's brutal 38

war in December 2008 through January 2009. The housing project is also one of the noteworthy development programs launched by the OIC delegation while in Gaza. This covered the renovation of 1700 housing units, the construction of 100 additional units and the handing over of 700 units to the affected people, bringing the total cost of the project to $10 million, provided by the Kuwait-based AlRahma (Mercy) Foundation. The Kuwaiti foundation will also execute a project to plant 100,000 palm trees at the cost of $12 million. Regarding food security programs, a $1 million livestock project was financed, just as another one to develop fruit and palm trees farms in Gaza is being financed by the Bahrain-based Al Islah Society and the Yemen-based Al Aqsa Society, at a cost of $500,000. In the health sector, the delegation laid the foundation for building a hospital (Al Yemen Al Saeed) at a cost of $3.5 million, financed by Yemen's Al Aqsa Society. The OIC Eye Hospital was expanded with the

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

addition of optics and cornea centers at a cost of $250,000. The health programs also included a capacitybuilding project for training of medical staff valued at $1.1 million provided by Qatar's Red Crescent Society. The Malaysia-based AMANPalestine Foundation financed the capacity-building Patients Care project at a cost of $150 thousand and the programming project at a cost of $240,000. Qatar's Al Fakhoura Foundation also provided financial support worth $600,000 to empower youth graduates in Gaza. The delegation made a field tour so as to evaluate the humanitarian situation and to identify priorities for intervention. It visited the Eye Specialized Hospital, where it had been briefed on the most important needs, and the necessity to create the Eyes Bank and Optics Department as well as the development of the building development of the hospital facilities. A 16-member medical team comprising doctors from Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Jordan, South Africa, Ireland, Britain and the United States accompanied the OIC delegation to conduct

through micro-credit projects. The delegation also met around 300 people from civil society institutions with whom they discussed means of partnership, as well as identifying the needs in the most important sectors, including health, agriculture and fishing, women, people with special needs and housing. The visit of the OIC delegation to Gaza was not the first of its kind. It had been preceded by several visits, notably the tour of Gaza by the OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu in March 2009 to personally inspect the extent of damage left by the Israeli war and to give necessary directions to contain the humanitarian crisis in the Strip. Several other OIC delegations followed the Secretary General's visit for the provision of humanitarian assistance. In a press conference, Al-Maznai reiterated the consistent position of the OIC and the role of its Secretary General in mobilizing the energies of the Islamic nation to support the Palestinian people. He praised the efforts of Member States, especially Egypt, the humanitarian lung for Gaza, and Saudi Arabia represented by the Custodian of the Two Holy

Mosques His Majesty King Abdullah, who announced in the Arab Economic Summit in Kuwait last year, a donation from Saudi Arabia of one billion dollars for the reconstruction of Gaza and the relief campaign, which was organized for the Gaza Strip. He also praised the role of the Saudi government in facilitating the humanitarian convoys of OIC from Jeddah to the Gaza Strip, and the executive role of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB). He also praised Turkey's role in organizing the international conference in Istanbul for the reconstruction of Gaza and the role of each of the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait. At the end of the meeting, AlMaznai recalled the appeal of the OIC Secretary General to the world and to the Islamic world, in particular Member States, not to forget the suffering of the people of Gaza, especially that the embargo prevented the improvement of the humanitarian situation in Gaza, where 80% of the population is living below the poverty line and a large number of children are suffering from the negative effects of the war, especially psychological problems.

Indonesia hit by two natural disasters

Tsunami survivors in West Sumatra, Indonesia, 31 October 2010.(epa)

Sumatra, Indonesia - The OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu has made an urgent appeal to all Members States to extend an urgent humanitarian assistance and support to Indonesia following a Tsunami, which struck the Mentawai Islands off the coast of Sumatra on 25th October 2010, compounded by another volcanic eruption of Mount Merapi in Central Java. While presenting his sincere condolences to the Government and people of Indonesia in the aftermath of these two major disasters, which killed hundreds of people and

caused widespread material damages, Ihsanoglu urged all OIC Member States on the vital need to seriously consider setting up an emergency mechanism within the Organization to deal with the ever growing challenges of natural disasters due to climate change. Remote Indonesian islands were pounded by a 10-foot tsunami created by a 7.8-magnitude earthquake that swept away homes, killing hundreds of people. The fault line that erupted on October 25 on Sumatra island's coast also caused that 2004 quake and monster Indian Ocean tsunami that killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries. Meanwhile, the country's most volatile volcano, Mount Merapi, 800 miles to the east on Java island, started to erupt at dusk the day after the tsunami killing at least 30 people. The deadly volcano continued erupting in the following days with searing gas avalanching down, torching houses and trees and incinerating villagers as they fled Mount Merapi's worst eruption in a century. The death toll from the volcano rose to over a hundred and many more injured. More than 70,000 villagers were evacuated from the 3000-meter Mount Merapi since it began erupting.

Kabul commends OIC for building 37 health centers in Afghanistan Kabul, Afghanistan - In a letter sent by the Afghan Ministry of Public Health to the OIC, the Ministry has commended the humanitarian assistance provided by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) to the Afghan people and government through the OIC Assistance Fund for the Afghan People. The Afghan government particularly extolled the major projects embarked upon by the Fund in the health sector in the form of 37 health centers in various Afghan provinces and regions from 2006 - 2009. The Ministry of Health presented its profound gratitude

and appreciation to the Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu and the staff of the Fund for the humanitarian assistance they provided to the Afghan people. The OIC Assistance Fund for the Afghan People was established through a resolution of the OIC Foreign Ministers to assist the Afghan people at the reconstruction stage. A number of Member States of the Organization of the Islamic Conference contributed voluntarily to the Fund. The Fund is represented by an office in Kabul, which provides services in the health, education and water sectors, as well as rehabilitation services for refugees. 39


HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS eye surgeries in Gaza over a twoweek period. The team performed hundreds of surgical operations on patients in Gaza who lacked the money to perform the operations abroad. The delegation also visited the University College, and identified the most important needs of technical education and applied research. The delegation reviewed priorities for intervention in this important sector, suffering from neglect and in need of attention. The Kuwaiti Al-Rahma Foundation agreed to donate $100 thousand for a youth employment project in the field of programming by establishing a humanitarian association in the form of an endowment. The Turkish Deniz Feneri Foundation also pledged to donate $70 thousand for the project. The delegation visited Al-Fadhila (Virtue) Women Association, where they were briefed on the tragic situation of the Palestinian women and their suffering as a result of the surrounding circumstances. The delegation also listened about the suffering of youth unemployment and poverty, and had been asked to take practical steps towards the implementation of projects to enable women and youth,

OIC humanitarian delegation visits Gaza, Launches $30 million development programs by Abdulazeem Dafa’Allah Gaza Strip, Palestine- The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and its humanitarian partners succeeded in launching 14 development and humanitarian projects in the Gaza Strip with a total value of more than $30 million. During a visit by an OIC delegation, headed by the Director of the Department of Humanitarian Affairs in the OIC Fouad Al-Maznai, to Gaza on 27 November 2010, projects in diverse fields were launched, the most prominent of which was the rehabilitation project. The project transformed the OIC's relief effort in Gaza from provision of temporary humanitarian aid to delivery of development projects. The five-day visit of the OIC delegation to Gaza took place within the context of the resolutions adopted by the Ministerial Council, which recommended that assistance be provided to the inhabitants of the Strip, and in fulfillment of OIC's pledges to the people of Gaza to contribute in the compensation and rebuilding of the destruction caused by Israel's brutal 38

war in December 2008 through January 2009. The housing project is also one of the noteworthy development programs launched by the OIC delegation while in Gaza. This covered the renovation of 1700 housing units, the construction of 100 additional units and the handing over of 700 units to the affected people, bringing the total cost of the project to $10 million, provided by the Kuwait-based AlRahma (Mercy) Foundation. The Kuwaiti foundation will also execute a project to plant 100,000 palm trees at the cost of $12 million. Regarding food security programs, a $1 million livestock project was financed, just as another one to develop fruit and palm trees farms in Gaza is being financed by the Bahrain-based Al Islah Society and the Yemen-based Al Aqsa Society, at a cost of $500,000. In the health sector, the delegation laid the foundation for building a hospital (Al Yemen Al Saeed) at a cost of $3.5 million, financed by Yemen's Al Aqsa Society. The OIC Eye Hospital was expanded with the

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

addition of optics and cornea centers at a cost of $250,000. The health programs also included a capacitybuilding project for training of medical staff valued at $1.1 million provided by Qatar's Red Crescent Society. The Malaysia-based AMANPalestine Foundation financed the capacity-building Patients Care project at a cost of $150 thousand and the programming project at a cost of $240,000. Qatar's Al Fakhoura Foundation also provided financial support worth $600,000 to empower youth graduates in Gaza. The delegation made a field tour so as to evaluate the humanitarian situation and to identify priorities for intervention. It visited the Eye Specialized Hospital, where it had been briefed on the most important needs, and the necessity to create the Eyes Bank and Optics Department as well as the development of the building development of the hospital facilities. A 16-member medical team comprising doctors from Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Jordan, South Africa, Ireland, Britain and the United States accompanied the OIC delegation to conduct

through micro-credit projects. The delegation also met around 300 people from civil society institutions with whom they discussed means of partnership, as well as identifying the needs in the most important sectors, including health, agriculture and fishing, women, people with special needs and housing. The visit of the OIC delegation to Gaza was not the first of its kind. It had been preceded by several visits, notably the tour of Gaza by the OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu in March 2009 to personally inspect the extent of damage left by the Israeli war and to give necessary directions to contain the humanitarian crisis in the Strip. Several other OIC delegations followed the Secretary General's visit for the provision of humanitarian assistance. In a press conference, Al-Maznai reiterated the consistent position of the OIC and the role of its Secretary General in mobilizing the energies of the Islamic nation to support the Palestinian people. He praised the efforts of Member States, especially Egypt, the humanitarian lung for Gaza, and Saudi Arabia represented by the Custodian of the Two Holy

Mosques His Majesty King Abdullah, who announced in the Arab Economic Summit in Kuwait last year, a donation from Saudi Arabia of one billion dollars for the reconstruction of Gaza and the relief campaign, which was organized for the Gaza Strip. He also praised the role of the Saudi government in facilitating the humanitarian convoys of OIC from Jeddah to the Gaza Strip, and the executive role of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB). He also praised Turkey's role in organizing the international conference in Istanbul for the reconstruction of Gaza and the role of each of the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait. At the end of the meeting, AlMaznai recalled the appeal of the OIC Secretary General to the world and to the Islamic world, in particular Member States, not to forget the suffering of the people of Gaza, especially that the embargo prevented the improvement of the humanitarian situation in Gaza, where 80% of the population is living below the poverty line and a large number of children are suffering from the negative effects of the war, especially psychological problems.

Indonesia hit by two natural disasters

Tsunami survivors in West Sumatra, Indonesia, 31 October 2010.(epa)

Sumatra, Indonesia - The OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu has made an urgent appeal to all Members States to extend an urgent humanitarian assistance and support to Indonesia following a Tsunami, which struck the Mentawai Islands off the coast of Sumatra on 25th October 2010, compounded by another volcanic eruption of Mount Merapi in Central Java. While presenting his sincere condolences to the Government and people of Indonesia in the aftermath of these two major disasters, which killed hundreds of people and

caused widespread material damages, Ihsanoglu urged all OIC Member States on the vital need to seriously consider setting up an emergency mechanism within the Organization to deal with the ever growing challenges of natural disasters due to climate change. Remote Indonesian islands were pounded by a 10-foot tsunami created by a 7.8-magnitude earthquake that swept away homes, killing hundreds of people. The fault line that erupted on October 25 on Sumatra island's coast also caused that 2004 quake and monster Indian Ocean tsunami that killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries. Meanwhile, the country's most volatile volcano, Mount Merapi, 800 miles to the east on Java island, started to erupt at dusk the day after the tsunami killing at least 30 people. The deadly volcano continued erupting in the following days with searing gas avalanching down, torching houses and trees and incinerating villagers as they fled Mount Merapi's worst eruption in a century. The death toll from the volcano rose to over a hundred and many more injured. More than 70,000 villagers were evacuated from the 3000-meter Mount Merapi since it began erupting.

Kabul commends OIC for building 37 health centers in Afghanistan Kabul, Afghanistan - In a letter sent by the Afghan Ministry of Public Health to the OIC, the Ministry has commended the humanitarian assistance provided by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) to the Afghan people and government through the OIC Assistance Fund for the Afghan People. The Afghan government particularly extolled the major projects embarked upon by the Fund in the health sector in the form of 37 health centers in various Afghan provinces and regions from 2006 - 2009. The Ministry of Health presented its profound gratitude

and appreciation to the Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu and the staff of the Fund for the humanitarian assistance they provided to the Afghan people. The OIC Assistance Fund for the Afghan People was established through a resolution of the OIC Foreign Ministers to assist the Afghan people at the reconstruction stage. A number of Member States of the Organization of the Islamic Conference contributed voluntarily to the Fund. The Fund is represented by an office in Kabul, which provides services in the health, education and water sectors, as well as rehabilitation services for refugees. 39


HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS

Saudi Arabia launches King Abdullah International Foundation for Charity and Humanitarian Activities Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - Saudi Arabia has launched the 'Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah International Foundation for Charity and Humanitarian Activities' to serve Islam, the nation, people and humanity at large as well as spread tolerance and peace in the world. "The foundation has been instituted on the Islamic values of mutual support, cooperation and charitable deeds. It also aims at achieving welfare of the people and promotion of education," Prince Khaled bin Abdullah, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation, said in a statement quoted by the Saudi Press Agency on 17 September. The foundation aims to offer assistance to Muslims across the world by building mosques, Islamic centers and promoting in- King Abdullah terfaith dialogues in line with the aspirations of King Abdullah, Prince Khaled said. "The noble goals mentioned in the basic statutes of the foundation also include the support, encouragement and participation in interfaith dialogues, conducting research related to the propagation of moderation, toleration, peace and moral values, apart from efforts to bring different Muslim schools of thought closer so that disputes among them end. It would strive to instill the idea of abandoning violence and combat crime in all its forms," the Prince said. He added that the basic statutes specified that the foun-

dation would do everything possible to teach Islamic Shariah in its true sense. "For that purpose the foundation will establish universities, colleges, schools and libraries besides centers for professional and technical training and social and research studies," Prince Khaled said. It will also launch hospitals, sanitariums and other treatment, care and rehabilitation facilities. The foundation's objectives also included setting up chairs in universities. It also aims at offering grants and assistance to researchers in various subjects and studies that would contribute to the promotion of knowledge and culture globally. It would organize seminars, conferences, forums, exhibitions and workshops that would help in serving its objectives inside and outside the Kingdom. It would also encourage translation of works and work in concert with organizations and universities inside and outside the Kingdom to advance its ideas and activities. It will participate in relief activities besides providing accommodation and launch productive projects and support credit establishments that help the poor. The foundation will also institute the King Abdullah International Prize to promote its activities, the prince said.

Chad, Nigeria and Benin faced deadly floods Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - The OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu has expressed his sadness and support to the Government and people of Chad following the deadly unprecedented floods which hit their country destroying in their trail huge tracts of arable lands and affecting 150,000 people. Chad has been suffering from severe drought for nearly two years and the torrential rains that fell on the country of late have caused widespread destruction both in the cities and rural areas.

The OIC Secretary General invited all OIC Member States to assist the brotherly country of Chad in these dire moments by providing humanitarian and financial assistance to alleviate the suffering of the populations. Meanwhile, more than 130,000 people had been displaced from more than 30 flooded villages in northwestern Nigeria in September with fears building of disease outbreaks. Benin also suffered torrential rains, which have resulted in loss of

life and massive destruction of property and infrastructure. The OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu expressed his heartfelt condolences to the people of Benin. Ihsanoglu appeals to all OIC Member States to extend their support to the Government and people of Benin to mitigate their plight following these tragic events jeopardizing the livelihood of the affected populations. He further called upon civil society and philanthropic organizations to provide the vital humanitarian assistance to the needy people.

The Islamic Solidarity Fund (ISF): Taking action to advance the status of Muslims Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - The Islamic Solidarity Fund (ISF) was established by a resolution of the Second Islamic Summit Conference held in Lahore, Pakistan in 1974. ISF is a subsidiary organ of the OIC having an independent legal personality and working under the administrative supervision of a 'Permanent Council' composed of 21 members, and under the financial supervision of the 'OIC Finance Control Organ'. ISF aims at taking all actions which would advance the status of Muslims throughout the world in the humanitarian, cultural, social, economic, educational and health fields. The Fifty Fourth Session of ISF's Permanent Council was held under the patronage and personal attendance of Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary General of the OIC, on 12-13 December 2009. Consistent with the agenda of the session, the Council adopted a number of resolutions through which emergency aids were approved for States, assistance was provided to 64 projects throughout the world, and assistance was given to the sector of higher education. The total assistance provided by ISF in 2009 was US$ 5,455,500. The 37th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, on 18-20 May 2010 adopted ISF's Operational and Projects' budgets which were adopted by the Permanent Finance Committee in its 38th Session held on 14-16 December 2009. Humanitarian and Social Assistance ISF has been widely active since the beginning of 2010. The Permanent Council's Emergency Committee responded promptly to the following cases: • Financing the construction of an on-site hospital for the victims of war in Al-Mazraq area in Yemen, in coordination and cooperation with the OIC Department of Humanitarian Affairs. • Signature of an agreement between the ISF and Fadlallah Foundation in the People's Republic of Bangladesh for the establishment of a model village bearing the name of the Islamic Solidarity Fund for the benefit of the poor and the victims of Sidr cyclone in southern Bangla-

desh. • Financing the reconstruction of schools in Swat Province in Pakistan with an amount of US$ 150,000, by virtue of a partnership agreement between the UN-Habitat and the Organization of the Islamic Conference in June 2010. • Financing the maintenance of a student auditorium at the American Islamic College in Chicago with an amount of US$ 300,000 to host the Conference of American Muslims held in September 2010 and inaugurated by the OIC Secretary General. • In response to the directives of Secretary General Ihsanoglu, who followed with concern and sorrow the tragic situation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the Kyrgyz Republic, the ISF Emergency Committee gave a financial assistance of US$ 50,000 for the acquisition of medicines and medical equipments through the Kyrgyz Ministry of Foreign Affairs. • The ISF made a contribution of US$ 500,000 for the construction of a campus for girls at the Islamic University in Niger, in coordination with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB). • The ISF allocated the amount of US$ 100,000, in arrangement with the Cooperation Foundation for Soft Loans in the Republic of Yemen, for the provision of soft loans (ten years) to people with limited income and to poor families to help them launch projects which will contribute to the growth of their incomes in the Province of Aden, Yemen. • ISF participated in the UN-OIC General Meeting on Cooperation between the two organizations and their institutions and agencies, held in Istanbul from 28 June to 1 July 2010. On the sidelines of this event, ISF participated in the meeting of charitable institutions and associations with a view to elaborating an assistance program for Kyrgyzstan. • Consistent with the OIC Ten-Year Programme of Action and desirous to ensure outstanding performance, ISF signed contracts with many international and regional humanitarian institutions, namely the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the World Food Programme, Humanitarian Food Agency, Islamic Relief in the United Kingdom, Fadlallah Foundation in Bangladesh, the Sudanese Red Crescent, and the Cooperation Foundation for Soft Loans in Yemen.

Islamic University in Niger (financed by ISF, $3.5 million)

Guyana, Cameroon respond to appeal for assisting Pakistan Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - The Government and people of Guyana have positively responded to the humanitarian assistance appeal made by the OIC Secretary General on 9th August 2010 in favor of Pakistan in the aftermath of the floods which devastated the country, by donating a cheque for US$30,000 sent to the OIC headquarters in Jeddah. The OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu hailed this spontaneous gesture of effective solidarity from this brotherly country, which in so doing, expresses its sympathy and sorrow to the Pakistani people. Cameroon also in response to the appeals made by the 40

OIC Secretary General after Pakistan was hit by the most severe floods in 80 years, has generously provided a humanitarian financial assistance worth US $ 50,000 for the benefit of flood victims in Pakistan. The Secretary General has highly commended the laudable gesture of Cameroon. The floods, which began in late July, left more than 10 million people homeless and affected 20 million in Pakistan. According to World Bank assessment, the floods inflicted $9.5 billion in damage to property, crops and infrastructure.

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

41


HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS

Saudi Arabia launches King Abdullah International Foundation for Charity and Humanitarian Activities Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - Saudi Arabia has launched the 'Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah International Foundation for Charity and Humanitarian Activities' to serve Islam, the nation, people and humanity at large as well as spread tolerance and peace in the world. "The foundation has been instituted on the Islamic values of mutual support, cooperation and charitable deeds. It also aims at achieving welfare of the people and promotion of education," Prince Khaled bin Abdullah, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation, said in a statement quoted by the Saudi Press Agency on 17 September. The foundation aims to offer assistance to Muslims across the world by building mosques, Islamic centers and promoting in- King Abdullah terfaith dialogues in line with the aspirations of King Abdullah, Prince Khaled said. "The noble goals mentioned in the basic statutes of the foundation also include the support, encouragement and participation in interfaith dialogues, conducting research related to the propagation of moderation, toleration, peace and moral values, apart from efforts to bring different Muslim schools of thought closer so that disputes among them end. It would strive to instill the idea of abandoning violence and combat crime in all its forms," the Prince said. He added that the basic statutes specified that the foun-

dation would do everything possible to teach Islamic Shariah in its true sense. "For that purpose the foundation will establish universities, colleges, schools and libraries besides centers for professional and technical training and social and research studies," Prince Khaled said. It will also launch hospitals, sanitariums and other treatment, care and rehabilitation facilities. The foundation's objectives also included setting up chairs in universities. It also aims at offering grants and assistance to researchers in various subjects and studies that would contribute to the promotion of knowledge and culture globally. It would organize seminars, conferences, forums, exhibitions and workshops that would help in serving its objectives inside and outside the Kingdom. It would also encourage translation of works and work in concert with organizations and universities inside and outside the Kingdom to advance its ideas and activities. It will participate in relief activities besides providing accommodation and launch productive projects and support credit establishments that help the poor. The foundation will also institute the King Abdullah International Prize to promote its activities, the prince said.

Chad, Nigeria and Benin faced deadly floods Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - The OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu has expressed his sadness and support to the Government and people of Chad following the deadly unprecedented floods which hit their country destroying in their trail huge tracts of arable lands and affecting 150,000 people. Chad has been suffering from severe drought for nearly two years and the torrential rains that fell on the country of late have caused widespread destruction both in the cities and rural areas.

The OIC Secretary General invited all OIC Member States to assist the brotherly country of Chad in these dire moments by providing humanitarian and financial assistance to alleviate the suffering of the populations. Meanwhile, more than 130,000 people had been displaced from more than 30 flooded villages in northwestern Nigeria in September with fears building of disease outbreaks. Benin also suffered torrential rains, which have resulted in loss of

life and massive destruction of property and infrastructure. The OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu expressed his heartfelt condolences to the people of Benin. Ihsanoglu appeals to all OIC Member States to extend their support to the Government and people of Benin to mitigate their plight following these tragic events jeopardizing the livelihood of the affected populations. He further called upon civil society and philanthropic organizations to provide the vital humanitarian assistance to the needy people.

The Islamic Solidarity Fund (ISF): Taking action to advance the status of Muslims Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - The Islamic Solidarity Fund (ISF) was established by a resolution of the Second Islamic Summit Conference held in Lahore, Pakistan in 1974. ISF is a subsidiary organ of the OIC having an independent legal personality and working under the administrative supervision of a 'Permanent Council' composed of 21 members, and under the financial supervision of the 'OIC Finance Control Organ'. ISF aims at taking all actions which would advance the status of Muslims throughout the world in the humanitarian, cultural, social, economic, educational and health fields. The Fifty Fourth Session of ISF's Permanent Council was held under the patronage and personal attendance of Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary General of the OIC, on 12-13 December 2009. Consistent with the agenda of the session, the Council adopted a number of resolutions through which emergency aids were approved for States, assistance was provided to 64 projects throughout the world, and assistance was given to the sector of higher education. The total assistance provided by ISF in 2009 was US$ 5,455,500. The 37th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, on 18-20 May 2010 adopted ISF's Operational and Projects' budgets which were adopted by the Permanent Finance Committee in its 38th Session held on 14-16 December 2009. Humanitarian and Social Assistance ISF has been widely active since the beginning of 2010. The Permanent Council's Emergency Committee responded promptly to the following cases: • Financing the construction of an on-site hospital for the victims of war in Al-Mazraq area in Yemen, in coordination and cooperation with the OIC Department of Humanitarian Affairs. • Signature of an agreement between the ISF and Fadlallah Foundation in the People's Republic of Bangladesh for the establishment of a model village bearing the name of the Islamic Solidarity Fund for the benefit of the poor and the victims of Sidr cyclone in southern Bangla-

desh. • Financing the reconstruction of schools in Swat Province in Pakistan with an amount of US$ 150,000, by virtue of a partnership agreement between the UN-Habitat and the Organization of the Islamic Conference in June 2010. • Financing the maintenance of a student auditorium at the American Islamic College in Chicago with an amount of US$ 300,000 to host the Conference of American Muslims held in September 2010 and inaugurated by the OIC Secretary General. • In response to the directives of Secretary General Ihsanoglu, who followed with concern and sorrow the tragic situation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the Kyrgyz Republic, the ISF Emergency Committee gave a financial assistance of US$ 50,000 for the acquisition of medicines and medical equipments through the Kyrgyz Ministry of Foreign Affairs. • The ISF made a contribution of US$ 500,000 for the construction of a campus for girls at the Islamic University in Niger, in coordination with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB). • The ISF allocated the amount of US$ 100,000, in arrangement with the Cooperation Foundation for Soft Loans in the Republic of Yemen, for the provision of soft loans (ten years) to people with limited income and to poor families to help them launch projects which will contribute to the growth of their incomes in the Province of Aden, Yemen. • ISF participated in the UN-OIC General Meeting on Cooperation between the two organizations and their institutions and agencies, held in Istanbul from 28 June to 1 July 2010. On the sidelines of this event, ISF participated in the meeting of charitable institutions and associations with a view to elaborating an assistance program for Kyrgyzstan. • Consistent with the OIC Ten-Year Programme of Action and desirous to ensure outstanding performance, ISF signed contracts with many international and regional humanitarian institutions, namely the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the World Food Programme, Humanitarian Food Agency, Islamic Relief in the United Kingdom, Fadlallah Foundation in Bangladesh, the Sudanese Red Crescent, and the Cooperation Foundation for Soft Loans in Yemen.

Islamic University in Niger (financed by ISF, $3.5 million)

Guyana, Cameroon respond to appeal for assisting Pakistan Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - The Government and people of Guyana have positively responded to the humanitarian assistance appeal made by the OIC Secretary General on 9th August 2010 in favor of Pakistan in the aftermath of the floods which devastated the country, by donating a cheque for US$30,000 sent to the OIC headquarters in Jeddah. The OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu hailed this spontaneous gesture of effective solidarity from this brotherly country, which in so doing, expresses its sympathy and sorrow to the Pakistani people. Cameroon also in response to the appeals made by the 40

OIC Secretary General after Pakistan was hit by the most severe floods in 80 years, has generously provided a humanitarian financial assistance worth US $ 50,000 for the benefit of flood victims in Pakistan. The Secretary General has highly commended the laudable gesture of Cameroon. The floods, which began in late July, left more than 10 million people homeless and affected 20 million in Pakistan. According to World Bank assessment, the floods inflicted $9.5 billion in damage to property, crops and infrastructure.

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

41


MEDIA

Ninth Session of COMIAC: The Secretary General urges Member States to invest in information digital network Dakar, Senegal - In today's digital globalized world of information and communication technology, the media has attained unprecedented power and influence. The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu said in his speech to the 9th Session of the Standing Committee for Information and Cultural Affairs (COMIAC), which was inaugurated by the Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade in Dakar on 12 October 2010. The Secretary General added that freedom of expression is sacrosanct but not absolute. He pointed to the efforts of the OIC in interacting and communicating with the media to clarify the consistent positions in all political, economic, scientific, cultural and other issues taken in hand by the OIC. He referred to the restructuring of the International Islamic News Agency (IINA) and the Islamic Broadcasting Union (IBU) as the two bodies playing a role in the dissemination of information in the OIC and its Member States. The Secretary General lauded the initiatives of Member States in launching satellite channels to communicate with other parts of the Islamic world and encouraged others to follow suit. Secretary General Ihsanoglu spoke at length about the rising intolerance against Islamic culture and traditions being perpetrated by ultra right wing extremist political parties and their followers in parts of the western world. He said there is a need to sensitize the conscience of the international community through the use of the media on the dangerous implications of such actions. The Secretary General referred to the Islamophobia Observatory established at the OIC General Secretariat to monitor incidents of attack on Islamic culture and discriminations and violations of cultural and political rights of Muslims. He said the OIC is actively engaged with the political leadership and reputed international organizations and institutions of the west to underscore these concerns and draw them to combat this dangerous phenomenon. The Secretary General further referred to OIC championing the cause of dialogue as means for achieving peace and tolerance. He commended in this respect the visionary initiative 42

of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia for promoting interfaith dialogue. The Secretary General then addressed the important issues concerning women, youth and childhood. He mentioned OIC efforts in these matters, including the establishment of the new 'Family Affairs Department' at the OIC General Secretariat; the adoption of the 'OIC Plan of Action for Advancement of Women'; the convening of two ministerial conferences on women (the third was held in Tehran on 19-21 December 2010); and convening of two ministerial meetings on childhood of which the third will be held in Tripoli, Libya in February 2011. In conclusion, Secretary General Ihsanoglu urged the Member States to pool their resources and invest in building a strong and effective information and communication digital network; to embark on effective training programs for media personnel; to help in developing the OIC Islamophobia Observatory into a strong mechanism; to showcase the richness of our cultural heritage and traditions; to invest in vulnerable segments of our society, including women, youth and children; and to further enhance a close and constructive working relationship with the United Nations and its affiliated bodies. Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade, in his opening speech to the 9th Session of the COMIAC, which concluded its proceedings on 13 October, thanked the Secretary General for his leadership, commitment and resolve in furthering the causes of the Ummah. President Wade expressed his support to all OIC efforts especially the establishment of an emergency response fund to intervene in helping Muslim countries struck by disaster as recently happened in Pakistan. The President highlighted the need to preserve and protect Islamic heritage through education, training and the media. He said that ignorance of our religion comes from lack of communication.

Ihsanoglu and President Wade exchange views on various issues The Secretary General met with Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade at the Presidential Palace in

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

Dakar on 11 October 2010 on the sidelines of the 9th COMIAC. Ihsanoglu and President Wade exchanged views on various issues, including the situation in Sudan, the OIC-African Union relations, and environmental and natural disasters. Secretary General Ihsanoglu thanked President Wade, the Chairman of OIC Summit, for his efforts in promoting OIC programs outlined in the Ten Year Program of Action and for his great initiatives such as his call for a conference of the Ulama of the Muslim Ummah. The Secretary General briefed President Wade on the humanitarian activities of the OIC as well as on the preparations for the upcoming Islamic Summit to be held in March in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. For his part President Wade praised Secretary General Ihsanoglu for his consistent energetic endeavors in serving the Muslim Ummah through the OIC.

9th COMIAC condemns in strongest terms the rising trend of Islamophobia The OIC Ministers of Culture and Information attending the 9th Session of the Standing Committee for Information and Cultural Affairs (COMIAC) concluded by expressing deep concern over systematic defamation of Islam as well as discrimination against Muslims. The Session strongly condemned the attacks against Islamic principles, symbols and sacred personalities, and distorting its basic values of peace, compassion and respect for interfaith amity and dialogue. The 9th Session of the COMIAC, in particular, condemned and deplored the recent publication of the book entitled “Tyranny of Silence” by the Cultural Editor of the Jyllands Posten newspaper of Denmark that included a compilation of denigrating caricatures and cartoons of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) which were published by the same newspaper in 2005 arousing worldwide condemnation and denunciation, and causing hurt and insult to the sentiments of Muslims around the world. The Meeting emphasized that the publication of the book constituted a flagrant violation of the stipulation of Article 20 of 1966 International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, as well as the Dan-

ish Criminal Code section '140' stipulating protection of religious feelings against mockery and scorn, and section '266 b' stipulating protection of groups of persons against scorn and degradation on account of their religions. The Meeting underscored that the publication of book substantiated the OIC's concerns of the abuse of freedom of expression by motivated groups and individuals to fuel hatred towards Islam and Muslims in some parts of the western world and expressed hope that similar actions would not be repeated. The Ministerial Session of the Standing Committee called upon the international community to exert efforts to prevent incitement to hatred and discrimination against Muslims and to take effective measures to combat the defamation of religions and negative stereotyping of people on the basis of religion, faith or race. The participants also highlighted the importance of adherence to dialogue with the West to demonstrate that Islam is a religion of tolerance and moderation. They pointed out the importance of highlighting this dialogue in the media of the Member States with a view to refuting the claims that the media in Islamic countries are averse to the freedom of expression, which albeit sacrosanct, are not absolute. Conclusion The participants highlighted the need to benefit from the accelerating progress in ICT to build the information and knowledge society. They hailed the initiative of President Wade establishing the 'Digital Solidarity Fund' as a special mechanism to bridge the digital divide which may lead to the exacerbation of the discrepancy between the developed world and the developing world to which most of the Islamic countries belong. After the general debate, the Committee adopted a resolution highlighting the need to promote joint Islamic action in information, cultural, social and family related fields as strategic domains that shape identity and defend the causes of the Ummah. The Committee welcomed once again the decision of the Government of Senegal to establish a permanent national secretariat to follow up the activities and resolutions of the COMIAC. Speaking to the OIC Journal at the conclusion of the 9th COMIAC, the Senegalese Foreign Minister said that it was an important meeting that yielded important results and showed that the participants shared the same concerns.

Commenting on President Wade's speech at the opening session in which he highlighted the need to preserve and protect Islamic heritage through education, training and the media, the Foreign Minister said that President Wade believes that if Islam was better known it would be attacked less. Therefore, it is necessary to make known the true values and concepts of Islam and to improve the education of youth so they can preserve their identity and Islamic heritage. He added that President Wade also believes in Muslims being organized and supports the idea of launching a television station that broadcasts in different languages about the Islamic countries and defends the causes of the Ummah. As for the Digital Solidarity Fund, he said that the original concept is being reformulated so that instead of a tax levied on every computer bought or sold, it would be a voluntary contribution. He stressed that Senegal as chair of COMIAC is determined to move it forward and build on the resolutions made by establishing a permanent secretariat that would follow up on the implementations.

President Wade delivering his speech at the opening session.

The President of Senegal supports establishing an OIC Disaster Fund The President of Senegal Abdoulaye Wade is planning to propose to the leaders and Governments of the Member States of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), to establish an emergency fund in order to enable the OIC to intervene as soon as a disaster strikes one of the countries of the Islamic world, on the occasion of the 12th Islamic Summit Conference to be held in Sharm AlSheikh, Egypt in March 2011. The President of Senegal said he will support the idea of the OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, concerning the establishment of such a fund, and stated that “We should have sufficient capacity to intervene immediately after the outbreak of any disaster”. In a meeting held in Dakar, Senegal during the COMIAC Conference, Ihsanoglu discussed with the President of Senegal this idea to enable the OIC to intervene promptly following a disaster in any area. “We should not wait until a disaster occurs to offer assistance to the Member States and to all institutions in order to collect funds for intervention,” Ihsanoglu said. The President of Senegal told the OIC Secretary General: “I am aware that thanks to your efforts we managed to collect nearly one billion US Dollars to Pakistan, but this is not sufficient”. For his part, the Secretary General instructed the Department of Humanitarian Affairs of the OIC General Secretariat to study all aspects of this matter. The Final Communiqué of the Annual Coordination Meeting of the OIC Member States' Foreign Ministers held in New York in September 2010 invited the OIC Secretary General to consider, in coordination with the Member States, taking necessary steps towards the establishment of an 'OIC Special Emergency Fund' to respond to natural disasters in the Member States as well as a rapid 'Response Coordination Committee' to deal with such disasters. The Meeting called upon the Member States to contribute to this Fund on a voluntary basis. On the other hand, the President of Senegal congratulated the OIC Secretary General for his leadership and commitment saying that in the Summit in Dakar in 2008 he was presented by Senegal and Saudi Arabia, two countries that know him perfectly well and are confident in his capacities, especially that his first term revealed his enthusiasm to ensure the progress of the Islamic Ummah. The President said that since then he has been following the Secretary General's activity, noticing his concern over the disaster in Pakistan and standing up for Muslim issues at all fronts. 43


MEDIA

Ninth Session of COMIAC: The Secretary General urges Member States to invest in information digital network Dakar, Senegal - In today's digital globalized world of information and communication technology, the media has attained unprecedented power and influence. The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu said in his speech to the 9th Session of the Standing Committee for Information and Cultural Affairs (COMIAC), which was inaugurated by the Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade in Dakar on 12 October 2010. The Secretary General added that freedom of expression is sacrosanct but not absolute. He pointed to the efforts of the OIC in interacting and communicating with the media to clarify the consistent positions in all political, economic, scientific, cultural and other issues taken in hand by the OIC. He referred to the restructuring of the International Islamic News Agency (IINA) and the Islamic Broadcasting Union (IBU) as the two bodies playing a role in the dissemination of information in the OIC and its Member States. The Secretary General lauded the initiatives of Member States in launching satellite channels to communicate with other parts of the Islamic world and encouraged others to follow suit. Secretary General Ihsanoglu spoke at length about the rising intolerance against Islamic culture and traditions being perpetrated by ultra right wing extremist political parties and their followers in parts of the western world. He said there is a need to sensitize the conscience of the international community through the use of the media on the dangerous implications of such actions. The Secretary General referred to the Islamophobia Observatory established at the OIC General Secretariat to monitor incidents of attack on Islamic culture and discriminations and violations of cultural and political rights of Muslims. He said the OIC is actively engaged with the political leadership and reputed international organizations and institutions of the west to underscore these concerns and draw them to combat this dangerous phenomenon. The Secretary General further referred to OIC championing the cause of dialogue as means for achieving peace and tolerance. He commended in this respect the visionary initiative 42

of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia for promoting interfaith dialogue. The Secretary General then addressed the important issues concerning women, youth and childhood. He mentioned OIC efforts in these matters, including the establishment of the new 'Family Affairs Department' at the OIC General Secretariat; the adoption of the 'OIC Plan of Action for Advancement of Women'; the convening of two ministerial conferences on women (the third was held in Tehran on 19-21 December 2010); and convening of two ministerial meetings on childhood of which the third will be held in Tripoli, Libya in February 2011. In conclusion, Secretary General Ihsanoglu urged the Member States to pool their resources and invest in building a strong and effective information and communication digital network; to embark on effective training programs for media personnel; to help in developing the OIC Islamophobia Observatory into a strong mechanism; to showcase the richness of our cultural heritage and traditions; to invest in vulnerable segments of our society, including women, youth and children; and to further enhance a close and constructive working relationship with the United Nations and its affiliated bodies. Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade, in his opening speech to the 9th Session of the COMIAC, which concluded its proceedings on 13 October, thanked the Secretary General for his leadership, commitment and resolve in furthering the causes of the Ummah. President Wade expressed his support to all OIC efforts especially the establishment of an emergency response fund to intervene in helping Muslim countries struck by disaster as recently happened in Pakistan. The President highlighted the need to preserve and protect Islamic heritage through education, training and the media. He said that ignorance of our religion comes from lack of communication.

Ihsanoglu and President Wade exchange views on various issues The Secretary General met with Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade at the Presidential Palace in

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

Dakar on 11 October 2010 on the sidelines of the 9th COMIAC. Ihsanoglu and President Wade exchanged views on various issues, including the situation in Sudan, the OIC-African Union relations, and environmental and natural disasters. Secretary General Ihsanoglu thanked President Wade, the Chairman of OIC Summit, for his efforts in promoting OIC programs outlined in the Ten Year Program of Action and for his great initiatives such as his call for a conference of the Ulama of the Muslim Ummah. The Secretary General briefed President Wade on the humanitarian activities of the OIC as well as on the preparations for the upcoming Islamic Summit to be held in March in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. For his part President Wade praised Secretary General Ihsanoglu for his consistent energetic endeavors in serving the Muslim Ummah through the OIC.

9th COMIAC condemns in strongest terms the rising trend of Islamophobia The OIC Ministers of Culture and Information attending the 9th Session of the Standing Committee for Information and Cultural Affairs (COMIAC) concluded by expressing deep concern over systematic defamation of Islam as well as discrimination against Muslims. The Session strongly condemned the attacks against Islamic principles, symbols and sacred personalities, and distorting its basic values of peace, compassion and respect for interfaith amity and dialogue. The 9th Session of the COMIAC, in particular, condemned and deplored the recent publication of the book entitled “Tyranny of Silence” by the Cultural Editor of the Jyllands Posten newspaper of Denmark that included a compilation of denigrating caricatures and cartoons of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) which were published by the same newspaper in 2005 arousing worldwide condemnation and denunciation, and causing hurt and insult to the sentiments of Muslims around the world. The Meeting emphasized that the publication of the book constituted a flagrant violation of the stipulation of Article 20 of 1966 International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, as well as the Dan-

ish Criminal Code section '140' stipulating protection of religious feelings against mockery and scorn, and section '266 b' stipulating protection of groups of persons against scorn and degradation on account of their religions. The Meeting underscored that the publication of book substantiated the OIC's concerns of the abuse of freedom of expression by motivated groups and individuals to fuel hatred towards Islam and Muslims in some parts of the western world and expressed hope that similar actions would not be repeated. The Ministerial Session of the Standing Committee called upon the international community to exert efforts to prevent incitement to hatred and discrimination against Muslims and to take effective measures to combat the defamation of religions and negative stereotyping of people on the basis of religion, faith or race. The participants also highlighted the importance of adherence to dialogue with the West to demonstrate that Islam is a religion of tolerance and moderation. They pointed out the importance of highlighting this dialogue in the media of the Member States with a view to refuting the claims that the media in Islamic countries are averse to the freedom of expression, which albeit sacrosanct, are not absolute. Conclusion The participants highlighted the need to benefit from the accelerating progress in ICT to build the information and knowledge society. They hailed the initiative of President Wade establishing the 'Digital Solidarity Fund' as a special mechanism to bridge the digital divide which may lead to the exacerbation of the discrepancy between the developed world and the developing world to which most of the Islamic countries belong. After the general debate, the Committee adopted a resolution highlighting the need to promote joint Islamic action in information, cultural, social and family related fields as strategic domains that shape identity and defend the causes of the Ummah. The Committee welcomed once again the decision of the Government of Senegal to establish a permanent national secretariat to follow up the activities and resolutions of the COMIAC. Speaking to the OIC Journal at the conclusion of the 9th COMIAC, the Senegalese Foreign Minister said that it was an important meeting that yielded important results and showed that the participants shared the same concerns.

