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Theology Thursdays: Final Communique Of The Thirtieth Session Of The Islamic Conference Of Foreign Ministers (May 30, 2003)


1. At the kind invitation of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the 30th Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers (Session of Unity and Dignity) was held in Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, on 27-29 Rabiul-Awal 1424H (28-30 May 2003).



2. The Conference was opened with a recitation of verses from the holy Quran.



3. His Excellency President Seyed Mohammad Khatami, of the Islamic Republic of Iran, delivered a speech in which he welcomed the participating Ministers and delegates.



He said that our world today, notwithstanding its achievements, is a world of fright and fear; it lives in fear of violence, discrimination, terrorism, poverty, insecurity and war; we therefore need the might of Islam as a religion of knowledge and a path of morality to deliver the world from the current frightful situation. His Excellency expressed his belief that the world today is buffeted from two sides by violent dogmatists on the one hand and hegemony seekers on the other, adding that while terrorism and fanaticism have distorted the human and liberal image of religion and mankind in general, force, hegemony and unilateralism have harmed the respected concepts of freedom and democracy. It is therefore essential to keep away from terrorism and unilateralism and our way to that effect is Islam which seeks to achieve freedom, justice, morality and democracy. His Excellency stated that any outlook or tendency advocating or justifying discrimination hatred, violence and repression is alien to the spirit and trust of Islam. Equally any power trampling upon the aspirations, independence and sovereignty of nations through resort to force is alien to freedom and civility. He stressed the importance of a coalition for world peace based on justice instead of efforts to coax countries into war saying in this context that since war is the continuation of politics, policies bent on violence, self-centeredness and autocracy can only lead to war. In order to root out war, the roots of war should be eliminated.





President Khatami noted that a significant part of human, economic resources of the world is to be found in Islamic countries. Similarly, the Islamic world controls important and strategic waterways, which could enable the Muslims to constitute an effective force in our contemporary world. On this basis, the Organization of the Islamic Conference provides an appropriate framework for the promotion of coordination and expansion of cooperation among all Islamic countries. The Organization can play an effective role, commensurate with the new responsibilities facing it.



4. The Conference decided to consider the speech of HE the President of the Islamic Republic Iran as a referential and guiding document for the Conference.



5. The three OIC regional groups then successively took the floor to respond to the speech of President Khatami. His Excellency the Foreign Minister of the Gambia for the African Group, His Excellency the Foreign Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain for the Arab Group, and His Excellency the Foreign Minister of Malaysia for the Asian Group. They all expressed their deep thanks to the government and people of the Islamic Republic of Iran for the warm welcome and generous hospitality extended to the delegations, and participants as well as the efforts exerted to make a success of the Conference. They commended the wisdom, courage, spirit of initiative, and far-sighted vision of H.E. President Seyed Muhammad Khatami.



6. The opening session was also addressed by H.E. the Foreign Minister of the State of Qatar, representing the chairmanship of the Ninth Islamic Summit, H.E. the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, H.E. the Foreign Minister of South representative of the chairmanship of the African Union, and H.E. the Secretary- General of the Gulf Cooperation Council. They commended the role played by the OIC and reaffirmed the determination of their organizations to boost and develop cooperation with the OIC.



7. After the beginning of the first working session, H.E. Dr. Mustafa Osman Ismail, Foreign Minister of the Republic of the Sudan, Chairman of the 29th ICFM, delivered a speech in which he expressed his profound thanks to H.E. President Seyed Mohammad Khatami for gracing the Conference with his presence and opening its proceedings. He enumerated the efforts made by the Organization during his chairmanship of the Twenty-ninth Session in defence of the causes of the Islamic Ummah and commended the efforts made by the Secretary General, his aides and the personnel of the General Secretariat to implement the resolutions of the Islamic Conference.



8. His Excellency the OIC Secretary-General gave a speech in which he welcomed the Ministers and members of delegations participating in the Conference. He expressed his deep appreciation and gratitude to H.E. President Seyed Mohammad Khatami of the Islamic Republic of Iran for having graciously opened the 30th Session of the ICFM, and to the Iranian government for hosting this important session on which the Islamic Ummah pins.



His Excellency stressed that the challenges facing the Islamic world are grave and unprecedented. They are the result of long accumulated issues, some of which caused by us and others by outside actions. To meet these challenges, we need first and foremost a unified political will to mobilize the public, then to set for ourselves realistic and implementable objectives.



Dr. Belkeziz focused on the importance of joint Islamic action and efforts to bridge the technological gap between most OIC Member States and developed countries, explaining that science and technology are the linchpin of progress and that the future of the economy is based on knowledge.



Regarding terrorism, the Secretary General stated that many parts of the Islamic world were and continue to be victims of this scourge adding that the outrages committed recently in both Riyadh and Casablanca, and condemned in due course by the Organization, disfigure the reputation of Islam and Muslims throughout the world and harm their interests. He called for more effective action to ward off such outrages. He urged the adoption of new approaches to deal with them within the framework of the U.N.; adherence to the essential role played by the international organization in assuming the responsibility for the maintenance of world peace and security; and commitment on our part to firmly establish the culture of peace adopted by the U.N. General Assembly.



9. The Conference unanimously elected H.E. Dr. Kamal Kharzi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, as Chairman of the 30th Session of the ICFM. His Excellency the Minister delivered a speech, welcoming the Islamic delegations, participating in the 30th Conference and stressed the importance of national sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Islamic countries, underlining the absence of any justification that may permit others to violate them and attack the territories of Islamic countries; particularly such unilateral attacks that flout all international standards and rules. He stated that Islam is far remote from terrorism which some hostile media are trying to associate with our faith, the faith of freedom and tolerance. His Excellency further declared that Muslims reject the misrepresentations of Islam, such as those made by movements like Taliban and Al-Qaeda.