Commenting on President Wade's speech at the opening session in which he highlighted the need to preserve and protect Islamic heritage through education, training and the media, the Foreign Minister said that President Wade believes that if Islam was better known it would be attacked less. Therefore, it is necessary to make known the true values and concepts of Islam and to improve the education of youth so they can preserve their identity and Islamic heritage. He added that President Wade also believes in Muslims being organized and supports the idea of launching a television station that broadcasts in different languages about the Islamic countries and defends the causes of the Ummah. As for the Digital Solidarity Fund, he said that the original concept is being reformulated so that instead of a tax levied on every computer bought or sold, it would be a voluntary contribution. He stressed that Senegal as chair of COMIAC is determined to move it forward and build on the resolutions made by establishing a permanent secretariat that would follow up on the implementations.

President Wade delivering his speech at the opening session.

The President of Senegal supports establishing an OIC Disaster Fund The President of Senegal Abdoulaye Wade is planning to propose to the leaders and Governments of the Member States of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), to establish an emergency fund in order to enable the OIC to intervene as soon as a disaster strikes one of the countries of the Islamic world, on the occasion of the 12th Islamic Summit Conference to be held in Sharm AlSheikh, Egypt in March 2011. The President of Senegal said he will support the idea of the OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, concerning the establishment of such a fund, and stated that “We should have sufficient capacity to intervene immediately after the outbreak of any disaster”. In a meeting held in Dakar, Senegal during the COMIAC Conference, Ihsanoglu discussed with the President of Senegal this idea to enable the OIC to intervene promptly following a disaster in any area. “We should not wait until a disaster occurs to offer assistance to the Member States and to all institutions in order to collect funds for intervention,” Ihsanoglu said. The President of Senegal told the OIC Secretary General: “I am aware that thanks to your efforts we managed to collect nearly one billion US Dollars to Pakistan, but this is not sufficient”. For his part, the Secretary General instructed the Department of Humanitarian Affairs of the OIC General Secretariat to study all aspects of this matter. The Final Communiqué of the Annual Coordination Meeting of the OIC Member States' Foreign Ministers held in New York in September 2010 invited the OIC Secretary General to consider, in coordination with the Member States, taking necessary steps towards the establishment of an 'OIC Special Emergency Fund' to respond to natural disasters in the Member States as well as a rapid 'Response Coordination Committee' to deal with such disasters. The Meeting called upon the Member States to contribute to this Fund on a voluntary basis. On the other hand, the President of Senegal congratulated the OIC Secretary General for his leadership and commitment saying that in the Summit in Dakar in 2008 he was presented by Senegal and Saudi Arabia, two countries that know him perfectly well and are confident in his capacities, especially that his first term revealed his enthusiasm to ensure the progress of the Islamic Ummah. The President said that since then he has been following the Secretary General's activity, noticing his concern over the disaster in Pakistan and standing up for Muslim issues at all fronts. 43


RELIGION

Commemoration of the 1400th Year of the Revelation of the Holy Qur'an teachings set the basic principles and guidelines for the human being to manage his behavior and relationship with himself, with others and with his God.

Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan (C) presented with a copy of the Quran.

Istanbul, Turkey - An International Inaugural Conference organized by the Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA) launched the OIC's program of commemoration of the passage of fourteen centuries AD since the beginning of the revelation of the Holy Qur'an. The Conference was held in Istanbul on 26 Ramadan 1431H / 5 September 2010, date corresponding to the 'Laylat al-Qadr'. The commemoration program will take place during the year 2010-2011 with the participation of the relevant authorities and institutions of the OIC Member States, Observer States, and Muslims' unions and associations across the world. The International Inaugural Conference took place under the patronage and in the presence of the Prime Minister of Turkey H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdogan. It brought together ministers from nine countries (Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Macedonia, Mauritania, Palestine, Qatar, Senegal, Sudan, and Turkey), heads of religious affairs, members of research institutions and specialists from universities, heads and members of governmental and non-governmental organizations, heads of diplomatic and consular missions, representatives of international organizations, and delegates representing Muslim communities all over the world. In his statement, at the Inaugural Conference, the Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu stressed that Quran brought within itself a complete code of life to the human kind to follow and to carry out the worldly business in the best possible manner. He added that the holy book of Quran was the last revelation of the Almighty Allah with lofty

One of the unique aspects of the teachings of the Holy Quran is that they transcend time, history and space; and thus are universal, the Secretary General said. He added that Quran speaks of universal peace, security and brotherhood, and forbids killing of innocent human beings and considers murder of an innocent person from any religion or color and ethnicity as the murder of the humanity at large. The Secretary General also indicated that human rights issues are among the top important core values of the Holy Quran since they embrace all aspects of human life. As a matter of fact, the Holy Quran is rightly considered as the pioneer of human rights by those who have an in-depth knowledge of it, Ihsanoglu said. Ihsanoglu also shed the light on the Quranic teachings with regard to humanitarian work. He said Quranic injunctions repeatedly call for the humanitarian aid and make it obligatory on every Muslim to pay part of his income for the welfare of needy and poor. For Muslims humanitarian work is a way of being rewarded by God and erasing sins. Islam indeed, established a mechanism for the charity work, such as 'zakat', 'waqf', 'kaffara'. This system of solidarity in the form of humanitarian and charity work used to be instrumental in bringing about positive social development and prosperity. Speaking of humanitarian issues in Islam, the Secretary General stressed the fact that Islam demands from all Muslims to reach out to those in distress and to help them and alleviate their sufferings, such as the disaster in Pakistan where a great number of people of have been hit by calamitous floods and are in the face of an unprecede nted humanitarian tragedy.

Human Rights Council condemns burning Holy books In view of the growing number of instances of religious intolerance, such as discrimination, conflating a religion with terrorism, or desecrating or destroying Holy books, religious sites or shrines, and as a result of the OIC efforts in Geneva and consensus of all members of the Human Rights Council, Mr. Sihasak Phuangketkeow, President of the Human Rights Council, on September 30th made the following statement on behalf of the Human Rights Council: “The Council condemns recent instances of religious intolerance, prejudice and related discrimination and violence, which continued to occur in all parts of the world. The international community should stand united against all forms of religious intolerance and should engage in 44

practical steps to end such intolerance. The Council encourages efforts to establish collaborative networks to build mutual understanding and promote dialogue. The Council stresses that these efforts should be taken to protect individuals of all religions and beliefs in a nondiscriminatory way, and should apply to promote understanding among them. The Council also recognizes that open, constructive and respectful debate, as well as interfaith dialogue, could have a positive effect. The Council reiterates the call by the United Nations Secretary-General on the necessity for the voices of moderation to be heard and mutual respect to prevail.”

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

OIC welcomes Human Rights Council's statement against religious intolerance Geneva, Switzerland - The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu welcomed the adoption of a statement regarding condemnation of recent instances of religious intolerance, prejudice and related discrimination and violence, which continued to occur in all parts of the world. The consensual Statement was read out on behalf of the Human Rights Council (HRC) by its President towards the end of the 15th Session in Geneva. The OIC Secretary General emphasized that the Statement was particularly timely in view of the growing number of instances of religious intolerance such as discrimination, conflating religion with terrorism, desecrating or destroying holy books and religious sites or shrines. The Secretary General particularly welcomed the call by the Council -being the human rights conscience of the world-

upon the international community to stand against all forms of religious intolerance and engage in practical steps to end such intolerance. Drawing attention to the OIC sponsored Resolution on 'Defamation of Religions', passed at the Human Rights Council and the UN General Assembly over the past decade, Ihsanoglu reiterated the OIC's principled position against defamation of all religions as well as discrimination or incitement to hatred on religious grounds. He urged the international community to build upon the momentum generated by the consensual statement at the Council, in joining hands with the OIC towards evolving a normative approach to deal with growing instances of religious intolerance that continued to pose a clear and present danger to international community's efforts and desire for global peace, security and stability.

OIC Secretary General welcomes Clinton’s statement on religious freedom Secretary General of the Organiacts of Islamophobia, growing trend zation of the Islamic Conference of intolerance and hatred towards (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu welMuslims, and mounting number of comed the statement by US Secreacts of violence against Muslims in tary of State Mrs. Hillary Rodham some Western societies. He emphaClinton on 17 November 2010 resized the importance of mutual regarding the commitment of the US to spect and understanding amongst religious freedom as a fundamental different civilizations and peoples human right. Ihsanoglu joined Secrefor strengthening international peace tary Clinton's view that religious and security, tolerance and global freedom is both a fundamental huharmony. man right and an essential element to Secretary General Ihsanoglu furany stable, peaceful, thriving society. ther stated that it was promising that The OIC Secretary General also there was a unanimous understandshared the concerns of Secretary ing among the UN member states Clinton that in addition to examples with respect to the urgent necessity of religious intolerance in various of dealing with the rising trend of inparts of the world, as a setback to recitement to hatred on the basis of religious freedom “several European ligion and race. In order to build on countries have placed harsh restricthis understanding and take concrete tions on religious expression,” which actions to prevent the ramifications targeted particularly their Muslim of such a trend, the OIC Member citizens. States have sought to work closely With regard to Secretary Clinwith all the counterparts, including ton's remarks on extremist-terrorist the US and the EU at the UN in attacks targeting religious minorities, New York. the Secretary General reiterated his Moreover, in order to satisfy the condemnation of and principled posiconcerns of all stakeholders, the tion against violence towards religOIC Group has taken the initiative US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. ious minorities and recalled his earlito include a reference in its draft reser statement condemning the terrorist olution to the article 27 of the Interattack which targeted the Church of Our Lady of Salvation national Covenant of Civic and Political Rights, regarding (Sayydat Al-Najat) in Baghdad on 31 October 2010. In this the rights of religious minorities in line with the recomregard he also referred to the OIC's Makkah Declaration in- mendation of other stakeholders. itiative in 2006, bringing together the representatives of the The OIC Secretary General has clarified that the reIraqi sects to renounce sectarian violence and extremism. vised OIC draft resolution is inclusive of all religions in its Referring to the 'Declaration on Countering Islamopho- scope and does not call upon the States to adopt any addibia' issued by the Annual Coordination Meeting of the OIC tional measures to prohibit advocacy of racial or religious Foreign Ministers held in New York on 24 September hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostili2010, OIC Secretary General reiterated the OIC Member ty or violence, beyond their already existing international States' profound regret and deep concern at the increasing obligations. 45


RELIGION

Commemoration of the 1400th Year of the Revelation of the Holy Qur'an teachings set the basic principles and guidelines for the human being to manage his behavior and relationship with himself, with others and with his God.

Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan (C) presented with a copy of the Quran.

Istanbul, Turkey - An International Inaugural Conference organized by the Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA) launched the OIC's program of commemoration of the passage of fourteen centuries AD since the beginning of the revelation of the Holy Qur'an. The Conference was held in Istanbul on 26 Ramadan 1431H / 5 September 2010, date corresponding to the 'Laylat al-Qadr'. The commemoration program will take place during the year 2010-2011 with the participation of the relevant authorities and institutions of the OIC Member States, Observer States, and Muslims' unions and associations across the world. The International Inaugural Conference took place under the patronage and in the presence of the Prime Minister of Turkey H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdogan. It brought together ministers from nine countries (Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Macedonia, Mauritania, Palestine, Qatar, Senegal, Sudan, and Turkey), heads of religious affairs, members of research institutions and specialists from universities, heads and members of governmental and non-governmental organizations, heads of diplomatic and consular missions, representatives of international organizations, and delegates representing Muslim communities all over the world. In his statement, at the Inaugural Conference, the Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu stressed that Quran brought within itself a complete code of life to the human kind to follow and to carry out the worldly business in the best possible manner. He added that the holy book of Quran was the last revelation of the Almighty Allah with lofty

One of the unique aspects of the teachings of the Holy Quran is that they transcend time, history and space; and thus are universal, the Secretary General said. He added that Quran speaks of universal peace, security and brotherhood, and forbids killing of innocent human beings and considers murder of an innocent person from any religion or color and ethnicity as the murder of the humanity at large. The Secretary General also indicated that human rights issues are among the top important core values of the Holy Quran since they embrace all aspects of human life. As a matter of fact, the Holy Quran is rightly considered as the pioneer of human rights by those who have an in-depth knowledge of it, Ihsanoglu said. Ihsanoglu also shed the light on the Quranic teachings with regard to humanitarian work. He said Quranic injunctions repeatedly call for the humanitarian aid and make it obligatory on every Muslim to pay part of his income for the welfare of needy and poor. For Muslims humanitarian work is a way of being rewarded by God and erasing sins. Islam indeed, established a mechanism for the charity work, such as 'zakat', 'waqf', 'kaffara'. This system of solidarity in the form of humanitarian and charity work used to be instrumental in bringing about positive social development and prosperity. Speaking of humanitarian issues in Islam, the Secretary General stressed the fact that Islam demands from all Muslims to reach out to those in distress and to help them and alleviate their sufferings, such as the disaster in Pakistan where a great number of people of have been hit by calamitous floods and are in the face of an unprecede nted humanitarian tragedy.

Human Rights Council condemns burning Holy books In view of the growing number of instances of religious intolerance, such as discrimination, conflating a religion with terrorism, or desecrating or destroying Holy books, religious sites or shrines, and as a result of the OIC efforts in Geneva and consensus of all members of the Human Rights Council, Mr. Sihasak Phuangketkeow, President of the Human Rights Council, on September 30th made the following statement on behalf of the Human Rights Council: “The Council condemns recent instances of religious intolerance, prejudice and related discrimination and violence, which continued to occur in all parts of the world. The international community should stand united against all forms of religious intolerance and should engage in 44

practical steps to end such intolerance. The Council encourages efforts to establish collaborative networks to build mutual understanding and promote dialogue. The Council stresses that these efforts should be taken to protect individuals of all religions and beliefs in a nondiscriminatory way, and should apply to promote understanding among them. The Council also recognizes that open, constructive and respectful debate, as well as interfaith dialogue, could have a positive effect. The Council reiterates the call by the United Nations Secretary-General on the necessity for the voices of moderation to be heard and mutual respect to prevail.”

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

OIC welcomes Human Rights Council's statement against religious intolerance Geneva, Switzerland - The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu welcomed the adoption of a statement regarding condemnation of recent instances of religious intolerance, prejudice and related discrimination and violence, which continued to occur in all parts of the world. The consensual Statement was read out on behalf of the Human Rights Council (HRC) by its President towards the end of the 15th Session in Geneva. The OIC Secretary General emphasized that the Statement was particularly timely in view of the growing number of instances of religious intolerance such as discrimination, conflating religion with terrorism, desecrating or destroying holy books and religious sites or shrines. The Secretary General particularly welcomed the call by the Council -being the human rights conscience of the world-

upon the international community to stand against all forms of religious intolerance and engage in practical steps to end such intolerance. Drawing attention to the OIC sponsored Resolution on 'Defamation of Religions', passed at the Human Rights Council and the UN General Assembly over the past decade, Ihsanoglu reiterated the OIC's principled position against defamation of all religions as well as discrimination or incitement to hatred on religious grounds. He urged the international community to build upon the momentum generated by the consensual statement at the Council, in joining hands with the OIC towards evolving a normative approach to deal with growing instances of religious intolerance that continued to pose a clear and present danger to international community's efforts and desire for global peace, security and stability.

OIC Secretary General welcomes Clinton’s statement on religious freedom Secretary General of the Organiacts of Islamophobia, growing trend zation of the Islamic Conference of intolerance and hatred towards (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu welMuslims, and mounting number of comed the statement by US Secreacts of violence against Muslims in tary of State Mrs. Hillary Rodham some Western societies. He emphaClinton on 17 November 2010 resized the importance of mutual regarding the commitment of the US to spect and understanding amongst religious freedom as a fundamental different civilizations and peoples human right. Ihsanoglu joined Secrefor strengthening international peace tary Clinton's view that religious and security, tolerance and global freedom is both a fundamental huharmony. man right and an essential element to Secretary General Ihsanoglu furany stable, peaceful, thriving society. ther stated that it was promising that The OIC Secretary General also there was a unanimous understandshared the concerns of Secretary ing among the UN member states Clinton that in addition to examples with respect to the urgent necessity of religious intolerance in various of dealing with the rising trend of inparts of the world, as a setback to recitement to hatred on the basis of religious freedom “several European ligion and race. In order to build on countries have placed harsh restricthis understanding and take concrete tions on religious expression,” which actions to prevent the ramifications targeted particularly their Muslim of such a trend, the OIC Member citizens. States have sought to work closely With regard to Secretary Clinwith all the counterparts, including ton's remarks on extremist-terrorist the US and the EU at the UN in attacks targeting religious minorities, New York. the Secretary General reiterated his Moreover, in order to satisfy the condemnation of and principled posiconcerns of all stakeholders, the tion against violence towards religOIC Group has taken the initiative US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. ious minorities and recalled his earlito include a reference in its draft reser statement condemning the terrorist olution to the article 27 of the Interattack which targeted the Church of Our Lady of Salvation national Covenant of Civic and Political Rights, regarding (Sayydat Al-Najat) in Baghdad on 31 October 2010. In this the rights of religious minorities in line with the recomregard he also referred to the OIC's Makkah Declaration in- mendation of other stakeholders. itiative in 2006, bringing together the representatives of the The OIC Secretary General has clarified that the reIraqi sects to renounce sectarian violence and extremism. vised OIC draft resolution is inclusive of all religions in its Referring to the 'Declaration on Countering Islamopho- scope and does not call upon the States to adopt any addibia' issued by the Annual Coordination Meeting of the OIC tional measures to prohibit advocacy of racial or religious Foreign Ministers held in New York on 24 September hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostili2010, OIC Secretary General reiterated the OIC Member ty or violence, beyond their already existing international States' profound regret and deep concern at the increasing obligations. 45


RELIGION

Al-Abbadi hopes for early adoption of Document on Rapprochement between Islamic Schools of Thought by all means available and in a language Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - Dr. Abdulthat people can understand and interact Salam Al-Abbadi, Jordanian Minister of with. He also urged for a renewal of Islamic Endowments and Islamic Affairs, expressed religious discourse and an earnest pursuit of his hope that the document on the Rapvarious activities which would manifest enprochement between Islamic Schools of lightened contemporary Islamic information Thought, as prepared by the International visibility in all domains and at the internaIslamic Fiqh Academy (IIFA) at an Islamic tional, regional and local levels. Fiqh Conference during his tenure as the He also stressed the need to provide all IIFA Secretary, be adopted. world satellite TV channels with precise Dr. Al-Abbadi told the OIC Journal that programs, news, comments and materials the said document provides for a number of so as to achieve high credibility and distinpractical measures that should be taken to guished media presentation. On the other achieve the unity and cohesion of the Umhand, Dr. Al-Abbadi cautioned against the mah and bring together the followers of difdiscord and destructive ideas promoted by ferent schools of thought (madhahib). some satellite TV channels, which may lead Dr. Al-Abbadi said that the Secretary to sedition and strife. General of the Organisation of the Islamic Dr. Al-Abbadi also warned against any Conference Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanomisuse of the freedom of expression which glu had entrusted the IIFA with the preparamay lead to chaos, and emphasized that tion of this document, which enumerates Dr. Abdul-Salam Al-Abbadi. freedom cannot exist without an acute sense measures related to education, media and reof responsibility. Freedom does not mean defaming others lationship between scholars of different Schools (madhabut rather expressing opinion and sound critique without hib) as well as entrenching a deep-rooted unity among the abuse. He said that Islam calls for dialogue and respect of people of the Ummah, based on sensible understanding of divergent opinions, and defends people's freedom to voice all relations between them and given the fact that their their opinion provided that such opinion does not prejudice views converge on fundamental issues and diverge on a others. few matters of secondary importance. He called on the scholars who had evolved the document to hold a rally The Jordanian Minister of Endowments and Islamic conference bringing together the Ummah scholars to adopt Affairs and Sanctities said, at the interview which took it. place during his visit to the OIC Secretary General's Office The former IIFA Secretary noted that the Islamic world in Jeddah on 22 November 2010, that the Hashemite Kingis facing political, economic and cultural challenges which dom of Jordan plays an efficient empirical role on the have been the subject of well-thought-out scientific and ground through the Ministry of Endowments and Islamic empirical study through the OIC's Ten Year Program of Affairs and the connection between its Department of IsAction (TYPOA) adopted by the Makkah Extraordinary lamic Endowments and the Department of Islamic EndowSummit. The TYPOA includes a set of measures aimed at ments in Al-Quds. He noted that the latter is entrusted with meeting these challenges in all walks of life, with particuthe task of protecting Islamic sanctities in Al-Quds and lar attention given to the cause of Palestine and Al-Quds managing relevant educational and social affairs as well as on account of the practices of the Israeli occupation targetendowments. This is specifically aimed at providing proing the alteration of the demographic character and Arabo tection and care for Al-Aqsa Mosque, and rendering all Islamic identity of the latter. forms of support and assistance to Arab and Muslim exisDr. Al-Abbadi added that Islamophobia is among the tence in the Holy City. main issues under consideration by the IIFA and that the Finally, Dr. Al-Abbadi noted that the Ministry, through Academy's development plans include, inter alia, specific the Hashemite Charity Foundation managed to deliver asprojects to address this issue. He also touched upon the sistance to the Gaza Strip at the worst and dimmest condirole of the media in countering Islamophobia. The media tions and valued the efforts of the Hashemite Fund for the can play an effective role through a plan proceeding from a Construction of Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the clear vision based on the fact that our religion seeks the Rock. good of humanity, a fact that should be made well known

Ihsanoglu and Sheikh Al-Azhar discuss means of coordination Cairo, Egypt - The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu met on 28 November at Al Azhar Al Sharif Grand Imam Shiekh Al Azhar Dr. Ahmed Taib, who reviewed the efforts of Al Azhar Al Sharif in the domain of rapprochement among Islamic schools of thought, interfaith dialogue and the role of Al Azhar Al Sharif in addressing the West with a view to correcting the image of Islam and Muslims. For his part, the Secretary General highlighted the ef-

46

forts of the Organization at various levels regarding rapprochement of schools of thought and addressing the issue of Islamophobia at the United Nations, the Human Rights Council in Geneva, or at the bilateral level with numerous Western States, as well as addressing the public opinion in the West through non-governmental organizations and think-tanks. The two sides addressed the ways and means of coordinating the efforts of Al Azhar Al Sharif and the OIC on these issues.

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

Inspired by the history of Islam on books and libraries, and moved by the belief that the renaissance of the Islamic Ummah [nation] is achievable only through a relentless pursuit of science and information, the OIC took the laudable initiative as part of the objectives and principles enshrined in its Ten-Year Program of Action (2005) and its new Charter (2008), to seek the "advancement of science and technology and the development and promotion of research and cooperation between Member States." Within this endeavor the OIC Secretary General Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu launched in February 2007 an historic initiative to set up a specialized library at the OIC Headquarters in Jeddah. He has attached great importance and granted personally to the library in spite of his demanding and heavy work schedule. Since its creation, the OIC library has sought actively to include all publications issued by the Organization, its departments and its organs and institutions, as well as collecting and organizing all intellectual publications that have close bearing to its activities, notably the promotion of global peace, moderation in Islam, human rights, dissemination of Islamic culture, encouraging inter-civilizational and inter-faith dialogue, boosting trade and economic cooperation among Muslim countries and the wider world, the preservation of Islamic heritage, enhancing Islamic efforts in the fields of socio-economic development, science and technology, and the defense of the causes of the Islamic world, especially the Palestinian cause, the fight against intolerance, terrorism and extremism and other major issues. The library has set for itself an array of objectives, key among which are as follows: 1. Serving the objectives of the OIC as expressed in its programs and plans by facilitating access to information in a handy and smooth way. 2. Organizing, classifying and indexing print and electronic documents by making use of top-notch software and information systems for the benefit of end users. 3. The library is a central hub for retrieving and sharing documents issued by the General Secretariat and other OIC Organs across the Muslim world. 4. Encouraging, updating, disseminating and distributing information through the use of digital and sophisticated systems thanks to modern information technologies. 5. Instilling the love for reading among staff members at the General Secretariat, and offering easy and full access to documented information they

OIC General Secretariat gets specialized library

Dr. Azhari A. Geila Librarian might need that would help them in their decision-making and the performance of their duties. 6. Facilitating research for library members and providing access to information by building a dedicated website for the library and its catalogs. 7. Linking the library's website along with its catalogs with the websites of the various OIC Organs, Institutions and Committees, and working out effective mechanisms for the electronic exchange of information between the library and these Organs, Institutions and Committees.

Library's main achievements: 1. Premises The mezzanine floor was allocated for the library at the new premises of the OIC General secretariat at the intersection of Al-Madinah Road with King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Road. 2. Library's use of technology Since its inception, the library chose to use the world-renowned software 'Horizon' and then migrated to 'Symphony' integrated system. At first, this system was intended to serve the indexing, cataloging and loan operations. The library service allows search and return functions on the Intranet for all staff members at the General Secretariat right from their desks around the clock by accessing URL: http://OIC-library. The library aspires to upgrade its LAN e-link with the technical assistance of the software company and the IT Department at the General Secretariat. Once upgraded, the link will allow for the search of databases and the support of search as well as retrieval operations on Wide Are Network (WAN), together with 'Current Awareness' services by keeping members updated about recent acquisitions, and

the implementation in the near future of Selective Dissemination of Information (SDI) service. 3. Library material procurement The OIC library pursues various policies that include the following: • Direct purchase from publishers and agents in addition to attending some periodic international book fairs. • Subscribs to print and online periodicals in the OIC three official languages, in addition to book gifts and exchange. • Embraces proposals propounded by various Departments at the General Secretariat regarding supply. The library attaches special attention to the directives of the OIC Secretary General along with the recommendations of the Chief Librarian on supply. So far, the library boasts a collection of over five thousand three hundred acquisitions made up of print and electronic resources. It plans to expand that figure up to ten thousand by the end of 2012. Such expansion would naturally entail the extension of the library space to the remaining free area on the mezzanine floor. 4. Technical procedures The library adopted from the outset universally recognized systems and started out from where others left off as a way of keeping up with the fast developments in the field of libraries and information technology. • In the field of classification, the library adopted the work plan of the Dewey Decimal Classification System (Version 22). • Indexing is conducted in accordance with MARC (Machine Readable Cataloging) and Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (AACR2). As for indexing Arab material, the library uses the Unified Arab Index. • The library uses the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) and the main Arab headings as set by Aydi. • For book and resource lending, the library has entered data on all staff members at the OIC General Secretariat in the library system. In this way, the loaned resource is conducted through automatic bar-coding and retrieval of all resources borrowed in line with the library system. 5. Working Hours The library is open during office hours from Saturday to Wednesday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. On Thursdays, it is open from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The library calls on OIC staff and visiting researchers who have not yet benefited from the services of the library to undertake a visit to its premises and take advantage of its services for the benefit of all. 47


RELIGION

Al-Abbadi hopes for early adoption of Document on Rapprochement between Islamic Schools of Thought by all means available and in a language Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - Dr. Abdulthat people can understand and interact Salam Al-Abbadi, Jordanian Minister of with. He also urged for a renewal of Islamic Endowments and Islamic Affairs, expressed religious discourse and an earnest pursuit of his hope that the document on the Rapvarious activities which would manifest enprochement between Islamic Schools of lightened contemporary Islamic information Thought, as prepared by the International visibility in all domains and at the internaIslamic Fiqh Academy (IIFA) at an Islamic tional, regional and local levels. Fiqh Conference during his tenure as the He also stressed the need to provide all IIFA Secretary, be adopted. world satellite TV channels with precise Dr. Al-Abbadi told the OIC Journal that programs, news, comments and materials the said document provides for a number of so as to achieve high credibility and distinpractical measures that should be taken to guished media presentation. On the other achieve the unity and cohesion of the Umhand, Dr. Al-Abbadi cautioned against the mah and bring together the followers of difdiscord and destructive ideas promoted by ferent schools of thought (madhahib). some satellite TV channels, which may lead Dr. Al-Abbadi said that the Secretary to sedition and strife. General of the Organisation of the Islamic Dr. Al-Abbadi also warned against any Conference Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanomisuse of the freedom of expression which glu had entrusted the IIFA with the preparamay lead to chaos, and emphasized that tion of this document, which enumerates Dr. Abdul-Salam Al-Abbadi. freedom cannot exist without an acute sense measures related to education, media and reof responsibility. Freedom does not mean defaming others lationship between scholars of different Schools (madhabut rather expressing opinion and sound critique without hib) as well as entrenching a deep-rooted unity among the abuse. He said that Islam calls for dialogue and respect of people of the Ummah, based on sensible understanding of divergent opinions, and defends people's freedom to voice all relations between them and given the fact that their their opinion provided that such opinion does not prejudice views converge on fundamental issues and diverge on a others. few matters of secondary importance. He called on the scholars who had evolved the document to hold a rally The Jordanian Minister of Endowments and Islamic conference bringing together the Ummah scholars to adopt Affairs and Sanctities said, at the interview which took it. place during his visit to the OIC Secretary General's Office The former IIFA Secretary noted that the Islamic world in Jeddah on 22 November 2010, that the Hashemite Kingis facing political, economic and cultural challenges which dom of Jordan plays an efficient empirical role on the have been the subject of well-thought-out scientific and ground through the Ministry of Endowments and Islamic empirical study through the OIC's Ten Year Program of Affairs and the connection between its Department of IsAction (TYPOA) adopted by the Makkah Extraordinary lamic Endowments and the Department of Islamic EndowSummit. The TYPOA includes a set of measures aimed at ments in Al-Quds. He noted that the latter is entrusted with meeting these challenges in all walks of life, with particuthe task of protecting Islamic sanctities in Al-Quds and lar attention given to the cause of Palestine and Al-Quds managing relevant educational and social affairs as well as on account of the practices of the Israeli occupation targetendowments. This is specifically aimed at providing proing the alteration of the demographic character and Arabo tection and care for Al-Aqsa Mosque, and rendering all Islamic identity of the latter. forms of support and assistance to Arab and Muslim exisDr. Al-Abbadi added that Islamophobia is among the tence in the Holy City. main issues under consideration by the IIFA and that the Finally, Dr. Al-Abbadi noted that the Ministry, through Academy's development plans include, inter alia, specific the Hashemite Charity Foundation managed to deliver asprojects to address this issue. He also touched upon the sistance to the Gaza Strip at the worst and dimmest condirole of the media in countering Islamophobia. The media tions and valued the efforts of the Hashemite Fund for the can play an effective role through a plan proceeding from a Construction of Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the clear vision based on the fact that our religion seeks the Rock. good of humanity, a fact that should be made well known

Ihsanoglu and Sheikh Al-Azhar discuss means of coordination Cairo, Egypt - The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu met on 28 November at Al Azhar Al Sharif Grand Imam Shiekh Al Azhar Dr. Ahmed Taib, who reviewed the efforts of Al Azhar Al Sharif in the domain of rapprochement among Islamic schools of thought, interfaith dialogue and the role of Al Azhar Al Sharif in addressing the West with a view to correcting the image of Islam and Muslims. For his part, the Secretary General highlighted the ef-

46

forts of the Organization at various levels regarding rapprochement of schools of thought and addressing the issue of Islamophobia at the United Nations, the Human Rights Council in Geneva, or at the bilateral level with numerous Western States, as well as addressing the public opinion in the West through non-governmental organizations and think-tanks. The two sides addressed the ways and means of coordinating the efforts of Al Azhar Al Sharif and the OIC on these issues.

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

Inspired by the history of Islam on books and libraries, and moved by the belief that the renaissance of the Islamic Ummah [nation] is achievable only through a relentless pursuit of science and information, the OIC took the laudable initiative as part of the objectives and principles enshrined in its Ten-Year Program of Action (2005) and its new Charter (2008), to seek the "advancement of science and technology and the development and promotion of research and cooperation between Member States." Within this endeavor the OIC Secretary General Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu launched in February 2007 an historic initiative to set up a specialized library at the OIC Headquarters in Jeddah. He has attached great importance and granted personally to the library in spite of his demanding and heavy work schedule. Since its creation, the OIC library has sought actively to include all publications issued by the Organization, its departments and its organs and institutions, as well as collecting and organizing all intellectual publications that have close bearing to its activities, notably the promotion of global peace, moderation in Islam, human rights, dissemination of Islamic culture, encouraging inter-civilizational and inter-faith dialogue, boosting trade and economic cooperation among Muslim countries and the wider world, the preservation of Islamic heritage, enhancing Islamic efforts in the fields of socio-economic development, science and technology, and the defense of the causes of the Islamic world, especially the Palestinian cause, the fight against intolerance, terrorism and extremism and other major issues. The library has set for itself an array of objectives, key among which are as follows: 1. Serving the objectives of the OIC as expressed in its programs and plans by facilitating access to information in a handy and smooth way. 2. Organizing, classifying and indexing print and electronic documents by making use of top-notch software and information systems for the benefit of end users. 3. The library is a central hub for retrieving and sharing documents issued by the General Secretariat and other OIC Organs across the Muslim world. 4. Encouraging, updating, disseminating and distributing information through the use of digital and sophisticated systems thanks to modern information technologies. 5. Instilling the love for reading among staff members at the General Secretariat, and offering easy and full access to documented information they

OIC General Secretariat gets specialized library

Dr. Azhari A. Geila Librarian might need that would help them in their decision-making and the performance of their duties. 6. Facilitating research for library members and providing access to information by building a dedicated website for the library and its catalogs. 7. Linking the library's website along with its catalogs with the websites of the various OIC Organs, Institutions and Committees, and working out effective mechanisms for the electronic exchange of information between the library and these Organs, Institutions and Committees.

Library's main achievements: 1. Premises The mezzanine floor was allocated for the library at the new premises of the OIC General secretariat at the intersection of Al-Madinah Road with King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Road. 2. Library's use of technology Since its inception, the library chose to use the world-renowned software 'Horizon' and then migrated to 'Symphony' integrated system. At first, this system was intended to serve the indexing, cataloging and loan operations. The library service allows search and return functions on the Intranet for all staff members at the General Secretariat right from their desks around the clock by accessing URL: http://OIC-library. The library aspires to upgrade its LAN e-link with the technical assistance of the software company and the IT Department at the General Secretariat. Once upgraded, the link will allow for the search of databases and the support of search as well as retrieval operations on Wide Are Network (WAN), together with 'Current Awareness' services by keeping members updated about recent acquisitions, and

the implementation in the near future of Selective Dissemination of Information (SDI) service. 3. Library material procurement The OIC library pursues various policies that include the following: • Direct purchase from publishers and agents in addition to attending some periodic international book fairs. • Subscribs to print and online periodicals in the OIC three official languages, in addition to book gifts and exchange. • Embraces proposals propounded by various Departments at the General Secretariat regarding supply. The library attaches special attention to the directives of the OIC Secretary General along with the recommendations of the Chief Librarian on supply. So far, the library boasts a collection of over five thousand three hundred acquisitions made up of print and electronic resources. It plans to expand that figure up to ten thousand by the end of 2012. Such expansion would naturally entail the extension of the library space to the remaining free area on the mezzanine floor. 4. Technical procedures The library adopted from the outset universally recognized systems and started out from where others left off as a way of keeping up with the fast developments in the field of libraries and information technology. • In the field of classification, the library adopted the work plan of the Dewey Decimal Classification System (Version 22). • Indexing is conducted in accordance with MARC (Machine Readable Cataloging) and Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (AACR2). As for indexing Arab material, the library uses the Unified Arab Index. • The library uses the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) and the main Arab headings as set by Aydi. • For book and resource lending, the library has entered data on all staff members at the OIC General Secretariat in the library system. In this way, the loaned resource is conducted through automatic bar-coding and retrieval of all resources borrowed in line with the library system. 5. Working Hours The library is open during office hours from Saturday to Wednesday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. On Thursdays, it is open from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The library calls on OIC staff and visiting researchers who have not yet benefited from the services of the library to undertake a visit to its premises and take advantage of its services for the benefit of all. 47


CULTURE

Ihsanoglu stresses promoting relations between OIC and Macedonia Skopje, Macedonia - The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu paid an official visit to the Republic of Macedonia on 13-14 October 2010 upon the invitation of H.E. Gjorge Ivanov, President of the Republic of Macedonia. During his meeting with OIC Secretary General, President Ivanov welcomed the OIC activities and indicated his willingness for a close dialogue and cooperation with the Organization. The Secretary General briefed the Macedonian President on the current activities of the OIC in different spheres. Ihsanoglu also commended the efforts made by the Macedonian authorities to improve the conditions of Muslim communities, who live in a harmonious society and enjoy the freedoms. During the talks, cultural coexistence and multicultural history in Balkans as well as various regional and international issues of importance were discussed and the two sides stressed the importance of promoting relations between the OIC and Macedonia concerning issues of common concern. Secretary General Ihsanoglu also met Abdulkadar Memedi, State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Special Envoy of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia to the OIC. They exchanged views on issues of common interest and improving the relations between both sides. The Secretary General visited the Headquarters of the Islamic Union in Macedonia and met with a delegation of the Muslim community, led by the Chairman, Haci Suley-

head of Islamic religion community in Macedonia, Sulejman Redzepi (L) in the Colored Mosque in western Macedonian city of Tetovo.(epa).

48

Fourth International Symposium on Islamic Civilization in the Volga-Ural Region

Gjorge Ivanov, President of the Republic of Macedonia. (epa)

man Recepi. The discussion touched on Muslims' affairs in Macedonia in general, and issues of the situation of Islamic education, implementation of the Ohrid Framework Agreement and preservation of the Islamic historical heritage. The Secretary General welcomed their activities for the improvement of the social, political as well as cultural status of the Muslim community in Macedonia. On the sidelines of his visit to Skopje, Secretary General also delivered a keynote address at the Congress on “Islamic Civilization in the Balkans”, organized by the Research Center for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA) under the patronage of the President of Macedonia. Fourth International Congress on Islamic Civilization in the Balkans The OIC Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA) and the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts- MANU (Skopje, Macedonia) jointly organized the Fourth International Congress on the theme "Islamic Civilization in the Balkans", held under the patronage of H.E. Gyorge Ivanov, President of Macedonia. The congress took place in MANU, Skopje, capital of Macedonia, on 1317 October 2010. In his opening speech at the congress, OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu emphasized the importance of this series of congresses. “Many important facts about the history of the Balkan and its relation with Islam and neighboring countries are yet to be scrutinized and written. The contribution of Islam to this part of the world is still shrouded with ambiguity and need to be explored and documented for the benefit of history and the knowledge of all the parties concerned and to enlighten an important episode of the world history,” he said. The congress highlighted the history and the heritage of Islamic civilization in the Balkans under their past and present aspects. Topics covered include: trends and processes of the development of Islamic culture, multi-cultural coexistence, social administration, cultural and educational institutions, science and learning, architecture and urbanism, arts, language and literature, social life and traditions, tangible and intangible Islamic heritage. The congress was an occasion to share information on developments in research, teaching and publishing in this area and thus deliberated on the problems and prospects of studies on Islamic civilization in the Balkans and strengthening of international academic cooperation. Designed as such, the congress contributed in promoting studies and increasing knowledge on the Balkan cultures, which at the same time underscored the regional riches and diversities of Islamic civilization.

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

Mufti Sheikh-Ul-Islam Talgat Tajuddin delivering Friday sermon.

Ufa, Bashkortostan - The Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA) and the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Bashkortostan jointly organized the fourth international congress on the theme “Islamic Civilization in the Volga-Ural Region” in Ufa, capital city of Bashkortostan, on 21-22 October 2010. OIC Secretary General Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu participated in the opening ceremony. More than 200 people from 18 countries, including OIC Member States, as well as international organizations attended the symposium. Prof. Ihsanoglu emphasized that holding the symposium in Bashkortostan on this topic creates matching op-

portunities to highlight the share and place of this land in the history of the diversity of peoples, cultures and faiths of Russia in general and the history of Volga-Ural region in particular. The symposium was held under the patronage of Rustem Khamitov, President of the Republic of Bashkortostan. The congress drew nearly 150 specialists and researchers from Germany, India, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, the Russian Federation, Tatarstan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, the USA and Uzbekistan. The papers presented and discussions held underscored the role and place of Islam in the history of the region, especially its cultural history in all areas, including language, philosophy and sciences, and its contribution in developing multicultural coexistence.

Visit to Bashkir State Pedagogical University During his stay in Ufa, Secretary General Ihsanoglu visited the Bashkir State Pedagogical University. He had an open discussion with the rector, professors and students of the University and at the Russian Islamic University (via video conference) on the various issues relating to Islamic

education, exchange of students programs, participation of representatives from OIC countries in events to be organized in Russia on topics with regard to Islamic culture, history and education and others. At the end of the dialogue, Prof. Ihsanoglu was awarded the degree of Honorable Professor of the Bashkir State Pedagogical University on Humanity. The Secretary General also visited the Ethnological Research Institute Museum of the Ufa Research Center of the Russian Academy of Science where he was given a tour of the exhibits.