He stressed the importance of dialogue as the best means to promote understanding and cooperation and expressed his conviction that the continued dialogue between the OIC and the European Union will have good and fruitful results.



He called for the continuation of OIC interaction with the new political, economic, social and cultural developments, by using an approach based on rationality. On the other hand, H.E. the Minister called for the rationalizational of the action within the Organization through reduction in the volume of documents and redoubling of constructive initiatives.



10. The Conference unanimously elected the other members of the Bureau, namely: The Republic of Yemen, the Republic of Cameroon, and the State of Palestine, as Vice-Chairmen, and the Republic of the Sudan as Rapporteur General of the Conference.



11. The Conference adopted the Report of the Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) Preparatory to the current session held in Jeddah from 25-28 Safar 1424H (27-30 April 2003).



12. The Conference adopted the Draft Agenda and Programme of Work prepared by the SOM. The work was distributed among the Plenary and four Committees, namely: The Political Affairs Committee, the Economic and Social Affairs Committee, the Cultural and Islamic Affairs Committee, and the Administrative and Financial Affairs Committee. Alongside the Conference, meetings were convened by the Eight-Member Committee on the situation of Muslims in Southern Philippines, the Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir, the Contact Group on Sierra Leone, the African Sahel Committee, and the Contact Group on Somalia.



13. The Conference and the Committees took note with appreciation of the reports prepared by the General Secretariat covering issues submitted to the session and were thus able to assess the progress the world has witnessed in implementation of the tasks assigned to the General Secretariat and the developments which took place between the 29th and 30th Sessions of the ICFM.



14. In the light of the valuable statements and constructive discussions between Their Excellencies the Ministers and heads of delegations at both Plenary and Committee levels, the Conference adopted a number of resolutions aimed at strengthening Islamic solidarity, preparing the Islamic Ummah to meet contemporary challenges, achieving the aspirations of Muslim communities, and preserving the fundamental religious and cultural values of Islam.



POLITICAL AFFAIRS:



The Question of Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict.




14. The Conference stressed the need for the establishment of the independent Palestinian State with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital. It stressed also the need to implement the international resolutions on the cause of Palestine, particularly UNSC resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), and UNGA res. no 194 on the Return of Palestinian Refugees and the UNSC resolutions on Al-Quds especially resolutions no. 252 (1968), 267 (1969), 465 (1980), 476 (1980), 478 (1980), 1073 (1996) and 1397 (2002).



15. The Conference commended with great pride the stead-fastness of the Palestinian people and their national and legitimate leadership under the chairmanship of the struggling President Yassir Arafat in the face of the Israeli aggression. It also asserted its support to the Palestinians to restore their inalienable rights including their right to return and establish their independent Palestinian state on their national soil with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its the capital.



16. The Conference reiterated its support to, and adoption of, the Arab peace initiative for resolving the issue of Palestine and the Middle-East, adopted by the 14th Arab Summit held in Beirut (Lebanon) on 28 March 2002; and decided to act by all means and ways to clarify this initiative, explain its dimensions and gain international support for its implementation.



17. The Conference affirmed the support of Member States to the peace process according to the foundations defined by the Madrid Peace Conference, which are based on the United Nations Charter and resolutions, particularly Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 425 (1978) and the “land for peace” principle, all of which call for Israel’s withdrawal from all the occupied Palestinian and Arab territories, including the City of Al-Quds Al-Sharif, the restoration of the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people and the complete pullout from the occupied Syrian Golan to the 4th of June, 1967 line and from all occupied Lebanese territories to the internationally recognized borders.



18. The Conference requested the QUARTET (the United States, the Russian Federation, the EU and the UN to resume action to realize just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East in implementation of the relevant resolutions of the international legitimacy, the Madrid terms o reference, the Arab Peace initiative and the implementation of the Road Map as published and to compel Israel to:



(i) Halt aggression against the Palestinian people and to stop the assassination and detention operations, destruction of houses and infrastructures and desecration of Islamic and Christian holy shrines.



(ii) Immediately end all aggressive Israeli measures against Al-Quds Al-Sharif and the rest of Palestinian cities, especially the policy of judaization, settlement, destruction of houses, confiscation of land, alteration of landmarks of Palestinians' cities, immediate halt of the policy of isolating Al-Quds AL-Sharif city from its Palestinian surroundings, the setting of roadblocks, denying Palestinians access to the city and their religious location therein.



(iii) Stop the construction of the racist wall which devours Palestinian territories and creates unjust realities in respect of the boarders of the Palestinian state and further aggravates the conditions in the region.



(iv) Withdraw the occupation forces, and Israeli siege imposed against the Palestinian people and their leadership and remove all closures and road blocks imposed on access-roads, towns, villages and Palestinian refugees camps.



(v) Put an end to all Israeli settlement acts in the occupied Palestinian territories including Al-Quds Al-Sharif.



(vi) Release all Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons.



(vii) Send international observers to ensure the necessary international protection for the Palestinian people.



(viii) Allow access for food and medical stuff to Palestinian territories and to release funds of the Palestinian authority withheld by Israel.



19. The Conference strongly condemned Israel’s expansionist colonialist settlement policy and reiterated the necessity of action to stop all colonialist settlement activities and Israeli measures and practices which are contrary to the resolutions of the international legitimacy which are also counter to the accords signed by the Palestinian and Israeli sides. It requested the U.N. Security Council to prevent such measures, remove the Israeli colonial settlements in accordance with Security Council Resolution No. 465 and revive the International Supervision and Monitoring Committee to Prevent Settlement in Al-Quds and the occupied Arab territories in line with Security Council Resolution No. 446.



20. The Conference strongly condemned Israel's continued attempts to impose its control on the Holy Qudsi Haram and repeated attempts to intervene in the affairs of the management of Islamic waqfs, and also condemned Israel's plans aimed at imposing "the fait accompli" through the use of force and allowing extremist Jewish groups to desecrate the precincts of Al-Aqsa Holy Mosque and occupying the neighbouring buildings. It considered these acts deliberate and provocative allowing extremist Jewish organizations to continue their repeated desecration of the sanctity of the Aqsa Holy Mosque, establishing their presence on its precincts, and continuing their piracy acts against religious and, historic and cultural relics in Al-Quds Al-Sharif and the occupied Palestinian territories.





21. The Conference hailed the steadfastness of Lebanon – Government, People and Resistance – and what has been achieved in terms of the liberation of the Lebanese territories and the repelling of the Israeli occupation. It also Supported Lebanon in its efforts to liberate its entire territories to the internationally recognized borders. It also demanded the United Nations to force Israel to pay damages for all the losses it inflicted or caused as a result of its continuous aggressions against Lebanon. It supported Lebanon in its demands for the removal of the mines left behind by the Israeli occupation; Israel is held responsible for laying and removing of these mines. Furthermore, it backed the inalienable rights of Lebanon to utilize its waters in accordance with the international law and condemned Israel’s avidities in these waters. It held Israel responsible for any action of a nature as to infringe upon Lebanon’s sovereignty, political independence and safety of its people and integrity of its territories.



22. The Conference strongly condemned Israel’s policy of refusing to comply with Security Council resolution 497 of 1981 and of imposing its mandate, laws and administration on the occupied Syrian Golan as well as its policies of annexation, building of colonial settlements, confiscation of land, diversion of water sources and imposition of Israeli nationality upon Syrian citizens. It considered all such measures as null and void, and constituting a violation of the provisions and principles of International Law and the International Humanitarian Law, particularly the 4th Geneva Convention of 1949. It also demanded from Israel to completely withdraw from the occupied Syrian Golan to the June 4th, 1967 lines.



Islamic Boycott of Israel



23. The Conference called on Member States to activate the Islamic Boycott against Israel and to take measures to make the legislations, laws and rules regulating the boycott activities part of their enforced national legislations.



24. The Conference reiterated its commitment to implement the principles and laws of the Boycott.



25. The Conference commended the constructive cooperation, and the ongoing coordination, with the Islamic Office for the Boycott of Israel at the OIC General Secretariat and Arab Office for the Boycott of Israel at the Arab League General Secretariat. This cooperation is aimed at achieving the greatest degree of effectiveness in the implementation of the Boycott in Arab and Islamic states.



26. The Conference adopted the recommendations adopted by the meeting of the circles concerned with the Boycott of Israel held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on 15-16/3/2003.





Political Issues.



27. The Conference expressed its gratitude and appreciation for the initiative of His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifah Al Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar, Chairman of the 9th Islamic Summit Conference, on the establishment of a Fund to assist the people of Afghanistan and welcomed the commencement of its activities.



28. The Conference called on Member States who have pledged donations to help the people of Afghanistan to remit their donations and appealed to all Member States to make donations to this Fund.



29. The Conference appealed to the international community to step up its assistance to Afghanistan and fulfill expeditiously its financial commitments announced at the Donors Conference, held in Tokyo in January 2002.



30. The Conference expressed satisfaction with the commencement by the Trust Fund for the urgent Return of Refugees to the Bosnia-Herzegovina of its activities. It also commended those Member States that have transferred their donations to the Fund's account. In addition, It called for further donations to the Fund.



31. The Conference appealed to all Somali factions to renounce war and violence and to respond to the appeal to peace and serious participation in the on-going national dialogue for the reunification of the state and its reconstruction. The Conference urged all states, particularly the neighbouring states, to respect the sovereignty of Somalia and not to intervene in its internal affairs.



32. The Conference welcomed the visit of the Fact Finding Mission to Azad Jammu and Kashmir sent by the Secretary General in April 2003. It appreciated the full cooperation extended by the Government of Pakistan and the Government of Azad Jammu and Kashmir to the Mission. It expressed the hope that the Mission would be able to visit the Indian held Jammu and Kashmir soon.



33. The Conference called for a peaceful settlement of the question of Jammu and Kashmir in line with the relevant UN resolutions that would guarantee the rights of the people of Kashmir to self-determination. It also called for respect of human rights of the Kashmiri people and for an end to their continued violation.



34. The Conference adopted the recommendations issued by the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir. It took note of the memorandum presented by the true representatives of the Kashmiri people to the Group.





35. The Conference called for the setting up of a broad-based comprehensive and fully representative Iraqi government in accordance with the constitution to be agreed upon by the Iraqi people, to work for the enhancement of peaceful coexistence with neighbours of Iraq and respect for the resolutions of international legality, the principles of the United Nations and those of the OIC.