Meeting with Head of Russian Muslims Spiritual Directorate Secretary General Ihsanoglu had a meeting with the Supreme Mufti Sheikh-Ul-Islam Talgat Tajuddin, Head of Russian Muslims Spiritual Directorate. He was briefed on the revival of Islamic values and traditions in Bashkortostan in particular and Russian Federation at large, especially among the young population, and the general conditions of Muslims there today in terms of practicing their religion, which has improved significantly in the past years. The Secretary General observed that since his first visit to several cities of the former Soviet Union in 1979 a lot of positive developments took place in terms of reviving Islamic values and Muslims practicing their religion.

Ihsanoglu and President of Bashkortostan agree to further cooperation The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu for the first time visited Ufa on 20 October 2010, the capital of the Republic of Bashkortostan, the Russian Federation. The Secretary General had a bilateral meeting with the President of the Republic of Bashkortostan Rustem Khamitov. The Secretary General commended the efforts of the President and his government in advancing science, industry and innovation in the Republic of Bashkortostan. The President stressed that his Republic is very much interested in establishing bilateral relations with OIC Member States in various fields, including trade, science and culture. He expressed deep appreciation to the Secretary General for his efforts to fa-

cilitate development of relations between Bashkortostan and OIC Member States in different areas. He underlined that there is great interest on the part of academicians and scholars of Bashkortostan to learn more about the OIC, and this interest would facilitate the development of partnerships with the OIC and its Member States. The Secretary General assured President Khamitov that he would double his efforts to bring closer this region to the Muslim world. He also emphasized that the future of Islam in Volga-Ural region is great and promising. Secretary General Ihsanoglu and the President agreed to further cooper-

ation and continue contacts between the OIC and the Republic of Bashkortostan. Ihsanoglu extended an invitation to President Khamitov and a delegation from Bashkortostan to visit the OIC Headquarters in Jeddah to discuss various aspects of cooperation. 49


CULTURE

Ihsanoglu stresses promoting relations between OIC and Macedonia Skopje, Macedonia - The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu paid an official visit to the Republic of Macedonia on 13-14 October 2010 upon the invitation of H.E. Gjorge Ivanov, President of the Republic of Macedonia. During his meeting with OIC Secretary General, President Ivanov welcomed the OIC activities and indicated his willingness for a close dialogue and cooperation with the Organization. The Secretary General briefed the Macedonian President on the current activities of the OIC in different spheres. Ihsanoglu also commended the efforts made by the Macedonian authorities to improve the conditions of Muslim communities, who live in a harmonious society and enjoy the freedoms. During the talks, cultural coexistence and multicultural history in Balkans as well as various regional and international issues of importance were discussed and the two sides stressed the importance of promoting relations between the OIC and Macedonia concerning issues of common concern. Secretary General Ihsanoglu also met Abdulkadar Memedi, State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Special Envoy of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia to the OIC. They exchanged views on issues of common interest and improving the relations between both sides. The Secretary General visited the Headquarters of the Islamic Union in Macedonia and met with a delegation of the Muslim community, led by the Chairman, Haci Suley-

head of Islamic religion community in Macedonia, Sulejman Redzepi (L) in the Colored Mosque in western Macedonian city of Tetovo.(epa).

48

Fourth International Symposium on Islamic Civilization in the Volga-Ural Region

Gjorge Ivanov, President of the Republic of Macedonia. (epa)

man Recepi. The discussion touched on Muslims' affairs in Macedonia in general, and issues of the situation of Islamic education, implementation of the Ohrid Framework Agreement and preservation of the Islamic historical heritage. The Secretary General welcomed their activities for the improvement of the social, political as well as cultural status of the Muslim community in Macedonia. On the sidelines of his visit to Skopje, Secretary General also delivered a keynote address at the Congress on “Islamic Civilization in the Balkans”, organized by the Research Center for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA) under the patronage of the President of Macedonia. Fourth International Congress on Islamic Civilization in the Balkans The OIC Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA) and the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts- MANU (Skopje, Macedonia) jointly organized the Fourth International Congress on the theme "Islamic Civilization in the Balkans", held under the patronage of H.E. Gyorge Ivanov, President of Macedonia. The congress took place in MANU, Skopje, capital of Macedonia, on 1317 October 2010. In his opening speech at the congress, OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu emphasized the importance of this series of congresses. “Many important facts about the history of the Balkan and its relation with Islam and neighboring countries are yet to be scrutinized and written. The contribution of Islam to this part of the world is still shrouded with ambiguity and need to be explored and documented for the benefit of history and the knowledge of all the parties concerned and to enlighten an important episode of the world history,” he said. The congress highlighted the history and the heritage of Islamic civilization in the Balkans under their past and present aspects. Topics covered include: trends and processes of the development of Islamic culture, multi-cultural coexistence, social administration, cultural and educational institutions, science and learning, architecture and urbanism, arts, language and literature, social life and traditions, tangible and intangible Islamic heritage. The congress was an occasion to share information on developments in research, teaching and publishing in this area and thus deliberated on the problems and prospects of studies on Islamic civilization in the Balkans and strengthening of international academic cooperation. Designed as such, the congress contributed in promoting studies and increasing knowledge on the Balkan cultures, which at the same time underscored the regional riches and diversities of Islamic civilization.

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

Mufti Sheikh-Ul-Islam Talgat Tajuddin delivering Friday sermon.

Ufa, Bashkortostan - The Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA) and the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Bashkortostan jointly organized the fourth international congress on the theme “Islamic Civilization in the Volga-Ural Region” in Ufa, capital city of Bashkortostan, on 21-22 October 2010. OIC Secretary General Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu participated in the opening ceremony. More than 200 people from 18 countries, including OIC Member States, as well as international organizations attended the symposium. Prof. Ihsanoglu emphasized that holding the symposium in Bashkortostan on this topic creates matching op-

portunities to highlight the share and place of this land in the history of the diversity of peoples, cultures and faiths of Russia in general and the history of Volga-Ural region in particular. The symposium was held under the patronage of Rustem Khamitov, President of the Republic of Bashkortostan. The congress drew nearly 150 specialists and researchers from Germany, India, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, the Russian Federation, Tatarstan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, the USA and Uzbekistan. The papers presented and discussions held underscored the role and place of Islam in the history of the region, especially its cultural history in all areas, including language, philosophy and sciences, and its contribution in developing multicultural coexistence.

Visit to Bashkir State Pedagogical University During his stay in Ufa, Secretary General Ihsanoglu visited the Bashkir State Pedagogical University. He had an open discussion with the rector, professors and students of the University and at the Russian Islamic University (via video conference) on the various issues relating to Islamic

education, exchange of students programs, participation of representatives from OIC countries in events to be organized in Russia on topics with regard to Islamic culture, history and education and others. At the end of the dialogue, Prof. Ihsanoglu was awarded the degree of Honorable Professor of the Bashkir State Pedagogical University on Humanity. The Secretary General also visited the Ethnological Research Institute Museum of the Ufa Research Center of the Russian Academy of Science where he was given a tour of the exhibits.

Meeting with Head of Russian Muslims Spiritual Directorate Secretary General Ihsanoglu had a meeting with the Supreme Mufti Sheikh-Ul-Islam Talgat Tajuddin, Head of Russian Muslims Spiritual Directorate. He was briefed on the revival of Islamic values and traditions in Bashkortostan in particular and Russian Federation at large, especially among the young population, and the general conditions of Muslims there today in terms of practicing their religion, which has improved significantly in the past years. The Secretary General observed that since his first visit to several cities of the former Soviet Union in 1979 a lot of positive developments took place in terms of reviving Islamic values and Muslims practicing their religion.

Ihsanoglu and President of Bashkortostan agree to further cooperation The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu for the first time visited Ufa on 20 October 2010, the capital of the Republic of Bashkortostan, the Russian Federation. The Secretary General had a bilateral meeting with the President of the Republic of Bashkortostan Rustem Khamitov. The Secretary General commended the efforts of the President and his government in advancing science, industry and innovation in the Republic of Bashkortostan. The President stressed that his Republic is very much interested in establishing bilateral relations with OIC Member States in various fields, including trade, science and culture. He expressed deep appreciation to the Secretary General for his efforts to fa-

cilitate development of relations between Bashkortostan and OIC Member States in different areas. He underlined that there is great interest on the part of academicians and scholars of Bashkortostan to learn more about the OIC, and this interest would facilitate the development of partnerships with the OIC and its Member States. The Secretary General assured President Khamitov that he would double his efforts to bring closer this region to the Muslim world. He also emphasized that the future of Islam in Volga-Ural region is great and promising. Secretary General Ihsanoglu and the President agreed to further cooper-

ation and continue contacts between the OIC and the Republic of Bashkortostan. Ihsanoglu extended an invitation to President Khamitov and a delegation from Bashkortostan to visit the OIC Headquarters in Jeddah to discuss various aspects of cooperation. 49


CULTURE

Ihsanoglu: Muslims in Russia are not on the “periphery” of Muslim world

Kazan, Tatarstan The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu was awarded with the Honorable Degree of 'Foreign Member of Academy of Science of the Republic of Tatarstan' on 20 October 2010 at a ceremony held at Kazan Federal University in Kazan, capital of the Republic of Tatarstan, the Russian Federation. The award was part of an event celebrating the presentation of the academic edition of the book titled 'Tatars History and Civilization' published by the Research Center for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA). Former Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev, who is currently State Counselor of the Republic of Tatarstan, chaired the pres-

entation, which also included Dr. Halit Eren, Director General of IRCICA, and a panel of the University's academics who supervised the book. President Shaimiev said at the presentation that the book highlighted the place of Tatars in the history of Islam, which was introduced to the region in the 10th century peacefully and not by force. The Republic has decided to mark May 21 as a special day celebrating Islam in the Tatar region, he added. Secretary General Ihsanoglu said that the book sheds light on a region considered on the periphery of the Muslim world although he does not think that “periphery” applies anymore to Islam in Russia where there are 20 million Muslims living. The book is seen as a significant work about Tatars and Tatarstan in English. It represents a modern opinion about history and culture of Tatars from ancient times till modern days. Earlier in the day, President Shaimiev accompanied the Secretary General on a tour of historic sites in the city of Bolgar at the outskirts of Kazan where Islam was accepted as the state religion in 922 as the first place to adopt Islam in this region. The sites are undergoing excavations and restorations of ancient mosques and building of museums. Bolgar was one of the major centers of Islamic civilization in Volga-Ural region in the past. Shaimiev gave a detailed presentation of the history of Bolgar city, which now became State Historical Architectural MuseumReserve. The initiative of the Government of Tatarstan is to restore this city. The State Counselor said that the reconstruction works, which are being carried out in the vicinity of the ancient city of Bolgar, will be completed in 2012. The Secretary General reminded that in 2000 when he was Director General of IRCICA he initiated convening the International Symposium on Islamic Civilization in the Volga-Ural Region, and the first symposium was held in Kazan. Three other such symposiums followed, with the fourth to take place in Ufa, Bashkortostan on 21-22 October 2010. Ihsanoglu proposed to hold the fifth edition under the theme “Bolgar: History and Culture” in 2012. Shaimiev and Dr. Eren welcomed the proposal.

OIC Secretary General participates in the 140th anniversary of the National Library of Egypt Cairo, Egypt - In response to an invitation from the Egyptian Minister of Culture Farooq Hosny, the Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu on 27 November 2010, at the Opera House, participated as a keynote speaker at the opening of the international conference of Egypt's Dar Al Kutub (National Library of Egypt), marking 140 years of its establishment. The event was attended by the Egyptian Minister of Culture and the Grand Sheikh of Azhar Dr Ahmad El Tayib and the Mufti of Egypt Dr Ali Gomaa. In his address the Secretary General reminisced about the Dar Al Kutub, describing it as a high standing academy where he learned what he did not learn from any other academic institute with which he had associated either as a student, a researcher or an academic staff in the eastern or western countries. The Secretary General concluded his speech, which was full of examples of the wonderful Islamic heritage, rare manuscripts and valuable publications housed in the Dar Al Kutub, with these words: “If indeed Egypt is the 'mother of the world' then the Egyptian Dar Al Kutub is the heart of that compassionate house, its living memory and the repository of its vast world which encompasses the east and the west.” 50

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

Reappearance of the desert oryx Umm Al Zamul, U.A.E. (dpa) -At the bottom of one of the sand dunes, the gazelle from the Oryx (Maha) family stood still with its white skin shining in the sunlight. From a side view, its two sharp horns appeared like one. “One theory says the Arabian Oryx is the same unicorn spoken about by westerners in their fables,” according to the Egyptian Husam Al Deen Al Kahi. Al Kahi works at the Umm Al Zamul Reserve in Abu Dhabi tending to the Emirates Oryx gazelles to get them to feel at home once again in the arid desert, after having been expelled by hunters who ran afoul of the hunting regulations. The Arabian Oryx is known for its ability to withstand high temperature through a system that prevents adverse rise in its brain temperature. The Arabian Oryx inhabited large parts of the Arabian Peninsula about 100 years ago. Because the Arabian Oryx gazelle is known for its elegantly coordinated horns and delicious meat, the Bedouins were always in its pursuit. But coexistence between the gazelles and man was satisfactory to a certain extent when hunters relied on camels and simple guns for their hunting. However, the life of the Oryx in this region is now threatened, as the Bedouins have turned to the use of automatic rifles and four-wheel drive vehicles in the hunting exercise. The last Oryx gazelle hunt took place in the Sultanate of Oman in 1972. Had it not been for the program to breed these kinds of gazelles at that time in western zoos, it would not have been possible to enjoy the sight of these beautiful creatures today except in pictures. There is now a program to rehabilitate the Oryx in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. When we take into account the Oryx that are being bred by the princes on their private farms, the number of gazelles of this kind in the region would reach several thousands. No creatures can feel comfortable living in this desert except the desert animals such as the agile antelopes, camels and Oryx gazelles, which live in this very hot weather under the sun canopy and drink from special plastic water trough. The Umm Al Zamul reserve is located at the mouth of the Empty Quarter region where gazelles have relocated to live since 2007. There are now 171 of this specie of gazelle in this reserve. It is expected that 98 antelopes will be added to this number in the coming weeks.

All the gazelles in this reserve are offspring of gazelles bred in closed areas. These offspring and grand offspring of zoo gazelles have not learnt to travel long distances in search of water. Similarly the number of camels bred in this region has increased astronomically in the last 20 years, causing a reduction in the amount of forage in the area and consequently the amount of food on which the gazelles depend in their lifetime. As a result, the workers in this open garden, which extends over about 8,000 square kilometers, provide food and water to these animals that are placed in 42 fenced pens. The desert Bedouins loves the white gazelles with black perches around the face to such an extent that they name their daughters Maha (Oryx). The Arabs also describe the Oryx gazelle as “conspicuous” because it is easy to sight from a distance in the desert thanks to its glittering white fur, unlike the fox or other types of gazelles, for instance. Because the Oryx is not good at running like the antelope, rather than escaping it prefers to use the defensive strategy and uses its sharp horns for fighting. Husam Al Deen Al Kahi, one of the guards at the reserve, accompanies a Bedouin colleague on this hot spring day to the location of the gazelles' fodder. As soon as their vehicle got close to the place, about 10 antelopes ran away, leaving behind one small animal that could not run. That small animal hid itself under one of the water storages. But its mother could not stay away from it for more than 5 minutes, came back close to the small animal in the company of a male animal in the herd. From a safe distance, it watched as the Bedouin guard took the animal in his hands to feed it. However, not all desert inhabitants know the meaning of animal protection. While the reserve guards sat down to their meal, the police on the other side of the Empty Quarter were looking for 2 hunters who had not only killed 15 antelopes and 5 Oryx gazelles but also flaunted their video film capturing the hunting process. 51


CULTURE

Ihsanoglu: Muslims in Russia are not on the “periphery” of Muslim world

Kazan, Tatarstan The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu was awarded with the Honorable Degree of 'Foreign Member of Academy of Science of the Republic of Tatarstan' on 20 October 2010 at a ceremony held at Kazan Federal University in Kazan, capital of the Republic of Tatarstan, the Russian Federation. The award was part of an event celebrating the presentation of the academic edition of the book titled 'Tatars History and Civilization' published by the Research Center for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA). Former Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev, who is currently State Counselor of the Republic of Tatarstan, chaired the pres-

entation, which also included Dr. Halit Eren, Director General of IRCICA, and a panel of the University's academics who supervised the book. President Shaimiev said at the presentation that the book highlighted the place of Tatars in the history of Islam, which was introduced to the region in the 10th century peacefully and not by force. The Republic has decided to mark May 21 as a special day celebrating Islam in the Tatar region, he added. Secretary General Ihsanoglu said that the book sheds light on a region considered on the periphery of the Muslim world although he does not think that “periphery” applies anymore to Islam in Russia where there are 20 million Muslims living. The book is seen as a significant work about Tatars and Tatarstan in English. It represents a modern opinion about history and culture of Tatars from ancient times till modern days. Earlier in the day, President Shaimiev accompanied the Secretary General on a tour of historic sites in the city of Bolgar at the outskirts of Kazan where Islam was accepted as the state religion in 922 as the first place to adopt Islam in this region. The sites are undergoing excavations and restorations of ancient mosques and building of museums. Bolgar was one of the major centers of Islamic civilization in Volga-Ural region in the past. Shaimiev gave a detailed presentation of the history of Bolgar city, which now became State Historical Architectural MuseumReserve. The initiative of the Government of Tatarstan is to restore this city. The State Counselor said that the reconstruction works, which are being carried out in the vicinity of the ancient city of Bolgar, will be completed in 2012. The Secretary General reminded that in 2000 when he was Director General of IRCICA he initiated convening the International Symposium on Islamic Civilization in the Volga-Ural Region, and the first symposium was held in Kazan. Three other such symposiums followed, with the fourth to take place in Ufa, Bashkortostan on 21-22 October 2010. Ihsanoglu proposed to hold the fifth edition under the theme “Bolgar: History and Culture” in 2012. Shaimiev and Dr. Eren welcomed the proposal.

OIC Secretary General participates in the 140th anniversary of the National Library of Egypt Cairo, Egypt - In response to an invitation from the Egyptian Minister of Culture Farooq Hosny, the Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu on 27 November 2010, at the Opera House, participated as a keynote speaker at the opening of the international conference of Egypt's Dar Al Kutub (National Library of Egypt), marking 140 years of its establishment. The event was attended by the Egyptian Minister of Culture and the Grand Sheikh of Azhar Dr Ahmad El Tayib and the Mufti of Egypt Dr Ali Gomaa. In his address the Secretary General reminisced about the Dar Al Kutub, describing it as a high standing academy where he learned what he did not learn from any other academic institute with which he had associated either as a student, a researcher or an academic staff in the eastern or western countries. The Secretary General concluded his speech, which was full of examples of the wonderful Islamic heritage, rare manuscripts and valuable publications housed in the Dar Al Kutub, with these words: “If indeed Egypt is the 'mother of the world' then the Egyptian Dar Al Kutub is the heart of that compassionate house, its living memory and the repository of its vast world which encompasses the east and the west.” 50

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

Reappearance of the desert oryx Umm Al Zamul, U.A.E. (dpa) -At the bottom of one of the sand dunes, the gazelle from the Oryx (Maha) family stood still with its white skin shining in the sunlight. From a side view, its two sharp horns appeared like one. “One theory says the Arabian Oryx is the same unicorn spoken about by westerners in their fables,” according to the Egyptian Husam Al Deen Al Kahi. Al Kahi works at the Umm Al Zamul Reserve in Abu Dhabi tending to the Emirates Oryx gazelles to get them to feel at home once again in the arid desert, after having been expelled by hunters who ran afoul of the hunting regulations. The Arabian Oryx is known for its ability to withstand high temperature through a system that prevents adverse rise in its brain temperature. The Arabian Oryx inhabited large parts of the Arabian Peninsula about 100 years ago. Because the Arabian Oryx gazelle is known for its elegantly coordinated horns and delicious meat, the Bedouins were always in its pursuit. But coexistence between the gazelles and man was satisfactory to a certain extent when hunters relied on camels and simple guns for their hunting. However, the life of the Oryx in this region is now threatened, as the Bedouins have turned to the use of automatic rifles and four-wheel drive vehicles in the hunting exercise. The last Oryx gazelle hunt took place in the Sultanate of Oman in 1972. Had it not been for the program to breed these kinds of gazelles at that time in western zoos, it would not have been possible to enjoy the sight of these beautiful creatures today except in pictures. There is now a program to rehabilitate the Oryx in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. When we take into account the Oryx that are being bred by the princes on their private farms, the number of gazelles of this kind in the region would reach several thousands. No creatures can feel comfortable living in this desert except the desert animals such as the agile antelopes, camels and Oryx gazelles, which live in this very hot weather under the sun canopy and drink from special plastic water trough. The Umm Al Zamul reserve is located at the mouth of the Empty Quarter region where gazelles have relocated to live since 2007. There are now 171 of this specie of gazelle in this reserve. It is expected that 98 antelopes will be added to this number in the coming weeks.

All the gazelles in this reserve are offspring of gazelles bred in closed areas. These offspring and grand offspring of zoo gazelles have not learnt to travel long distances in search of water. Similarly the number of camels bred in this region has increased astronomically in the last 20 years, causing a reduction in the amount of forage in the area and consequently the amount of food on which the gazelles depend in their lifetime. As a result, the workers in this open garden, which extends over about 8,000 square kilometers, provide food and water to these animals that are placed in 42 fenced pens. The desert Bedouins loves the white gazelles with black perches around the face to such an extent that they name their daughters Maha (Oryx). The Arabs also describe the Oryx gazelle as “conspicuous” because it is easy to sight from a distance in the desert thanks to its glittering white fur, unlike the fox or other types of gazelles, for instance. Because the Oryx is not good at running like the antelope, rather than escaping it prefers to use the defensive strategy and uses its sharp horns for fighting. Husam Al Deen Al Kahi, one of the guards at the reserve, accompanies a Bedouin colleague on this hot spring day to the location of the gazelles' fodder. As soon as their vehicle got close to the place, about 10 antelopes ran away, leaving behind one small animal that could not run. That small animal hid itself under one of the water storages. But its mother could not stay away from it for more than 5 minutes, came back close to the small animal in the company of a male animal in the herd. From a safe distance, it watched as the Bedouin guard took the animal in his hands to feed it. However, not all desert inhabitants know the meaning of animal protection. While the reserve guards sat down to their meal, the police on the other side of the Empty Quarter were looking for 2 hunters who had not only killed 15 antelopes and 5 Oryx gazelles but also flaunted their video film capturing the hunting process. 51


CULTURE

ISESCO and the AWO sign cooperation agreement Tunis - The Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) and the Arab Women Organization (AWO) chaired by Mrs. Leila Ben Ali, Consort of the Tunisian President, signed on 30 October 2010 a cooperation agreement at the closing session of the Third Conference of the AWO in Tunis. ISESCO Director General Dr. Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri and the AWO Director

General Dr. Wadoda Badran signed the agreement on behalf of their respective Organizations. The agreement provides that the two parties inform each other of any projects or action programs of common interest, in line with their fields of action, coordinate their efforts and invite the other party to take part in the event. The agreement also stipulates that

the two Organizations carry out joint actions, falling within their areas of competence, and fulfill common objectives in accordance with conditions that determine the obligations of each party and their financial contribution to the activity. These activities shall include conducting studies, and holding symposia, scientific meetings, and training sessions.

Message of Ihsanoglu on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women The OIC is privileged to join the International community in commemorating the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. This Day (25 November) provides us with an opportunity to renew our common resolve to continue efforts to eliminate violence against women including domestic violence. The important role of women in overall socio-economic developments in different capacities, including their vital role in the family as a mother and wife cannot be overstated. Their contributions, however, will remain unappreciated unless we can ensure to protect them against violence. It is unfortunate that we still find women in all societies, including the most developed ones, being subjected to beating, torture and rape. Most of these crimes are not reported. Although we have witnessed some encouraging improvements in the overall conditions of women, including alleviating violence against women in its various forms and manifestations, the situation in many parts of the world particularly the developing and least developed countries remains gloomy as women are vulnerable to the threats and challenges in this field. The observance of the day reminds us of the necessity to strengthen our efforts to combat against this phenomenon which violates some basic human rights and runs con-

trary to the basic principles and teachings of Islam that strongly reject all forms of violence against women and uphold their rights. We must stand united against this evil phenomenon through all available means in order to make sure that women are protected against any violation of their rights, particularly against all forms of violence that are guaranteed by the International laws and conventions as well as national laws and legislations. It was in accordance with the Cairo Declaration on Human rights in Islam and the OIC Ten-Year Program of Action adopted by the 3rd Extraordinary Islamic Summit Conference that the 'OIC Plan of Action for Advancement of Women' (OPAAW) was adopted by the Second Ministerial Conference on Women's Role in Development of OIC Member States, held in Cairo in November 2008. In the same spirit we have established a specialized institution for the advancement of women in Cairo. I am sure that effective implementation of the OPAAW alongside other relevant international instruments will help us overcome difficulties that hinder our efforts to reach the aspired goal of eliminating the violence against women. It is our common responsibility to work together and step up our efforts to help eradicate violence against women.

Egypt signs the Statute of the OIC Specialized Organization for Women Development Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - The Permanent Representative of Egypt to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Asim Mohammed Hanafi signed on 15 December the Statute of the OIC Specialized Organization for the Development of Women in the OIC Headquarters in Jeddah on behalf of his Government. The signing ceremony took place in the presence of the OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu and other senior officials of General Sec-

52

retariat. With this, Egypt became the first country signing the Statute. The decision to establish a specialized Organization under the OIC for the development of women with its headquarters in Cairo was a result of the OIC Plan of Action for Advancement of Women (OPAAW) that was adopted by the 36th Council of Foreign Ministers in Damascus in 2009. The draft Statute of the Organization was subsequently adopted by the 37th Council of Foreign Ministers held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan in

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

May 2010. The Statute is open for signature and ratification by the OIC Member States. Member States have been requested to expedite their relevant internal processes with a view to facilitating its entry into force at an early date. The Specialized Organization, which will be devoted to the cause of advancement of Muslim women, is envisioned to play a pivotal role in addressing issues and concerns of women and for their overall development.

WISE stories of impact: Jamila Afghani program in the Philippines, Jamila submitted a proposal for a similar project in Afghanistan. The project would be a six month gender-sensitive training program that included printing 10,000 copies of booklets in Dari on Afghan women's rights in the following five areas: education, marriage, inheritance, ownership and property, and political and social participation. Twenty university students would be hired as part of the project to monitor Friday sermons delivered at the mosques. A mix of 20 moderate and conservative Imams were invited to participate in the project, including two Shi'ite Imams. Jamila faced significant challenges throughout the project. She faced criticism from some Imams who expressed that the program was too “Western”. The training sessions showcased that numerous harmful traditional practices against women were a result of patriarchal (mis)interpretations of the Quran and Hadith (sayings of Prophet Muhammad). In supporting women's human rights, the sessions utilized the Afghan constitution, other national and international legal treaties and the WISE Compact, which encapsulates the WISE mission and defends gender equality through the objectives of Islamic law. Jamila later won over the doubting Imams after deciding to conduct sessions in smaller workgroups with a balance of moderate and conservative Imams, and fostering extensive discussions. Jamila also faced difficulty after monitoring reports indicated that initial reception to Imams' sermons was stagnant. Jamila and her team had the student monitors spark the discussion by asking questions themselves and within a month and a half many more congregants became engaged with the topics. At one of the Friday sermons a project monitor noticed an elderly man at the back of the prayer hall who looked troubled. The monitor asked the man if he needed any help, to which the man replied, “No one can help me. Now time is gone and I have committed all sorts of violence against my daughters. I have received walwar Imam training class in Kabul. [bride price], I stopped

Ambreen Qureshi WISE Program Director Despite coming from a prominent family, Jamila Afghani began life facing many difficulties. She contracted polio and developed scoliosis as a child. At the age of 14 she survived a shot to the head by Soviet troops. Regardless, Jamila was able to overcome these challenges and dedicated her life to empowering women in Afghanistan, establishing the Noor Educational Center (NEC) in Kabul. Realizing the powerful influence of religious leaders, or Imams, in Afghan society, Jamila collaborated with the Women's Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality (WISE), a program of the American Society for Muslim Advancement, to start an Imam gendersensitive training program at the NEC. The program is geared towards educating Imams on women's rights through an Islamic and human rights framework. Through Friday sermons and widespread media, 9.5 million people in Afghanistan have been exposed to the Imams' sermons on women's rights. WISE is a global program, social network and grassroots social justice movement highlighting and furthering the efforts of Muslim women like Jamila Afghani. WISE empowers Muslim women to fully participate in their communities and nations, and amplifies their collective voices as well as reclaims the rich legacy of excellence Muslim women have enjoyed as leaders, professionals, caregivers, activists, and religious scholars. Impressed by her work through the NEC, WISE invited Jamila to join the WISE network and to participate in WISE's second annual conference in July 2009 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Inspired by a case study at the conference highlighting an Imam training

Daisy Khan, Executive Director of the American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA) with President Clinton

them from getting an education, I forced their marriages. They are suffering every day because of my wrongs. Why were these Imams not talking on these issues before?” Over the course of the project some 300 sermons on women's rights were delivered by 20 Imams in different locations throughout the capital. Jamila and the NEC team will continue their work in the 20 participating mosques in Kabul and expand the project into 10 mosques in Jalalabad. The project will establish women's sections in ten mosques in Kabul to empower women in raising their voices on the issue of their own rights. After being nominated by WISE, Jamila won the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding's 2010 Peacemakers in Action award, which honors individuals inspired by their faith to work on peace initiatives in regions of armed conflict. In addition, WISE's collaboration with Jamila and the NEC was recognized by the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) as a 2010 Commitment to Action. CGI members showcase Commitments, or initiatives to address various global challenges, in order to spark constructive feedback and garner partnerships. WISE is dedicated to continuing to work on the ground on projects similar to the Imam training program. WISE is currently working in Egypt with a local NGO to provide education and financial incentives to deter practitioners of female genital cutting. WISE has also worked with an NGO in Pakistan on a domestic violence awareness campaign. To learn more about WISE and these projects please visit: www.wisemuslimwomen.org. 53


CULTURE

ISESCO and the AWO sign cooperation agreement Tunis - The Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) and the Arab Women Organization (AWO) chaired by Mrs. Leila Ben Ali, Consort of the Tunisian President, signed on 30 October 2010 a cooperation agreement at the closing session of the Third Conference of the AWO in Tunis. ISESCO Director General Dr. Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri and the AWO Director

General Dr. Wadoda Badran signed the agreement on behalf of their respective Organizations. The agreement provides that the two parties inform each other of any projects or action programs of common interest, in line with their fields of action, coordinate their efforts and invite the other party to take part in the event. The agreement also stipulates that

the two Organizations carry out joint actions, falling within their areas of competence, and fulfill common objectives in accordance with conditions that determine the obligations of each party and their financial contribution to the activity. These activities shall include conducting studies, and holding symposia, scientific meetings, and training sessions.

Message of Ihsanoglu on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women The OIC is privileged to join the International community in commemorating the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. This Day (25 November) provides us with an opportunity to renew our common resolve to continue efforts to eliminate violence against women including domestic violence. The important role of women in overall socio-economic developments in different capacities, including their vital role in the family as a mother and wife cannot be overstated. Their contributions, however, will remain unappreciated unless we can ensure to protect them against violence. It is unfortunate that we still find women in all societies, including the most developed ones, being subjected to beating, torture and rape. Most of these crimes are not reported. Although we have witnessed some encouraging improvements in the overall conditions of women, including alleviating violence against women in its various forms and manifestations, the situation in many parts of the world particularly the developing and least developed countries remains gloomy as women are vulnerable to the threats and challenges in this field. The observance of the day reminds us of the necessity to strengthen our efforts to combat against this phenomenon which violates some basic human rights and runs con-

trary to the basic principles and teachings of Islam that strongly reject all forms of violence against women and uphold their rights. We must stand united against this evil phenomenon through all available means in order to make sure that women are protected against any violation of their rights, particularly against all forms of violence that are guaranteed by the International laws and conventions as well as national laws and legislations. It was in accordance with the Cairo Declaration on Human rights in Islam and the OIC Ten-Year Program of Action adopted by the 3rd Extraordinary Islamic Summit Conference that the 'OIC Plan of Action for Advancement of Women' (OPAAW) was adopted by the Second Ministerial Conference on Women's Role in Development of OIC Member States, held in Cairo in November 2008. In the same spirit we have established a specialized institution for the advancement of women in Cairo. I am sure that effective implementation of the OPAAW alongside other relevant international instruments will help us overcome difficulties that hinder our efforts to reach the aspired goal of eliminating the violence against women. It is our common responsibility to work together and step up our efforts to help eradicate violence against women.

Egypt signs the Statute of the OIC Specialized Organization for Women Development Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - The Permanent Representative of Egypt to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Asim Mohammed Hanafi signed on 15 December the Statute of the OIC Specialized Organization for the Development of Women in the OIC Headquarters in Jeddah on behalf of his Government. The signing ceremony took place in the presence of the OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu and other senior officials of General Sec-

52

retariat. With this, Egypt became the first country signing the Statute. The decision to establish a specialized Organization under the OIC for the development of women with its headquarters in Cairo was a result of the OIC Plan of Action for Advancement of Women (OPAAW) that was adopted by the 36th Council of Foreign Ministers in Damascus in 2009. The draft Statute of the Organization was subsequently adopted by the 37th Council of Foreign Ministers held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan in

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

May 2010. The Statute is open for signature and ratification by the OIC Member States. Member States have been requested to expedite their relevant internal processes with a view to facilitating its entry into force at an early date. The Specialized Organization, which will be devoted to the cause of advancement of Muslim women, is envisioned to play a pivotal role in addressing issues and concerns of women and for their overall development.

WISE stories of impact: Jamila Afghani program in the Philippines, Jamila submitted a proposal for a similar project in Afghanistan. The project would be a six month gender-sensitive training program that included printing 10,000 copies of booklets in Dari on Afghan women's rights in the following five areas: education, marriage, inheritance, ownership and property, and political and social participation. Twenty university students would be hired as part of the project to monitor Friday sermons delivered at the mosques. A mix of 20 moderate and conservative Imams were invited to participate in the project, including two Shi'ite Imams. Jamila faced significant challenges throughout the project. She faced criticism from some Imams who expressed that the program was too “Western”. The training sessions showcased that numerous harmful traditional practices against women were a result of patriarchal (mis)interpretations of the Quran and Hadith (sayings of Prophet Muhammad). In supporting women's human rights, the sessions utilized the Afghan constitution, other national and international legal treaties and the WISE Compact, which encapsulates the WISE mission and defends gender equality through the objectives of Islamic law. Jamila later won over the doubting Imams after deciding to conduct sessions in smaller workgroups with a balance of moderate and conservative Imams, and fostering extensive discussions. Jamila also faced difficulty after monitoring reports indicated that initial reception to Imams' sermons was stagnant. Jamila and her team had the student monitors spark the discussion by asking questions themselves and within a month and a half many more congregants became engaged with the topics. At one of the Friday sermons a project monitor noticed an elderly man at the back of the prayer hall who looked troubled. The monitor asked the man if he needed any help, to which the man replied, “No one can help me. Now time is gone and I have committed all sorts of violence against my daughters. I have received walwar Imam training class in Kabul. [bride price], I stopped

Ambreen Qureshi WISE Program Director Despite coming from a prominent family, Jamila Afghani began life facing many difficulties. She contracted polio and developed scoliosis as a child. At the age of 14 she survived a shot to the head by Soviet troops. Regardless, Jamila was able to overcome these challenges and dedicated her life to empowering women in Afghanistan, establishing the Noor Educational Center (NEC) in Kabul. Realizing the powerful influence of religious leaders, or Imams, in Afghan society, Jamila collaborated with the Women's Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality (WISE), a program of the American Society for Muslim Advancement, to start an Imam gendersensitive training program at the NEC. The program is geared towards educating Imams on women's rights through an Islamic and human rights framework. Through Friday sermons and widespread media, 9.5 million people in Afghanistan have been exposed to the Imams' sermons on women's rights. WISE is a global program, social network and grassroots social justice movement highlighting and furthering the efforts of Muslim women like Jamila Afghani. WISE empowers Muslim women to fully participate in their communities and nations, and amplifies their collective voices as well as reclaims the rich legacy of excellence Muslim women have enjoyed as leaders, professionals, caregivers, activists, and religious scholars. Impressed by her work through the NEC, WISE invited Jamila to join the WISE network and to participate in WISE's second annual conference in July 2009 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Inspired by a case study at the conference highlighting an Imam training

Daisy Khan, Executive Director of the American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA) with President Clinton

them from getting an education, I forced their marriages. They are suffering every day because of my wrongs. Why were these Imams not talking on these issues before?” Over the course of the project some 300 sermons on women's rights were delivered by 20 Imams in different locations throughout the capital. Jamila and the NEC team will continue their work in the 20 participating mosques in Kabul and expand the project into 10 mosques in Jalalabad. The project will establish women's sections in ten mosques in Kabul to empower women in raising their voices on the issue of their own rights. After being nominated by WISE, Jamila won the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding's 2010 Peacemakers in Action award, which honors individuals inspired by their faith to work on peace initiatives in regions of armed conflict. In addition, WISE's collaboration with Jamila and the NEC was recognized by the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) as a 2010 Commitment to Action. CGI members showcase Commitments, or initiatives to address various global challenges, in order to spark constructive feedback and garner partnerships. WISE is dedicated to continuing to work on the ground on projects similar to the Imam training program. WISE is currently working in Egypt with a local NGO to provide education and financial incentives to deter practitioners of female genital cutting. WISE has also worked with an NGO in Pakistan on a domestic violence awareness campaign. To learn more about WISE and these projects please visit: www.wisemuslimwomen.org. 53


CULTURE

TOURISM

Moroni, Capital of Islamic Culture for 2010

The capital of the Union of Comoros, Moroni, has been chosen as the “2010 Islamic culture capital for the African Region”. Till the end of 2010, distinguished figures in the field of culture from the Member States of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) continued taking part in the various activities relating to religion as well as Islamic arts and culture in the Comoros, in addition to a series of conferences on the history of Moroni and Islam. Other activities held in celebration of this event included guided visits, competitions, exhibitions and the organization of the Fourth Edition of the National Comoros Arts Festival (FENASCO), under the theme “Arab-Islamic Tradition”. An official ceremony was held on 7 April 2010 in the capital city Moroni under the high patronage of the President of the Union of Comoros, H. E. Ahmed Abdullah M. Sambi to launch the celebration of Moroni as the "2010 Islamic Culture Capital for the African Region". Ministers and dignitaries attended the event from the OIC Member States and institutions. History Located on the western coast of Njazidja island, Moroni is the largest city of the Union of the Comoros and its capital city. In Comorian, Moroni translates as "in the heart of the fire", perhaps alluding to the city's proximity to Karthala Volcano. The city was founded by Arabic settlers possibly during the 10th century as the capital of a sultanate connected commercially to Zanzibar in Tanzania. The city, which is the country's political, economic, commercial, tourist and administrative capital, has preserved a major part of its long historical legacy inherited from the Sultans era. As a coastal city, Moroni has been a constant destination for migration flows; hence its special historical significance. Moroni is witnessing an urban and demographic boom. The headquarters of the different ministries stretch across the city's streets, particularly along a one-way avenue leading to the famous hospital of the capital and the 'Volo Volo' market. In the northern part of the island the Corniche Avenue stretches in parallel to the sea shore and ends near the Presidential Palace, the faculty of Imam Shafi'i, University of the Comoros and a harbor where fishermen used to build outrigger canoes. The Corniche Avenue is famous for its modern buildings, hotels, and tennis courts. Major Civilizational Landmarks 54

Moroni is home for many mosques and buildings dating back to the era of the Sultans who ruled the city. The 'Old Friday Mosque' is one of the capital's noticeable landmarks, which forms a popular tourist spot. The ancient entrances of the city's monuments still show their authentic engravings, particularly in traditional homes in 'Irungudjani' and 'Bacha' districts where the Sultans used to set their courts. Most of these buildings have been transformed into shops and snacks, while others serve as public spaces where traditional entertainments such as card games, domino and dice are practiced. In the eastern side of the city, there stretches a series of stores, traditional clothing bazaars and jewelry boutiques. The traditional marketplace, which is located in front of these shops, bursts with trade activities practiced by salesmen from the different provinces of the archipelago. The National Center for Documentation and Scientific Research stands in the city center, facing the France Plaza with its banks and famous restaurant called “Le Sélect”. The Center is considered as a repository of the Comoro culture. It includes a museum, a library, a bookshop exhibiting publications on the Comoros and an audiovisual center for the production of documentaries on the geography and history of the Archipelago. The history wing in the museum showcases the Comoros' traditions and natural environment. The wing devoted to history features, archaeological objects and pottery items dating back to the 19th Century. On display are also some ancient handicraft tools of the ancient inhabitants of these islands. Old copies of the Holy Quran, portraits dating back to the 19th century of the sultans and kings who ruled this country, along with other tools, musical instruments, house furniture and rare manuscripts attest to the colorful and rich history of this country. Another wing of the museum, which is dedicated to the natural environment of the islands, exhibits a beautiful collection of birds, butterflies, fish and flora, including plants used in the Comorian traditional medicine. In that wing, visitors are presented also with a chronology of the Karthala volcano's eruptions.