36- The Conference of Foreign Ministers, and responding to the initiative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to examine the latest developments in Iraq, the Foreign Ministers and the heads of Delegations of the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the State of Kuwait, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Syrian Arab Republic, and the Republic of Turkey, held a meeting in Tehran, on 26th of Rabi-o-awwal 1424, (28 may 2003). During this gathering, the Ministers and Heads of Delegations recalled their meetings in Istanbul on 23 January 2003 and in Riyadh on 18 April 2003, and discussed the current situation in Iraq. Based on their discussions and taking into account the developments in that country, the Ministers and Heads of Delegations agreed on the following:



- Expressed their solidarity with the Iraqi people in the spirit of Islamic brotherhood,

- Reaffirmed the imperative of respect by all for the sovereignty, political independence, national unity, territorial integrity and stability of Iraq and their commitment to these principles,

- Emphasized the right of the Iraqi people to freely determine their political future and to establish a fully representative and broad-based Government in a safe and peaceful environment, as a matter of priority,

- Emphasized also the inherent right of the Iraqi people to enjoy a prosperous and decent life based on the rule of law, equality and respect for the fundamental human rights and freedoms,

- Stressed the right of the Iraqi people to fully control and utilize their own natural resources through a legitimate and representative Government,

- Emphasized the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of Iraq as well as the imperative for Iraq to maintain good relations with all its neighbors and to respect the existing treaties and agreements, especially those on internationally recognized boundaries,

- Noted the Security Council Resolution 1483 and in this context, welcomed the lifting of economic sanctions, expressing the hope that the humanitarian suffering of the Iraqi people will be alleviated, and underlined the necessity of implementation of relevant security council resolutions,

- Underlined the central role of the United Nations in post-war Iraq,

- Especially in the establishment of a representative government, restoration of local institutions, humanitarian relief, and reconstruction.

- Welcomed the appointment of the special representative of the United Nations’ Secretary-General, and expressed their determination to cooperate fully with him,

- Called for the speedy restoration for full Iraqi sovereignty through the establishment of a legitimate government and an end to the occupation.

- Underlined also the obligations of the occupying powers under international law, especially the Geneva conventions of 1949, to maintain security and stability, including the protection of civil liberties and rights of the Iraqi people as well as the religious, historical, archaeological and cultural heritage of Iraq, and emphasized the necessity for them to act in a manner that will ensure respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the neighboring states,

- Welcomed the initiative by Syria in the Security Council on the establishment of zone free from weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East.



The Ministers and Heads of Delegations agreed that the objective of this process, first initiated in Istanbul and continued in Riyadh and now in Tehran, by the regional countries is to help restore peace, stability and security in Iraq, and will continue to lend support towards further consolidation of those objectives in the future. The Ministers and Heads of Delegations therefore decided to hold further meetings until normalcy, security and stability are fully restored in Iraq.



37- The 30th session of the ICFM also decided that OIC permanent representatives in the United Nations, New York, follow the evolving situation in Iraq, coordinate OIC position in the UN, and report there on to the Organization.



38. The Conference urged the Iraqi people, the occupying forces and the United Nations to use all means to find out what happened to the Kuwaiti and other prisoners at the hands of the former regimes in order to step up the resolution of this humanitarian issue in compliance with relevant international resolutions.



39. The Conference rejected the threats issued against some OIC Member States, notably the Syrian Arab Republic, and expressed its solidarity with those states. It called for a settlement of the conflicts between states on the basis of international law and dialogue.



40. The Conference called for a just and peaceful settlement of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan on the basis of respect for the principles of territorial integrity of states and inviolability of internationally recognized frontiers. It demanded Armenia to implement the relevant UNSC resolutions and to withdraw its forces from the Azerbaijani territories under their occupation.



41 The Conference hailed the efforts exerted by the UN Secretary-General within the framework of his good offices to achieve a negotiable settlement acceptable to the two parties in Cyprus. It expressed its support for the cause of the Muslim Turkish Cypriots until the achievement of a just solution of the Cypriot conflict based on the principle of parity and equality between the two ethnic groups in Cyprus.



42. The Conference renewed its request to the UN Security Council to definitively lift sanctions imposed on the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, now that the latter has honored all UNSC resolutions also renewed its call for the release of the political hostage and Libyan citizen Abdulbasset Al-Megrahi.



43. The Conference endorsed the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD), considering it a promising African project that makes it possible to address the issues of underdevelopment and poverty and promote the process of development in Africa. It called on the international community to extend the necessary general and especially financial assistance to the African States to enable them to implement this ambitious plan.



44. The Conference welcomed the establishment of a fund for the rehabilitation and reconstruction and assistance in Sierra Leone. It urged the Member States and the international community to extend their support and assistance to this fund to unable it to strengthen stability and promote development. It also called for the organization of a symposium to consider the ways and means of achieving security and political stability among the states in the River Manu region.



45. The Conference reaffirmed its solidarity with the Republic of the Sudan in confronting hostile designs, defending its unity and territorial integrity, and exploiting its wealth and natural resources to promote the welfare of its people. It commended the Sudanese government for its continued efforts to reach a peaceful solution to the problem of southern Sudan through negotiations with the various Sudanese parties. It called for the extension of support to the Sudan to help it reconstruct southern Sudan and make the option of the union attractive to the people of the south at the end of the transition period.



46. The Conference reaffirmed the need to reach total nuclear disarmament and invited the Member States to take part in all relevant international initiatives and conferences It called on all the Member States to conclude and sign fair and non-discriminatory international conventions, and to encourage the establishment of nuclear arms-free zones. It strongly condemned Israel who seeks to develop nuclear weapons and refuses to submit its nuclear installations to the international Atomic Energy Agency in contravention with all international agreements on nuclear proliferation. In this connection, the Conference affirmed its rejection of the principle of preemptive military strikes against the members of the international community under any pretext.



47. The Conference expressed its concern at the proliferation of light and small-caliber weapons, and the manufacturing, use, and trade of anti-personnel mines, considering that these two phenomena constitute obstacles to economic development and cause instability, insecurity, and the proliferation of civil wars in Member States.



48. The Conference affirmed that Islamic States have a direct interest in reforming the United Nations System, including the expansion of the UN Security Council. It called on Member States to take an active and effective part in the reform process of the United Nations based on the relevant declarations and statements emanating from the OIC.



49. The Conference stressed the need to promote confidence building among the Member States, uplift Islamic values, and refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of other States. It called for promoting cooperation and coordination, intensifying consultation, and taking a unified stance in international forums.



50. The Conference reiterated its rejection of the unilateral measures and the attempts to impose economic sanctions OIC against Member States . It expressed solidarity with the Islamic Republic of Iran, Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and the Republic of the Sudan in the face of such measures.



51. The Conference decided to request the Secretary-General prepare a study on the necessary ways and means for dialogue between the OIC and the EU, including the setting up of an OIC Office in Brussels.



Protection of the Rights of Muslim Communities and Minorities in Non-OIC Member States.



52. The Conference commended the efforts exerted by the Secretary-General to implement the resolutions on Muslims in non-member states, and the continued interest accorded to their conditions and the attempts made to resolve their problems in cooperation with regional international circles to ensure their interests and respect of their identity and rights.



53. The Conference stressed that safeguarding the right of Muslims in non-member states is fundamentally the responsibility of the governments of those states, based on commitment to the principles of international law human rights and respect of national territorial sovereignty.



54. The Conference reaffirmed the need to help Muslims in non-Member States to preserve their religious and cultural identity, to enjoy equal treatment in terms of rights and obligations, without segregation or discrimination.



55. The Conference urged Member States and OIC affiliated, subsidiary and specialized institutions to accord additional attention to Muslims in non-OIC member states specially those subjected to oppression or persecutions because of their religious beliefs, provide the necessary financial assistance and means and humanitarian assistance to overcome their difficulties and develop their societies.



56. The Conference requested the General Secretariat to make contacts with the governments of non-member states, particularly those which have Muslim communities and minorities facing urgent problems, to elaborate formulas and mechanisms for fruitful and constructive cooperation with them to improve the conditions of these Muslim communities and minorities and preserve their religious and cultural identity



57. The Conference stressed the commitment of Member States to respect the rights of non-Muslim communities and minorities living on their territory in accordance with the teachings of our tolerant Islamic religion. It denounced the biased allegations by certain circles concerning the treatment of these minorities and the measures applicable to them as a pretext to interfere in the internal affairs of Member States.



58. The Conference highly appreciated the efforts of the General Secretariat in organizing symposia and conferences to discuss the affairs of Muslim minorities in Europe, Africa and South America, and the recommendations they adopted which would enhance the status of the these minorities, establish their presence and identity, help them play a positive and effective role in their countries while respecting their sovereignty and laws. The Conference called on Member States to implement these recommendations.



59. The Conference expressed grave concern over the killing, and destruction of houses and properties against Muslims in the Indian State of Gujrat. It urged the Government of India to take necessary measures to protect their lives and properties.



60. The Conference called on both the Government of the Republic of Philippine (GRP) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) to preserve the gains achieved as a result of the signing of the 1996 Peace Agreement and to proceed for the full implementation of the agreement and to fix a time-frame for finalizing all its items.



61. The Conference approved the recommendations of the Eight-member Ministerial Committee which met in Tehran on 29 May 2003 on the periphery of the 30th ICFM to discuss and consider the developments relating to the implementation of the 1996 Peace Agreement.



62. The Meeting was chaired by H.E. Dr. N. Hassan Wirajuda, Foreign Minister of Indonesia and Chairman of the Eight-Member Committee. It was attended by representatives of the GRP and MNLF. The Committee recommended the adoption of measures to review the progress of the implementation of the Agreement, evaluate results and determine the ways and means required for the implementation of the remaining items of the Agreement.



63. The Conference stressed its commitment toward Muslims in non-OIC Member States. Given the fact that the Turkish Muslim Community in Western Thrace in Greece is an integral part of the Muslim world, the Conference called for the ending of the court rulings targeting the Mufti of Xanthi. It urged the Government of Greece to take all the necessary measures to guarantee the respect of the interests, rights and identities of the Muslim minority in Greek Thrace.



64. The Conference deplored the persisting suffering of Muslims in the region of Arakane (Myanmar), urging the Government of Myanmar to review its policies toward its Muslim citizens and to adopt the necessary laws on the basis of human dignity and equality between all citizens without any discrimination.



65. The Conference discussed draft resolution No.5/30- concerning the changing of the term “minorities” used to describe Muslims in non-member states. In view of the divergence of opinions on the amendments proposed by Oman and decided to refer it to the Tenth Islamic Summit for consideration and resolution.



LEGAL AFFAIRS:



66. The Conference urged the Member States that have not yet ratified the Statute of the International Islamic Court of Justice to complete the ratification process so that the Court can start its functions, and called for the promotion of ways and means to cooperate in the judicial field and related research and studies.



67. The Conference recognized the importance of following up the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam and called again on the Inter-governmental Group of Experts on this subject to formulate Islamic Conventions on Human Rights in the form of Covenants each of which would deal in detail with one or more issues based on the provisions of the Declaration. It also called on the sub-committee in charge of drafting international covenants for human rights in Islam to continue its work.