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

Dubai to build own Pyramids, Eiffel and Pisa Towers

Dubai, UAE (dpa): In less than seven years from now Dubai visitors will have the chance to tour Egypt's pyramids and the Eiffel Tower. Visitors will also be able to shoot a commemorative photograph standing next to India's Taj Mahal or close to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. While they will be at it, why not climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and the Pharos (lighthouse) of Alexandria. Dubai seeks to pool together the wonders of the world and the best global landmarks under one roof, its own roof, in a bid to allow tourists to tour the world in a few hours. Dubai is building pyramids bound to exceed in magnitude the towering Giza Pyramids in Egypt. It is also constructing its own Eiffel tower that would not be dwarfed by the real one in Paris. Just as the 12th century architect succeeded in building the famous leaning Tower of Pisa, Dubai is set to build a replica that will have its own slant. More remarkably, Dubai plans to build a giant wall that would resemble the Great Wall of China. The mammoth project, which kicked off back in 2005 in the desert of the Emirati city, is no longer a 'dead letter', or just a 'cardboard model' showcased at real estate exhibi-

tions; rather, it has become in large part real, and implementation works are fast underway. “We are close to realizing an architectural miracle in Dubai. It is going to be a unique landmark that will attract millions of tourists from all over the world,” Salem Al-Mussa, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the company executing the project, told DPA. He added that, “the project carries the name 'Falcon City' and will take the shape of a falcon. Anyone flying over the project will view the buildings forming together the famous Emirati falcon, which is the national currency and banknote symbol.” “Falcon city was a fanciful dream, but Dubai is a city that challenges the impossible,” said Al-Mussa. _He explained that Falcon City comprises residential buildings and recreational facilities, and will include at the same time the most famous landmarks of the world in real-life size. Homes in the city are scheduled to be delivered to would-be residents within a few months. Construction works will go on till final completion by the end of 2017. The project management team believes that an estimated 75 thousand residents of various nationalities will live in such major tourist attractions. Al-Mussa disclosed that the cost of

building the 'City of Wonders', as he likes to dub it, nears AED 10 billion. He emphasized that the project was not affected in the least by the repercussions of the global financial crisis. The city stretches over an area of 41 million square feet in 'Dubai Land' district. The project includes a range of villas, shopping malls, hotels, restaurants, health clubs, schools, and parks. “Falcon City is designed to be the home of civilizations in tune with the lifestyles of people from various cultures and different ages. The City will also reflect the multicultural character of UAE society, which hosts more than 200 nationalities from the East and the West,” AlMussa added. Likewise, the project features landmarks from many glorious cities, like Rome, Venice, Beirut and New York. It includes villas constructed in Andalusian architectural style and villas inspired by the architectural style of Mexico. Al-Mussa pointed out that the first phase of the project consists of 366 villas designed in line with top-notch models. The construction cost of this phase is about AED 600 million. He goes on by saying, “We promise whoever will visit the city that we will accompany them on a historical journey to discover romantic destinations, unique locations, tourist sites, and internationally renowned landmarks. Visitors will tour historical wonders. They will watch secrets of the past and visit lots of legendary sites in one single place.' No doubt, Dubai has emerged over the past few years as a hub of a construction boom. It has built scores of famous landmarks, notably the 828 meter-tall Burj Khalifa, styled as the tallest skyscraper in the world, and Palm Islands, a vast artificial archipelago made up of residential buildings, which is home to one of the most luxurious hotels in the world, 'Atlantis', in addition to 'Burj al-Arab' Hotel, alleged to be the first sevenstar hotel in the world. 55


CULTURE

TOURISM

Moroni, Capital of Islamic Culture for 2010

The capital of the Union of Comoros, Moroni, has been chosen as the “2010 Islamic culture capital for the African Region”. Till the end of 2010, distinguished figures in the field of culture from the Member States of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) continued taking part in the various activities relating to religion as well as Islamic arts and culture in the Comoros, in addition to a series of conferences on the history of Moroni and Islam. Other activities held in celebration of this event included guided visits, competitions, exhibitions and the organization of the Fourth Edition of the National Comoros Arts Festival (FENASCO), under the theme “Arab-Islamic Tradition”. An official ceremony was held on 7 April 2010 in the capital city Moroni under the high patronage of the President of the Union of Comoros, H. E. Ahmed Abdullah M. Sambi to launch the celebration of Moroni as the "2010 Islamic Culture Capital for the African Region". Ministers and dignitaries attended the event from the OIC Member States and institutions. History Located on the western coast of Njazidja island, Moroni is the largest city of the Union of the Comoros and its capital city. In Comorian, Moroni translates as "in the heart of the fire", perhaps alluding to the city's proximity to Karthala Volcano. The city was founded by Arabic settlers possibly during the 10th century as the capital of a sultanate connected commercially to Zanzibar in Tanzania. The city, which is the country's political, economic, commercial, tourist and administrative capital, has preserved a major part of its long historical legacy inherited from the Sultans era. As a coastal city, Moroni has been a constant destination for migration flows; hence its special historical significance. Moroni is witnessing an urban and demographic boom. The headquarters of the different ministries stretch across the city's streets, particularly along a one-way avenue leading to the famous hospital of the capital and the 'Volo Volo' market. In the northern part of the island the Corniche Avenue stretches in parallel to the sea shore and ends near the Presidential Palace, the faculty of Imam Shafi'i, University of the Comoros and a harbor where fishermen used to build outrigger canoes. The Corniche Avenue is famous for its modern buildings, hotels, and tennis courts. Major Civilizational Landmarks 54

Moroni is home for many mosques and buildings dating back to the era of the Sultans who ruled the city. The 'Old Friday Mosque' is one of the capital's noticeable landmarks, which forms a popular tourist spot. The ancient entrances of the city's monuments still show their authentic engravings, particularly in traditional homes in 'Irungudjani' and 'Bacha' districts where the Sultans used to set their courts. Most of these buildings have been transformed into shops and snacks, while others serve as public spaces where traditional entertainments such as card games, domino and dice are practiced. In the eastern side of the city, there stretches a series of stores, traditional clothing bazaars and jewelry boutiques. The traditional marketplace, which is located in front of these shops, bursts with trade activities practiced by salesmen from the different provinces of the archipelago. The National Center for Documentation and Scientific Research stands in the city center, facing the France Plaza with its banks and famous restaurant called “Le Sélect”. The Center is considered as a repository of the Comoro culture. It includes a museum, a library, a bookshop exhibiting publications on the Comoros and an audiovisual center for the production of documentaries on the geography and history of the Archipelago. The history wing in the museum showcases the Comoros' traditions and natural environment. The wing devoted to history features, archaeological objects and pottery items dating back to the 19th Century. On display are also some ancient handicraft tools of the ancient inhabitants of these islands. Old copies of the Holy Quran, portraits dating back to the 19th century of the sultans and kings who ruled this country, along with other tools, musical instruments, house furniture and rare manuscripts attest to the colorful and rich history of this country. Another wing of the museum, which is dedicated to the natural environment of the islands, exhibits a beautiful collection of birds, butterflies, fish and flora, including plants used in the Comorian traditional medicine. In that wing, visitors are presented also with a chronology of the Karthala volcano's eruptions.

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

Dubai to build own Pyramids, Eiffel and Pisa Towers

Dubai, UAE (dpa): In less than seven years from now Dubai visitors will have the chance to tour Egypt's pyramids and the Eiffel Tower. Visitors will also be able to shoot a commemorative photograph standing next to India's Taj Mahal or close to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. While they will be at it, why not climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and the Pharos (lighthouse) of Alexandria. Dubai seeks to pool together the wonders of the world and the best global landmarks under one roof, its own roof, in a bid to allow tourists to tour the world in a few hours. Dubai is building pyramids bound to exceed in magnitude the towering Giza Pyramids in Egypt. It is also constructing its own Eiffel tower that would not be dwarfed by the real one in Paris. Just as the 12th century architect succeeded in building the famous leaning Tower of Pisa, Dubai is set to build a replica that will have its own slant. More remarkably, Dubai plans to build a giant wall that would resemble the Great Wall of China. The mammoth project, which kicked off back in 2005 in the desert of the Emirati city, is no longer a 'dead letter', or just a 'cardboard model' showcased at real estate exhibi-

tions; rather, it has become in large part real, and implementation works are fast underway. “We are close to realizing an architectural miracle in Dubai. It is going to be a unique landmark that will attract millions of tourists from all over the world,” Salem Al-Mussa, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the company executing the project, told DPA. He added that, “the project carries the name 'Falcon City' and will take the shape of a falcon. Anyone flying over the project will view the buildings forming together the famous Emirati falcon, which is the national currency and banknote symbol.” “Falcon city was a fanciful dream, but Dubai is a city that challenges the impossible,” said Al-Mussa. _He explained that Falcon City comprises residential buildings and recreational facilities, and will include at the same time the most famous landmarks of the world in real-life size. Homes in the city are scheduled to be delivered to would-be residents within a few months. Construction works will go on till final completion by the end of 2017. The project management team believes that an estimated 75 thousand residents of various nationalities will live in such major tourist attractions. Al-Mussa disclosed that the cost of

building the 'City of Wonders', as he likes to dub it, nears AED 10 billion. He emphasized that the project was not affected in the least by the repercussions of the global financial crisis. The city stretches over an area of 41 million square feet in 'Dubai Land' district. The project includes a range of villas, shopping malls, hotels, restaurants, health clubs, schools, and parks. “Falcon City is designed to be the home of civilizations in tune with the lifestyles of people from various cultures and different ages. The City will also reflect the multicultural character of UAE society, which hosts more than 200 nationalities from the East and the West,” AlMussa added. Likewise, the project features landmarks from many glorious cities, like Rome, Venice, Beirut and New York. It includes villas constructed in Andalusian architectural style and villas inspired by the architectural style of Mexico. Al-Mussa pointed out that the first phase of the project consists of 366 villas designed in line with top-notch models. The construction cost of this phase is about AED 600 million. He goes on by saying, “We promise whoever will visit the city that we will accompany them on a historical journey to discover romantic destinations, unique locations, tourist sites, and internationally renowned landmarks. Visitors will tour historical wonders. They will watch secrets of the past and visit lots of legendary sites in one single place.' No doubt, Dubai has emerged over the past few years as a hub of a construction boom. It has built scores of famous landmarks, notably the 828 meter-tall Burj Khalifa, styled as the tallest skyscraper in the world, and Palm Islands, a vast artificial archipelago made up of residential buildings, which is home to one of the most luxurious hotels in the world, 'Atlantis', in addition to 'Burj al-Arab' Hotel, alleged to be the first sevenstar hotel in the world. 55


HEALTH - SCIENCE

HEALTH

First International Conference of Health Tourism in Islamic Countries takes place in Iran Mashhad, Iran - The first International Conference of Health Tourism in Islamic Countries was held from 2 to 4 November 2010 at Razavi Hospital in the city of Mashhad, Iran with the participation of physicians and specialists from the 57 Member States of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC). The Conference was organized jointly by Iran's Chamber of Commerce, Ministry of Health, Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization and the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), an affiliated organ of the OIC. Over twenty papers on a range of issues related to health tourism were presented at the conference. The Conference aimed at exploring the concept of health and medical tourism, and fostering interaction between as many parties as possible in medical tourism industry to further strengthen the relationships and networking opportunities. Its specific objectives included, among others, highlighting the quality of service and treatment by health service providers, encouraging open and frank discussions between all sectors of medical tourism industry, initiating a platform for discussion on Islamic standards for medical tourism and demonstrating economic potentials that medical tourism may offer for many countries. The Conference included a combination of plenary and break-out sessions devoted to research issues on specific topics related to health tourism. At the opening ceremony of the Conference, the Head of Iran's Chamber of Commerce Mohammad Nahavandian pointed out that "health tourism is a strategic opportunity for Islamic countries and the best starting point for cooperation among them." Head of Iran's Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization Hamid Baghayi said in his address, “due to its efficient private sector, up-to-date medical centers and skilled medical doctors, Iran has put serious planning for development of health tourism on its agenda."

An agreement was reached at the Conference on the need to establish an OIC Permanent Secretariat on Health Tourism to be based in Tehran. The Secretariat would arrange annual meetings to pursue health tourism objectives in the OIC Member States. The Final Communiqué, which was read out by the Secretary of the Conference Mohammad-Reza Karbasi, stated that “the objective of the First Conference and Exhibition on Islamic World Health Tourism was to introduce attractive, secure and healthy spots within the realm of the OIC member countries and provide an appropriate path for the involved institutions and organizations to extend their relations within the entire Islamic world”. The Communiqué added that the 100 billion dollar health tourism market is a step towards the establishment of a commonwealth of Islamic market. According to the Communiqué, law-making bodies within the OIC member countries are requested to pass laws aimed at strengthening healthy and secure tourism capabilities in their respective countries keeping in mind the needs of the Islamic world. The Communiqué also emphasized the need to have more scientific studies and research works, which are required means for expanding health tourism. An exhibition was held on the sidelines of the Conference whose main focus was to get corporate buyers from the Islamic countries to meet with the best solution providers from all over the world. Among the corporate buyers present in the exhibition were representatives of ministries of health, insurance companies, multinational corporations, and travel agencies specialized in promoting health tourism. Exhibitors at the international conference got the opportunity to meet with their potential clients and to network with them directly.

OIC convenes a Joint Management Team Meeting on Atlas of Islamic World Science and Innovation Istanbul, Turkey - OIC Secretary General Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu officiated the opening session of a two-day meeting of the Joint Management Team on Atlas of Islamic World Science and Innovation on 3 October 2010 in Istanbul. The Atlas project is being undertaken within the framework of the OIC and 15 OIC Member States selected for in-depth field studies. In his speech at the opening session, the Secretary General noted that the Atlas will play a very crucial role in analyzing the Islamic world's existing expertise, infrastructure, human resources, quality of science curricula, and other technical potentials. The project will explore the relationships between science, innovation, faith, culture and politics as this will in turn help in identifying new opportunities for collaboration between scientists, policymakers and companies in the Islamic world and the West. The project will also create new networks for exchange of ideas, policies and good practice both within and between the Islamic world and the West. He declared that the first country report on Malaysia would be launched during the Fifth Islamic Conference of Higher Education and Scientific Research

56

Ministers, which was later held from 19 to 21 October 2010 in Kuala Lumpur. Ihsanoglu cautioned that the pilot study phase of the Atlas project is the most crucial phase, as it will help in determining the best methods and refinements to be made to ensure consistency in approaches to country reports and ensure their conformity with international standards. Moreover, he urged the Atlas project managers and the project steering group to ensure proper administration of the project-related surveys and to include key institutions such as universities, government agencies, research centers, think tanks, and other vital institutes in the field of science and entrepreneurship. It is worth mentioning that the Atlas of Islamic World Science and Innovation project aims at mapping the potentially available and actually existing capabilities and capacities in the domain of Science and Technology (S&T) in the Islamic world. A joint team comprising of representatives of the OIC General Secretariat, COMSTECH, IDB, ISESCO, SESRIC and the British Royal Society oversees the project.

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

OIC - US Partnership for Polio Eradication New York, USA - OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu spoke on OIC - US Partnership for Polio Eradication at the UNICEF Headquarters in New York City in late September 2010, in collaboration with the US Special Envoy to OIC Rashad Hussain, and the presence of Emir of Argungu in Nigeria Dauda Malle, Islamic Development Bank (IDB), Chris Maher, Country Operation Head of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, World Health Organization (WHO), and Saad Houry, Deputy Executive Director, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). The Secretary General stressed that the meeting signifies partnership and cooperation in one of the areas fundamental to socio-economic progress and security across various regions. He praised the achievements made since the launch of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in 1988, and stated that global incidence of polio has gone down by 99% with 54 of the 57 OIC countries attaining polio free status. He emphasized that for the OIC, eradication of polio continues to be among the critical issues that need to be addressed in earnest. Of the last 4 remaining endemic countries in the world, 3 are OIC Member States. Additionally, OIC Member States are also among the list of countries marked with the recurrence of polio, he added.

Fully conscious of the need to strengthen health care in general across OIC member countries and the imperative of addressing challenges posed by disease and epidemic, the Secretary General said the OIC Summit meetings and conferences of Foreign and Polio vaccination to a child in Herat, Afghanistan.(epa) Health Ministers have adopted major decisions focusing on joint action for the eradication of polio, and other diseases and epidemics. He added that the OIC Ten Year Program of Action, adopted by the Third Extraordinary Session of the Islamic Summit Conference in Makkah Al-Mukarramah in 2005, stressed the significance of efforts for the eradication of polio in the OIC Member States. In his remarks, the Secretary General commended the OIC-US collaboration in the fight against polio. This, the Secretary General stated, was in line with US President Obama's vision as enunciated in his speech in Cairo, for a broader cooperation between the OIC and the US on health issues.

“Reaching Every Mother and Baby in OIC Emergency Care” launched in Mali Bamako, Mali - The OIC General Secretariat, the US Government and the Government of Mali jointly launched the new partnership “Reaching Every Mother and Baby in the OIC Emergency Care” in Bamako on 4 November 2010. The OIC-US Cooperation Framework “Reaching Every Mother and Baby in the OIC Emergency Care” was signed on 1st December 2008 in Jeddah with an overall goal to reduce deaths and illness during pregnancy and childbirth in the Muslim world through emergency care for mothers and babies. Mali and Bangladesh were selected as two pilot countries based on maternal and child mortality rates and existence of on-going USAID health support in these countries. The OIC Secretary General in his message at the launching ceremony highlighted the issues related to mother and child health care and the fight against diseases and pandemics as one of the important elements among the extensive range of mandates of the OIC Ten Year Program of

Action, which goes in line with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The Minister of Territorial Administration and Local Collectivities of Mali who is the Senior Advisor to the President of the Republic of Mali attended the ceremony. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mali, the US Special Envoy to the OIC and the US Ambassador to Mali were also present. The Director General of Science and Technology Department in the OIC represented the Secretary General of the OIC. In their statements marking the launch of the project, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Health of Mali welcomed the initiative and pledged the cooperation of the Government of Mali to meet the project objectives. The project is characterized by an integrated and multisectoral approach ensuring sustainability. Local ownership, capacity-building and training are among the main components of the project.

SESRIC signs MOU on tobacco control Ankara, Turkey - A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between the Statistical, Economic and Social Research and Training Centre for Islamic Countries (SESRIC) and the Regional Office for the Framework Convention Alliance for Tobacco Control for the Eastern Mediterranean (FCA) on 4 November 2010 with an aim to promote cooperation in providing assistance regarding the development of policies and legislation as well as the capacity building programs related to tobacco control in the OIC Member Countries. According to the MoU, the two parties shall exchange technical and administrative assistance in matters of common interest, such as the preparation of studies and research and the issuing of books, guidelines and educational

tools related to tobacco control, training programs, seminars, workshops and so on. Moreover, the parties shall exchange information and data, documents, statistical periodicals and other relevant publications on the activities, events and issues of common concern. The MoU reflects the common objectives of the SESRIC and FCA Regional Office towards establishing a network of cooperation between organizations, associations and institutions interested in the field of tobacco control along with interested national and regional organizations, as well as encouraging OIC Member Countries to establish national committees for the formulation of policies and strategies for tobacco control in cooperation with the Regional Office of WHO. 57


HEALTH - SCIENCE

HEALTH

First International Conference of Health Tourism in Islamic Countries takes place in Iran Mashhad, Iran - The first International Conference of Health Tourism in Islamic Countries was held from 2 to 4 November 2010 at Razavi Hospital in the city of Mashhad, Iran with the participation of physicians and specialists from the 57 Member States of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC). The Conference was organized jointly by Iran's Chamber of Commerce, Ministry of Health, Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization and the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), an affiliated organ of the OIC. Over twenty papers on a range of issues related to health tourism were presented at the conference. The Conference aimed at exploring the concept of health and medical tourism, and fostering interaction between as many parties as possible in medical tourism industry to further strengthen the relationships and networking opportunities. Its specific objectives included, among others, highlighting the quality of service and treatment by health service providers, encouraging open and frank discussions between all sectors of medical tourism industry, initiating a platform for discussion on Islamic standards for medical tourism and demonstrating economic potentials that medical tourism may offer for many countries. The Conference included a combination of plenary and break-out sessions devoted to research issues on specific topics related to health tourism. At the opening ceremony of the Conference, the Head of Iran's Chamber of Commerce Mohammad Nahavandian pointed out that "health tourism is a strategic opportunity for Islamic countries and the best starting point for cooperation among them." Head of Iran's Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization Hamid Baghayi said in his address, “due to its efficient private sector, up-to-date medical centers and skilled medical doctors, Iran has put serious planning for development of health tourism on its agenda."

An agreement was reached at the Conference on the need to establish an OIC Permanent Secretariat on Health Tourism to be based in Tehran. The Secretariat would arrange annual meetings to pursue health tourism objectives in the OIC Member States. The Final Communiqué, which was read out by the Secretary of the Conference Mohammad-Reza Karbasi, stated that “the objective of the First Conference and Exhibition on Islamic World Health Tourism was to introduce attractive, secure and healthy spots within the realm of the OIC member countries and provide an appropriate path for the involved institutions and organizations to extend their relations within the entire Islamic world”. The Communiqué added that the 100 billion dollar health tourism market is a step towards the establishment of a commonwealth of Islamic market. According to the Communiqué, law-making bodies within the OIC member countries are requested to pass laws aimed at strengthening healthy and secure tourism capabilities in their respective countries keeping in mind the needs of the Islamic world. The Communiqué also emphasized the need to have more scientific studies and research works, which are required means for expanding health tourism. An exhibition was held on the sidelines of the Conference whose main focus was to get corporate buyers from the Islamic countries to meet with the best solution providers from all over the world. Among the corporate buyers present in the exhibition were representatives of ministries of health, insurance companies, multinational corporations, and travel agencies specialized in promoting health tourism. Exhibitors at the international conference got the opportunity to meet with their potential clients and to network with them directly.

OIC convenes a Joint Management Team Meeting on Atlas of Islamic World Science and Innovation Istanbul, Turkey - OIC Secretary General Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu officiated the opening session of a two-day meeting of the Joint Management Team on Atlas of Islamic World Science and Innovation on 3 October 2010 in Istanbul. The Atlas project is being undertaken within the framework of the OIC and 15 OIC Member States selected for in-depth field studies. In his speech at the opening session, the Secretary General noted that the Atlas will play a very crucial role in analyzing the Islamic world's existing expertise, infrastructure, human resources, quality of science curricula, and other technical potentials. The project will explore the relationships between science, innovation, faith, culture and politics as this will in turn help in identifying new opportunities for collaboration between scientists, policymakers and companies in the Islamic world and the West. The project will also create new networks for exchange of ideas, policies and good practice both within and between the Islamic world and the West. He declared that the first country report on Malaysia would be launched during the Fifth Islamic Conference of Higher Education and Scientific Research

56

Ministers, which was later held from 19 to 21 October 2010 in Kuala Lumpur. Ihsanoglu cautioned that the pilot study phase of the Atlas project is the most crucial phase, as it will help in determining the best methods and refinements to be made to ensure consistency in approaches to country reports and ensure their conformity with international standards. Moreover, he urged the Atlas project managers and the project steering group to ensure proper administration of the project-related surveys and to include key institutions such as universities, government agencies, research centers, think tanks, and other vital institutes in the field of science and entrepreneurship. It is worth mentioning that the Atlas of Islamic World Science and Innovation project aims at mapping the potentially available and actually existing capabilities and capacities in the domain of Science and Technology (S&T) in the Islamic world. A joint team comprising of representatives of the OIC General Secretariat, COMSTECH, IDB, ISESCO, SESRIC and the British Royal Society oversees the project.

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

OIC - US Partnership for Polio Eradication New York, USA - OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu spoke on OIC - US Partnership for Polio Eradication at the UNICEF Headquarters in New York City in late September 2010, in collaboration with the US Special Envoy to OIC Rashad Hussain, and the presence of Emir of Argungu in Nigeria Dauda Malle, Islamic Development Bank (IDB), Chris Maher, Country Operation Head of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, World Health Organization (WHO), and Saad Houry, Deputy Executive Director, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). The Secretary General stressed that the meeting signifies partnership and cooperation in one of the areas fundamental to socio-economic progress and security across various regions. He praised the achievements made since the launch of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in 1988, and stated that global incidence of polio has gone down by 99% with 54 of the 57 OIC countries attaining polio free status. He emphasized that for the OIC, eradication of polio continues to be among the critical issues that need to be addressed in earnest. Of the last 4 remaining endemic countries in the world, 3 are OIC Member States. Additionally, OIC Member States are also among the list of countries marked with the recurrence of polio, he added.

Fully conscious of the need to strengthen health care in general across OIC member countries and the imperative of addressing challenges posed by disease and epidemic, the Secretary General said the OIC Summit meetings and conferences of Foreign and Polio vaccination to a child in Herat, Afghanistan.(epa) Health Ministers have adopted major decisions focusing on joint action for the eradication of polio, and other diseases and epidemics. He added that the OIC Ten Year Program of Action, adopted by the Third Extraordinary Session of the Islamic Summit Conference in Makkah Al-Mukarramah in 2005, stressed the significance of efforts for the eradication of polio in the OIC Member States. In his remarks, the Secretary General commended the OIC-US collaboration in the fight against polio. This, the Secretary General stated, was in line with US President Obama's vision as enunciated in his speech in Cairo, for a broader cooperation between the OIC and the US on health issues.

“Reaching Every Mother and Baby in OIC Emergency Care” launched in Mali Bamako, Mali - The OIC General Secretariat, the US Government and the Government of Mali jointly launched the new partnership “Reaching Every Mother and Baby in the OIC Emergency Care” in Bamako on 4 November 2010. The OIC-US Cooperation Framework “Reaching Every Mother and Baby in the OIC Emergency Care” was signed on 1st December 2008 in Jeddah with an overall goal to reduce deaths and illness during pregnancy and childbirth in the Muslim world through emergency care for mothers and babies. Mali and Bangladesh were selected as two pilot countries based on maternal and child mortality rates and existence of on-going USAID health support in these countries. The OIC Secretary General in his message at the launching ceremony highlighted the issues related to mother and child health care and the fight against diseases and pandemics as one of the important elements among the extensive range of mandates of the OIC Ten Year Program of

Action, which goes in line with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The Minister of Territorial Administration and Local Collectivities of Mali who is the Senior Advisor to the President of the Republic of Mali attended the ceremony. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mali, the US Special Envoy to the OIC and the US Ambassador to Mali were also present. The Director General of Science and Technology Department in the OIC represented the Secretary General of the OIC. In their statements marking the launch of the project, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Health of Mali welcomed the initiative and pledged the cooperation of the Government of Mali to meet the project objectives. The project is characterized by an integrated and multisectoral approach ensuring sustainability. Local ownership, capacity-building and training are among the main components of the project.

SESRIC signs MOU on tobacco control Ankara, Turkey - A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between the Statistical, Economic and Social Research and Training Centre for Islamic Countries (SESRIC) and the Regional Office for the Framework Convention Alliance for Tobacco Control for the Eastern Mediterranean (FCA) on 4 November 2010 with an aim to promote cooperation in providing assistance regarding the development of policies and legislation as well as the capacity building programs related to tobacco control in the OIC Member Countries. According to the MoU, the two parties shall exchange technical and administrative assistance in matters of common interest, such as the preparation of studies and research and the issuing of books, guidelines and educational

tools related to tobacco control, training programs, seminars, workshops and so on. Moreover, the parties shall exchange information and data, documents, statistical periodicals and other relevant publications on the activities, events and issues of common concern. The MoU reflects the common objectives of the SESRIC and FCA Regional Office towards establishing a network of cooperation between organizations, associations and institutions interested in the field of tobacco control along with interested national and regional organizations, as well as encouraging OIC Member Countries to establish national committees for the formulation of policies and strategies for tobacco control in cooperation with the Regional Office of WHO. 57


ENVIRONMENT

Fourth Islamic Conference of Environment Ministers:

Adopts resolutions on sustainable development, disaster risks and information center

HRH Prince Turki bin Nasser bin Abdulaziz (C ) delivering his speech at the opening session with OIC Secretary General Ihsanoglu to his rights and ISESCO Director General Altwaijri to his left.

Carthage, Tunis - The fourth Islamic Conference of Environment Ministers was inaugurated on October 5, 2010 in an official ceremony chaired by the Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali at the Carthage Presidential Palace. The conference is co-organized by the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) and the General Presidency of Meteorology and Environment in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (PME), in coordination with the General Secretariat of the OIC, and in collaboration with the Tunisian Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development. The Tunisian President delivered an address at the beginning of the official opening ceremony in which he praised the keenness of the Secretary General of the OIC to enhance joint Islamic action, and to develop the organization's activities and programs in order to bring it to the level of the aspirations and ambitions of Muslims. In his address, His Royal Highness Prince Turki bin Nasser bin Abdulaziz, the General President of Meteorology and Environment in Saudi Arabia and the Chairman of the Third Islamic Conference of Environment Ministers stated: “Two years ago, the Islamic Conference of Environment Ministers held its third session in Rabat, Kingdom of Morocco, which was a success in all respects, and which contributed largely to establishing the foundations for joint Islamic environmental action in the OIC Member States. That session owed its success partly to the increasing confidence placed by the Member States in the Conference which has proved a key platform of Islamic solidarity and a major mechanism of joint Islamic action.” His Highness added: “there is a compelling need for further joint action and stronger cooperation in order to surmount the problems associated with environment protection, and to shoulder their related heavy burdens.” In this context, the Secretary General of the OIC Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu said that the relevant experts finalized the OIC draft vision on water in the Muslim world, prepared in cooperation with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB). He also expressed the hope that this vision would be presented to Member States in the next few months, well before the Ministerial Conference on the water issues, adding that Turkey had offered to host this conference. In his address to the Conference, Ihsanoglu underlined that the theme of the three-day conference “Natural Disasters and Ways of their Prevention”, had important connotations under the increasing number of disasters due to climate change, stressing that Member States should develop their national capacities, to respond to natural disasters. On the other hand, the Secretary General praised the 58

progress made by Member States on several levels, especially in the implementation of the recommendations made by previous conferences with regard to environmental challenges faced by the Islamic world, and effective ways to address them. In this context, Ihsanoglu said that he instructed the Department of Humanitarian Affairs in the Secretariat of the Organization, to study the question of establishing an emergency fund to respond to the natural disasters in the Islamic world. The OIC Secretary General underlined the need to follow up the implementation of what was agreed upon at the first meeting of the Executive Office for the Environment, to establish a " Special Chair of His Royal Highness Prince Turki bin Nasser bin Abdul Aziz for the Environment Studies", in universities of OIC countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. For his part, ISESCO Director General Dr. Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri delivered an address in which he said: “This conference is being held at a time when the international community has become increasingly interested in the environment issues, which are closely linked to sustainable development. The current session of our conference comes exactly after ten years from the convening of the Millennium Summit at the UN Headquarters, which launched the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), with 2015 as the target date for their fulfillment. One of these goals is about intensifying international action to protect and safeguard the environment.” ISESCO chief also said, “The outcome expected from the present conference will surely contribute to building a solid basis for comprehensive development in the Islamic world. The protection of the environment through scientifically-based strategies and international cooperation is at the heart of the protection of communities from natural, environmental, economic and social disasters which lead to acute crises obstructing the development dynamics.” After deliberations, the Fourth Islamic Conference of Environment Ministers adopted the three reports on the Islamic Executive Bureau for the Environment, on ISESCO's efforts in the fields of Environment Protection, Water Resources Management, Renewable Energy and Sustainable Development, and on the Outcome of the Previous Three Sessions of the Islamic Conference of Environment Ministers. The Conference urged the Member States to complete appointment of focal points for the Islamic Executive Bureau for the Environment to ensure follow-up of the implementation of the decisions, resolutions and recommendations of the Executive Bureau and the Islamic

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

Conference of Environment Ministers. General Framework of the Islamic Agenda for Sustainable Development: The Conference examined and adopted the 'General Framework of the Islamic Agenda for Sustainable Development'. In a resolution on the adoption of the Framework, the Conference urged the Member States to develop sustainable development indicators at the national level, while abiding by the guidelines of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development indicators in steering their policies and strategies toward sustainable development. The conference also invited the competent parties in the Member States to cooperate with regional and international organizations to develop joint Islamic projects in agricultural production, to address food scarcity and promote solidarity in the face of famine in cooperation with the Islamic Development Bank and relevant parties. Likewise, the Conference urged the Member States to cooperate with the private sector, and the specialized international and regional organizations in the preparation of projects on "Green Technologies in Islamic Countries", while paying due attention to technology transfer and assessment of relevant needs to achieve national sustainable development objectives. Strategy on Management of Disaster Risks and Climate Change Implications in the Islamic World: The Conference also debated and adopted the “Strategy on Management of Disaster Risks and Climate Change Implications in the Islamic World”. The Conference urged the Member States to take appropriate measures to implement the Strategy in order to reduce the number of victims and minimize financial and economic losses resulting from disasters and climate change repercussions and their impact on the social and economic conditions, particularly for the population in distress. The Conference also endorsed the initiative of His Excellency Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, President of the Tunisian Republic, to establish, in coordination with ISESCO, a regional early warning observatory to reduce natural disaster risks, and adopted his proposal that Tunisia would host that observatory. In the same vein, the conference invited ISESCO, in cooperation with the international, regional and national environment organizations concerned with disaster reduction, including the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), to devise an executive plan for the Strategy, and to contribute to and cooperate in developing qualified human resources, designing suitable training programs, devising appropriate action program to heighten awareness about emergency services work, and coordinating the development of guidelines. Furthermore, the Conference invited the Islamic Development Bank as well as other financial institutions and donor agencies to contribute to implementing concrete projects for putting the “Strategy on Management of Disaster Risks and Climate Change Implications in the Islamic World” into action, strengthening infrastructure for disaster risk management in Member States and assisting disaster-stricken countries to recover from destruction effects. Action Program to Benefit from Adaptation Funds and Clean Development Mechanisms in the Islamic World: Furthermore, the Fourth Islamic Conference of Environment Ministers examined and adopted the “Action Program to Benefit from Adapta-

tion Funds and Clean Development Mechanisms in the Islamic World”. It also called for launching projects as part of existing policies in the Member States and which have tangible impact at the national and regional level, to enable Islamic countries to benefit from the adaptation funds and the clean development mechanisms. Besides, the Conference underscored the necessity to follow up the global and regional obligations, which are mandatory to be enforced either as an Islamic block or per individual Islamic country, and regularly review the progress thereof. Moreover, it called for developing the carbon market in Islamic countries and launching projects to encourage the transfer of new, proven, affordable and relevant technologies to improve land use, and reduce deforestation and forest degradation. Establishment of the Islamic Environment Information Centre: In addition, the Conference adopted the Project on the Establishment of the Islamic Environment Information Centre. The Conference urged international organizations, governmental bodies, universities and research institutions to cooperate with the Centre in collecting environment-related information, developing databases, maps and images of ecosystems and natural resources, as well as in conducting environmental studies to determine the characteristics of the various ecosystems, including the sources of air-pollution, gas emissions and air-born dust. In the same vein, the Centre was called upon to conduct research surveys and implement training programs and awareness-raising activities focused on environment protection and pollution control, with particular focus on ecological management of urban areas. The Conference thanked Saudi Arabia for its ongoing efforts to launch the Project which will ensure better environment security through provision of relevant data, technical services, the latest developments in knowledge, expertise and training to assist Member States in environment preservation. Moreover, the resolution urged the competent parties in the Member States to set up national networks for environmental information, with a view to promoting cooperation and enhancing mechanisms of cooperation with the Centre, in such a way as to achieve common objectives and priorities.

President Ben Ali delivering the opening speech.

59


ENVIRONMENT

Fourth Islamic Conference of Environment Ministers:

Adopts resolutions on sustainable development, disaster risks and information center

HRH Prince Turki bin Nasser bin Abdulaziz (C ) delivering his speech at the opening session with OIC Secretary General Ihsanoglu to his rights and ISESCO Director General Altwaijri to his left.

Carthage, Tunis - The fourth Islamic Conference of Environment Ministers was inaugurated on October 5, 2010 in an official ceremony chaired by the Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali at the Carthage Presidential Palace. The conference is co-organized by the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) and the General Presidency of Meteorology and Environment in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (PME), in coordination with the General Secretariat of the OIC, and in collaboration with the Tunisian Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development. The Tunisian President delivered an address at the beginning of the official opening ceremony in which he praised the keenness of the Secretary General of the OIC to enhance joint Islamic action, and to develop the organization's activities and programs in order to bring it to the level of the aspirations and ambitions of Muslims. In his address, His Royal Highness Prince Turki bin Nasser bin Abdulaziz, the General President of Meteorology and Environment in Saudi Arabia and the Chairman of the Third Islamic Conference of Environment Ministers stated: “Two years ago, the Islamic Conference of Environment Ministers held its third session in Rabat, Kingdom of Morocco, which was a success in all respects, and which contributed largely to establishing the foundations for joint Islamic environmental action in the OIC Member States. That session owed its success partly to the increasing confidence placed by the Member States in the Conference which has proved a key platform of Islamic solidarity and a major mechanism of joint Islamic action.” His Highness added: “there is a compelling need for further joint action and stronger cooperation in order to surmount the problems associated with environment protection, and to shoulder their related heavy burdens.” In this context, the Secretary General of the OIC Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu said that the relevant experts finalized the OIC draft vision on water in the Muslim world, prepared in cooperation with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB). He also expressed the hope that this vision would be presented to Member States in the next few months, well before the Ministerial Conference on the water issues, adding that Turkey had offered to host this conference. In his address to the Conference, Ihsanoglu underlined that the theme of the three-day conference “Natural Disasters and Ways of their Prevention”, had important connotations under the increasing number of disasters due to climate change, stressing that Member States should develop their national capacities, to respond to natural disasters. On the other hand, the Secretary General praised the 58

progress made by Member States on several levels, especially in the implementation of the recommendations made by previous conferences with regard to environmental challenges faced by the Islamic world, and effective ways to address them. In this context, Ihsanoglu said that he instructed the Department of Humanitarian Affairs in the Secretariat of the Organization, to study the question of establishing an emergency fund to respond to the natural disasters in the Islamic world. The OIC Secretary General underlined the need to follow up the implementation of what was agreed upon at the first meeting of the Executive Office for the Environment, to establish a " Special Chair of His Royal Highness Prince Turki bin Nasser bin Abdul Aziz for the Environment Studies", in universities of OIC countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. For his part, ISESCO Director General Dr. Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri delivered an address in which he said: “This conference is being held at a time when the international community has become increasingly interested in the environment issues, which are closely linked to sustainable development. The current session of our conference comes exactly after ten years from the convening of the Millennium Summit at the UN Headquarters, which launched the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), with 2015 as the target date for their fulfillment. One of these goals is about intensifying international action to protect and safeguard the environment.” ISESCO chief also said, “The outcome expected from the present conference will surely contribute to building a solid basis for comprehensive development in the Islamic world. The protection of the environment through scientifically-based strategies and international cooperation is at the heart of the protection of communities from natural, environmental, economic and social disasters which lead to acute crises obstructing the development dynamics.” After deliberations, the Fourth Islamic Conference of Environment Ministers adopted the three reports on the Islamic Executive Bureau for the Environment, on ISESCO's efforts in the fields of Environment Protection, Water Resources Management, Renewable Energy and Sustainable Development, and on the Outcome of the Previous Three Sessions of the Islamic Conference of Environment Ministers. The Conference urged the Member States to complete appointment of focal points for the Islamic Executive Bureau for the Environment to ensure follow-up of the implementation of the decisions, resolutions and recommendations of the Executive Bureau and the Islamic

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

Conference of Environment Ministers. General Framework of the Islamic Agenda for Sustainable Development: The Conference examined and adopted the 'General Framework of the Islamic Agenda for Sustainable Development'. In a resolution on the adoption of the Framework, the Conference urged the Member States to develop sustainable development indicators at the national level, while abiding by the guidelines of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development indicators in steering their policies and strategies toward sustainable development. The conference also invited the competent parties in the Member States to cooperate with regional and international organizations to develop joint Islamic projects in agricultural production, to address food scarcity and promote solidarity in the face of famine in cooperation with the Islamic Development Bank and relevant parties. Likewise, the Conference urged the Member States to cooperate with the private sector, and the specialized international and regional organizations in the preparation of projects on "Green Technologies in Islamic Countries", while paying due attention to technology transfer and assessment of relevant needs to achieve national sustainable development objectives. Strategy on Management of Disaster Risks and Climate Change Implications in the Islamic World: The Conference also debated and adopted the “Strategy on Management of Disaster Risks and Climate Change Implications in the Islamic World”. The Conference urged the Member States to take appropriate measures to implement the Strategy in order to reduce the number of victims and minimize financial and economic losses resulting from disasters and climate change repercussions and their impact on the social and economic conditions, particularly for the population in distress. The Conference also endorsed the initiative of His Excellency Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, President of the Tunisian Republic, to establish, in coordination with ISESCO, a regional early warning observatory to reduce natural disaster risks, and adopted his proposal that Tunisia would host that observatory. In the same vein, the conference invited ISESCO, in cooperation with the international, regional and national environment organizations concerned with disaster reduction, including the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), to devise an executive plan for the Strategy, and to contribute to and cooperate in developing qualified human resources, designing suitable training programs, devising appropriate action program to heighten awareness about emergency services work, and coordinating the development of guidelines. Furthermore, the Conference invited the Islamic Development Bank as well as other financial institutions and donor agencies to contribute to implementing concrete projects for putting the “Strategy on Management of Disaster Risks and Climate Change Implications in the Islamic World” into action, strengthening infrastructure for disaster risk management in Member States and assisting disaster-stricken countries to recover from destruction effects. Action Program to Benefit from Adaptation Funds and Clean Development Mechanisms in the Islamic World: Furthermore, the Fourth Islamic Conference of Environment Ministers examined and adopted the “Action Program to Benefit from Adapta-

tion Funds and Clean Development Mechanisms in the Islamic World”. It also called for launching projects as part of existing policies in the Member States and which have tangible impact at the national and regional level, to enable Islamic countries to benefit from the adaptation funds and the clean development mechanisms. Besides, the Conference underscored the necessity to follow up the global and regional obligations, which are mandatory to be enforced either as an Islamic block or per individual Islamic country, and regularly review the progress thereof. Moreover, it called for developing the carbon market in Islamic countries and launching projects to encourage the transfer of new, proven, affordable and relevant technologies to improve land use, and reduce deforestation and forest degradation. Establishment of the Islamic Environment Information Centre: In addition, the Conference adopted the Project on the Establishment of the Islamic Environment Information Centre. The Conference urged international organizations, governmental bodies, universities and research institutions to cooperate with the Centre in collecting environment-related information, developing databases, maps and images of ecosystems and natural resources, as well as in conducting environmental studies to determine the characteristics of the various ecosystems, including the sources of air-pollution, gas emissions and air-born dust. In the same vein, the Centre was called upon to conduct research surveys and implement training programs and awareness-raising activities focused on environment protection and pollution control, with particular focus on ecological management of urban areas. The Conference thanked Saudi Arabia for its ongoing efforts to launch the Project which will ensure better environment security through provision of relevant data, technical services, the latest developments in knowledge, expertise and training to assist Member States in environment preservation. Moreover, the resolution urged the competent parties in the Member States to set up national networks for environmental information, with a view to promoting cooperation and enhancing mechanisms of cooperation with the Centre, in such a way as to achieve common objectives and priorities.