68. The Conference called on the Member States to continue their positive coordination and existing cooperation in the field of human rights, especially during international conferences and meetings on the issue, in order to reinforce Islamic solidarity to counter any initiative that may lead to exploiting human rights as a means to exert political pressure on any Member State; and to convey to the concerned organs and agencies of the United Nations the OIC positions on human right issues, including the rights of Muslim minorities. The Conference also supported the efforts made by the Member States in Geneva, which led to a unified position on issues of common concern and on countering the distortion of the image of Islam as evident in the relevant resolution of the Commission on Human Rights.



69. The Conference expressed its deep concern over the repeated and wrongful connection made between Islam and human rights violations, and over the use of the written and audiovisual media to propagate such misrepresentations. It called for an end to the unjustified campaigns waged by certain non-governmental organizations against a number of Member States to demand the abolition of Shari’a Laws and sanctions in the name of protecting human rights, and affirmed the right of States to hold fast onto their religious, social and cultural specificities which constitute their heritage and a source of enrichment for common universal concepts of Human Rights. It called for the universality of human rights not to be used as a pretext to interfere in the internal affairs of States and undermine their national sovereignty. The Conference also condemned the decision of the European Union denouncing the penalty of stoning and what it referred to as the inhuman punishments practiced by some Member States in application of the provisions of Islamic Sharia.



70. The Conference urged the Member States again to proceed as soon as possible with the signing/ratification of the different agreements concluded under the aegis of the OIC.



71. The Conference reaffirmed the will of the Member States to abide by the provisions of the OIC Convention on Combating International terrorism, and to co-ordinate their efforts to combat all forms and manifestations of terrorism, including state terrorism. It also called for the strengthening of co-operation among the Member States to combat terrorist acts.



72. The Conference reiterated its support for the convening of an international conference under the aegis of the United Nations to define the concept of terrorism and make distinction between it and people’s struggle for national liberation. The Conference also called for the convening of a conference in 2003 at the ministerial level of the committee established by virtue of the Kuala Lumpur Declaration, so that the Committee can start its fundamental work.



73. The Conference condemned all forms of international terrorism, including the crimes of hijacking and illegal acts against the safety and security of civilian aircraft. It called on the Member States to expeditiously ratify international agreements on the penalty for hijacking and on guaranteeing the safety and security of civil aviation.



INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION:



74. The Conference took note with satisfaction of the commendable efforts made by His Excellency President Abdoulaye Wade, President of the Republic of Senegal and Chairman of the Standing Committee for Information and Cultural Affairs (COMIAC), with the aim of promoting joint Islamic action on information and implementing its various programmes. It expressed its sincere thanks to the Government of Senegal for hosting the 7th Session of the COMIAC held in Dakar on 17 and 18 December 2002. The Conference also commended His Excellency President Abdoulaye Wade’s initiative to dedicate a session of the Tenth Islamic Summit to seeking ways and means to mobilize the necessary financial means to activate the annual programmes of the Information Plan, to exploit the mechanisms of application of the Information Strategy, and to execute the projects of the Islamic Programme for the Development of Information and Communication.



75. The Conference expressed its satisfaction for the results of the Sixth Session of the Islamic Conference of Information Ministers (ICIM) held in Cairo from 8 - 11 March 2003, and the constructive resolutions that resulted therefrom which will help formulate the future perspectives of the joint Islamic information action.



76. The Conference commended the measures proposed by the OIC Secretary-General to revitalize the information and communication sector so that it can fully assume its natural role in promoting the just causes and the true image of Islam. It urged the Member States to further clarify these measures and enrich them with the experience of their respective information institutions.



77. The Conference condemned the tendency in some Western printed, audiovisual and electronic media toward associating Islam with terrorism, calling on the Member States to conduct information activities to counter these allegations.



78. The Conference welcomed the efforts made to update the mechanisms of the Information Strategy so as to keep pace with advances in information and communication, and to launch the Islamic Programme for the Development of Information and Communication (PIDIC), and commended the results of the contacts established in this connection by the Secretary-General with the Member States and relevant international organizations, particularly UNESCO and its International Programme for the Development of Communication (PIDC). The Conference called on the Member States that have not yet initiated relations with the PIDIC Committee to expeditiously provide all necessary technical assistance to finance jointly adopted PIDIC projects presented by the States whose media institutions and organs are in need of support and development.



79. The Conference urged the Member States to provide all kinds of human, financial and technical assistance to the two OIC specialized institutions active in joint Islamic information: the International Islamic News Agency (IINA) and the Islamic States Broadcasting Organization (ISBO), in order to allow them to achieve their set objectives.



80. The Conference affirmed the importance of the World Summit on the Information Society and requested the Member States to effectively participate in the conference’s preparatory proceedings on two stages: the first in Geneva by the end of 2003 and the second in Tunisia by the end of 2005.The Conferences also called on the General Secretariat to prepare for the participation of the Member States in this Summit, particularly through the relevant Islamic Meetings and Conferences with a view to reaching convergent views.



ECONOMIC AFFAIRS:



81. The Conference underlined the urgency of devising ways and means to minimize the adverse effects of globalization on the economy of the OIC countries and called for the taking of appropriate measures to ensure an equitable sharing of the benefits of globalization by all countries. It also stressed the need for universal participation of all countries in the international decision-making process concerning economic and financial policies.



82. The Conference noted that the liberalization of international trade has not been beneficial to the developing countries and called upon the developed countries for further liberalization of trade through the increased access for the products and services of developing countries.



83. The Conference called for speedy accession of all the developing countries, including the OIC Member States, to the World Trade Organization (WTO), underlining that no political consideration should impede this process of accession. It declared its rejection of all attempts to include non-trade issues, such as labor and environment standards, into the work Programme of the WTO, or to link such issues with trade deals given their detrimental effects on the evolution of a just, free, and fair multilateral trading environment. In this connection, it called for the strengthening of economic policy co-ordination among the Member States.