President Ben Ali delivering the opening speech.

59


TECHNOLOGY

The impact of digital revolution on values in Muslim societies Over the past five years, the phrase “internet terrorism” or the use of internet for terrorist purposes has become widely used. Extensive meetings, symposia and workshops have been held by major countries interested in the subject in order to exchange views and ideas, and find a common mechanism to stop this danger facing all states without exception.

and instructions on how to make bombs and deadly chemical weapons.

Internet Terrorism

• Financing: terrorists utilize statistical data selected from the personal information entered by internet users in response to the various queries and questionnaires on internet websites in order to identify people with merciful hearts and persuade them to make donations to moral personalities serving as a cover to those terrorists. This is done through e-mail in a very intelligent way that does not raise doubts of donors that they are in fact helping terrorist organizations.”

Similarly, symposia and conferences are being regularly held by a number of international bodies, such as the United Nations CounterTerrorism Implementation Task Force which, in cooperation with all UN member states, seeks to find innovative ways and means to block terrorist groups. Controlling the internet, however, is not an easy task. All states are concerned over the fact that they do not know where the planning of terrorist operations starts using the internet as a tool of communication and coordination. This is because those who plan those operations use the same medium used by normal people in their daily life. Therefore, all those working in the field of information technology, either as administrators or as engineers, are trying to develop policies and regulations for the use of the internet in order to put an end to this phenomenon and to prevent terrorists from using the internet for illegal purposes, namely for terrorism. In his book 'Terror on the Internet', Dr. Gabriel Weimann enumerated the key elements for the use of the internet by terrorists for terrorist purposes. These elements are as follows: • Digging for information: the internet is a huge electronic library replete with sensitive information and data which the terrorists seek to obtain. These data relate to such places as nuclear facilities, international airports and information relating to counter-terrorism means. Around 80% of the available information is provided primarily by free websites without breaking any laws or internet protocols. • Communication: the internet helps the various terrorist organizations communicate and coordinate among themselves on account of the low cost of communication through

60

• Planning and coordination: the internet is a communication tool of paramount importance for terrorist organizations since it allows them the freedom of coordinating specific terrorist attacks.

Wajdi Al Quliti Director of IT Department, OIC General Secretariat

the internet compared with other tools. In addition, the internet provides an abundance of information ready for exchange. The absence of a visible leader for a terrorist group is a key feature of modern terrorist organizations, which is different from the traditional stereotype of terrorist groups. This is all due to easy communication and coordination through the internet. • Mobilization of new terrorists: The hiring of new elements by terrorist organizations preserves their existence and ensures their continuity. They use internet users' sympathy with their causes to lure them with attractive and enthusiastic phrases through chat rooms. As we all know, young people and teenagers spend long hours in internet cafes chatting with people from different parts of the world. • E-instructing and e-teaching: the internet contains an infinite number of websites that provide leaflets

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

Based on the above, the states of the world have started to cooperate in order to put an end to such operations on the internet by creating emergency response teams to solve internetrelated problems that may destabilize states and jeopardize economic and moral security. It is from this perspective that a number of OIC Member States have come together and established the OIC Computer Emergency Response Team (OICCERT) with the aim of promoting cyberspace security among OIC Member States, strengthening cooperation among Islamic States and raising awareness about the dangers of misusing the internet. Finally, all that was mentioned will encourage knowledge and information sharing in Information and Communication Technology Security, which includes findings from reported incidents and case studies, so that such information can be used to discover and correct information security and related vulnerabilities before they are negatively exploited. It is projected that OIC Member States will share experiences and best practices so that jointly develop measures to deal with large-scale, regional, national network security incidents and emergencies for implementation.

knowledge, dialogue and openness. The world faces today unprecedented The information society must have an inchanges and developments in many areas, of frastructure that ensures for individuals the which globalization is the most prominent. Infreedom to take the initiative and access to information technology, communication revoluformation. This infrastructure requires: first, tion, widespread of information, economic and an advance education and research system cultural globalization have reduced distances; linked to the internet; and second, a digital as a result, thoughts and cultures overlapped culture to which the civil society organizaamong many countries worldwide. tions, public and private corporations contribThe evolution in information and commuute. That is because the strategic orientation nication technology (ICT) caused broad value of the information society is in the formation changes in our societies, along with various of individual's culture and the organization of cultural challenges, particularly to youth conthe public space on the basis of freedom and sidered to be in the cultural and social formaknowledge. This cultural revolution in behavtion stage, and the most communication conior and concepts requires going beyond the suming of age categories. What makes globalization even more dangerous is the rap- Mohamed Al-Bousaify traditional identity to a new one that is capaIT Coordinator ble of realizing compatibility between tradiid growth in the various communication tional principles and the internet mentality. means, and often without regulations as in the case of the internet and television satellite channels. This is The greatest challenge to our cultural identity today the greatest challenge that faces Muslim societies, as lies in determining our position and its effectiveness vis-àthrough this rapid change and urbanization process these vis the process of producing the information and having societies are subjected to many social and psychological the capability of using it, and being a mere consumer of pressures threatening their identity and stability. that information. The digital revolution today is not releThe question is the following: is it possible to preserve vant only to the relation between Western thinking and inthe cultural identity of the societies in this great openness formation society, but also to finding the means to contribof communication means and globalization? ute to this revolution that has changed the world's If we consider the history of the Islamic cultural identitopography and made it a universal village threatening culty, we will realize that during colonization the culture had tures with disappearance unless they reserve their place in been resisting and preserving identity and particularity the economy of knowledge and the revolution of digital from appropriation; and despite economic and military deproduction. It is a fact well known that today 12% of the feat, the identity remained a spiritual force comprising the world population controls more than 90% of its trade (US, values of historical existence. Japan and Europe). This reality is the fruit of the informaSince the challenges of today's revolution in information and communication revolution, and the explosion of tion and communication technology are not less dangerous knowledge, a reality which confirms that the traditional than those the cultural identity faced in the past, e.g. during identity is not capable of confrontation, and that the tradithe colonization era, this new culture requires a new identitional State is not capable of resisting globalization. ty capable of reconciling between the ideological content of heritage and compatibility with internet and the flow of inWhen we consider the success realized by the industriformation, its availability and accessibility. These new al countries, we find that the most important component in tools to access knowledge represent a historical opportunity the development equation is “man” who possesses knowlfor the Islamic cultural identity, if a number of conditions edge, and the strong society is the one armed with knowlare fulfilled, of which the most important are eradication of edge. illiteracy, reducing the digital gap, spreading the culture of

OIC-CERT Seminar and Annual Meeting Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia- The OIC Computer Emergency Response Team (OIC-CERT) with 18 members chaired by Malaysia held its second annual meeting in Kuala Lumpur on 30 October 2010, preceded by a workshop titled 'Securing Digital Ummah' on 28-29 October 2010. The OIC-CERT is an OIC affiliated institution in the field of information security, established to promote collaborative technology research, development and innovation in ICT security fields. The meeting was opened by welcoming addresses by General Mohamed Azumi, Chairman of CyberSecurity Malaysia and Chairman of OIC-CERT, and by Haji Fadillah

Haji Yusof, Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation of Malaysia. In his speech, delivered by the representative of the OIC Mohamed Elbusefi on his behalf, the Secretary General of the OIC pointed out that the role of OIC-CERT is very important in building capacities by providing expertise and advisory services in formulating initiatives, programs and projects in the field of Cyber security. He also invited the OIC-CERT to use its available professional and technical resources in order to identify the best ways and means, including technical, administrative and legal tools to combat anti-Islamic contents on the internet in coopera-

tion with the “OIC Islamophobia Observatory”. The two-day workshop included several presentations and panel discussions on the following topics: • Emerging Threats on Information Society. • Developing and Maintaining Cooperation Models. • Towards Better Cooperation between OIC-CERT Members and Cyber Security Organizations. On the third day, the second annual meeting of OIC-CERT was held to discuss its agenda items on new membership category, updates of strategic directions, securing the access of OIC-CERT website and OICCERT activity report. 61


TECHNOLOGY

The impact of digital revolution on values in Muslim societies Over the past five years, the phrase “internet terrorism” or the use of internet for terrorist purposes has become widely used. Extensive meetings, symposia and workshops have been held by major countries interested in the subject in order to exchange views and ideas, and find a common mechanism to stop this danger facing all states without exception.

and instructions on how to make bombs and deadly chemical weapons.

Internet Terrorism

• Financing: terrorists utilize statistical data selected from the personal information entered by internet users in response to the various queries and questionnaires on internet websites in order to identify people with merciful hearts and persuade them to make donations to moral personalities serving as a cover to those terrorists. This is done through e-mail in a very intelligent way that does not raise doubts of donors that they are in fact helping terrorist organizations.”

Similarly, symposia and conferences are being regularly held by a number of international bodies, such as the United Nations CounterTerrorism Implementation Task Force which, in cooperation with all UN member states, seeks to find innovative ways and means to block terrorist groups. Controlling the internet, however, is not an easy task. All states are concerned over the fact that they do not know where the planning of terrorist operations starts using the internet as a tool of communication and coordination. This is because those who plan those operations use the same medium used by normal people in their daily life. Therefore, all those working in the field of information technology, either as administrators or as engineers, are trying to develop policies and regulations for the use of the internet in order to put an end to this phenomenon and to prevent terrorists from using the internet for illegal purposes, namely for terrorism. In his book 'Terror on the Internet', Dr. Gabriel Weimann enumerated the key elements for the use of the internet by terrorists for terrorist purposes. These elements are as follows: • Digging for information: the internet is a huge electronic library replete with sensitive information and data which the terrorists seek to obtain. These data relate to such places as nuclear facilities, international airports and information relating to counter-terrorism means. Around 80% of the available information is provided primarily by free websites without breaking any laws or internet protocols. • Communication: the internet helps the various terrorist organizations communicate and coordinate among themselves on account of the low cost of communication through

60

• Planning and coordination: the internet is a communication tool of paramount importance for terrorist organizations since it allows them the freedom of coordinating specific terrorist attacks.

Wajdi Al Quliti Director of IT Department, OIC General Secretariat

the internet compared with other tools. In addition, the internet provides an abundance of information ready for exchange. The absence of a visible leader for a terrorist group is a key feature of modern terrorist organizations, which is different from the traditional stereotype of terrorist groups. This is all due to easy communication and coordination through the internet. • Mobilization of new terrorists: The hiring of new elements by terrorist organizations preserves their existence and ensures their continuity. They use internet users' sympathy with their causes to lure them with attractive and enthusiastic phrases through chat rooms. As we all know, young people and teenagers spend long hours in internet cafes chatting with people from different parts of the world. • E-instructing and e-teaching: the internet contains an infinite number of websites that provide leaflets

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

Based on the above, the states of the world have started to cooperate in order to put an end to such operations on the internet by creating emergency response teams to solve internetrelated problems that may destabilize states and jeopardize economic and moral security. It is from this perspective that a number of OIC Member States have come together and established the OIC Computer Emergency Response Team (OICCERT) with the aim of promoting cyberspace security among OIC Member States, strengthening cooperation among Islamic States and raising awareness about the dangers of misusing the internet. Finally, all that was mentioned will encourage knowledge and information sharing in Information and Communication Technology Security, which includes findings from reported incidents and case studies, so that such information can be used to discover and correct information security and related vulnerabilities before they are negatively exploited. It is projected that OIC Member States will share experiences and best practices so that jointly develop measures to deal with large-scale, regional, national network security incidents and emergencies for implementation.

knowledge, dialogue and openness. The world faces today unprecedented The information society must have an inchanges and developments in many areas, of frastructure that ensures for individuals the which globalization is the most prominent. Infreedom to take the initiative and access to information technology, communication revoluformation. This infrastructure requires: first, tion, widespread of information, economic and an advance education and research system cultural globalization have reduced distances; linked to the internet; and second, a digital as a result, thoughts and cultures overlapped culture to which the civil society organizaamong many countries worldwide. tions, public and private corporations contribThe evolution in information and commuute. That is because the strategic orientation nication technology (ICT) caused broad value of the information society is in the formation changes in our societies, along with various of individual's culture and the organization of cultural challenges, particularly to youth conthe public space on the basis of freedom and sidered to be in the cultural and social formaknowledge. This cultural revolution in behavtion stage, and the most communication conior and concepts requires going beyond the suming of age categories. What makes globalization even more dangerous is the rap- Mohamed Al-Bousaify traditional identity to a new one that is capaIT Coordinator ble of realizing compatibility between tradiid growth in the various communication tional principles and the internet mentality. means, and often without regulations as in the case of the internet and television satellite channels. This is The greatest challenge to our cultural identity today the greatest challenge that faces Muslim societies, as lies in determining our position and its effectiveness vis-àthrough this rapid change and urbanization process these vis the process of producing the information and having societies are subjected to many social and psychological the capability of using it, and being a mere consumer of pressures threatening their identity and stability. that information. The digital revolution today is not releThe question is the following: is it possible to preserve vant only to the relation between Western thinking and inthe cultural identity of the societies in this great openness formation society, but also to finding the means to contribof communication means and globalization? ute to this revolution that has changed the world's If we consider the history of the Islamic cultural identitopography and made it a universal village threatening culty, we will realize that during colonization the culture had tures with disappearance unless they reserve their place in been resisting and preserving identity and particularity the economy of knowledge and the revolution of digital from appropriation; and despite economic and military deproduction. It is a fact well known that today 12% of the feat, the identity remained a spiritual force comprising the world population controls more than 90% of its trade (US, values of historical existence. Japan and Europe). This reality is the fruit of the informaSince the challenges of today's revolution in information and communication revolution, and the explosion of tion and communication technology are not less dangerous knowledge, a reality which confirms that the traditional than those the cultural identity faced in the past, e.g. during identity is not capable of confrontation, and that the tradithe colonization era, this new culture requires a new identitional State is not capable of resisting globalization. ty capable of reconciling between the ideological content of heritage and compatibility with internet and the flow of inWhen we consider the success realized by the industriformation, its availability and accessibility. These new al countries, we find that the most important component in tools to access knowledge represent a historical opportunity the development equation is “man” who possesses knowlfor the Islamic cultural identity, if a number of conditions edge, and the strong society is the one armed with knowlare fulfilled, of which the most important are eradication of edge. illiteracy, reducing the digital gap, spreading the culture of

OIC-CERT Seminar and Annual Meeting Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia- The OIC Computer Emergency Response Team (OIC-CERT) with 18 members chaired by Malaysia held its second annual meeting in Kuala Lumpur on 30 October 2010, preceded by a workshop titled 'Securing Digital Ummah' on 28-29 October 2010. The OIC-CERT is an OIC affiliated institution in the field of information security, established to promote collaborative technology research, development and innovation in ICT security fields. The meeting was opened by welcoming addresses by General Mohamed Azumi, Chairman of CyberSecurity Malaysia and Chairman of OIC-CERT, and by Haji Fadillah

Haji Yusof, Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation of Malaysia. In his speech, delivered by the representative of the OIC Mohamed Elbusefi on his behalf, the Secretary General of the OIC pointed out that the role of OIC-CERT is very important in building capacities by providing expertise and advisory services in formulating initiatives, programs and projects in the field of Cyber security. He also invited the OIC-CERT to use its available professional and technical resources in order to identify the best ways and means, including technical, administrative and legal tools to combat anti-Islamic contents on the internet in coopera-

tion with the “OIC Islamophobia Observatory”. The two-day workshop included several presentations and panel discussions on the following topics: • Emerging Threats on Information Society. • Developing and Maintaining Cooperation Models. • Towards Better Cooperation between OIC-CERT Members and Cyber Security Organizations. On the third day, the second annual meeting of OIC-CERT was held to discuss its agenda items on new membership category, updates of strategic directions, securing the access of OIC-CERT website and OICCERT activity report. 61


EDUCATION

5th Session of the Islamic Conference of Higher Education and Scientific Research:

Enculturation of Quality in Academia, Research and Innovation towards Prosperity of Ummah

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - The fifth session of the Islamic Conference of Higher Education and Scientific Research Ministers (ICHESRM) took place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on 19-21 October 2010, on the theme "Enculturation of Quality in Academia, Research and Innovation towards Prosperity of Ummah". The OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu urged the OIC Member States and all OIC institutions to step up their efforts for the realization of the goals of the Ten Year Program of Action (TYPOA) and the Vision 1441 H for Science and Technology. Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the Secretary General of the OIC, in his message delivered on his behalf by Ambassador Moiz Bokhari, OIC Assistant Secretary General for Science and Technology, urged the OIC Member States and institutions to participate pro-actively in the MidTerm Review of the implementation of the TYPOA and Vision 1441H. While specifically highlighting the significance of the targets set out in the TYPOA and Vision 1441H in the domains of higher education, science and technology, he underscored that excellence in education, research and innovation is a sine qua non for the Muslim world to reclaim its rightful place in the community of nations. In this regard, he stressed the need for joint action and pooling of resources and facilities for the benefit of students in the OIC Member States who would not have ac62

cess to such opportunities otherwise. The Conference was informed that in pursuance of the TYPOA and Vision 1441H, the OIC General Secretariat, and relevant OIC institutions, i.e. COMSTECH, SESRIC, IDB, and ISESCO, along with partners from Europe and Canada, were actively collaborating for the preparation of the 'Atlas of Islamic World Innovation'. The Atlas, aimed at mapping the key trends and trajectories in science and technology-based innovation (STI) in the OIC countries, would serve as an important reference guide and contain recommendations for strengthening the STI culture in the OIC countries. The first two country reports under the Atlas project (Malaysia and Pakistan) are expected to be launched during the 12th Islamic Summit Conference in Egypt in March 2011. Moreover, as a tool to assist, support and upgrade universities in OIC Member States to a level compatible with other world-class universities one of the objectives outlined in the TYPOA- the OIC General Secretariat was engaged in the preparation of 'Key Performance Indicators for Universities in the Islamic World'. Speaking at the opening of the Conference, Dr. Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri, Director General of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), said that higher education and scientific research development presents an enormous challenge to the Muslim world in the present and the fu-

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

ture; the more so, he went on, as a nation's resurgence depends greatly on science, technology and innovation, with all the good efforts this seems to require to promote the role of higher education institutions as a breeding ground for the human capital necessary for the revival of the entire Islamic Ummah. Dr. Altwaijri further explained, “An enormous investment is indispensable to foster higher education, particularly in scientific and technological research and innovation, thus bringing present and future generations to bear in achieving greater human development for the Islamic world.” He pointed out that the strategies adopted by the Islamic Conference of Higher Education and Scientific Research Ministers need to be explored by the Member States for optimal implementation of their national policies. “The Conference shows, through its various resolutions and documents, an absolute commitment to increasing our common endeavor for increased achievement in the areas of higher education, scientific research and innovation as contributory factors for all-inclusive, advance human development,” he further explained. The three-day Conference identified measures and adopted several decisions and resolutions on actions for promoting a culture of knowledge, scientific research and innovation in the Muslim world. The Fifth Islamic Conference of

Ministers of Higher Education and Scientific Research concluded its proceedings with the adoption of the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on the "Enculturation of Quality in Academia, Research and Innovation towards Prosperity of Ummah". The Declaration underlined the importance of scientific research and higher education for the development of knowledge and promotion of technology, as well as national innovation systems to achieve socioeconomic growth and cope with the various challenges facing the Member States such as poverty, hunger, malnutrition, epidemics, environmental degradation, dwindling natural resources, and acute shortage of energy and water resources. Furthermore, the declaration called on the Member States to upgrade their performance in terms of quality enculturation, continue to make the best of the vast knowledge areas and utilize all resources and capabilities to promote the culture of quality in academia, research and innovation as a platform to address nascent challenges, positively interact with globalization and bring the Ummah to move forward in correlation with the world's progress in science and technology. Similarly, the declaration urged the Member States to take urgent actions to develop enabling policies and legal framework that would ensure quick success to technology and build capabilities in emerging and cross-cutting technologies; to devote attention to the promotion of national innovation systems, the culture of intellectual property rights and technology incubation; to have mastery of technology, strategic studies and forecasting institutions; and to involve private sector and industries in technology innovation processes. By the same token, the declaration called on the universities and research institutes, which play a pivotal role in securing new knowledge and innovation in science and technology, to promote training in science fields that will help to meet social and economic needs in Member States; and invited them to equip a new generation of competent scientists who will enable their countries to keep pace with the latest developments as part of their research agenda and future strategies. On the other hand, the Kuala Lumpur Declaration called for stepping up efforts to transform the economies of the Member States into knowledge-based economies by developing urgent, sound action plans and policies to strengthen knowledge

infrastructure. Turning to the Universities of the Islamic world, the Declaration urged them to upgrade their performance to achieve excellence in higher education and reorient their procedures and mechanisms to best meet the international standards and criteria by paying attention to the “Key Performance Indicators” so as to reposition them in better ranks among the community of world class universities; On nanotechnology, the Declaration recognized this technology's huge economic potential and capability to solve critical challenges confronting Member States; and called for identifying policies measures and mechanisms to accelerate acquisition of nanotechnology, including committing high percentages of their R&D investments to the development of nanotechnology. Similarly, it urged the Member States to accord attention to the building and training of human capital and capacity that can drive and create a momentum as well as a critical mass for nanotechnologist, and nano-scientists workforce, and make institutional arrangements at national level for prompt delivery of nanotechnology related products including university institutions, R&D institutes, financial institutions and technology parks at universities. Concerning the project on the “Atlas of Islamic World Science and Innovation”, the Declaration called for expedited launching of relevant country reports and emphasized the need to draw on these reports when it comes to developing policy measures and embedding them both in the implementation of national and international planning and in the assessment of future demands. Moreover, the Declaration commended the Federation of the Universities of the Islamic World (FUIW) for its achievements and initiatives to develop the concept of partnership and cooperation with member universities and similar organizations, and for its active role in the implementation of activities and programs, through the convening of conferences, symposia and workshops as part of its action plans; the establishment of university scientific chairs that seek to promote high education and scientific research; the revival and renewal of Islamic cultural heritage; and the fostering of the culture of quality, innovation and knowledge sharing. Likewise, it commended the FUIW's initiatives to activate cooperation among member universities through expertise sharing and the conclusion of coopera-

tion and partnership agreements. In the same vein, the Declaration lauded the efforts led by ISESCO Centre for Promotion of Scientific Research (ICPSR) to encourage scientific research, develop scientific and technical studies in Member States, and provide assistance to scientific research institutions and excellence centers in Islamic world; and called on Member States and donor parties to cooperate with ICPRS to help it step up its efforts and carry on assuming its mission. Furthermore, the Declaration appreciated ISESCO's keenness to encourage scientific competencies in the Islamic world and to allocate Science Prizes in important areas of science and technology and stress upon further opportunities and encouragement of scientists, researchers and engineers in Member States, especially youth, to create conducive environment to establish their scientific careers on firm basis in their own countries so as to mitigate southnorth brain drain. The Kuala Lumpur Declaration invited research journals publishing institutes to coordinate with ISC ???? to accord better recognition to their research performances at international level. In addition, the Declaration called for activating the principles of solidarity and mutual assistance to reinforce cooperation and networking among scientific and technology institutions and among scientists in the Islamic world and to establish regional centers and networks of excellence to play a central role in advancing the knowledge, understanding and application of science.

ISESCO Director General Altwaijri.

63


EDUCATION

5th Session of the Islamic Conference of Higher Education and Scientific Research:

Enculturation of Quality in Academia, Research and Innovation towards Prosperity of Ummah

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - The fifth session of the Islamic Conference of Higher Education and Scientific Research Ministers (ICHESRM) took place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on 19-21 October 2010, on the theme "Enculturation of Quality in Academia, Research and Innovation towards Prosperity of Ummah". The OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu urged the OIC Member States and all OIC institutions to step up their efforts for the realization of the goals of the Ten Year Program of Action (TYPOA) and the Vision 1441 H for Science and Technology. Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the Secretary General of the OIC, in his message delivered on his behalf by Ambassador Moiz Bokhari, OIC Assistant Secretary General for Science and Technology, urged the OIC Member States and institutions to participate pro-actively in the MidTerm Review of the implementation of the TYPOA and Vision 1441H. While specifically highlighting the significance of the targets set out in the TYPOA and Vision 1441H in the domains of higher education, science and technology, he underscored that excellence in education, research and innovation is a sine qua non for the Muslim world to reclaim its rightful place in the community of nations. In this regard, he stressed the need for joint action and pooling of resources and facilities for the benefit of students in the OIC Member States who would not have ac62

cess to such opportunities otherwise. The Conference was informed that in pursuance of the TYPOA and Vision 1441H, the OIC General Secretariat, and relevant OIC institutions, i.e. COMSTECH, SESRIC, IDB, and ISESCO, along with partners from Europe and Canada, were actively collaborating for the preparation of the 'Atlas of Islamic World Innovation'. The Atlas, aimed at mapping the key trends and trajectories in science and technology-based innovation (STI) in the OIC countries, would serve as an important reference guide and contain recommendations for strengthening the STI culture in the OIC countries. The first two country reports under the Atlas project (Malaysia and Pakistan) are expected to be launched during the 12th Islamic Summit Conference in Egypt in March 2011. Moreover, as a tool to assist, support and upgrade universities in OIC Member States to a level compatible with other world-class universities one of the objectives outlined in the TYPOA- the OIC General Secretariat was engaged in the preparation of 'Key Performance Indicators for Universities in the Islamic World'. Speaking at the opening of the Conference, Dr. Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri, Director General of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), said that higher education and scientific research development presents an enormous challenge to the Muslim world in the present and the fu-

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

ture; the more so, he went on, as a nation's resurgence depends greatly on science, technology and innovation, with all the good efforts this seems to require to promote the role of higher education institutions as a breeding ground for the human capital necessary for the revival of the entire Islamic Ummah. Dr. Altwaijri further explained, “An enormous investment is indispensable to foster higher education, particularly in scientific and technological research and innovation, thus bringing present and future generations to bear in achieving greater human development for the Islamic world.” He pointed out that the strategies adopted by the Islamic Conference of Higher Education and Scientific Research Ministers need to be explored by the Member States for optimal implementation of their national policies. “The Conference shows, through its various resolutions and documents, an absolute commitment to increasing our common endeavor for increased achievement in the areas of higher education, scientific research and innovation as contributory factors for all-inclusive, advance human development,” he further explained. The three-day Conference identified measures and adopted several decisions and resolutions on actions for promoting a culture of knowledge, scientific research and innovation in the Muslim world. The Fifth Islamic Conference of

Ministers of Higher Education and Scientific Research concluded its proceedings with the adoption of the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on the "Enculturation of Quality in Academia, Research and Innovation towards Prosperity of Ummah". The Declaration underlined the importance of scientific research and higher education for the development of knowledge and promotion of technology, as well as national innovation systems to achieve socioeconomic growth and cope with the various challenges facing the Member States such as poverty, hunger, malnutrition, epidemics, environmental degradation, dwindling natural resources, and acute shortage of energy and water resources. Furthermore, the declaration called on the Member States to upgrade their performance in terms of quality enculturation, continue to make the best of the vast knowledge areas and utilize all resources and capabilities to promote the culture of quality in academia, research and innovation as a platform to address nascent challenges, positively interact with globalization and bring the Ummah to move forward in correlation with the world's progress in science and technology. Similarly, the declaration urged the Member States to take urgent actions to develop enabling policies and legal framework that would ensure quick success to technology and build capabilities in emerging and cross-cutting technologies; to devote attention to the promotion of national innovation systems, the culture of intellectual property rights and technology incubation; to have mastery of technology, strategic studies and forecasting institutions; and to involve private sector and industries in technology innovation processes. By the same token, the declaration called on the universities and research institutes, which play a pivotal role in securing new knowledge and innovation in science and technology, to promote training in science fields that will help to meet social and economic needs in Member States; and invited them to equip a new generation of competent scientists who will enable their countries to keep pace with the latest developments as part of their research agenda and future strategies. On the other hand, the Kuala Lumpur Declaration called for stepping up efforts to transform the economies of the Member States into knowledge-based economies by developing urgent, sound action plans and policies to strengthen knowledge

infrastructure. Turning to the Universities of the Islamic world, the Declaration urged them to upgrade their performance to achieve excellence in higher education and reorient their procedures and mechanisms to best meet the international standards and criteria by paying attention to the “Key Performance Indicators” so as to reposition them in better ranks among the community of world class universities; On nanotechnology, the Declaration recognized this technology's huge economic potential and capability to solve critical challenges confronting Member States; and called for identifying policies measures and mechanisms to accelerate acquisition of nanotechnology, including committing high percentages of their R&D investments to the development of nanotechnology. Similarly, it urged the Member States to accord attention to the building and training of human capital and capacity that can drive and create a momentum as well as a critical mass for nanotechnologist, and nano-scientists workforce, and make institutional arrangements at national level for prompt delivery of nanotechnology related products including university institutions, R&D institutes, financial institutions and technology parks at universities. Concerning the project on the “Atlas of Islamic World Science and Innovation”, the Declaration called for expedited launching of relevant country reports and emphasized the need to draw on these reports when it comes to developing policy measures and embedding them both in the implementation of national and international planning and in the assessment of future demands. Moreover, the Declaration commended the Federation of the Universities of the Islamic World (FUIW) for its achievements and initiatives to develop the concept of partnership and cooperation with member universities and similar organizations, and for its active role in the implementation of activities and programs, through the convening of conferences, symposia and workshops as part of its action plans; the establishment of university scientific chairs that seek to promote high education and scientific research; the revival and renewal of Islamic cultural heritage; and the fostering of the culture of quality, innovation and knowledge sharing. Likewise, it commended the FUIW's initiatives to activate cooperation among member universities through expertise sharing and the conclusion of coopera-

tion and partnership agreements. In the same vein, the Declaration lauded the efforts led by ISESCO Centre for Promotion of Scientific Research (ICPSR) to encourage scientific research, develop scientific and technical studies in Member States, and provide assistance to scientific research institutions and excellence centers in Islamic world; and called on Member States and donor parties to cooperate with ICPRS to help it step up its efforts and carry on assuming its mission. Furthermore, the Declaration appreciated ISESCO's keenness to encourage scientific competencies in the Islamic world and to allocate Science Prizes in important areas of science and technology and stress upon further opportunities and encouragement of scientists, researchers and engineers in Member States, especially youth, to create conducive environment to establish their scientific careers on firm basis in their own countries so as to mitigate southnorth brain drain. The Kuala Lumpur Declaration invited research journals publishing institutes to coordinate with ISC ???? to accord better recognition to their research performances at international level. In addition, the Declaration called for activating the principles of solidarity and mutual assistance to reinforce cooperation and networking among scientific and technology institutions and among scientists in the Islamic world and to establish regional centers and networks of excellence to play a central role in advancing the knowledge, understanding and application of science.

ISESCO Director General Altwaijri.

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First Annual BOU Conference calls for broader representation of the business sector Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - The first conference of Business Owners Union (BOU) held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia during the period 20 - 21 August concluded its works with the presence of over 500 businessmen and businesswomen from the OIC countries. It was attended by Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), Sheikh Saleh Abdullah Kamel, President of the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), Dr. Ahmed Mohammed Ali, President of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), in addition to large participation from mega trade, industrial and service companies, heads of 17 banks and financial institutions, and heads of chambers of commerce and industry in the Islamic countries. On the sidelines of the conference, an exhibition was organized for displaying the Islamic products. Many Islamic countries participated in it, including: Afghanistan, Albania, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mauritania, Palestine, Sudan, Turkey, Uganda, Yemen, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. At the opening of the Conference, Sheikh Saleh Kamel, President of the ICCI and Chairman of Business Owners Union (BOU) in the OIC Member States, welcomed the attendees, saying in his speech: “Since 2006, I have sought to adopt the scientific approach and sound planning in the Islamic Chamber, so we have managed to develop a ten-year work plan in broad lines. And to achieve these goals, we tailored them into objectives and implementation mechanisms. The key pillar in preparing the plan is the common interests since they are the language of the times and the real tongue of every man pursuing success.” For his part, Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary General of the OIC, congratulated the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry on the inauguration of the Business Owners Union for OIC Member States and commended the existing working collaboration and partnership between the OIC and the Islamic business community towards the comprehensive implementation of the OIC economic agenda. In his keynote address the Secre-

64

ICCI President Sheikh Saleh Kamel

tary General emphasized that one of the major components OIC economic policy was promotion of the role of the Private Sector as the major stimulant for economic growth and development. “The main activities endorsed in the economic agenda of the OIC are enhancing the intra-Islamic trade, achieving wealth inside the Organization's countries, alleviating poverty, building capacity, encouraging investment, developing infrastructure so as to meet the need to promoting cooperation among south-south countries, focusing on improving the performance of the national economies of the Member States.” Dr. Ahmed Mohammed Ali, President of the IDB delivered a speech in which he said that this conference came in a time the whole world suffers from the global economic downturn. So the IDB believes that the business community should assume the responsibility of supporting the Islamic nation in facing the difficulties of these crises and also prepare itself for encountering any possible emerging challenges. He gave three detailed explanation for three challenges related to promotion of investment, employment of young people and the elimination of unemployment and poverty, including: food security, investment and intra-trade, and the framework of partnerships and collective work. Dr. Ali called on businessmen in

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

the OIC countries to exert efforts and to develop proposals and initiatives in vital fields in the life of the Islamic Ummah. He shed light on three axes related to responding to what the crisis might bear of opportunities and challenges. The first focuses on creativity and innovation to encourage the economic growth by using developmental alternatives in investment in infrastructure and intra-trade in the OIC Member States. The second revolves on the role of business community in immunizing the poor from the impacts of the financial crises and climate change, in addition to relieving the victims of fragile conditions and disputes. The third axis concentrates on enhancing competitiveness and enriching partnerships by attracting institutions from the international emerging economic powers. BOU called for giving due attention to the necessity of forming broader membership that represents the business sector as a whole in the Islamic countries through the participation of the Union and the ICCI in planning and implementing of the OIC's activities, including the institutions involved in economic cooperation, key among them is the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation (COMCEC). Four working sessions were held during the Conference. The attendees tackled the role of their countries and the affiliated companies in enhancing the volume of intra-OIC trade and increasing the national product for each city in the countries of the OIC. They also talked about their countries' contributions to the studies, researches, encouraging inventions and innovation, and marketing the investment projects and business agencies. The Business Owners Union is one of the most important mechanisms of the Islamic Chamber that aims at building an umbrella for businessmen and the private sector in the OIC countries and Muslim minorities and communities in non-OIC countries in order to encourage investments, develop intra-Islamic trade and coordinate the policies, trade and investment activities in order to employ the youth of the nations and thus reduce unemployment and increase the gross national product of Islamic countries.

The 10th Meeting of the ICCI's Board of Directors discuss resource development Jeddah, Saudi Arabia The Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) held the 10th Meeting of its Board of Directors headed by Sheikh Saleh Kamel on 20 August 2010 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in the presence of the assistant secretaries and heads of the Islamic chambers of commerce and industry in the OIC member countries, including Ahmed Al-Wakeel, Chairman of the Federation of Egypt Chambers of Commerce; Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim, Chairman of Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry (QCCI); Abdullah Sultan Abdullah, Head of Federation of the UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FCCIUAE); Engineer Fahad Mohammad AlSalmy, President of Council for Saudi Chambers of Commerce and Industry; Hamza Mahmoud Ramadan, Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI); Rifat Hisarciklioglu, Head of Union of Chambers of Commerce and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB); Nael Kabariti, President of Jordan Chamber of Commerce; Atao Sofiano, Head of Benin Chamber; and an Observer from OIC. ICCI President Sheikh Saleh Kamel inaugurated the meeting and welcomed the members, hailing the large attendance of the participating delegates. Then members of the executive

bureau were elected as follows: • Rifat Hisarciklioglu, Head of Union of Chambers of Commerce and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) as Vice President; • Ahmed Al-Wakeel, Chairman of the Federation of Egypt Chambers of Commerce as Vice President; and • Dr. Abdul Sattar Eshra, from Egypt, as Rapporteur. Before beginning the meeting agenda, Sheikh Saleh Kamel suggested to appoint Dr. Bassem Awadallah, former minister of planning in Jordan and Chief of the Royal Hashemite Court of Jordan, as the Secretary General of the Chamber. The agenda items were concentrating on several issues, including standing on what has been implemented from the resolutions of 26th General Assembly Meeting and the 9th Meeting of the ICCI Board of Directors that were held on 5- 6 April 2010 in Doha, Qatar, the criteria of accepting the membership of the chambers of commerce of countries with Muslim minorities as observer in the ICCI, and the report of the 44th session of the financial committee. Taking advantage of the presence of the majority of board members, the ICCI President referred to the meeting of the Resource Development Committee, elected during the Qatar meeting, which considered the following

ways to generate financial resources for the Islamic Chamber: • Export center, some exhibitions, and the Golden Book project. Dr. Ahmed Mohiuddin, Assistant Secretary General for Economic Affairs said that the Golden Book would be an integrated directory in the Islamic economics and serve for one of the most important goals of the Chamber, which is to promote the significance of the economic exchange. The Board adopted this project. • Halal certificate; the Islamic Chamber is the only body in charge of the issuance of Halal certificate in cooperation with the local chambers. • The Chamber's Waqf (endowment) which has been initiated by the first ICCI President Sheikh Ismail Abou Daowd. Sheikh Saleh Kamel urged the member chambers to pay any sums to this Waqf. Kamel pointed out the importance of unifying efforts for the sake of developing the Chamber's resources. The meeting approved the Chamber's future events in 2011, including organization of a training program in cooperation with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and the meetings on food security and private sector. The Board of Directors agreed to hold its 27th General Assembly Meeting in April 2011.

Increased intra-OIC trade needed to achieve poverty alleviation in OIC countries Casablanca, Morocco - The 27th Session of the Board of Directors of the Islamic Centre for the Development of Trade (ICDT) was held in Casablanca on 21-22 October 2010. Representatives of His Majesty Mohamed VI, King of Morocco, and Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary General of Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), addressed the opening ceremony. The two-day meeting was attended by delegates from OIC Member States and Institutions. In his address before the session, the OIC Secretary General under-

scored the overarching objective of poverty alleviation as a permanent agenda item for economic and commercial cooperation among the OIC Member States. The Secretary General also stressed the need to increase intra-OIC trade and food security on a sustainable basis, so as to foster economic growth and improve standard of living of the vulnerable segments of OIC population. The Secretary General implored the meeting of Board of Directors to give adequate support to the ICDT so that it could be adequately strength-

ened to engage in its traditional trade and investment promotion activities, in general, and in the fields of agriculture and food security, in particular. This engagement will go a long way in supporting OIC Member States to achieve the double objectives of 20% of intraOIC trade and combating poverty, as mandated by the OIC Ten-Year Program of Action (TYPOA). The Secretary General congratulated the ICDT and its Director General Allal Rachdi for the excellent work undertaken by the Centre during the past years.