84. The Conference commended the Fourth WTO Ministerial Conference held in Qatar in November 2001, which paved the way for much needed negotiation on a range of subjects, and appealed to the WTO to strengthen the development dimension in the various multilateral trade Agreements through a wide range of measures, including the application of the provisions on special and differential treatment for the developing countries.



85. The Conference stressed the importance of developing an orderly and strengthened international financial system with a view to addressing the fundamental weaknesses and imbalances of the present system, so as to avoid destabilizing capital flows, and to mitigate the occurrence or limiting the repercussions of any future international financial crisis.



86. The Conference called on the Member States to increase their share of world trade by sustained improvement of their competitiveness at the international level. It further underscored the fundamental importance of expanding intra-OIC trade and urged the Member States to participate in the various IDB schemes aimed at expanding such trade so as to reinforce intra-OIC regional and sub-regional economic groupings; and to reactivate existing projects aimed at some form of economic complementarity.



87. The Conference reaffirmed the need to strengthen economic and commercial cooperation among the Member States through accelerating the implementation of the Plan of Action to Strengthen Economic and Commercial Co-operation among the Member States. It stressed in this connection the importance of implementing the recommendations of the Experts’ Group Meeting held in Istanbul in May 2001 on accelerating the implementation of the Plan of Action.



88. The Conference expressed the conviction that the achievement of a higher level of economic and commercial co-operation among the Member States would provide the necessary basis for a gradual progression towards greater economic integration leading to the ultimate objective of an Islamic Common Market, which is essentially a long term process with multiple dimensions and phases.



89. The Conference welcomed the entry into force of the Framework Agreement on Trade Preferential System among the OIC Member States upon its ratification by over ten OIC Member States, which has paved the way for launching of the rounds of trade negotiation among the ratifying countries. In this connection, it expressed its appreciation of the offer by the Republic of Turkey to host the first round of such negotiation, which is expected to start in early 2004. The Conference also called upon the Member States that have not yet done so to sign and/or ratify at an early date the various agreements/statutes finalized under the aegis of the OIC, so as to provide the necessary framework for economic and commercial cooperation among the Member States.



90. The Conference renewed its appeal to the international community to fully and expeditiously implement the Programme of Action for 2001-2010 adopted by the Third UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries held in Brussels in May 2001. It expressed concern at the declining trend in the volume of Official Development Assistance to the LDCs and appealed to the developed countries that have not yet reached the agreed target of allocating 0.7% of their GNP to global official development assistance and from 0.15% to 0.20% of their GNP to the LDCs, to work on reaching this target. In this connection, it took note with satisfaction of the convening of the International Conference on Financing Development on 18-22 March 2002 in Monterrey, Mexico.



91. The Conference expressed concern over the abject poverty in the LDCs leading to their marginalization in the global economy. It further reaffirmed the common objective of the Member States of eradicating poverty before the end of the next decade and agreed that Micro Credit Programmes providing access to small capital for productive self-employment be incorporated in the strategy for poverty eradication.



92. The Conference renewed its call to the international community to offer substantial reduction of the African debts and lower the burden of the servicing charges along with a flow of fresh and large finances on easy terms to the African countries. It also appealed for assistance to the Member States struck by drought and natural disasters and for providing assistance to the Inter-governmental Authority for Development (IGAD) and the Permanent Inter-State Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS).



93. The Conference commended the convening, after fiver years of its previous session, of the World Food Summit in Rome on 8-13 June 2002 and emphasized the steps taken at the Summit aimed at alleviating hunger and achieving food security.



94. The Conference stressed the role of the private sector in providing impetus to intra-OIC economic relations and called on the Member States to support the various activities of the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry. It further stressed the role of the small and medium enterprises as a crucial element in the process of industrial development of the Member States.



95. The Conference commended the role of the Islamic Development Bank Group in supporting development programmes in the Member States and invited Member States which have not joined the Islamic Corporation of Investment and Export Credit Guarantee and the Islamic Corporation for the Development of Private Sectors to do so and to make full use of the services rendered by the Group.



96. The Conference expressed appreciation on the hosting of the Third Islamic Conference of Ministers of Tourism by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh on 6-9 October 2002, and welcomed the offer of the Republic of Senegal to host the Fourth Islamic Conference of Ministers of Tourism in 2004.



97. The Conference condemned the acts of demolition and destruction of Palestinian houses, institutions, facilities and lands causing severe losses to the Palestinian economy and expressed its deep concern over the disastrous economic repercussions of these on-going aggressive practices of the Israeli government and called for their immediate cessation. It also appealed for assistance to the Palestinian people so as to enable them to build their national economy and strengthen their national institutions; and to establish their independent state with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital. It reiterated its commendation in this connection of the initiative of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the creation of two funds to support Palestine with its donation of USD 250 million to them and called for financial support to these funds.



SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY:



98. The Conference strongly condemned Israeli practices and their impact on the environment in the occupied Palestinian and Syrian territories, and the previously occupied Lebanese territories.



99. The Conference stressed the need for cooperation and adoption of effective measures to protect the environment which is essential for the sustainable development of the Member States. Concerning health, combating epidemic diseases, and the abuse of narcotic drugs, the Conference urged the strengthening of co-operation among the Member States to combat the spread of such scourges.