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First Annual BOU Conference calls for broader representation of the business sector Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - The first conference of Business Owners Union (BOU) held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia during the period 20 - 21 August concluded its works with the presence of over 500 businessmen and businesswomen from the OIC countries. It was attended by Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), Sheikh Saleh Abdullah Kamel, President of the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), Dr. Ahmed Mohammed Ali, President of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), in addition to large participation from mega trade, industrial and service companies, heads of 17 banks and financial institutions, and heads of chambers of commerce and industry in the Islamic countries. On the sidelines of the conference, an exhibition was organized for displaying the Islamic products. Many Islamic countries participated in it, including: Afghanistan, Albania, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mauritania, Palestine, Sudan, Turkey, Uganda, Yemen, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. At the opening of the Conference, Sheikh Saleh Kamel, President of the ICCI and Chairman of Business Owners Union (BOU) in the OIC Member States, welcomed the attendees, saying in his speech: “Since 2006, I have sought to adopt the scientific approach and sound planning in the Islamic Chamber, so we have managed to develop a ten-year work plan in broad lines. And to achieve these goals, we tailored them into objectives and implementation mechanisms. The key pillar in preparing the plan is the common interests since they are the language of the times and the real tongue of every man pursuing success.” For his part, Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary General of the OIC, congratulated the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry on the inauguration of the Business Owners Union for OIC Member States and commended the existing working collaboration and partnership between the OIC and the Islamic business community towards the comprehensive implementation of the OIC economic agenda. In his keynote address the Secre-

64

ICCI President Sheikh Saleh Kamel

tary General emphasized that one of the major components OIC economic policy was promotion of the role of the Private Sector as the major stimulant for economic growth and development. “The main activities endorsed in the economic agenda of the OIC are enhancing the intra-Islamic trade, achieving wealth inside the Organization's countries, alleviating poverty, building capacity, encouraging investment, developing infrastructure so as to meet the need to promoting cooperation among south-south countries, focusing on improving the performance of the national economies of the Member States.” Dr. Ahmed Mohammed Ali, President of the IDB delivered a speech in which he said that this conference came in a time the whole world suffers from the global economic downturn. So the IDB believes that the business community should assume the responsibility of supporting the Islamic nation in facing the difficulties of these crises and also prepare itself for encountering any possible emerging challenges. He gave three detailed explanation for three challenges related to promotion of investment, employment of young people and the elimination of unemployment and poverty, including: food security, investment and intra-trade, and the framework of partnerships and collective work. Dr. Ali called on businessmen in

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

the OIC countries to exert efforts and to develop proposals and initiatives in vital fields in the life of the Islamic Ummah. He shed light on three axes related to responding to what the crisis might bear of opportunities and challenges. The first focuses on creativity and innovation to encourage the economic growth by using developmental alternatives in investment in infrastructure and intra-trade in the OIC Member States. The second revolves on the role of business community in immunizing the poor from the impacts of the financial crises and climate change, in addition to relieving the victims of fragile conditions and disputes. The third axis concentrates on enhancing competitiveness and enriching partnerships by attracting institutions from the international emerging economic powers. BOU called for giving due attention to the necessity of forming broader membership that represents the business sector as a whole in the Islamic countries through the participation of the Union and the ICCI in planning and implementing of the OIC's activities, including the institutions involved in economic cooperation, key among them is the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation (COMCEC). Four working sessions were held during the Conference. The attendees tackled the role of their countries and the affiliated companies in enhancing the volume of intra-OIC trade and increasing the national product for each city in the countries of the OIC. They also talked about their countries' contributions to the studies, researches, encouraging inventions and innovation, and marketing the investment projects and business agencies. The Business Owners Union is one of the most important mechanisms of the Islamic Chamber that aims at building an umbrella for businessmen and the private sector in the OIC countries and Muslim minorities and communities in non-OIC countries in order to encourage investments, develop intra-Islamic trade and coordinate the policies, trade and investment activities in order to employ the youth of the nations and thus reduce unemployment and increase the gross national product of Islamic countries.

The 10th Meeting of the ICCI's Board of Directors discuss resource development Jeddah, Saudi Arabia The Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) held the 10th Meeting of its Board of Directors headed by Sheikh Saleh Kamel on 20 August 2010 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in the presence of the assistant secretaries and heads of the Islamic chambers of commerce and industry in the OIC member countries, including Ahmed Al-Wakeel, Chairman of the Federation of Egypt Chambers of Commerce; Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim, Chairman of Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry (QCCI); Abdullah Sultan Abdullah, Head of Federation of the UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FCCIUAE); Engineer Fahad Mohammad AlSalmy, President of Council for Saudi Chambers of Commerce and Industry; Hamza Mahmoud Ramadan, Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI); Rifat Hisarciklioglu, Head of Union of Chambers of Commerce and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB); Nael Kabariti, President of Jordan Chamber of Commerce; Atao Sofiano, Head of Benin Chamber; and an Observer from OIC. ICCI President Sheikh Saleh Kamel inaugurated the meeting and welcomed the members, hailing the large attendance of the participating delegates. Then members of the executive

bureau were elected as follows: • Rifat Hisarciklioglu, Head of Union of Chambers of Commerce and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) as Vice President; • Ahmed Al-Wakeel, Chairman of the Federation of Egypt Chambers of Commerce as Vice President; and • Dr. Abdul Sattar Eshra, from Egypt, as Rapporteur. Before beginning the meeting agenda, Sheikh Saleh Kamel suggested to appoint Dr. Bassem Awadallah, former minister of planning in Jordan and Chief of the Royal Hashemite Court of Jordan, as the Secretary General of the Chamber. The agenda items were concentrating on several issues, including standing on what has been implemented from the resolutions of 26th General Assembly Meeting and the 9th Meeting of the ICCI Board of Directors that were held on 5- 6 April 2010 in Doha, Qatar, the criteria of accepting the membership of the chambers of commerce of countries with Muslim minorities as observer in the ICCI, and the report of the 44th session of the financial committee. Taking advantage of the presence of the majority of board members, the ICCI President referred to the meeting of the Resource Development Committee, elected during the Qatar meeting, which considered the following

ways to generate financial resources for the Islamic Chamber: • Export center, some exhibitions, and the Golden Book project. Dr. Ahmed Mohiuddin, Assistant Secretary General for Economic Affairs said that the Golden Book would be an integrated directory in the Islamic economics and serve for one of the most important goals of the Chamber, which is to promote the significance of the economic exchange. The Board adopted this project. • Halal certificate; the Islamic Chamber is the only body in charge of the issuance of Halal certificate in cooperation with the local chambers. • The Chamber's Waqf (endowment) which has been initiated by the first ICCI President Sheikh Ismail Abou Daowd. Sheikh Saleh Kamel urged the member chambers to pay any sums to this Waqf. Kamel pointed out the importance of unifying efforts for the sake of developing the Chamber's resources. The meeting approved the Chamber's future events in 2011, including organization of a training program in cooperation with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and the meetings on food security and private sector. The Board of Directors agreed to hold its 27th General Assembly Meeting in April 2011.

Increased intra-OIC trade needed to achieve poverty alleviation in OIC countries Casablanca, Morocco - The 27th Session of the Board of Directors of the Islamic Centre for the Development of Trade (ICDT) was held in Casablanca on 21-22 October 2010. Representatives of His Majesty Mohamed VI, King of Morocco, and Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary General of Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), addressed the opening ceremony. The two-day meeting was attended by delegates from OIC Member States and Institutions. In his address before the session, the OIC Secretary General under-

scored the overarching objective of poverty alleviation as a permanent agenda item for economic and commercial cooperation among the OIC Member States. The Secretary General also stressed the need to increase intra-OIC trade and food security on a sustainable basis, so as to foster economic growth and improve standard of living of the vulnerable segments of OIC population. The Secretary General implored the meeting of Board of Directors to give adequate support to the ICDT so that it could be adequately strength-

ened to engage in its traditional trade and investment promotion activities, in general, and in the fields of agriculture and food security, in particular. This engagement will go a long way in supporting OIC Member States to achieve the double objectives of 20% of intraOIC trade and combating poverty, as mandated by the OIC Ten-Year Program of Action (TYPOA). The Secretary General congratulated the ICDT and its Director General Allal Rachdi for the excellent work undertaken by the Centre during the past years.

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OIC Conference of Agriculture Ministers: A comprehensive plan to address the food crisis

Governor of the Central Bank of Malaysia outlines an agenda for balanced growth and development

Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz

The Secretary General addressing the Opening Session of the Conference of Agriculture Ministers in Khartoum.

Khartoum, Sudan - Observers note that it is possible to achieve the long-term objective of poverty alleviation set by the Ten-Year Program of Action of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (TYPOA) adopted by the Extraordinary Summit Conference in Makkah in 2005. This has become clear with the dynamism whose signs emerged at the Fifth OIC Conference of Agriculture Ministers on Food Security and Agricultural Development held in the Sudanese capital Khartoum, which is considered by observers as a step on the right track. The observers say that the most important achievement of the Khartoum Conference is the creation of trust among the OIC Member States concerning their ability to bring about change. The OIC Secretary General states that: “change and evolution constitute the spirit of the endeavors of the OIC General Secretariat as outlined in a program spanning ten years, 'OIC Ten-Year Program of Action', designed to help remain in step with international changes and to achieve the conditions and potential for food security.” He added, “Based on this premise, I can say that we have succeeded through the OIC Conference on Agriculture held in Khartoum … in raising strongly the issue of agricultural development projects after a 15-year hiatus”. Though the Conference endorsed the elaboration of a framework for launching a work mechanism for the establishment and implementation of agricultural programs and projects which would lead to the complementarity sought among the OIC Member States, the major outcome of the Conference was an agreement to hold the 6th Conference of Agriculture Ministers in Turkey in 2011 and the 7th edition in Senegal in 2012. Some consider that the revival of joint action in the field of agriculture is an achievement in itself. Ihsanoglu stresses that the regular holding of the Conference demonstrates the Member States' strong will to capitalize on the results of several meetings and symposia held over the year by the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation (COMCEC) and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), which called for the need to put in place a comprehensive framework for agriculture, rural development and food security. The Conference of Agriculture Ministers held in presence of His Excellency President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir addressed a set of challenges facing food security in the Islamic world. President Al-Bashir paid tribute to the OIC and declared 66

that it was an honor and privilege for his country to host this conference under the banner of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, which brought together Muslims in the service of the Ummah's pivotal issue, rallied their energies in the defense of the first of the Two Qiblas and third Muslim Holy Shrine, and pooled the resources of the Ummah in favor of enhanced cooperation in all political, economic, social and cultural spheres. He also added that the OIC, having earned the international community's trust and reorganization as an organization that represents over 1.5 billion people, is now more than ever the focal point of the hopes of Muslims across the globe, as a protector of their interests, freedom and dignity. The OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, on his part, called for diligent action to expedite solutions for the problem of ever-rising prices of the food commodities, which has become a heavy burden for the importing countries in the Islamic World. He also stressed that these challenges were exasperated by the inadequate funds allocated for the infrastructure, basic economic and social services, as well as by the scarcity of water resources, the degradation of the soil, and the food crises resulting from the political conflicts. Ihsanoglu drew attention to the meetings that had already taken place over the past few months in Saudi Arabia and Turkey with a view to charting a course to resolve the problem of food insecurity in the OIC Member States. The OIC Secretary General pointed out that these meetings confirmed the need for a comprehensive framework for agriculture, rural development and food security, so that the projects identified in these sectors may be set in motion. Ihsanoglu emphasized that the issue of alleviating poverty and improving the standard of living of the lower income segments in society has been on top of the OIC agenda since the adoption of the Ten-Year Program of Action. However he cautioned that the food deficit issue is still a reality in most OIC countries, including those known for being active in the agricultural field, and that 27 Islamic countries have registered an agricultural indicator below the world average. Ihsanoglu also noted that these challenges have prompted the OIC Standing Committee on Economic and Trade Cooperation (COMCEC) in cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), to set up a Task Force on Food Security to raise funds for the implementation of the Food Security Programme in the OIC Member States.

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

Washington, D.C, USA -The Governor of the Central Bank of Malaysia, Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz, on 10 October 2010, addressed the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group luncheon held on the margins of the World Bank/IMF Annual Meetings in Washington, D.C, setting a formal agenda for balanced growth and development from the perspective of Islamic finance. Speaking to an audience of finance ministers, central bank governors and other key influential decision makers, Dr. Zeti highlighted the development

and strength of Islamic finance as a competitive and resilient form of financial intermediation. “Today, Islamic finance offers the range of financial products and services from a highly diversified financial system that include the provision of innovative and high quality financial products and services such as consumer financing, wealth management and wide ranging products from the Takaful industry and Islamic capital markets. It also has the capacity to promote project financing and long-term structured products for the financing of large-scale projects and infrastructure development. The sustainability of Islamic finance is due to its ability to remain as a competitive form of financing. Given that the Islamic financial instruments reflect the underlying economic activities and that such instruments inherently have the potential to provide tangible returns to investors, it has therefore created significant demand for Shariah compliant financial products. Shariah principles in this respect prohibit excessive leverage and speculative financial activities and discourages excessive risk exposure,” said Dr. Zeti. An important dimension through

which Islamic finance contributes to balanced growth and development lies in its emergence as an increasingly important channel for fostering international financial linkages, as observed through the increasing international dimension of Islamic finance in this recent decade. She added “The internationalization of Islamic finance is shaping new global patterns of financial and trade flows. It is also facilitated by progressive liberalization of emerging economies in the recent decade. There is now increased presence of Islamic financial institutions beyond their domestic borders and increased foreign participation in Islamic domestic financial markets. The wave of internationalization in Islamic finance which continued unabated despite the recent global crisis has contributed to stronger investment and financial flows between Asia and the Middle East, generating mutually reinforcing growth prospects for both regions. This has in particular contributed to the deepening of financial and economic ties between Asia and the Middle East, which harnesses the complementarities in these dynamic growth regions to promote trade, direct investment and finance.”

IDB encourages French economists to participate in developing Islamic Financial Services Paris, France - President of the Islamic Development Bank Group (IDB) Dr. Ahmad Mohamed Ali addressed the 4th French Forum on Islamic Finance congratulating the French officials on the progress they have made in the field of Islamic financial services industry and appreciating the great attention paid to Shariah-compliant finance for the resistance it displayed in the face of the recent financial crises. The one-day Forum under the title “Islamic Finance, the Engine for the French Economy, Investment and Financial Institutions in 2011”, was organized by the Franco-Arab Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with the French Research Center for Islamic Finance and the IDB Group. Dr. Ahmad Ali underlined the desire of the IDB Group for cooperating and coordinating with all the parties involved in Islamic finance to see the industry flourish and develop even more, stressing that Shariah-compliant finance is not merely confined to Muslims, rather it is accessible by whoever seeks it and that these services are out-

spoken for their reliance on real investment and the principle of risk and profit sharing. Stressing that Islamic finance has practically proven its capacity to play a role in boosting stability in global financial markets, the IDB Group President then expressed his gratitude to the Government of France, especially the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Industry and Employment as well as the Franco-Arab Chamber of Commerce for the important steps taken in facilitating the development and growth of Islamic financial services in France, underlining that the Islamic financial system is capable of contributing to a more justified and stable new global financial order. Earlier in the day, former French foreign minister and the current President of the Franco-Arab Chamber of Commerce Herve du Charette inaugurated the meeting on behalf of the Minister of Economy and Industry Christine Lagarde. Attended by a large number of French companies' repre-

sentatives, banks, Islamic finance institutions and academics dealing with Islamic economy and the Islamic financial services industry, the high profile function mainly focused on three major points, namely, issuance of Sukuk in France as of the start of the year 2011; real estate market as a market model for Islamic finance; and joint financing of projects in France and countries in the Mediterranean and Africa. Participants at the event also discussed all the possible legal procedures for issuance and exchange of Sukuk as well as some relevant experiences by companies outside France and ways of developing the French real estate market based on Islamic finance. During the Forum, the French officials also vowed to push for materialization of three major priorities, namely: turning Paris into an international hub for issuance of Sukuk, employing Sukuk for Islamic financing, and attracting further Islamic banks and companies to the French capital. 67


ECONOMY

OIC Conference of Agriculture Ministers: A comprehensive plan to address the food crisis

Governor of the Central Bank of Malaysia outlines an agenda for balanced growth and development

Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz

The Secretary General addressing the Opening Session of the Conference of Agriculture Ministers in Khartoum.

Khartoum, Sudan - Observers note that it is possible to achieve the long-term objective of poverty alleviation set by the Ten-Year Program of Action of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (TYPOA) adopted by the Extraordinary Summit Conference in Makkah in 2005. This has become clear with the dynamism whose signs emerged at the Fifth OIC Conference of Agriculture Ministers on Food Security and Agricultural Development held in the Sudanese capital Khartoum, which is considered by observers as a step on the right track. The observers say that the most important achievement of the Khartoum Conference is the creation of trust among the OIC Member States concerning their ability to bring about change. The OIC Secretary General states that: “change and evolution constitute the spirit of the endeavors of the OIC General Secretariat as outlined in a program spanning ten years, 'OIC Ten-Year Program of Action', designed to help remain in step with international changes and to achieve the conditions and potential for food security.” He added, “Based on this premise, I can say that we have succeeded through the OIC Conference on Agriculture held in Khartoum … in raising strongly the issue of agricultural development projects after a 15-year hiatus”. Though the Conference endorsed the elaboration of a framework for launching a work mechanism for the establishment and implementation of agricultural programs and projects which would lead to the complementarity sought among the OIC Member States, the major outcome of the Conference was an agreement to hold the 6th Conference of Agriculture Ministers in Turkey in 2011 and the 7th edition in Senegal in 2012. Some consider that the revival of joint action in the field of agriculture is an achievement in itself. Ihsanoglu stresses that the regular holding of the Conference demonstrates the Member States' strong will to capitalize on the results of several meetings and symposia held over the year by the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation (COMCEC) and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), which called for the need to put in place a comprehensive framework for agriculture, rural development and food security. The Conference of Agriculture Ministers held in presence of His Excellency President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir addressed a set of challenges facing food security in the Islamic world. President Al-Bashir paid tribute to the OIC and declared 66

that it was an honor and privilege for his country to host this conference under the banner of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, which brought together Muslims in the service of the Ummah's pivotal issue, rallied their energies in the defense of the first of the Two Qiblas and third Muslim Holy Shrine, and pooled the resources of the Ummah in favor of enhanced cooperation in all political, economic, social and cultural spheres. He also added that the OIC, having earned the international community's trust and reorganization as an organization that represents over 1.5 billion people, is now more than ever the focal point of the hopes of Muslims across the globe, as a protector of their interests, freedom and dignity. The OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, on his part, called for diligent action to expedite solutions for the problem of ever-rising prices of the food commodities, which has become a heavy burden for the importing countries in the Islamic World. He also stressed that these challenges were exasperated by the inadequate funds allocated for the infrastructure, basic economic and social services, as well as by the scarcity of water resources, the degradation of the soil, and the food crises resulting from the political conflicts. Ihsanoglu drew attention to the meetings that had already taken place over the past few months in Saudi Arabia and Turkey with a view to charting a course to resolve the problem of food insecurity in the OIC Member States. The OIC Secretary General pointed out that these meetings confirmed the need for a comprehensive framework for agriculture, rural development and food security, so that the projects identified in these sectors may be set in motion. Ihsanoglu emphasized that the issue of alleviating poverty and improving the standard of living of the lower income segments in society has been on top of the OIC agenda since the adoption of the Ten-Year Program of Action. However he cautioned that the food deficit issue is still a reality in most OIC countries, including those known for being active in the agricultural field, and that 27 Islamic countries have registered an agricultural indicator below the world average. Ihsanoglu also noted that these challenges have prompted the OIC Standing Committee on Economic and Trade Cooperation (COMCEC) in cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), to set up a Task Force on Food Security to raise funds for the implementation of the Food Security Programme in the OIC Member States.

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

Washington, D.C, USA -The Governor of the Central Bank of Malaysia, Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz, on 10 October 2010, addressed the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group luncheon held on the margins of the World Bank/IMF Annual Meetings in Washington, D.C, setting a formal agenda for balanced growth and development from the perspective of Islamic finance. Speaking to an audience of finance ministers, central bank governors and other key influential decision makers, Dr. Zeti highlighted the development

and strength of Islamic finance as a competitive and resilient form of financial intermediation. “Today, Islamic finance offers the range of financial products and services from a highly diversified financial system that include the provision of innovative and high quality financial products and services such as consumer financing, wealth management and wide ranging products from the Takaful industry and Islamic capital markets. It also has the capacity to promote project financing and long-term structured products for the financing of large-scale projects and infrastructure development. The sustainability of Islamic finance is due to its ability to remain as a competitive form of financing. Given that the Islamic financial instruments reflect the underlying economic activities and that such instruments inherently have the potential to provide tangible returns to investors, it has therefore created significant demand for Shariah compliant financial products. Shariah principles in this respect prohibit excessive leverage and speculative financial activities and discourages excessive risk exposure,” said Dr. Zeti. An important dimension through

which Islamic finance contributes to balanced growth and development lies in its emergence as an increasingly important channel for fostering international financial linkages, as observed through the increasing international dimension of Islamic finance in this recent decade. She added “The internationalization of Islamic finance is shaping new global patterns of financial and trade flows. It is also facilitated by progressive liberalization of emerging economies in the recent decade. There is now increased presence of Islamic financial institutions beyond their domestic borders and increased foreign participation in Islamic domestic financial markets. The wave of internationalization in Islamic finance which continued unabated despite the recent global crisis has contributed to stronger investment and financial flows between Asia and the Middle East, generating mutually reinforcing growth prospects for both regions. This has in particular contributed to the deepening of financial and economic ties between Asia and the Middle East, which harnesses the complementarities in these dynamic growth regions to promote trade, direct investment and finance.”

IDB encourages French economists to participate in developing Islamic Financial Services Paris, France - President of the Islamic Development Bank Group (IDB) Dr. Ahmad Mohamed Ali addressed the 4th French Forum on Islamic Finance congratulating the French officials on the progress they have made in the field of Islamic financial services industry and appreciating the great attention paid to Shariah-compliant finance for the resistance it displayed in the face of the recent financial crises. The one-day Forum under the title “Islamic Finance, the Engine for the French Economy, Investment and Financial Institutions in 2011”, was organized by the Franco-Arab Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with the French Research Center for Islamic Finance and the IDB Group. Dr. Ahmad Ali underlined the desire of the IDB Group for cooperating and coordinating with all the parties involved in Islamic finance to see the industry flourish and develop even more, stressing that Shariah-compliant finance is not merely confined to Muslims, rather it is accessible by whoever seeks it and that these services are out-

spoken for their reliance on real investment and the principle of risk and profit sharing. Stressing that Islamic finance has practically proven its capacity to play a role in boosting stability in global financial markets, the IDB Group President then expressed his gratitude to the Government of France, especially the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Industry and Employment as well as the Franco-Arab Chamber of Commerce for the important steps taken in facilitating the development and growth of Islamic financial services in France, underlining that the Islamic financial system is capable of contributing to a more justified and stable new global financial order. Earlier in the day, former French foreign minister and the current President of the Franco-Arab Chamber of Commerce Herve du Charette inaugurated the meeting on behalf of the Minister of Economy and Industry Christine Lagarde. Attended by a large number of French companies' repre-

sentatives, banks, Islamic finance institutions and academics dealing with Islamic economy and the Islamic financial services industry, the high profile function mainly focused on three major points, namely, issuance of Sukuk in France as of the start of the year 2011; real estate market as a market model for Islamic finance; and joint financing of projects in France and countries in the Mediterranean and Africa. Participants at the event also discussed all the possible legal procedures for issuance and exchange of Sukuk as well as some relevant experiences by companies outside France and ways of developing the French real estate market based on Islamic finance. During the Forum, the French officials also vowed to push for materialization of three major priorities, namely: turning Paris into an international hub for issuance of Sukuk, employing Sukuk for Islamic financing, and attracting further Islamic banks and companies to the French capital. 67


ECONOMY

26th Session of the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation

onomic, Technical and Commercial Cooperation among Member States of the OIC".

Closing Session

sized the need for OIC Member States to venture into food security and agricultural development programs since 41 out of the 57 Member States of OIC are considered as food deficit countries. He declared that these countries received food aid averaging about 11% of the Official Development Assistance to developing countries, even as they continue to require an estimated annual amount of US$24.5 billion to make up for their food deficits. The Secretary General also stressed on the need to involve the private sector, national specialized agencies, and other regional actors in the elaboration, execution and monitoring processes of the envisaged development projects. The 26th Session of OIC Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation (COMCEC) was held in Istanbul, Turkey, on 5-8 October 2010. In his inaugural address, H.E. Abdullah Gul, the President of Turkey, referring to past activities of COMCEC, emphasized the pivotal role of COMCEC as incessantly carrying out its endeavors and serving as a solid platform of cooperation in the area of economy and trade. Upon underlining some of the structural problems in the OIC Member States, President Gul stressed the necessity of social participation in administrative structures to strengthen their stability. H.E. Gul pointed out the benefits of free movement of goods, capital, information and persons among the OIC Member States which would pave the way for a more rational use of resources in areas like trade, investment, technology and employment. In this regard, President Gul stressed the importance of COMCEC projects and programs such as Trade Preferential System of OIC (TPS-OIC), Standards and Metrology Institute for Islamic Countries (SMIIC), OIC Halal Food Standards and OIC Vocational Education and Training Program (OIC-VET). With regard to TPS-OIC, H.E Abdullah Gul, Chairman of COMCEC, requested the Member States who did not do so, to sign and ratify TPSOIC Agreements as soon as possible and join the system which is about to be operational. President Gul also touched upon the crucial decisions adopted by the COMCEC Economic Summit held on the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of the COMCEC. He shared his belief in the need for a plan of action defining priorities of cooperation and providing an effective implementation mechanism. H.E. Gul also pointed out that enhancement of cooperation in agriculture, transportation and tourism would make substantial contribution to economic development.

Ihsanoglu emphasizes the role of regional groupings as building blocks for economic integration The Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic 68

Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu underscored, in his speech at the opening ceremony, the important role of regional groupings as building blocks for achieving economic integration in Islamic countries. In the meantime he described trade liberalization as the most viable mechanism for promoting productivity, economies of scale, transfer of technology, regional cooperation and socio-cultural understanding. He urged OIC Member States to consider supporting the numerous capacity-building programs undertaken by the various OIC institutions as this will certainly pave the way for aligning national trade policies to enhance intra-OIC cooperation in the domain of trade. He noted that the Twenty-Sixth Session of COMCEC would have the unique opportunity of examining the various achievements so far realized in the implementation of the various economic programs of the OIC, and prescribing ways and means of realizing the objectives set by the OIC Ten Year Program of Action in the economic field during the remaining five-year period as its agenda is anchored on the promotion of intra-OIC Trade and the eradication of poverty among the most vulnerable segments of the OIC community. The promotion of intra-OIC trade has the objective of increasing competitiveness and value-added to enable wealth creation and increased agro-industrial productivity, he added. The Secretary General stated that the increased activities of the relevant OIC trade organs, namely the Islamic Centre for the Development of Trade (ICDT) and the International Islamic Trade Financing Corporation (ITFC) have contributed to the progressive improvement of intra-OIC trade from US$271.45 billion in 2004 to US$551 billion in 2008 (i.e., from 14.5% in 2004 to 16.6% in 2009 of the total trade) and the OIC will actualize the objective of attaining the target of 20% of intra-OIC trade in 2015. He mentioned that there is a need to increase competitiveness in OIC countries which is closely related to the new focus on fostering cooperation in the agriculture and food sector. Ihsanoglu cited the example of OIC Cotton Action Plan which has succeeded in reviewing and approving sixteen projects that have been submitted for further action at the level of relevant funding institutions. He also empha-

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

Signing of Agreements Signing ceremonies were held at the opening and closing sessions. During the signing ceremony held at the opening session, the Headquarters Agreement of the Standards and Metrology Institute for Islamic Countries (SMIIC) was signed between Nihat Ergun, the Minister of Trade and Industry of Turkey, and Lutfi Oksuz, the Secretary General of the SMIIC, and witnessed by the Secretary General of the OIC. Also a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the Secretary General of the OIC and the Secretary General of D-8. The MOU seeks to encourage the development of joint programs and projects in all sectors through utilization of the human and material resources of both organizations. They are also poised to exchange experiences and expertise to ensure the speedy implementation of their various economic development programs. The eight member states of the D-8, also known as Developing-8, are also members of the OIC and represent about two-thirds of the OIC population. The two organizations share common economic objectives and are desirous of collaborating in such areas as agriculture and food security, trade, energy and micro-finance. It is envisaged that collaboration between the two organizations would promote synergies and optimization of resources, while avoiding duplication and over-lapping. In addition, Fahmi Said Ibrahim, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Union of Comoros, signed the "Framework Agreement on Trade Preferential System among the Member States of the OIC"; the "Protocol on the Preferential Tariff Scheme for TPS-OIC (PRETAS)"; and the TPS-OIC Rules of Origin. At the closing session, Minister of Economy of Afghanistan Abdul Hadi Arghandiwal signed the "Agreement for Promotion, Protection and Guarantee of Investment among Member States of the OIC" and "General Agreement for Ec-

The closing session of the 26th Session of the COMCEC was held on 8 October 2010 under the chairmanship of Dr. Cevdet Yilmaz, Minister of State of Turkey. Dr. Yilmaz made a closing statement at the Session. He stated that COMCEC needed to produce more comprehensive and up-to-date framework of cooperation with an effective implementation mechanism which would address the current needs and requirements of the Member Countries. Dr. Yilmaz emphasized that in order to alleviate poverty and enhance the welfare, the Member States would attach paramount importance to agriculture and rural development projects and programs. He underlined the crucial role of transportation in increasing trade and tourism among the member countries and requested the Member States to actively participate in preparations for the Exchange of Views Session on this topic which would be held during the 27th Session of the COMCEC.

The 17th Sessional Committee Meeting The 17th Sessional Committee Meeting of the COMCEC was held on 4 October 2010, prior to the 26th Session of the COMCEC. The committee reviewed the various project proposals in the agenda of COMCEC. On Dakar-Port Sudan Railway Line Project, following the presentation of the General Secretariat on the results of the “Stakeholders Meeting of the Dakar-Port Sudan Railway Line Project” which was held in Jeddah on 26 May 2010, the representatives of the IDB expressed that due to the size and complexity of the project, a pre-feasibility study should be conducted taking into consideration existing feasibility studies, such as the African Development Bank's study on the 'Dakar-Djibouti Railway Project'. Concerning the Project entitled the “Establishment of the Federation of Islamic Road Transport Associations,” the Committee welcomed the offer of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) to be the coordinator of the Project. The Committee requested TOBB, in coordination with the ICCI, to submit the project profile form to the next Sessional Committee meeting. Regarding the Project entitled the "Establishment of the Federation of Islamic Air Transport Associations" the Committee reiterated its request to the General Secretariat to submit the project profile form to the 18th Meeting of the Sessional Committee. The Committee welcomed the new project proposal received from ICDT on Technical Cooperation among the OIC Member States in the area of competition law and policy and requested the ICDT to study details of the said technical assistance program in cooperation with interested Member States and to submit the Project profile form to the 18th Meeting of the Sessional Committee. Regarding 'Development of Halal Food Standards and Procedures', after exhaustive discussion on the subject, the meeting took note of the "OIC General Guidelines on Halal Food"; "Guidelines for Bodies Providing Halal Certification"; and "Guidelines for the Accreditation Bodies Accred-

69


ECONOMY

26th Session of the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation

onomic, Technical and Commercial Cooperation among Member States of the OIC".

Closing Session

sized the need for OIC Member States to venture into food security and agricultural development programs since 41 out of the 57 Member States of OIC are considered as food deficit countries. He declared that these countries received food aid averaging about 11% of the Official Development Assistance to developing countries, even as they continue to require an estimated annual amount of US$24.5 billion to make up for their food deficits. The Secretary General also stressed on the need to involve the private sector, national specialized agencies, and other regional actors in the elaboration, execution and monitoring processes of the envisaged development projects. The 26th Session of OIC Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation (COMCEC) was held in Istanbul, Turkey, on 5-8 October 2010. In his inaugural address, H.E. Abdullah Gul, the President of Turkey, referring to past activities of COMCEC, emphasized the pivotal role of COMCEC as incessantly carrying out its endeavors and serving as a solid platform of cooperation in the area of economy and trade. Upon underlining some of the structural problems in the OIC Member States, President Gul stressed the necessity of social participation in administrative structures to strengthen their stability. H.E. Gul pointed out the benefits of free movement of goods, capital, information and persons among the OIC Member States which would pave the way for a more rational use of resources in areas like trade, investment, technology and employment. In this regard, President Gul stressed the importance of COMCEC projects and programs such as Trade Preferential System of OIC (TPS-OIC), Standards and Metrology Institute for Islamic Countries (SMIIC), OIC Halal Food Standards and OIC Vocational Education and Training Program (OIC-VET). With regard to TPS-OIC, H.E Abdullah Gul, Chairman of COMCEC, requested the Member States who did not do so, to sign and ratify TPSOIC Agreements as soon as possible and join the system which is about to be operational. President Gul also touched upon the crucial decisions adopted by the COMCEC Economic Summit held on the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of the COMCEC. He shared his belief in the need for a plan of action defining priorities of cooperation and providing an effective implementation mechanism. H.E. Gul also pointed out that enhancement of cooperation in agriculture, transportation and tourism would make substantial contribution to economic development.

Ihsanoglu emphasizes the role of regional groupings as building blocks for economic integration The Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic 68

Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu underscored, in his speech at the opening ceremony, the important role of regional groupings as building blocks for achieving economic integration in Islamic countries. In the meantime he described trade liberalization as the most viable mechanism for promoting productivity, economies of scale, transfer of technology, regional cooperation and socio-cultural understanding. He urged OIC Member States to consider supporting the numerous capacity-building programs undertaken by the various OIC institutions as this will certainly pave the way for aligning national trade policies to enhance intra-OIC cooperation in the domain of trade. He noted that the Twenty-Sixth Session of COMCEC would have the unique opportunity of examining the various achievements so far realized in the implementation of the various economic programs of the OIC, and prescribing ways and means of realizing the objectives set by the OIC Ten Year Program of Action in the economic field during the remaining five-year period as its agenda is anchored on the promotion of intra-OIC Trade and the eradication of poverty among the most vulnerable segments of the OIC community. The promotion of intra-OIC trade has the objective of increasing competitiveness and value-added to enable wealth creation and increased agro-industrial productivity, he added. The Secretary General stated that the increased activities of the relevant OIC trade organs, namely the Islamic Centre for the Development of Trade (ICDT) and the International Islamic Trade Financing Corporation (ITFC) have contributed to the progressive improvement of intra-OIC trade from US$271.45 billion in 2004 to US$551 billion in 2008 (i.e., from 14.5% in 2004 to 16.6% in 2009 of the total trade) and the OIC will actualize the objective of attaining the target of 20% of intra-OIC trade in 2015. He mentioned that there is a need to increase competitiveness in OIC countries which is closely related to the new focus on fostering cooperation in the agriculture and food sector. Ihsanoglu cited the example of OIC Cotton Action Plan which has succeeded in reviewing and approving sixteen projects that have been submitted for further action at the level of relevant funding institutions. He also empha-

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

Signing of Agreements Signing ceremonies were held at the opening and closing sessions. During the signing ceremony held at the opening session, the Headquarters Agreement of the Standards and Metrology Institute for Islamic Countries (SMIIC) was signed between Nihat Ergun, the Minister of Trade and Industry of Turkey, and Lutfi Oksuz, the Secretary General of the SMIIC, and witnessed by the Secretary General of the OIC. Also a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the Secretary General of the OIC and the Secretary General of D-8. The MOU seeks to encourage the development of joint programs and projects in all sectors through utilization of the human and material resources of both organizations. They are also poised to exchange experiences and expertise to ensure the speedy implementation of their various economic development programs. The eight member states of the D-8, also known as Developing-8, are also members of the OIC and represent about two-thirds of the OIC population. The two organizations share common economic objectives and are desirous of collaborating in such areas as agriculture and food security, trade, energy and micro-finance. It is envisaged that collaboration between the two organizations would promote synergies and optimization of resources, while avoiding duplication and over-lapping. In addition, Fahmi Said Ibrahim, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Union of Comoros, signed the "Framework Agreement on Trade Preferential System among the Member States of the OIC"; the "Protocol on the Preferential Tariff Scheme for TPS-OIC (PRETAS)"; and the TPS-OIC Rules of Origin. At the closing session, Minister of Economy of Afghanistan Abdul Hadi Arghandiwal signed the "Agreement for Promotion, Protection and Guarantee of Investment among Member States of the OIC" and "General Agreement for Ec-

The closing session of the 26th Session of the COMCEC was held on 8 October 2010 under the chairmanship of Dr. Cevdet Yilmaz, Minister of State of Turkey. Dr. Yilmaz made a closing statement at the Session. He stated that COMCEC needed to produce more comprehensive and up-to-date framework of cooperation with an effective implementation mechanism which would address the current needs and requirements of the Member Countries. Dr. Yilmaz emphasized that in order to alleviate poverty and enhance the welfare, the Member States would attach paramount importance to agriculture and rural development projects and programs. He underlined the crucial role of transportation in increasing trade and tourism among the member countries and requested the Member States to actively participate in preparations for the Exchange of Views Session on this topic which would be held during the 27th Session of the COMCEC.

The 17th Sessional Committee Meeting The 17th Sessional Committee Meeting of the COMCEC was held on 4 October 2010, prior to the 26th Session of the COMCEC. The committee reviewed the various project proposals in the agenda of COMCEC. On Dakar-Port Sudan Railway Line Project, following the presentation of the General Secretariat on the results of the “Stakeholders Meeting of the Dakar-Port Sudan Railway Line Project” which was held in Jeddah on 26 May 2010, the representatives of the IDB expressed that due to the size and complexity of the project, a pre-feasibility study should be conducted taking into consideration existing feasibility studies, such as the African Development Bank's study on the 'Dakar-Djibouti Railway Project'. Concerning the Project entitled the “Establishment of the Federation of Islamic Road Transport Associations,” the Committee welcomed the offer of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) to be the coordinator of the Project. The Committee requested TOBB, in coordination with the ICCI, to submit the project profile form to the next Sessional Committee meeting. Regarding the Project entitled the "Establishment of the Federation of Islamic Air Transport Associations" the Committee reiterated its request to the General Secretariat to submit the project profile form to the 18th Meeting of the Sessional Committee. The Committee welcomed the new project proposal received from ICDT on Technical Cooperation among the OIC Member States in the area of competition law and policy and requested the ICDT to study details of the said technical assistance program in cooperation with interested Member States and to submit the Project profile form to the 18th Meeting of the Sessional Committee. Regarding 'Development of Halal Food Standards and Procedures', after exhaustive discussion on the subject, the meeting took note of the "OIC General Guidelines on Halal Food"; "Guidelines for Bodies Providing Halal Certification"; and "Guidelines for the Accreditation Bodies Accred-

69


ECONOMY

iting Halal Certification Bodies" as non-binding reference documents and that any further discussion on this topic will be based on these documents.

Meeting of the COMCEC Task Force on Food Security The Third Meeting of the COMCEC Task Force on Food Security was held on 4 October, 2010. The Task Force agreed to work plan for 2010-2011 and to establish an Executive Framework for Agriculture, Rural Development and Food Security for OIC Member States, embodying identified Programs and Projects in the critical sectors with timelines and benchmarks, accompanied by Lead Countries, Lead Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) and Regional and International Organizations working in the fields of agriculture, rural development and food security.

MUSIAD, IBF and Palestinian Business Forums The Second Palestinian Business Forum was held in Istanbul on 5 October 2010. The Message of the Secretary General of the OIC was delivered at the opening ceremony by Amb. Hamid Opeloyeru, Assistant Secretary General for Economic Affairs. About 800 local, Palestinian and other Arab businessmen from 20 countries attended the Forum. A joint exhibition of products by companies from Palestine and members of the MÜSIAD (Independent Industrialists and Businessmen's Association) were also organized on the sidelines of the Forum. The 14th International Business Forum (IBF) was also held in Istanbul, Turkey on 6-8 October 2010 under the patronage of H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister of Turkey, and was honored by H.E. Abdullah Gül, President of Turkey and Chairman of COMCEC. The Prime Minister of Turkey, Vice President of Iraq, Minister of Trade and Industry of Egypt and the Minister of Foreign Trade of Turkey delivered speeches at the opening ceremony of the Forum. The Forum was attended by a number of distinguished presidents, bureaucrats, chairmen of non-governmental organizations (NGO), academicians, businessmen and press members from all over the world. Also present were 35 ministers of trade/economy and industry from OIC Member States and representatives of nearly 600 business companies from 65 countries.

Experts review ways of strengthening intra-OIC cooperation in agriculture and rural development Pursuant to the relevant resolution of the 25th Session of the COMCEC, a workshop on Agriculture and Rural Development under the theme “Sharing of Best Practices and Success Stories within the framework of Poverty Reduction” was organized by the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), in collaboration with the Statistical, Economic and Social Research and Training Center for Islamic Countries (SESRIC) in Antalya, Turkey, on 16-18 September 2010. This workshop was a preparatory meeting for the “Exchange of Views Session” of the 26th Session of the COMCEC on the theme

70

of “Agriculture and Rural Development in the OIC Member States”. More than 50 experts from 15 OIC Member States and its relevant institutions, as well as 12 regional and international organizations, such as Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa, Arab Organization for Agriculture Development, International Center for Agriculture Research in Dry Areas, Food and Agriculture Organization, International Fund for Agricultural Development and others attended the workshop. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the Secretary General of the OIC, in his message delivered on his behalf by Amb. Opeloyeru, urged participants of the workshop to identify areas of joint actions and quick-wins so as to overcome the technical obstacles standing on the way of effective and mutually beneficial cooperation among OIC countries in the area of agricultural and rural development. The three-day workshop reviewed such thematic issues as agriculture and agricultural productivity, small-farm holders, value-added in agriculture, rural development, food security and poverty alleviation, as well as intra-OIC cooperation in the area of agricultural and rural development. During the event, experts also made presentations on the success stories/experiences of some OIC countries in addressing these issues. The workshop equally identified challenges and constraints that impede the agricultural and rural development in OIC Member States and proposed multi-level recommendations to address them. The findings of the workshop were submitted for consideration by the 26th Session of the COMCEC.

Governors of the OIC Central Banks and Monetary Authorities reviewed, reassessed the global financial crisis The Governors of the Central Banks and Monetary Authorities of the OIC Member States met in Istanbul, Turkey on 27th September 2010, under the theme: “Payments Systems and Capacity Building in OIC Member States” as a follow-up to their last year's decision. The Meeting, jointly organized by the Central Bank of Turkey and SESRIC, was officially opened by Durmus Yilmaz, Governor of the Central Bank of Turkey. About 20 Governors of Central Banks and Monetary Authorities as well as the representatives of the OIC institutions attended the meeting. In his message delivered on his behalf by the Director General of the Economic Affairs Department Cheikh Oumar Sow, the OIC Secretary General Ihsanoglu urged the Governors to foster and expand Islamic banking and financial instruments both within the OIC Member States and worldwide in order to promote the general welfare and collective prosperity of the Ummah. The Governors addressed the issues of payments systems both within the Islamic Ummah and worldwide, as well as provided strategic guidance on capacity building efforts for the financial systems of the OIC Member States. The meeting finally embarked on crafting a road-map for the next meetings of the Central Banks and Monetary Authorities. This gathering was preceded by an Experts Group Meeting on 26 September 2010 in Istanbul. Experts from Member States debated and made recommendations on alternative options to cross-border payments and settlement systems among OIC Member States, including oversight, risks and financial stability. Experts also dwelt on capacity building initiatives towards exploring technical assistance, partnership, training and joint projects opportunities in the Islamic world.

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

Nigeria keen to boost relations with the IDB Group expressed satisfaction over the trend of relations Jeddah, Saudi Arabia- Elaborating on the between his country and IDB Group noting that Nigerian Government's development goals, NiNigeria views IDB as an optional partner in gerian Vice President Mohammad Namadi Samachieving the desired level of socio-economic debo stated that his country is adopting a vision velopment. whereby it is expected to become one of the Sambo putting forth a proposal to mark IDB most developed nations of the world by the year Investment Day in his country to promote differ2020. ent IDB Group affiliates, including ITFC, ICIEC “To achieve this end, huge investments speand ICD, the visiting Nigerian Vice-President cially in the field of energy and transportation also extended an official invitation to IDB Group need to be made in Nigeria”, said the top ranking President Dr. Ahmad Mohamed Ali to visit the official, underlining that in addition to the said nation. fields the Republic of Nigeria is also seeking asThe IDB President for his part accepted the sistance of the IDB Group in housing and educaVice President Sambo invitation and extended congratulations to Nigeria tion sectors , including in improvement of a bilinover its capital increase with the IDB, which now stands at gual (Arabic-English) educational system. 8.6% of the Bank's capital registering an amount of US$ 2 billion. Dr. Ahmad Mohamed Ali then expressed hope that Sambo said this during a working session at the Islamic the increasing cooperation between Nigeria and IDB would Development Group (IDB) in Jeddah on 3 September 2010. materialize further infrastructural development in favor of He and his accompanying delegation conferred with the the Nigerian people. President of the IDB Group Dr. Ahmad Mohamed Ali. He

Cotton is the main source of revenue in many OIC Member States Casablanca, Morocco- The Fourth OIC Steering Committee and the Third OIC Project Committee Meetings on Cotton were organized in Casablanca, Morocco, on 27-28 September 2010. The opening ceremony began with the message of Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). In his message, the Secretary General considered the fact that the 5-year Cotton Action Plan aims at promoting wealth creation, increasing competitiveness in the agro-industrial sector and at the same time, alleviating poverty in OIC Member States, it is, therefore, important to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the impact this program has created on the developmental objectives of OIC Member-States. The said Committee Meetings approved 13 cotton projects, which were submitted from the 9 Member States and 2 concerned institutions of the OIC. The Meetings examined the issue of extending the duration of the OIC 5-Year Cotton Action Plan (2007-2011) for another 5 years period from 2011-2016. In this regard, the Committee expressed the view that there is a need to extend the Plan of Action with a view to building on the experience already established and ensure the overall objective of the Plan. At the end, the Committee Meeting mandated the Chairman of the Steering Committee to submit a proposal to this effect to the 26th Session of the COMCEC. The said Cotton Meetings achieved good success and will contribute to improve the cotton and textile sectors in OIC Member States.

IDB approves financing for new development projects Jeddah, Saudi Arabia- The 271st session of the Board of Executive Directors of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) approved on 5 October, under the Chairmanship of Dr. Ahmad Mohamed Ali, President of IDB, financing for new development projects totaling US$ 772.3 million. Nine member countries have been approved to receive financing: Albania, Bangladesh, Gambia, Indonesia, Mauritania, Pakistan, the Sudan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The financing also included technical assistance in the form of grants for developmental projects in Benin, Chad,

Togo, and GCC countries, and grants and concessional loans for the Sudan. The approved financing included also health and educational projects directed towards communities in non-member countries, including Congo, Fiji, India, and South Africa. It is worth mentioning that five of the nine projects approved for member countries are considered as mega projects which fall in line with the strategic objectives of the IDB and are in consistent with the IDB Vision 1440H.

71


ECONOMY

iting Halal Certification Bodies" as non-binding reference documents and that any further discussion on this topic will be based on these documents.

Meeting of the COMCEC Task Force on Food Security The Third Meeting of the COMCEC Task Force on Food Security was held on 4 October, 2010. The Task Force agreed to work plan for 2010-2011 and to establish an Executive Framework for Agriculture, Rural Development and Food Security for OIC Member States, embodying identified Programs and Projects in the critical sectors with timelines and benchmarks, accompanied by Lead Countries, Lead Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) and Regional and International Organizations working in the fields of agriculture, rural development and food security.

MUSIAD, IBF and Palestinian Business Forums The Second Palestinian Business Forum was held in Istanbul on 5 October 2010. The Message of the Secretary General of the OIC was delivered at the opening ceremony by Amb. Hamid Opeloyeru, Assistant Secretary General for Economic Affairs. About 800 local, Palestinian and other Arab businessmen from 20 countries attended the Forum. A joint exhibition of products by companies from Palestine and members of the MÜSIAD (Independent Industrialists and Businessmen's Association) were also organized on the sidelines of the Forum. The 14th International Business Forum (IBF) was also held in Istanbul, Turkey on 6-8 October 2010 under the patronage of H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister of Turkey, and was honored by H.E. Abdullah Gül, President of Turkey and Chairman of COMCEC. The Prime Minister of Turkey, Vice President of Iraq, Minister of Trade and Industry of Egypt and the Minister of Foreign Trade of Turkey delivered speeches at the opening ceremony of the Forum. The Forum was attended by a number of distinguished presidents, bureaucrats, chairmen of non-governmental organizations (NGO), academicians, businessmen and press members from all over the world. Also present were 35 ministers of trade/economy and industry from OIC Member States and representatives of nearly 600 business companies from 65 countries.

Experts review ways of strengthening intra-OIC cooperation in agriculture and rural development Pursuant to the relevant resolution of the 25th Session of the COMCEC, a workshop on Agriculture and Rural Development under the theme “Sharing of Best Practices and Success Stories within the framework of Poverty Reduction” was organized by the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), in collaboration with the Statistical, Economic and Social Research and Training Center for Islamic Countries (SESRIC) in Antalya, Turkey, on 16-18 September 2010. This workshop was a preparatory meeting for the “Exchange of Views Session” of the 26th Session of the COMCEC on the theme

70

of “Agriculture and Rural Development in the OIC Member States”. More than 50 experts from 15 OIC Member States and its relevant institutions, as well as 12 regional and international organizations, such as Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa, Arab Organization for Agriculture Development, International Center for Agriculture Research in Dry Areas, Food and Agriculture Organization, International Fund for Agricultural Development and others attended the workshop. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the Secretary General of the OIC, in his message delivered on his behalf by Amb. Opeloyeru, urged participants of the workshop to identify areas of joint actions and quick-wins so as to overcome the technical obstacles standing on the way of effective and mutually beneficial cooperation among OIC countries in the area of agricultural and rural development. The three-day workshop reviewed such thematic issues as agriculture and agricultural productivity, small-farm holders, value-added in agriculture, rural development, food security and poverty alleviation, as well as intra-OIC cooperation in the area of agricultural and rural development. During the event, experts also made presentations on the success stories/experiences of some OIC countries in addressing these issues. The workshop equally identified challenges and constraints that impede the agricultural and rural development in OIC Member States and proposed multi-level recommendations to address them. The findings of the workshop were submitted for consideration by the 26th Session of the COMCEC.

Governors of the OIC Central Banks and Monetary Authorities reviewed, reassessed the global financial crisis The Governors of the Central Banks and Monetary Authorities of the OIC Member States met in Istanbul, Turkey on 27th September 2010, under the theme: “Payments Systems and Capacity Building in OIC Member States” as a follow-up to their last year's decision. The Meeting, jointly organized by the Central Bank of Turkey and SESRIC, was officially opened by Durmus Yilmaz, Governor of the Central Bank of Turkey. About 20 Governors of Central Banks and Monetary Authorities as well as the representatives of the OIC institutions attended the meeting. In his message delivered on his behalf by the Director General of the Economic Affairs Department Cheikh Oumar Sow, the OIC Secretary General Ihsanoglu urged the Governors to foster and expand Islamic banking and financial instruments both within the OIC Member States and worldwide in order to promote the general welfare and collective prosperity of the Ummah. The Governors addressed the issues of payments systems both within the Islamic Ummah and worldwide, as well as provided strategic guidance on capacity building efforts for the financial systems of the OIC Member States. The meeting finally embarked on crafting a road-map for the next meetings of the Central Banks and Monetary Authorities. This gathering was preceded by an Experts Group Meeting on 26 September 2010 in Istanbul. Experts from Member States debated and made recommendations on alternative options to cross-border payments and settlement systems among OIC Member States, including oversight, risks and financial stability. Experts also dwelt on capacity building initiatives towards exploring technical assistance, partnership, training and joint projects opportunities in the Islamic world.

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

Nigeria keen to boost relations with the IDB Group expressed satisfaction over the trend of relations Jeddah, Saudi Arabia- Elaborating on the between his country and IDB Group noting that Nigerian Government's development goals, NiNigeria views IDB as an optional partner in gerian Vice President Mohammad Namadi Samachieving the desired level of socio-economic debo stated that his country is adopting a vision velopment. whereby it is expected to become one of the Sambo putting forth a proposal to mark IDB most developed nations of the world by the year Investment Day in his country to promote differ2020. ent IDB Group affiliates, including ITFC, ICIEC “To achieve this end, huge investments speand ICD, the visiting Nigerian Vice-President cially in the field of energy and transportation also extended an official invitation to IDB Group need to be made in Nigeria”, said the top ranking President Dr. Ahmad Mohamed Ali to visit the official, underlining that in addition to the said nation. fields the Republic of Nigeria is also seeking asThe IDB President for his part accepted the sistance of the IDB Group in housing and educaVice President Sambo invitation and extended congratulations to Nigeria tion sectors , including in improvement of a bilinover its capital increase with the IDB, which now stands at gual (Arabic-English) educational system. 8.6% of the Bank's capital registering an amount of US$ 2 billion. Dr. Ahmad Mohamed Ali then expressed hope that Sambo said this during a working session at the Islamic the increasing cooperation between Nigeria and IDB would Development Group (IDB) in Jeddah on 3 September 2010. materialize further infrastructural development in favor of He and his accompanying delegation conferred with the the Nigerian people. President of the IDB Group Dr. Ahmad Mohamed Ali. He

Cotton is the main source of revenue in many OIC Member States Casablanca, Morocco- The Fourth OIC Steering Committee and the Third OIC Project Committee Meetings on Cotton were organized in Casablanca, Morocco, on 27-28 September 2010. The opening ceremony began with the message of Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). In his message, the Secretary General considered the fact that the 5-year Cotton Action Plan aims at promoting wealth creation, increasing competitiveness in the agro-industrial sector and at the same time, alleviating poverty in OIC Member States, it is, therefore, important to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the impact this program has created on the developmental objectives of OIC Member-States. The said Committee Meetings approved 13 cotton projects, which were submitted from the 9 Member States and 2 concerned institutions of the OIC. The Meetings examined the issue of extending the duration of the OIC 5-Year Cotton Action Plan (2007-2011) for another 5 years period from 2011-2016. In this regard, the Committee expressed the view that there is a need to extend the Plan of Action with a view to building on the experience already established and ensure the overall objective of the Plan. At the end, the Committee Meeting mandated the Chairman of the Steering Committee to submit a proposal to this effect to the 26th Session of the COMCEC. The said Cotton Meetings achieved good success and will contribute to improve the cotton and textile sectors in OIC Member States.

IDB approves financing for new development projects Jeddah, Saudi Arabia- The 271st session of the Board of Executive Directors of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) approved on 5 October, under the Chairmanship of Dr. Ahmad Mohamed Ali, President of IDB, financing for new development projects totaling US$ 772.3 million. Nine member countries have been approved to receive financing: Albania, Bangladesh, Gambia, Indonesia, Mauritania, Pakistan, the Sudan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The financing also included technical assistance in the form of grants for developmental projects in Benin, Chad,

Togo, and GCC countries, and grants and concessional loans for the Sudan. The approved financing included also health and educational projects directed towards communities in non-member countries, including Congo, Fiji, India, and South Africa. It is worth mentioning that five of the nine projects approved for member countries are considered as mega projects which fall in line with the strategic objectives of the IDB and are in consistent with the IDB Vision 1440H.

71


ECONOMY

Seventh Session of the Islamic Conference of Tourism Ministers

Iran invited to establish an OIC Centre for Specialized Training on Traditional Arts

A general view of Tehran. (epa)

Tehran, Iran - The 7th Session of the Islamic Conference of Tourism Ministers (ICTM) was held in Tehran, Iran on 28-30 November 2010. The opening ceremony of the Conference was attended by the Senior Advisor to the President of Iran Mashaei, and Vice-President and Head of the Cultural Heritage, Handicraft and Tourism Organization of Iran Baghaei, as well as Ministers and Heads of delegations from the OIC countries, OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, and representatives of OIC institutions and the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). In his speech at the opening ceremony, the OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu declared that appreciable progress has been made in the implementation of the project on "Sustainable Tourism Development in a Network of Cross-Border Parks and Protected Areas in West Africa" through the funding support of the UNWTO. He noted that the postfeasibility funding arrangements are underway with the imminent donor's conference under the high patronage of the OIC Summit Chairman Maitre Abdoulaye Wade, President of the Republic of Senegal. In this framework, the OIC Member States, funding institutions, bilateral and multilateral development assistance bodies, enterprises and institutions of the private sector and concerned OIC institutions were urged, as noted in the resolution of the Conference, to actively participate at 72

the Donors' Conference to be held in Dakar, from 27 to 29 May 2011 to mobilize resources for the implementation of the said Regional Project. Ihsanoglu called for an increased cooperation among the OIC countries in the area of tourism services so that the level of intra-OIC tourism exchanges can further contribute to the realization of the target set for intraOIC trade. He stressed the need to scale up infrastructure development in the tourism sector and underlined that deliberate efforts must be put in place to increase intra-OIC tourism exchanges. He also noted that intra-OIC tourism arrivals in 2009 reached 130.5 million as compared to the world total international arrivals of 880 million in the same year and the total revenue accruable to OIC countries is estimated at US$102.8 billion as against the total world tourism receipts of US$852 billion in 2009. The Secretary General urged the OIC Member States to redouble their efforts towards developing capacity-building projects related to tourism sector. The 7th Session of the ICTM endorsed the Tehran Declaration and the Resolution on Tourism Development, which included a provision for the OIC General Secretariat to initiate, in consultation with OIC Member States, an annual 'OIC City of Tourism' award in recognition of exceptional contributions to the improvement of tourism in the Member States. This initiative is aimed at boosting tourism in the Islam-

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

ic world and encouraging implementation of the 'OIC Framework for Development and Cooperation in the domain of Tourism' among the OIC Member States during the period from 2008 to 2018. The Conference also adopted the proposal by Iran, being a focal point for the OIC on research and training in tourism sector, on creating an OIC award of 'Seal of Excellence for Handicrafts' to preserve and develop traditional and contemporary crafts to be presented during future sessions of the ICTM. The 7th ICTM invited Iran to establish an 'OIC Centre for Specialized Training on Traditional Arts'. The Conference urged the OIC Member States and relevant institutions to cooperate with the Centre to be hosted in Iran. It is aspired that the Centre will contribute towards promoting training in the tourism sector especially in the domain of traditional arts and handicrafts. The Conference also urged the OIC Member States to encourage and facilitate joint tourism ventures and other investments by the private sector in the expansion and upgrading of the existing tourism capacities and activities. In this regard, the OIC Member States were encouraged to participate actively in the celebration of "Tlemcen, Capital of Islamic Culture" which will take place in Algeria during 2011 to promote and develop cultural tourism. The Member States were also urged to take part in the 1st OIC Health Exposition including Health Tourism which will be held on 24-27 February 2011 in Tunisia. Furthermore, the Conference called for the construction of new tourist facilities of appropriate quality and service standards using up-todate technologies. It also stressed the importance of strengthening and promoting eco-tourism partnership and cooperation as an emerging component of tourism among the Islamic countries and endorsed the establishment of an open-ended working group to consider the issue and to submit an appropriate proposal on it to the 8th Session of the ICTM which will be hosted by Sudan in 2012.

President Ahmadinejad and Ihsanoglu discuss Iran-OIC cooperation

Tehran, Iran - The President of Iran H. E. Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad received in audience on 29 November 2010 in his office the Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu. The Secretary General briefed the President on the preparations for the convening of the Senior Officials' meeting of the Seventh Session of the Islamic Conference of Tourism Ministers (ICTM), which was held in Tehran on 28-29 November 2010 and highlighted the important achievements expected of this meeting. For his part, President Ahmadinejad expressed his confidence that the Seventh Session of the ICTM will successfully achieve its objectives. In this context, he emphasized the importance of tourism in promoting Islamic dignity of the

Muslim Ummah as well as its role in generating income and economic development of the Islamic countries. The President noted that there are huge potentials in the OIC Member States for development of tourism especially in the area of handicrafts and underlined the importance of creating a common market for exchanging handicrafts. The President and Secretary General agreed to further boost cooperation between Iran and the OIC. Earlier in the morning, the Secretary General had a meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran Manuchehr Mottaki at the Headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tehran. Mottaki expressed his support for the Secretary General's endeavors and assured him of Iran's continuous cooperation with the OIC. The Minister also expressed his country's willingness to establish a centre for tourism studies within the framework of the OIC in Iran and sought the Secretary General's support on this subject matter. The Secretary General assured him of his full support for the establishment of the proposed centre. They discussed a number of other issues, which included increasing movement of tourists among OIC Member States, hosting of the 7th Session of the Islamic Conference of Tourism Ministers and the Third Ministerial Conference on Woman by Iran. They also discussed the restructuring process of the UN and OIC and preparations underway for the convening of the next OIC Islamic Summit in Egypt in March 2011.

Institutional cooperation between the OIC and ECO to be enhanced The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu held a bilateral meeting with the Secretary General of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) Mohammed Yahya Maroofi at ECO Headquarters in Tehran, Iran on 29 November 2010. The OIC Secretary General was briefed on various projects and initiatives undertaken by ECO, a regional organization that consists ten Member States who

are also members in the OIC. ECO Secretary General added that his organization has managed to urge its member states to cooperate on implementing several projects in the fields of agriculture development, fighting narcotics, capacity-building, and roads and railway infrastructure development to link ECO member countries. The railway project linking Turkey and Pakistan is one of the successfully accomplished projects so far.

The OIC Secretary General stressed on the need for fostering institutional cooperation between the OIC and ECO. He suggested that a series of technical meetings of senior officials from both institutions take place at the OIC General Secretariat in Jeddah in the near future to discuss ways and means for enhancing cooperation between ECO and OIC on specific projects as both institutions complement each other in a number of areas.

International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation (IILM) established Eleven central banks and two multilateral organizations signed the Articles of Agreement for the establishment of the International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation (IILM) on 25 October 2010 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This global initiative is aimed to assist institutions offering Islamic financial services in addressing their liquidity management efficiently and effectively. In addition, the initiative would facilitate greater investment flows for the Islamic financial service industry. To this end, the IILM will issue, in an integrated manner, high qual-

ity Shariah-compliant financial instruments at both the national level and across borders, thereby enhancing the soundness and stability of the jurisdictions in which they operate. The signatories of the IILM Articles of Agreement are governors and representatives from the central banks or monetary agencies of the OIC Member Countries, including Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the Sudan, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. The Islamic Development Bank and the Islamic

Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector are the multilateral organizations participating in this initiative. Luxembourg and Mauritius, as two non-OIC Member Countries, have also signed the IILM Articles of Agreement. The Memorandum of Participation for the IILM was signed on 7th October 2010 in Washington on the sidelines of the IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings. The signing of the Articles of Agreement signifies the official establishment of the IILM. 73


ECONOMY

Seventh Session of the Islamic Conference of Tourism Ministers

Iran invited to establish an OIC Centre for Specialized Training on Traditional Arts

A general view of Tehran. (epa)

Tehran, Iran - The 7th Session of the Islamic Conference of Tourism Ministers (ICTM) was held in Tehran, Iran on 28-30 November 2010. The opening ceremony of the Conference was attended by the Senior Advisor to the President of Iran Mashaei, and Vice-President and Head of the Cultural Heritage, Handicraft and Tourism Organization of Iran Baghaei, as well as Ministers and Heads of delegations from the OIC countries, OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, and representatives of OIC institutions and the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). In his speech at the opening ceremony, the OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu declared that appreciable progress has been made in the implementation of the project on "Sustainable Tourism Development in a Network of Cross-Border Parks and Protected Areas in West Africa" through the funding support of the UNWTO. He noted that the postfeasibility funding arrangements are underway with the imminent donor's conference under the high patronage of the OIC Summit Chairman Maitre Abdoulaye Wade, President of the Republic of Senegal. In this framework, the OIC Member States, funding institutions, bilateral and multilateral development assistance bodies, enterprises and institutions of the private sector and concerned OIC institutions were urged, as noted in the resolution of the Conference, to actively participate at 72

the Donors' Conference to be held in Dakar, from 27 to 29 May 2011 to mobilize resources for the implementation of the said Regional Project. Ihsanoglu called for an increased cooperation among the OIC countries in the area of tourism services so that the level of intra-OIC tourism exchanges can further contribute to the realization of the target set for intraOIC trade. He stressed the need to scale up infrastructure development in the tourism sector and underlined that deliberate efforts must be put in place to increase intra-OIC tourism exchanges. He also noted that intra-OIC tourism arrivals in 2009 reached 130.5 million as compared to the world total international arrivals of 880 million in the same year and the total revenue accruable to OIC countries is estimated at US$102.8 billion as against the total world tourism receipts of US$852 billion in 2009. The Secretary General urged the OIC Member States to redouble their efforts towards developing capacity-building projects related to tourism sector. The 7th Session of the ICTM endorsed the Tehran Declaration and the Resolution on Tourism Development, which included a provision for the OIC General Secretariat to initiate, in consultation with OIC Member States, an annual 'OIC City of Tourism' award in recognition of exceptional contributions to the improvement of tourism in the Member States. This initiative is aimed at boosting tourism in the Islam-

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

ic world and encouraging implementation of the 'OIC Framework for Development and Cooperation in the domain of Tourism' among the OIC Member States during the period from 2008 to 2018. The Conference also adopted the proposal by Iran, being a focal point for the OIC on research and training in tourism sector, on creating an OIC award of 'Seal of Excellence for Handicrafts' to preserve and develop traditional and contemporary crafts to be presented during future sessions of the ICTM. The 7th ICTM invited Iran to establish an 'OIC Centre for Specialized Training on Traditional Arts'. The Conference urged the OIC Member States and relevant institutions to cooperate with the Centre to be hosted in Iran. It is aspired that the Centre will contribute towards promoting training in the tourism sector especially in the domain of traditional arts and handicrafts. The Conference also urged the OIC Member States to encourage and facilitate joint tourism ventures and other investments by the private sector in the expansion and upgrading of the existing tourism capacities and activities. In this regard, the OIC Member States were encouraged to participate actively in the celebration of "Tlemcen, Capital of Islamic Culture" which will take place in Algeria during 2011 to promote and develop cultural tourism. The Member States were also urged to take part in the 1st OIC Health Exposition including Health Tourism which will be held on 24-27 February 2011 in Tunisia. Furthermore, the Conference called for the construction of new tourist facilities of appropriate quality and service standards using up-todate technologies. It also stressed the importance of strengthening and promoting eco-tourism partnership and cooperation as an emerging component of tourism among the Islamic countries and endorsed the establishment of an open-ended working group to consider the issue and to submit an appropriate proposal on it to the 8th Session of the ICTM which will be hosted by Sudan in 2012.

President Ahmadinejad and Ihsanoglu discuss Iran-OIC cooperation

Tehran, Iran - The President of Iran H. E. Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad received in audience on 29 November 2010 in his office the Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu. The Secretary General briefed the President on the preparations for the convening of the Senior Officials' meeting of the Seventh Session of the Islamic Conference of Tourism Ministers (ICTM), which was held in Tehran on 28-29 November 2010 and highlighted the important achievements expected of this meeting. For his part, President Ahmadinejad expressed his confidence that the Seventh Session of the ICTM will successfully achieve its objectives. In this context, he emphasized the importance of tourism in promoting Islamic dignity of the

Muslim Ummah as well as its role in generating income and economic development of the Islamic countries. The President noted that there are huge potentials in the OIC Member States for development of tourism especially in the area of handicrafts and underlined the importance of creating a common market for exchanging handicrafts. The President and Secretary General agreed to further boost cooperation between Iran and the OIC. Earlier in the morning, the Secretary General had a meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran Manuchehr Mottaki at the Headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tehran. Mottaki expressed his support for the Secretary General's endeavors and assured him of Iran's continuous cooperation with the OIC. The Minister also expressed his country's willingness to establish a centre for tourism studies within the framework of the OIC in Iran and sought the Secretary General's support on this subject matter. The Secretary General assured him of his full support for the establishment of the proposed centre. They discussed a number of other issues, which included increasing movement of tourists among OIC Member States, hosting of the 7th Session of the Islamic Conference of Tourism Ministers and the Third Ministerial Conference on Woman by Iran. They also discussed the restructuring process of the UN and OIC and preparations underway for the convening of the next OIC Islamic Summit in Egypt in March 2011.

Institutional cooperation between the OIC and ECO to be enhanced The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu held a bilateral meeting with the Secretary General of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) Mohammed Yahya Maroofi at ECO Headquarters in Tehran, Iran on 29 November 2010. The OIC Secretary General was briefed on various projects and initiatives undertaken by ECO, a regional organization that consists ten Member States who

are also members in the OIC. ECO Secretary General added that his organization has managed to urge its member states to cooperate on implementing several projects in the fields of agriculture development, fighting narcotics, capacity-building, and roads and railway infrastructure development to link ECO member countries. The railway project linking Turkey and Pakistan is one of the successfully accomplished projects so far.

The OIC Secretary General stressed on the need for fostering institutional cooperation between the OIC and ECO. He suggested that a series of technical meetings of senior officials from both institutions take place at the OIC General Secretariat in Jeddah in the near future to discuss ways and means for enhancing cooperation between ECO and OIC on specific projects as both institutions complement each other in a number of areas.

International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation (IILM) established Eleven central banks and two multilateral organizations signed the Articles of Agreement for the establishment of the International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation (IILM) on 25 October 2010 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This global initiative is aimed to assist institutions offering Islamic financial services in addressing their liquidity management efficiently and effectively. In addition, the initiative would facilitate greater investment flows for the Islamic financial service industry. To this end, the IILM will issue, in an integrated manner, high qual-

ity Shariah-compliant financial instruments at both the national level and across borders, thereby enhancing the soundness and stability of the jurisdictions in which they operate. The signatories of the IILM Articles of Agreement are governors and representatives from the central banks or monetary agencies of the OIC Member Countries, including Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the Sudan, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. The Islamic Development Bank and the Islamic

Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector are the multilateral organizations participating in this initiative. Luxembourg and Mauritius, as two non-OIC Member Countries, have also signed the IILM Articles of Agreement. The Memorandum of Participation for the IILM was signed on 7th October 2010 in Washington on the sidelines of the IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings. The signing of the Articles of Agreement signifies the official establishment of the IILM. 73


ECONOMY

G20 addresses currency issues

A general view of political leaders seen at the meeting hall during the G-20 summit, 12 November 2010 in Seoul, South Korea.(epa)

Seoul, Korea - Twenty world leaders came together in Seoul on November 11-12 to discuss the state of the global economy as it emerges from the financial crisis. Together, they took the necessary steps to reduce market volatility and move past the crisis, creating sustainable growth going forward. The fall meeting was the fourth leaders summit and the first in an emerging country, reflecting shifts in the global economic balance and a growing understanding of the interdependence of countries and regions in the international financial system. Within the larger agenda, the leaders continued to work to build a lasting system of cooperation - a framework - and to reform international financial organizations and financial regulations. At the Seoul Summit, the G20 built on past agreements, while introducing new agenda items that support the same fundamental goals. Specifically, Korea supported discussion of a system of global financial safety nets

and plans to reduce global poverty and the development gap. President Lee Myung-bak, other G20 leaders and representatives of international organizations adopted the 'Seoul Declaration' and 'Seoul Action Plan' at the end of five discussion sessions. The 'Seoul Declaration' set up a framework to resolve currency disputes and reaffirmed the will of G20 leaders to prohibit protectionism, to build a global financial security network and to reform the International Monetary Fund (IMF). They also agreed on the need for development to achieve sustainable, balanced economic growth. The G20 also adopted the 'Seoul Action Plan' which contains policy measures for cooperation and action to move towards market exchange rates and exchange rate flexibility. World leaders hope that this will provide new momentum to ease global currency account imbalances. G20 leaders agreed to implement a market-determined currency policy system to reflect economic fundamentals and to boost currency flexibility, while refraining from competitive currency depreciation. They also decided to shift International Monetary Fund (IMF) quota shares for industrialized countries to dynamic emerging markets, developing countries and underrepresented countries to better reflect the current economy. The G20 also welcomed the creation of a 'Flexible Credit Line' (FCL) and 'Precautionary Credit Line' (PCL) as new preventative tools to cope with future crises. The G20 leaders further adopted the 'Seoul Consensus'. It proposes new directions and principles to help in eradicating poverty and narrowing the gap between developing and industrialized countries. The leaders also adopted a 'MultiYear Action Plan' for infrastructure development in developing countries. A G20 Business Summit was held as part of efforts to consider the opinions of the private sector.

APEC leaders agree on a free trade zone Yokohama, Japan (agencies) Leaders of the Pacific Rim economies that have spearheaded the still-fragile global recovery agreed to work toward building a region-wide free trade zone they say is the lynchpin for sustainable growth. The 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum unanimously pledged to avoid raising more trade barriers and to roll back those they may have erected in the midst of crisis. “We reaffirm our unwavering commitment to achieving free and open trade and investment in the region,” the leaders said in a declaration released after their two-day summit ended on November 14, 2010. “We must take steps to build a foundation for stronger, more sustainable and more balanced growth in the future.” The leaders agreed to “take concrete steps toward realizing a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific,” according to their declaration, with Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan saying the rough target year was 2020. This goal should build on regional 74

groupings such as the TransPacific Partnership, a USbacked free trade agreement that nine APEC members are negotiating, and ASEAN Plus 3, which groups the 10-nation Association of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders pose for a family Southeast photograph in Yokohama, Japan, on 13 November 2010. (epa) Asian Nations with China, Japan and South Korea, both in the region and within their the statement said. It would not be own borders. Countries should proforged through APEC, which has no vide better access to credit and social negotiating power. services for women, the poor and othThe summit's declaration also noter vulnerable groups, it said. ed a need to reduce trade imbalances They also intend to improve enerand government debt. It also includes gy security and reduce carbon emisa pledge to move toward more “marsions that contribute to global warmket-determined exchange rate sysing. tems”. APEC's next summit will be held For the first time, the leaders apin Honolulu, Hawaii, with the 2012 proved a strategy calling for balanced, gathering due to move to Russia's Far sustainable and innovative growth East city of Vladivostok.

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

IDB Group signs partnership strategy with Uganda The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group on November 3, 2010 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Member Country Partnership Strategy (MCPS) with Uganda, which will be the vehicle for IDB Group support to Uganda for the next five years starting 2011 in line with the country's National Development Plan (NDP). The NDP is the foundation stone for the country's long-term transformation process. Signing the MOU, Dr. Ahmad Mohamed Ali stated, “we at the IDB Group are determined to be part of Uganda's transformation process by focusing on the topmost priorities and utilizing whatever means we have at our disposal. It is for this reason that IDB Group has put together this concept of the MCPS, which underscores the need for IDB member countries to cooperate or partner among themselves, with the IDB serving as a facilitator. This member country-tomember country partnership is the cornerstone of IDB Group's revitalized cooperation and policy dialogue with member countries. It will complement our traditional role of direct project and program financing.” On the basis of the consultations undertaken by the IDB Group with the Ugandan authorities and other stakeholders in the first stage of the MCPS exercise, the IDB Group as-

sistance over the next 5-years will focus on four main pillars that directly support the Government's objective of sustained growth for employment-generation and social economic transformation. These pillars are (i) infrastructure development, (ii) agricultural productivity and value-addition, (iii) private sector development and (iv) human resource and institutional capacity development. Specific activities under each pillar would be mutually agreed. The IDB Group has so far approved 28 operations in almost all sectors of the Ugandan economy. Recent approvals were for the construction of small bridges in northern and north eastern Uganda, a line of financing facility to the Uganda Development Bank Limited for onward lending to small and medium scale enterprises, financing facility to support the microfinance industry, rehabilitation and expansion of technical and vocational institutes and a teacher training school among others. Other notable technical assistance (TA) grants were to assist the Bank of Uganda develop a regulatory framework for Islamic Banking and Finance, a feasibility study grant for the development of water infrastructure for agricultural production and productivity, and assisting Uganda Investment Authority in its efforts to promote Uganda as an investment destination.

IDB and UNAIDS sign partnership agreement At the signing ceremony, President of the IDB Group Dr. Ahmad Mohamed Ali underlined the emphasis IDB Group has attached to promotion of health services and the support it has lent to development of health sector activities and hygiene infrastructure since its inception more than 3 decades ago. “Promoting health and eventually human development in IDB member countries and Muslim communities in non-member countries around the world constitute a major thrust of the IDB Group's Vision 2020,” Dr. Ali reiterUnder the document, the two sides shall cooperate in maximum use of available reIDB President Dr. Ali ated. “The Islamic Development Bank's investsources while effectively cooperating and ment in promoting the global fight against sharing information on HIV prevention and AIDS is welcome at a time when resources for HIV procontrol measures. The program also pays special attention to gram are flat-lining,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director measures aimed at preventing HIV from mother to child as of UNAIDS, after signing the memorandum of understandUN estimates indicate an estimated 1.4 million HIV positive ing at the IDB Headquarters in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. “Topregnant women live in low- and middle-income countries. gether, we will strive towards slowing down the spread of In 2009 alone, the UN figures registered some 370,000 new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths.” HIV infections among children worldwide. The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and the United Nations Program on HIV / AIDS (UNAIDS) on December 12 signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for collaboration efforts on a range of AIDS programs in sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. The MOU was signed between IDB Group President Dr. Ahmad Mohamed Ali and UN/AIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé.

IDB signs financing agreements for US$180 million projects in Uzbekistan IDB delegation led by Dr. Rami Mahmoud Saeed, Director, Country Department, visited Tashkent, Uzbekistan during 8-9 November 2010, to co-sign with Uzbekistan financing agreements for 2 priority projects amounting to US$180 million. IDB will extend a record amount of US167.2 million for the reconstruction and upgrading of M39 Road in Surkhandarya region, biggest operation of IDB Group in Uzbekistan since it

joined the Bank in 2003. In order to assist the Government of Uzbekistan in improving the existing education infrastructure in rural areas, IDB will provide financing of US$11.7 million for construction and equipping of 13 secondary schools, and training 300 teachers in rural areas where about 3,000 secondary school students will be enrolled. During the mission, the concept of Member Country Partnership Strategy

(MCPS) was introduced to Uzbekistan, which highly appreciated new programmatic approach of the IDB Group in development activity. IDB expressed its readiness and commitment to cooperate with the Government of Uzbekistan in formulation of sound MCPS for Uzbekistan upon completion of the country's National Development Program (Welfare Improvement Strategy 2011-14). 75


ECONOMY

G20 addresses currency issues

A general view of political leaders seen at the meeting hall during the G-20 summit, 12 November 2010 in Seoul, South Korea.(epa)

Seoul, Korea - Twenty world leaders came together in Seoul on November 11-12 to discuss the state of the global economy as it emerges from the financial crisis. Together, they took the necessary steps to reduce market volatility and move past the crisis, creating sustainable growth going forward. The fall meeting was the fourth leaders summit and the first in an emerging country, reflecting shifts in the global economic balance and a growing understanding of the interdependence of countries and regions in the international financial system. Within the larger agenda, the leaders continued to work to build a lasting system of cooperation - a framework - and to reform international financial organizations and financial regulations. At the Seoul Summit, the G20 built on past agreements, while introducing new agenda items that support the same fundamental goals. Specifically, Korea supported discussion of a system of global financial safety nets

and plans to reduce global poverty and the development gap. President Lee Myung-bak, other G20 leaders and representatives of international organizations adopted the 'Seoul Declaration' and 'Seoul Action Plan' at the end of five discussion sessions. The 'Seoul Declaration' set up a framework to resolve currency disputes and reaffirmed the will of G20 leaders to prohibit protectionism, to build a global financial security network and to reform the International Monetary Fund (IMF). They also agreed on the need for development to achieve sustainable, balanced economic growth. The G20 also adopted the 'Seoul Action Plan' which contains policy measures for cooperation and action to move towards market exchange rates and exchange rate flexibility. World leaders hope that this will provide new momentum to ease global currency account imbalances. G20 leaders agreed to implement a market-determined currency policy system to reflect economic fundamentals and to boost currency flexibility, while refraining from competitive currency depreciation. They also decided to shift International Monetary Fund (IMF) quota shares for industrialized countries to dynamic emerging markets, developing countries and underrepresented countries to better reflect the current economy. The G20 also welcomed the creation of a 'Flexible Credit Line' (FCL) and 'Precautionary Credit Line' (PCL) as new preventative tools to cope with future crises. The G20 leaders further adopted the 'Seoul Consensus'. It proposes new directions and principles to help in eradicating poverty and narrowing the gap between developing and industrialized countries. The leaders also adopted a 'MultiYear Action Plan' for infrastructure development in developing countries. A G20 Business Summit was held as part of efforts to consider the opinions of the private sector.

APEC leaders agree on a free trade zone Yokohama, Japan (agencies) Leaders of the Pacific Rim economies that have spearheaded the still-fragile global recovery agreed to work toward building a region-wide free trade zone they say is the lynchpin for sustainable growth. The 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum unanimously pledged to avoid raising more trade barriers and to roll back those they may have erected in the midst of crisis. “We reaffirm our unwavering commitment to achieving free and open trade and investment in the region,” the leaders said in a declaration released after their two-day summit ended on November 14, 2010. “We must take steps to build a foundation for stronger, more sustainable and more balanced growth in the future.” The leaders agreed to “take concrete steps toward realizing a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific,” according to their declaration, with Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan saying the rough target year was 2020. This goal should build on regional 74

groupings such as the TransPacific Partnership, a USbacked free trade agreement that nine APEC members are negotiating, and ASEAN Plus 3, which groups the 10-nation Association of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders pose for a family Southeast photograph in Yokohama, Japan, on 13 November 2010. (epa) Asian Nations with China, Japan and South Korea, both in the region and within their the statement said. It would not be own borders. Countries should proforged through APEC, which has no vide better access to credit and social negotiating power. services for women, the poor and othThe summit's declaration also noter vulnerable groups, it said. ed a need to reduce trade imbalances They also intend to improve enerand government debt. It also includes gy security and reduce carbon emisa pledge to move toward more “marsions that contribute to global warmket-determined exchange rate sysing. tems”. APEC's next summit will be held For the first time, the leaders apin Honolulu, Hawaii, with the 2012 proved a strategy calling for balanced, gathering due to move to Russia's Far sustainable and innovative growth East city of Vladivostok.

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

IDB Group signs partnership strategy with Uganda The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group on November 3, 2010 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Member Country Partnership Strategy (MCPS) with Uganda, which will be the vehicle for IDB Group support to Uganda for the next five years starting 2011 in line with the country's National Development Plan (NDP). The NDP is the foundation stone for the country's long-term transformation process. Signing the MOU, Dr. Ahmad Mohamed Ali stated, “we at the IDB Group are determined to be part of Uganda's transformation process by focusing on the topmost priorities and utilizing whatever means we have at our disposal. It is for this reason that IDB Group has put together this concept of the MCPS, which underscores the need for IDB member countries to cooperate or partner among themselves, with the IDB serving as a facilitator. This member country-tomember country partnership is the cornerstone of IDB Group's revitalized cooperation and policy dialogue with member countries. It will complement our traditional role of direct project and program financing.” On the basis of the consultations undertaken by the IDB Group with the Ugandan authorities and other stakeholders in the first stage of the MCPS exercise, the IDB Group as-

sistance over the next 5-years will focus on four main pillars that directly support the Government's objective of sustained growth for employment-generation and social economic transformation. These pillars are (i) infrastructure development, (ii) agricultural productivity and value-addition, (iii) private sector development and (iv) human resource and institutional capacity development. Specific activities under each pillar would be mutually agreed. The IDB Group has so far approved 28 operations in almost all sectors of the Ugandan economy. Recent approvals were for the construction of small bridges in northern and north eastern Uganda, a line of financing facility to the Uganda Development Bank Limited for onward lending to small and medium scale enterprises, financing facility to support the microfinance industry, rehabilitation and expansion of technical and vocational institutes and a teacher training school among others. Other notable technical assistance (TA) grants were to assist the Bank of Uganda develop a regulatory framework for Islamic Banking and Finance, a feasibility study grant for the development of water infrastructure for agricultural production and productivity, and assisting Uganda Investment Authority in its efforts to promote Uganda as an investment destination.

IDB and UNAIDS sign partnership agreement At the signing ceremony, President of the IDB Group Dr. Ahmad Mohamed Ali underlined the emphasis IDB Group has attached to promotion of health services and the support it has lent to development of health sector activities and hygiene infrastructure since its inception more than 3 decades ago. “Promoting health and eventually human development in IDB member countries and Muslim communities in non-member countries around the world constitute a major thrust of the IDB Group's Vision 2020,” Dr. Ali reiterUnder the document, the two sides shall cooperate in maximum use of available reIDB President Dr. Ali ated. “The Islamic Development Bank's investsources while effectively cooperating and ment in promoting the global fight against sharing information on HIV prevention and AIDS is welcome at a time when resources for HIV procontrol measures. The program also pays special attention to gram are flat-lining,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director measures aimed at preventing HIV from mother to child as of UNAIDS, after signing the memorandum of understandUN estimates indicate an estimated 1.4 million HIV positive ing at the IDB Headquarters in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. “Topregnant women live in low- and middle-income countries. gether, we will strive towards slowing down the spread of In 2009 alone, the UN figures registered some 370,000 new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths.” HIV infections among children worldwide. The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and the United Nations Program on HIV / AIDS (UNAIDS) on December 12 signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for collaboration efforts on a range of AIDS programs in sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. The MOU was signed between IDB Group President Dr. Ahmad Mohamed Ali and UN/AIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé.

IDB signs financing agreements for US$180 million projects in Uzbekistan IDB delegation led by Dr. Rami Mahmoud Saeed, Director, Country Department, visited Tashkent, Uzbekistan during 8-9 November 2010, to co-sign with Uzbekistan financing agreements for 2 priority projects amounting to US$180 million. IDB will extend a record amount of US167.2 million for the reconstruction and upgrading of M39 Road in Surkhandarya region, biggest operation of IDB Group in Uzbekistan since it

joined the Bank in 2003. In order to assist the Government of Uzbekistan in improving the existing education infrastructure in rural areas, IDB will provide financing of US$11.7 million for construction and equipping of 13 secondary schools, and training 300 teachers in rural areas where about 3,000 secondary school students will be enrolled. During the mission, the concept of Member Country Partnership Strategy

(MCPS) was introduced to Uzbekistan, which highly appreciated new programmatic approach of the IDB Group in development activity. IDB expressed its readiness and commitment to cooperate with the Government of Uzbekistan in formulation of sound MCPS for Uzbekistan upon completion of the country's National Development Program (Welfare Improvement Strategy 2011-14). 75


OIC NEWS

ECONOMY

IMF economists investigate Islamic banking and its diffusion around the world In a recent study, two IMF economists investigated Islamic banking and its diffusion around the world. It is stated that “[Islamic banks] showed greater resilience during the recent financial crisis as they were not involved in trading 'toxic assets.'” The main reasons are identified as follows: (1) Islamic banks finance their activities out of deposits rather than from wholesale funding, in contrast to most conventional banks; (2) Shariah law prohibits Islamic banks from dealing in second-hand, interest-bearing mortgages, which were

the main cause of the US subprime mortgage crisis; (3) Islamic banks favor investments in sectors that were not hit as hard by the global crisis such as utilities, telecom, healthcare, and high-tech. The authors found that quality of institutions in a country, which traditionally matters for conventional banking, is not important for the diffusion of Islamic banking. This is due to the fact that Islamic banking is primarily guided by Shariah law, which is largely independent of regulatory institu-

tions. The authors suggest that Islamic countries can build up their Islamic banks even if not enough progress is made to reform institutions. They also found that Islamic banks act as a complement, rather than a substitute, to conventional banks. This is because the more established the conventional banking system is in a country, the more accommodating it will be to Islamic banking. Also, Islamic banks serve devout Muslims who have not been served by conventional banks.

IDB approves $4 billion operation plan for 2011 The 272nd meeting of the Islamic Development Bank's Board of Executive Directors on 28 November 2010 approved the US$ 4 billion operation plan for the new financial year 2011, comprising of US$ 357 million for concessional loan financings, US$ 58 million for grant financings and technical assistance as well as US$ 3.8 billion for leasing, installment sale/istisna'a, equity financing, profit sharing and lines of financing. The meeting also approved a total amount of US$ 415.7 million for new development projects

in a number of IDB Group member countries including; Iran, Pakistan and Senegal, which also included a US$ 2 million amount to finance relief for reconstruction of Sa'ada Province and resettlement of the displaced population in Yemen. The approvals also accounted for a total amount of US$ 1.5 dedicated to financing IDB Waqf Fund projects in the areas of health and education in the Philippines, India, Ethiopia and the United Kingdom.

IDB extends US$ 220 million to Pakistan for financing Mega Hydro Power Plant Project The Islamic Development Bank Group on 28 November 2010 approved a US$ 220 million financing for the Neelum-Jhelm Hydro Power Plant Equipment in Pakistan. Under the approval, the leasing facility shall be extended to the Government of Pakistan with duration of 15 years after a 5-year gestation period. Other financiers to the project include Saudi Fund for Development (SFD), Kuwait Fund

for Development (KFD), Abu Dhabi Fund (ADF), OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) and Export Import (EXIM) Bank of China. The power plant forms an essential part of the Government of Pakistan's strategy to meet the presently existing power generation capacity deficit of over 4000 mega watts. It involves the construction of a run-of-the-river Hydro Electric Power Plant with an installed capacity of 969 mega watts ca-

pable of producing 5,150 GWH per year. IDB Group has scaled up development, reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts in Pakistan since a recent natural disaster hit the country back in July 2010 when heavy monsoon rains washed away millions of homes, shops and livelihoods leaving millions of people in need of basic commodities.

Joint OIC-UNDP South South Cooperation Unit delegation visits Pakistan Islamabad, Pakistan - A joint OIC-UNDP South-South Cooperation Unit delegation visited Pakistan and was received by Yousuf Raza Gilani, Prime Minister of Pakistan on the 29th October 2010. The head of the joint mission conveyed greetings of Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the OIC Secretary General, stating that the mission was a follow-up of the Secretary General's earlier visit and commitment to support the Government of Pakistan in alleviating the plight of the flood affected people. He reiterated the Secretary General's vision to promote an integrated development plan approach in the recovery and reconstruction

76

phases. The Prime Minister thanked the OIC Secretary General for his commitment and the support of Member States to the flood affected people of Pakistan, and invited the OIC to participate in the forthcoming donor conference, which will be held in November in Islamabad. Earlier, the five-day joint mission met the Head of the National Disaster Management Authority, the Youth Parliament, the UN Agencies, the Pakistan Red Crescent Society and various stakeholders.

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

OIC marks International Day against Nuclear Tests The Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs Ambassador Abdullah Abdulrahman Alim on 29 August 2010 at the OIC Headquarters in Jeddah, launched a photographs exhibition, which was organized by the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan to mark the International Day against Nuclear Tests. Ambassador Alim expressed the OIC's appreciation of Kazakhstan and President Nazarbayev for the proposal to proclaim an international day against nuclear tests. He announced that the Council of Foreign Ministers unanimously welcomed the initiative in Dushanbe in May 2010, because the OIC believes that disarmament and nuclear nonproliferation are key issues for the preservation of regional and international peace and security. While affirming that the 2006 signing of the 'Treaty on Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Central Asia' in Kazakhstan was an important factor in boosting nuclear nonproliferation, he expressed the hope that a similar agreement would be reached to declare the Middle East region free of nuclear weapon.

Amb. Alim looks at one of the photographs in the exhibition.

Grand Mufti of Bulgaria holds consultations at the OIC General Secretariat The Secretary General of the OIC received at his office Mustafa Haci, Grand Mufti of Bulgaria, and _abanali Ahmed, Chairman of the High Islamic Council of Bulgaria, on 16 October 2010. During the meeting, the situation of the Muslim community and the recent developments in Bulgaria were discussed. Secretary General welcomed the Grand Mufti and reiterated the OIC's close interest and continued support to the Muslim communities in the non-member countries. During the discussion, the Secretary General expressed his concern on the continuation of some past practices in Bulgaria from the Communist era, such as the restrictions imposed on the Muslim community to elect their own Mufti and recognition of the elected delegates to the Islamic Council (Shura). Secretary General Ihsanoglu expressed his expectation on the reconvening of the Islamic Council with the elected legitimate delegates in accordance with the relevant laws and traditions as soon as possible to eliminate the ambigui-

ties created by the recent conflict. The Secretary General also referred to the Final Communiqué of the Annual Coordination Meeting of the OIC Foreign Minister held in New York on 24 September 2010 which stated “The Meeting called upon the Members States to monitor closely the problems encountered by the Muslim community in Bulgaria concerning the usurpation of their right to elect their religious leader...” The Secretary General concluded his remarks by assuring the Grand Mufti of Bulgaria that the OIC will continue to closely follow the developments as to the rights of the Muslim community in Bulgaria and undertake necessary consultations with the OIC institutions and Member States to this end. After their meeting with the Secretary General, the Grand Mufti and his delegation was also received by Ambassador Abdullah A. Alim, Assistant Secretary General for political affairs, and Talal A. Daous, Director of the Department of Muslim Communities and Minorities.

OIC signs MOU for recycling waste Director General of Administration Department signing the MoU with Naqa'a Environmental Enterprise.

The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) signed at its Headquarters in Jeddah on September 1, 2010 a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Saudi Naqa'a Environmental Enterprise for recycling waste and preserving the environment. According to the MoU, Naqa'a will provide new solutions to discarding waste that depends on environmental awareness and emphasis on recycling. The OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu said that the signing of the MoU is inline with the OIC's goal of reducing the negative impact on the environment and encourage environmental responsibility among OIC staff. He said that the project launched from the OIC Headquarters in Jeddah is to be an environmental role model for other organizations and institutions in the Muslim world. The Secretary General also pointed out that as OIC focuses on improving the status of the youth in the Islamic world and Naqa'a is a youth project, the OIC was keen to support this project created and managed by innovative youth. 77


OIC NEWS

ECONOMY

IMF economists investigate Islamic banking and its diffusion around the world In a recent study, two IMF economists investigated Islamic banking and its diffusion around the world. It is stated that “[Islamic banks] showed greater resilience during the recent financial crisis as they were not involved in trading 'toxic assets.'” The main reasons are identified as follows: (1) Islamic banks finance their activities out of deposits rather than from wholesale funding, in contrast to most conventional banks; (2) Shariah law prohibits Islamic banks from dealing in second-hand, interest-bearing mortgages, which were

the main cause of the US subprime mortgage crisis; (3) Islamic banks favor investments in sectors that were not hit as hard by the global crisis such as utilities, telecom, healthcare, and high-tech. The authors found that quality of institutions in a country, which traditionally matters for conventional banking, is not important for the diffusion of Islamic banking. This is due to the fact that Islamic banking is primarily guided by Shariah law, which is largely independent of regulatory institu-

tions. The authors suggest that Islamic countries can build up their Islamic banks even if not enough progress is made to reform institutions. They also found that Islamic banks act as a complement, rather than a substitute, to conventional banks. This is because the more established the conventional banking system is in a country, the more accommodating it will be to Islamic banking. Also, Islamic banks serve devout Muslims who have not been served by conventional banks.

IDB approves $4 billion operation plan for 2011 The 272nd meeting of the Islamic Development Bank's Board of Executive Directors on 28 November 2010 approved the US$ 4 billion operation plan for the new financial year 2011, comprising of US$ 357 million for concessional loan financings, US$ 58 million for grant financings and technical assistance as well as US$ 3.8 billion for leasing, installment sale/istisna'a, equity financing, profit sharing and lines of financing. The meeting also approved a total amount of US$ 415.7 million for new development projects

in a number of IDB Group member countries including; Iran, Pakistan and Senegal, which also included a US$ 2 million amount to finance relief for reconstruction of Sa'ada Province and resettlement of the displaced population in Yemen. The approvals also accounted for a total amount of US$ 1.5 dedicated to financing IDB Waqf Fund projects in the areas of health and education in the Philippines, India, Ethiopia and the United Kingdom.

IDB extends US$ 220 million to Pakistan for financing Mega Hydro Power Plant Project The Islamic Development Bank Group on 28 November 2010 approved a US$ 220 million financing for the Neelum-Jhelm Hydro Power Plant Equipment in Pakistan. Under the approval, the leasing facility shall be extended to the Government of Pakistan with duration of 15 years after a 5-year gestation period. Other financiers to the project include Saudi Fund for Development (SFD), Kuwait Fund

for Development (KFD), Abu Dhabi Fund (ADF), OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) and Export Import (EXIM) Bank of China. The power plant forms an essential part of the Government of Pakistan's strategy to meet the presently existing power generation capacity deficit of over 4000 mega watts. It involves the construction of a run-of-the-river Hydro Electric Power Plant with an installed capacity of 969 mega watts ca-

pable of producing 5,150 GWH per year. IDB Group has scaled up development, reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts in Pakistan since a recent natural disaster hit the country back in July 2010 when heavy monsoon rains washed away millions of homes, shops and livelihoods leaving millions of people in need of basic commodities.

Joint OIC-UNDP South South Cooperation Unit delegation visits Pakistan Islamabad, Pakistan - A joint OIC-UNDP South-South Cooperation Unit delegation visited Pakistan and was received by Yousuf Raza Gilani, Prime Minister of Pakistan on the 29th October 2010. The head of the joint mission conveyed greetings of Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the OIC Secretary General, stating that the mission was a follow-up of the Secretary General's earlier visit and commitment to support the Government of Pakistan in alleviating the plight of the flood affected people. He reiterated the Secretary General's vision to promote an integrated development plan approach in the recovery and reconstruction

76

phases. The Prime Minister thanked the OIC Secretary General for his commitment and the support of Member States to the flood affected people of Pakistan, and invited the OIC to participate in the forthcoming donor conference, which will be held in November in Islamabad. Earlier, the five-day joint mission met the Head of the National Disaster Management Authority, the Youth Parliament, the UN Agencies, the Pakistan Red Crescent Society and various stakeholders.

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

OIC marks International Day against Nuclear Tests The Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs Ambassador Abdullah Abdulrahman Alim on 29 August 2010 at the OIC Headquarters in Jeddah, launched a photographs exhibition, which was organized by the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan to mark the International Day against Nuclear Tests. Ambassador Alim expressed the OIC's appreciation of Kazakhstan and President Nazarbayev for the proposal to proclaim an international day against nuclear tests. He announced that the Council of Foreign Ministers unanimously welcomed the initiative in Dushanbe in May 2010, because the OIC believes that disarmament and nuclear nonproliferation are key issues for the preservation of regional and international peace and security. While affirming that the 2006 signing of the 'Treaty on Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Central Asia' in Kazakhstan was an important factor in boosting nuclear nonproliferation, he expressed the hope that a similar agreement would be reached to declare the Middle East region free of nuclear weapon.

Amb. Alim looks at one of the photographs in the exhibition.

Grand Mufti of Bulgaria holds consultations at the OIC General Secretariat The Secretary General of the OIC received at his office Mustafa Haci, Grand Mufti of Bulgaria, and _abanali Ahmed, Chairman of the High Islamic Council of Bulgaria, on 16 October 2010. During the meeting, the situation of the Muslim community and the recent developments in Bulgaria were discussed. Secretary General welcomed the Grand Mufti and reiterated the OIC's close interest and continued support to the Muslim communities in the non-member countries. During the discussion, the Secretary General expressed his concern on the continuation of some past practices in Bulgaria from the Communist era, such as the restrictions imposed on the Muslim community to elect their own Mufti and recognition of the elected delegates to the Islamic Council (Shura). Secretary General Ihsanoglu expressed his expectation on the reconvening of the Islamic Council with the elected legitimate delegates in accordance with the relevant laws and traditions as soon as possible to eliminate the ambigui-

ties created by the recent conflict. The Secretary General also referred to the Final Communiqué of the Annual Coordination Meeting of the OIC Foreign Minister held in New York on 24 September 2010 which stated “The Meeting called upon the Members States to monitor closely the problems encountered by the Muslim community in Bulgaria concerning the usurpation of their right to elect their religious leader...” The Secretary General concluded his remarks by assuring the Grand Mufti of Bulgaria that the OIC will continue to closely follow the developments as to the rights of the Muslim community in Bulgaria and undertake necessary consultations with the OIC institutions and Member States to this end. After their meeting with the Secretary General, the Grand Mufti and his delegation was also received by Ambassador Abdullah A. Alim, Assistant Secretary General for political affairs, and Talal A. Daous, Director of the Department of Muslim Communities and Minorities.

OIC signs MOU for recycling waste Director General of Administration Department signing the MoU with Naqa'a Environmental Enterprise.

The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) signed at its Headquarters in Jeddah on September 1, 2010 a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Saudi Naqa'a Environmental Enterprise for recycling waste and preserving the environment. According to the MoU, Naqa'a will provide new solutions to discarding waste that depends on environmental awareness and emphasis on recycling. The OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu said that the signing of the MoU is inline with the OIC's goal of reducing the negative impact on the environment and encourage environmental responsibility among OIC staff. He said that the project launched from the OIC Headquarters in Jeddah is to be an environmental role model for other organizations and institutions in the Muslim world. The Secretary General also pointed out that as OIC focuses on improving the status of the youth in the Islamic world and Naqa'a is a youth project, the OIC was keen to support this project created and managed by innovative youth. 77


OIC NEWS

COUNTRY PROFILE

OIC election observers participate in monitoring general elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina Upon the invitation by the President of the Central Election Commission (CEC) of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) Irena Hadziabdic to take part in monitoring of general elections in BiH, the OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu dispatched a team of OIC election observers to BiH, which is an OIC Observer State. The BiH general elections, held on October 3, 2010, were conducted in a tension-free atmosphere and in accordance with established international norms and standards. The turnout was

encouraging. Ihsanoglu expressed his satisfaction with the overall peaceful conduct that marked the elections and extended his congratulations to the Bosnian people and authorities for their remarkable preparations and democratic maturity. The OIC Secretary General indicated his conviction that the elections would further strengthen democracy in BiH and foster the stability in and unity of the country. Bakir Izetbegovic, son of the wartime leader, was voted to become one

of Bosnia's three presidents -the Muslim seat- in the country's tripartite presidential poll. Since the Dayton agreement which ended the war in the mid1990s, voters from the Bosnian Muslim, Serb and Croat communities elect their own candidates for the joint presidency. Social Democrat Zeljko Komsic garnered over 50 per cent in his bid to retain the Croat seat, while Nebojsa Radmanovic has kept the Serbian one.

OIC and WFP Agree to work together in Somalia Mogadishu, Somalia - The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) have agreed to launch a joint humanitarian program to assist displaced people in the Afgooye corridor, southwest of the Somali capital Mogadishu. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two organizations was signed on 6 December 2010 in Nairobi by Ambassador Atta El Manan Bakhiet, the OIC's Assistant Secretary General for Humanitari-

an Affairs, and WFP Somalia Acting Country Director Salman Omer. Both Amb. Bakhiet and Omer have expressed their hope that the partnership between the OIC and WFP would be successful, which would allow these two organizations to extend their cooperation in other areas. The agreement said that the OIC would find partner NGOs to distribute food assistance to those in need. An independent monitoring body

would monitor the proper distribution of the assistance to those it was intended for. The agreement also mentioned that the OIC and WFP would jointly raise funds for their works in Somalia for the six months duration of the MOU. Some 400,000 people - mostly forced to flee their homes in Mogadishu because of fighting - live in a series of camps along the road leading from the capital to the town of Afgooye.

Brazilian postal stamps featuring the OIC logo In celebration of the role of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and its communication with the Muslim community in Brazil, the Municipality of Sao Paulo, Brazil issued postal stamps featuring the OIC logo. This initiative comes in recognition of the efforts of the OIC General Secretariat, including the organization of the 17th Session of the Committee in charge of the Coordination of Joint Islamic Action in the Field of Dawa held on 31 May 2 June 2010 in the Brazilian city.

OIC sponsors nine Pakistani youths for a workshop on Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction Manila, Philippines - In collaboration with the UNDP's South-South Cooperation Unit, OIC has sponsored nine youths from Pakistan to attend the South-South Citizenry Based Development Academy (SSCBDA) held in the Philippines on November 22-26, 2010. Around 115 participants attended the workshop, with a total of 29 from Bangladesh, Canada, India, Maldives, Malaysia, Pakistan and Thailand. The rest were from different parts of the Philippines. The Pakistan delegation 78

consisted two from the Youth Parliament of Pakistan and seven from the Ministry of Youth Affairs. The participants were enrolled in a rigorous three-day focused learning on community managed disaster risk reduction. Some organizations showed interest in hosting the next workshop, including those from Bangladesh and Pakistan. The training workshop was a successful event in the sense that it gave the participants an opportunity to learn from other countries' experiences on Community Based Disaster Risk

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

Reduction (CBDRR). Simultaneously with the SSCBDA, there was a meeting of the Parliamentarians for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), also held in the Philippines. This was organized by the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction. OIC managed to facilitate the participation of the Pakistan Youth delegation in this meeting as well. This was also a successful event, the output of which will be included in the next Global Platform for DRR.

NIGERIA Full Name: Federal Republic of Nigeria Capital: Abuja Population: 158,259,000 (2009 estimate) Area: 923,768 sq. km Official Language: English Monetary Unit: Naira Geography Nigeria is a country in West Africa and the most populous country in Africa. It shares land borders with Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, Niger in the north, and borders the Gulf of Guinea in the south. Since 1991, its capital has been the centrally-located city of Abuja; previously, the Nigerian government was headquartered in the coastal city Lagos. The Federal Republic of Nigeria consists of thirty-six states, and the administrative headquarters and capital city Abuja is located in the Federal Capital Territory, which is geographically situated in the middle of the country. Effective participation in governance by all adults is assured through the sharing of powers, revenue and responsibilities between the three tiers of government, i.e. the Federal Government, the State Governments and the various Local and Municipal Councils of the federation. Agricultural, Mineral and Marine Resources In addition to its huge population, Nigeria is endowed with significant agricultural, mineral, marine and forest resources. Its multiple vegetation zones, plentiful rain, surface water and underground water resources and moderate climatic extremes, allow for production of diverse food and cash crops. Over sixty percent of the population is involved in the production of food crops such as cassava, maize, rice, yams, various beans and legumes, soya, sorghum, ginger, onions, tomatoes, melons and vegetable. The main cash crops are cocoa, cotton, groundnuts, oil palm and rubber. Extractions from these for export and local industrial use include cocoa flour and butter, rubber crumb, vegetable oil, cotton fiber and yarn. The rain forests have been well exploited for timber and wood products of exotic and popular species. Oil and Gas, by value, are the most important minerals.

They are exploited and produced in the Niger Delta basin and off-shore on the continental shelf and in the deep-sea of the territorial waters. Nevertheless, there are significant non-oil mineral deposits on land many of which have been identified and evaluated: coal, iron ore, gypsum, kaolin, phosphates, lime -stone, marble, columbine, baryte and gold. Economy With a mixed economy emerging market, Nigeria is obviously the largest market in sub-Saharan Africa with reasonably skilled and potential manpower for the efficient and effective management of investment projects within the country. It is well connected by a wide network of motorable all-season roads, railway tracks, inland waterways, maritime and air transportation. Nigeria's economy could be aptly described as most promising. It is a mixed economy and accommodates all corners, individuals, corporate organizations and government agencies, to invest in almost all range of economic activities. Since 1995, the Government has introduced some bold economic measures, which have had a salutary effect on the economy by halting the declining growth in the productive sectors and putting a stop to galloping inflation; they have reduced the debt burden, stabilized the exchange rate of the Naira and corrected the balance of payments disequilibrium. Nigeria's current industrial policy thrust is anchored on a guided deregulation of the economy and Government's disengagement from activities which are private-sector oriented, leaving Government to play the role of facilitator, concentrating on the provision of incentives policy and infrastructure that are necessary to enhance the private sector's role as the engine of growth. According to the World Bank, the country has already reached middle income status. With its abundant supply of natural resources, well-developed financial, legal, communications, transport sectors and stock exchange, which is the second largest in Africa. Nigeria is ranked 37th in the world in terms of GDP as of 2007.

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OIC NEWS

COUNTRY PROFILE

OIC election observers participate in monitoring general elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina Upon the invitation by the President of the Central Election Commission (CEC) of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) Irena Hadziabdic to take part in monitoring of general elections in BiH, the OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu dispatched a team of OIC election observers to BiH, which is an OIC Observer State. The BiH general elections, held on October 3, 2010, were conducted in a tension-free atmosphere and in accordance with established international norms and standards. The turnout was

encouraging. Ihsanoglu expressed his satisfaction with the overall peaceful conduct that marked the elections and extended his congratulations to the Bosnian people and authorities for their remarkable preparations and democratic maturity. The OIC Secretary General indicated his conviction that the elections would further strengthen democracy in BiH and foster the stability in and unity of the country. Bakir Izetbegovic, son of the wartime leader, was voted to become one

of Bosnia's three presidents -the Muslim seat- in the country's tripartite presidential poll. Since the Dayton agreement which ended the war in the mid1990s, voters from the Bosnian Muslim, Serb and Croat communities elect their own candidates for the joint presidency. Social Democrat Zeljko Komsic garnered over 50 per cent in his bid to retain the Croat seat, while Nebojsa Radmanovic has kept the Serbian one.

OIC and WFP Agree to work together in Somalia Mogadishu, Somalia - The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) have agreed to launch a joint humanitarian program to assist displaced people in the Afgooye corridor, southwest of the Somali capital Mogadishu. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two organizations was signed on 6 December 2010 in Nairobi by Ambassador Atta El Manan Bakhiet, the OIC's Assistant Secretary General for Humanitari-

an Affairs, and WFP Somalia Acting Country Director Salman Omer. Both Amb. Bakhiet and Omer have expressed their hope that the partnership between the OIC and WFP would be successful, which would allow these two organizations to extend their cooperation in other areas. The agreement said that the OIC would find partner NGOs to distribute food assistance to those in need. An independent monitoring body

would monitor the proper distribution of the assistance to those it was intended for. The agreement also mentioned that the OIC and WFP would jointly raise funds for their works in Somalia for the six months duration of the MOU. Some 400,000 people - mostly forced to flee their homes in Mogadishu because of fighting - live in a series of camps along the road leading from the capital to the town of Afgooye.

Brazilian postal stamps featuring the OIC logo In celebration of the role of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and its communication with the Muslim community in Brazil, the Municipality of Sao Paulo, Brazil issued postal stamps featuring the OIC logo. This initiative comes in recognition of the efforts of the OIC General Secretariat, including the organization of the 17th Session of the Committee in charge of the Coordination of Joint Islamic Action in the Field of Dawa held on 31 May 2 June 2010 in the Brazilian city.

OIC sponsors nine Pakistani youths for a workshop on Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction Manila, Philippines - In collaboration with the UNDP's South-South Cooperation Unit, OIC has sponsored nine youths from Pakistan to attend the South-South Citizenry Based Development Academy (SSCBDA) held in the Philippines on November 22-26, 2010. Around 115 participants attended the workshop, with a total of 29 from Bangladesh, Canada, India, Maldives, Malaysia, Pakistan and Thailand. The rest were from different parts of the Philippines. The Pakistan delegation 78

consisted two from the Youth Parliament of Pakistan and seven from the Ministry of Youth Affairs. The participants were enrolled in a rigorous three-day focused learning on community managed disaster risk reduction. Some organizations showed interest in hosting the next workshop, including those from Bangladesh and Pakistan. The training workshop was a successful event in the sense that it gave the participants an opportunity to learn from other countries' experiences on Community Based Disaster Risk

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

Reduction (CBDRR). Simultaneously with the SSCBDA, there was a meeting of the Parliamentarians for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), also held in the Philippines. This was organized by the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction. OIC managed to facilitate the participation of the Pakistan Youth delegation in this meeting as well. This was also a successful event, the output of which will be included in the next Global Platform for DRR.

NIGERIA Full Name: Federal Republic of Nigeria Capital: Abuja Population: 158,259,000 (2009 estimate) Area: 923,768 sq. km Official Language: English Monetary Unit: Naira Geography Nigeria is a country in West Africa and the most populous country in Africa. It shares land borders with Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, Niger in the north, and borders the Gulf of Guinea in the south. Since 1991, its capital has been the centrally-located city of Abuja; previously, the Nigerian government was headquartered in the coastal city Lagos. The Federal Republic of Nigeria consists of thirty-six states, and the administrative headquarters and capital city Abuja is located in the Federal Capital Territory, which is geographically situated in the middle of the country. Effective participation in governance by all adults is assured through the sharing of powers, revenue and responsibilities between the three tiers of government, i.e. the Federal Government, the State Governments and the various Local and Municipal Councils of the federation. Agricultural, Mineral and Marine Resources In addition to its huge population, Nigeria is endowed with significant agricultural, mineral, marine and forest resources. Its multiple vegetation zones, plentiful rain, surface water and underground water resources and moderate climatic extremes, allow for production of diverse food and cash crops. Over sixty percent of the population is involved in the production of food crops such as cassava, maize, rice, yams, various beans and legumes, soya, sorghum, ginger, onions, tomatoes, melons and vegetable. The main cash crops are cocoa, cotton, groundnuts, oil palm and rubber. Extractions from these for export and local industrial use include cocoa flour and butter, rubber crumb, vegetable oil, cotton fiber and yarn. The rain forests have been well exploited for timber and wood products of exotic and popular species. Oil and Gas, by value, are the most important minerals.

They are exploited and produced in the Niger Delta basin and off-shore on the continental shelf and in the deep-sea of the territorial waters. Nevertheless, there are significant non-oil mineral deposits on land many of which have been identified and evaluated: coal, iron ore, gypsum, kaolin, phosphates, lime -stone, marble, columbine, baryte and gold. Economy With a mixed economy emerging market, Nigeria is obviously the largest market in sub-Saharan Africa with reasonably skilled and potential manpower for the efficient and effective management of investment projects within the country. It is well connected by a wide network of motorable all-season roads, railway tracks, inland waterways, maritime and air transportation. Nigeria's economy could be aptly described as most promising. It is a mixed economy and accommodates all corners, individuals, corporate organizations and government agencies, to invest in almost all range of economic activities. Since 1995, the Government has introduced some bold economic measures, which have had a salutary effect on the economy by halting the declining growth in the productive sectors and putting a stop to galloping inflation; they have reduced the debt burden, stabilized the exchange rate of the Naira and corrected the balance of payments disequilibrium. Nigeria's current industrial policy thrust is anchored on a guided deregulation of the economy and Government's disengagement from activities which are private-sector oriented, leaving Government to play the role of facilitator, concentrating on the provision of incentives policy and infrastructure that are necessary to enhance the private sector's role as the engine of growth. According to the World Bank, the country has already reached middle income status. With its abundant supply of natural resources, well-developed financial, legal, communications, transport sectors and stock exchange, which is the second largest in Africa. Nigeria is ranked 37th in the world in terms of GDP as of 2007.

79


OUR MESSAGE

VIEWPOINT

Washington, DC - At a time when our nation is seeing a rise in intolerant behavior, crossing every cultural line, we seem simultaneously stuck with a national news media that is preoccupied with conflict and controversy when we desperately need one that weighs facts and reports fairly. A recent national news program reinforced these concerns. Let me explain what I mean.

those fears by allowing them to be expressed with fake innocence on respected news shows. Why are fears of Muslims validated by television airings?

Should we fear Islam?

Imagine a respected television show or news magazine article with the title, Should Americans Fear Black People?

Imagine the television cameras going in search of voices of “real” black people. Where do they go? The 'hood of course! I mean, where else do black people live? The intrepid host invites regular Americans to ask the experts to explain black pathology: "Why is their rap music so degrading to women?" Cynthia from Wyoming wonders. "Why are so many blacks at the bottom of the economic and educational ladder?" Chuck from New York muses. Is this starting to get a little uncomfortable? Of course it is. Just ask Don Imus, an American radio host fired in 2007 for making racist and sexist remarks, about the wisdom of indulging in racial stereotyping against blacks. Add Jews, Catholics, and others as well. Not a good idea. Now replace black with Muslim, and that's just about how ABC News treated Islam and Muslims on the recent television shows 20/20 and This Week with Christiane Amanpour.

80

With all these factors and more it is only natural that the OIC should take particular interest in strengthening relations between Central Asian countries and the rest of the Muslim world. There has also been a growing interest of Central Asia in getting involved in the activities of the OIC. The rest of OIC Member States in turn are intensifying their engagement with the region.

No serious journalist would ask a random black guy with a briefcase on the street to explain the pathology of an African American criminal because of the coincidence of shared skin color. But serious journalists called on ordinary Muslim Americans to explain the behavior of homicidal maniacs and extremists, thereby making the link between the crazies and the mainstream community.

Imagine staccato hip-hop music for the teaser, with clips of black gang members toting guns, hanging around urban scenes, looking scary. Imagine the zoom-in close up of a shoulder tattoo, proclaiming "Thug for Life". As the host (some household name) opens the show, imagine that the white expert opining about the root causes of urban decay is a nationally recognized racist like, for instance, David Duke, a former Louisiana State Representative and a leader in the Ku Klux Klan - a once widespread white supremacy movement. With a straight face, and no sense of irony, the host solicits Duke's views, and he proceeds to declare, "When the American people saw the Los Angeles riots, they received a peek into their future", referring to the 1992 riots that erupted following the acquittal of four white police officers who were on trial for beating Rodney King, an African American motorist.

Central Asian countries occupy a strategic location and are endowed with natural resources still mostly untapped. Several of them are rich in Islamic heritage and their relations with the Muslim world is seeped in history. Some are among the last countries to join the family of OIC Member States in the 1990s; their entry was welcomed like a relative long lost in the cold and returned to the warm fold of the family.

Are there criminals in America who are African American? Yes, again. But they're not presented as representative figures of the community by reputable news programs. Why do such shows go out of their way to find the scariest, most cartoonish Muslims possible and present them as spokespeople for Muslims?

Are there people willing to offer all sorts of racist theories about black crime, from problems in black genes to deficiencies in black culture? Plenty. But the only time they show up on mainstream news shows are as examples of racism, not as experts on race.

Keith Ellison US Congressman

There were the obligatory clips of terrorist training camps, the planes flying into the Twin Towers, the victims of socalled “honor killings”. The Muslim experts - looking officially “Islamic” in their long beards and hats - included one who declared that one day the flag of Islam would fly over the White House. The non-Muslim experts - Robert Spencer (a leading anti-Muslim advocate in the Park51 Islamic centre controversy), Ayaan Hirsi Ali (a prolific anti-Muslim writer) and Franklin Graham (who has said Islam "is a very evil and wicked religion") - are well known, even famous, for spewing anti-Muslim hate. Of course, these characters emphatically agreed with the caricatures with long beards and white hats, repeating the propaganda that Islam requires its adherents to dominate people. Among the “normal” Muslims interviewed were a woman in niqab (fewer than one per cent of Muslim women in America wear the full face veil and accompanying robes), and Muslims in the Muslim ”hood”, cities like Dearborn, Michigan and Patterson, New Jersey. Do some Americans fear black people? For sure. But we don't validate

the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

We are having a national conversation about belonging. The threatened Qur'an burning in Florida and the controversy over the proposed Islamic centre in lower Manhattan are examples of this national conversation about whether America can stretch her arms wide enough to embrace Muslims too. Irresponsible and sensational depictions of Muslims in the popular media are not the cause of Islamophobia, but they certainly can make it worse. Recent news shows and media reports do nothing to shed light or understanding on this national conversation, which is too bad. But the conversation must continue. And I hope it continues in our mosques, churches, synagogues and other holy places, with Americans of all faiths talking face to face about differences and about our shared humanity - free of the stereotypes that lately are so prominent in our television shows and magazines. * Representative Keith Ellison (DMN) was the first Muslim elected to US Congress. This article is distributed by the Common Ground News Service (CGNews) with permission from the author. Source: On Faith, 13 October 2010, newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith Copyright permission is granted for publication.

Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu OIC Secretary General

Maximizing potentials in Central Asia

The 2010 session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) took place for the first time in a Central Asian member state, Tajikistan. During that session, the 37th, a special brainstorming meeting was held to elaborate on the means for fostering cooperation between the Central Asian countries themselves and between them and the rest of OIC Member States. The discussions revealed the eagerness on all sides for such increased cooperation and the tremendous opportunities and potential for win-win relations in different fields. Since then, frequent high-level visits between Central Asian countries and the OIC and its institutions were reciprocated, economic development projects were signed, and OIC participation in the meetings of regional organizations concerning Central Asia region has beeen expanded. The next CFM, also in a Central Asian member, Kazakhstan, will most probably build on that momentum. However, just as there are great potentials there are also huge challenges facing the region, ranging from terrorism and drug trafficking to poverty, instability and natural disasters. Tackling them would require coordinated efforts and collective action. The OIC is committed to supporting the Central Asian member states in their individual and collective attempts towards tackling these challenges. A case in point is OIC's focused involvement in resolving the Afghanistan issue. It is our belief that stability and economic development are naturally related. Hence our conviction and promotion of a comprehensive approach led by greater Afghan ownership and with increased regional cooperation and effective international partnership as the way forward towards stability and development in Afghanistan and the region. The OIC has been present and active on the Afghan front and will continue and expand its engagement. It has appointed a permanent representative in Afghanistan with the aim of providing a platform for dialogue among the parties and direct assessment of developments and proposals. The OIC is determined to be a contributing factor to the process that would lead to peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region.


About OIC The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) is the second largest inter-governmental organization after the United Nations with a membership of 57 states spread over four continents. The Organization is the collective voice of the Muslim world. It endeavors to safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony among various peoples of the world. The Organization was established pursuant a decision adopted by the historical summit which took place in Rabat, Kingdom of Morocco, on 12th Rajab 1389 AH/ 25 September 1969 AD, following the criminal arson of Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem. In 1970, the first ever meeting of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Minister (ICFM) was held in Jeddah. It adopted the decision to establish a permanent secretariat in Jeddah headed by the organization's secretary general. Prof Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu is the 9th Secretary General who assumed office in January 2005 after being elected by the 31st ICFM Session. The first OIC Charter was adopted by the 3rd ICFM Session held in 1972. The Charter was amended to keep pace with the developments that have unraveled recently across the world. The 11th Islamic Summit held in Dakar in March 2008 endorsed the new Charter, which has become the pillar of the OIC future Islamic action in line with the requirements of the 21st century. The new Charter provides for the dissemination and safeguard of Islamic teachings and values based on moderation and tolerance, as well as the need to strive for the projection and defense of the true image of Islam. The new Charter also called for encouraging inter-civilizational and interfaith dialogue. Over the last 40 years, the OIC membership has grown from its founding members of 30 to 57 states.

Flash Appeal for Emergency Assistance to the Floods Victims in Pakistan In view of the vital need for effective action to alleviate the ordeal faced by the Pakistani people, the OIC Secretary General launched a Flash Appeal to the Member States of the OIC, their citizens, philanthropists, civil society organizations, and to all people of good will in the international community at large to generously partake in the relief effort and contribute towards the alleviation of the plight of floods victims in Pakistan.

To this end, donations in cash and kind are all welcome. In terms of medicine, anti-typhoid, anti-cholera, anti-malaria, anti-tetanus, anti-diarrhea, anti-snake venom are urgently required. Additionally, food and non-food items such as dried milk for children and families, dates, high nutrition biscuits, food packets consisting of tea, sugar, milk, vegetable oil as well as water coolers, mosquito nets, blankets, floor mattresses are in urgent need. The government of Pakistan has entrusted the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to coordinate the relief efforts nationwide, whose contacts are as follows: Fax numbers (0092519202518//0092519224205//0092519206140) Website: www.ndma.gov.pk

The OIC General Secretariat has also opened a special account as indicated below for any cash assistance: Name of Account: OIC Pakistan Floods Assistance Fund Dollar Account No: 5600758 Swift Code: SAMBSARI IBAN: SA 294000 0000 000005600758 Samba Financial Group Main Branch, Al-Andalous Street Jeddah - Kingdom of Saudi Arabia the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

The Organization has the singular honor of galvanizing the Ummah into a unified voice and representing Muslims by espousing all causes close to the hearts of over 1.5 billion Muslims in the world. The Organization has consultative and cooperative relations with the UN and other inter-governmental organizations to protect the vital interests of the Muslims and to work for the settlement of conflicts and disputes involving Member States. In safeguarding the true values of Islam and Muslims, the organization has taken various steps to remove misperceptions and have strongly advocated elimination of discrimination against Muslims in all forms and manifestations. It has also engaged in fighting Islamophobia by setting up a dedicated observatory to track and monitor the phenomenon and its disturbing manifestations The Member States of the OIC face many challenges in the 21st century. To address these challenges, the 3rd Extraordinary Session of the Islamic Summit held in Makkah in December 2005, laid down a blue print called the Ten-Year Program of Action (TYPOA) which envisages joint action by the Member States, promotion of tolerance and moderation, modernization, extensive reforms in all spheres of activities including science and technology, education, and development of trade. It also emphasizes good governance and the promotion of human rights in the Muslim world, especially with regard to the children's and women's rights as well as family values enshrined in Islamic Shariah [law]. One of the outstanding achievements since the adoption of the Ten-Year Programme of Action (TYPOA) has been the recent reinvigoration and restructuring of the various OIC bodies. Among the OIC's key bodies the Islamic Summit, the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM), the General Secretariat, in addition to the Al-Quds Committee chaired by the king of the Kingdom of Morocco, as Al-Quds remains the paramount issue on the OIC's agenda, and three permanent committees, one of which is concerned with science and technology (COMSTECH) that is chaired by the President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the second committee is concerned with economy and trade (COMCEC) which is chaired by the President of the Republic of Turkey, while the third one is concerned with information and culture (COMIAC) which is chaired by the President of Senegal. The OIC has subsidiary organs, notably Statistical, Economic and Social Research and Training Centre for the Islamic Countries (SESRIC), the Research Center for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA), the International Islamic Fiqh Academy (IIFA) and the Islamic Center for the development of Trade (ICDT). Other specialized organs operating under the OIC include the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO). There are also affiliated organs such as the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) and the Islamic World Academy of Sciences (IAS). The OIC subsidiary, affiliated and specialized organs play a vital role in boosting cooperation in various fields among the OIC Member States. For more details, visit the OIC website at www.oic-oci.org


the OIC Journal www.oic-oci.org September - December 2010

OIC Journal Issue 15 English  

The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) is the second largest inter-governmental organization after the United Nations which has me...