100. The Conference called for convening, in the near future, of a Meeting of Ministers of Health in Member States on the epidemic diseases that affect humans through the respiratory system and through animals, plants and environment. It welcomed in this connection the generous offer of the Islamic Republic of Iran to host the said meeting in Tehran. It also decided that the said meeting be assigned the task of supervising the establishment of co-operation among Islamic States in the field of health in general, including pharmaceutical products.



101. The Conference took note of the programmes and the deliberations held during the Second Meeting of the Consultative Council for the Implementation of the Strategy of Development of Science and Technology in the Islamic Countries.



102. The Conference reaffirmed the need to share science and technology among Member States and to harness them for peaceful purposes for the good of humanity and for the socio-economic development of states.



103. The Conference commended the activities of COMSTECH and ISESCO for their efforts in serving the cause of the Islamic Ummah and encouraged support for them.



104. The Conference commended the activities of the Islamic University of Technology in Dhaka, and urged it to continue its efforts for the mobilization of human resources which the Member States may need in the field of science and technology and urged its Member States to extend financial assistance to the University.



105. The Conference adopted Resolution of the 26th Session of the Islamic Committee for Economic and Social Affairs, held in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, concerning the election of the following Member States to the membership of the Board of Directors of the Islamic University in Dhaka: The People’s Republic of Bangladesh, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, the State of Kuwait, the Kingdom of Morocco, the Republic of Cameroon, and the Federal Republic of Nigeria.



106. The Conference took cognizance of the proposal put forward by the Islamic Republic of Pakistan for the establishment of a fund for the promotion of science and technology in the Muslim World and requested the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to conduct further consultations about that question with the Member States.



CULTURAL AFFAIRS:



107. The Conference stressed the utmost importance of consolidating the unity and cultural coherence of the Islamic Ummah, strengthening this concept and using it in the construction of the cultural identity of the Islamic world as it is the hard nucleus countering the challenges of globalization that are sweeping the specificities of peoples and jeopardizing their cultural identity.



108. The Conference called upon the Member States to increase their contribution to the ISESCO budget to support the implementation of the projects of the cultural strategy for the Islamic world, due to the difficulty of getting the funds necessary for the implementation of projects adopted by the Consultative Council in its previous sessions. It appealed to the forthcoming ISESCO General Conference (Tehran- December 2003) to adopt and implement this increase.



109. The Conference reaffirmed the importance of activating the Supreme Council for Education and Culture in the West, which acts within a strategy of Islamic cultural action in the West, and called on the OIC Member States to provide the financial and moral assistance to the Council through the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.



110. The Conference commended the distinguished level and significant results of the international forums held by ISESCO in co-ordination with the General Secretariat of the Organization of the Islamic Conference within the framework of implementation of the dialogue programmes assigned to them during the United Nations Year for Dialogue among Civilizations. It called upon them to continue convening as many of these conferences and forums as possible, urging the Member States and the Islamic Institutions to further assist ISESCO to help it continue its implementation of the programmes of dialogue necessitated by the current stage.



111. The Conference welcomed the existing co-operation between ISESCO, the General Secretariat of Waqfs, and the World Islamic Charity Foundation in Kuwait in the supervision and development of Waqfs, the organization of scientific and specialized conferences, and publishing studies and research in the matter in Arabic, English and French.



112. The Conference called on the General Secretariat to conduct the necessary efforts with the Member States to convene a Ministerial Conference on Women to propose a plan of action concerning the consolidation of the role of women in the development of the Islamic society and availing them with more opportunities in the domains of public life.



113. The Conference called on the Member States and the Islamic organizations and figures to contribute to the Waqf of the Islamic University in Niger whose Statutes have been adopted by the 26th Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers held in Burkina Faso, and urged donors to multiply their efforts in order to reach this end.



114. The Conference extended its thanks to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for restoring the King Faysal Mosque and its educational subsidiary institutions in Njamina, Republic of Chad, and for the financial assistance it provided for the construction of a commercial center around it.



115. The Conference expressed its satisfaction for the African Muslims Committees’ supervision of the implementation of the remaining stages of the project of the Islamic Center in Guinea Bissau, calling upon the Islamic Solidarity Fund to provide the necessary financial means to complete these stages and to build a medical clinic in the Center.



116. The Conference called on the Member States to award scholarships to Palestinian students wounded during the Al Aqsa Intifada as well as to other students from families of martyrs of the Intifada. It also called on universities in the Member States to name scholarships after child martyrs of the Intifada and to name one after the martyr Muhammad Durra. The Conference expressed its appreciation for the Member States who awarded scholarships to those students, calling upon them to reduce their tuition fees.



117. The Conference commended the efforts of the Research Center for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA) in Istanbul aimed at preserving the cultural heritage and the Islamic identity of the Muslim communities in non-OIC Member States. It called on the Center to continue these efforts and requested the Member States and the Islamic institutions and figures to provide the necessary support to reach this noble end.



118. The Conference commended the scholarly achievements of the Islamic Fiqh Academy, and the jurisprudence in its renovating issues in all fields of economic and social development, taking into account the changes necessitated by the current age in accordance with the spirit of the Islamic Sharia.



119. The Conference expressed its eagerness to preserve the Islamic Solidarity Fund as an Important Islamic organ, symbol of Islamic solidarity. It called on the Member States to engage to make annual donations to its budget and waqf within their capacities.



120. The Conference commended the ISESCO initiative to hold a series of International Conferences on Dialogue among Civilizations during the year 2002, on the West and Islam in the Media, (London June 2002), Dialogue among Cultures and Civilizations “Mutual Understanding” (Lichtenstein October 2002), Dialogue among Cultures (Singapore October 2002) and Islam’s Vision of Peace (Washington, November 2002).



121. The Conference urged the Member States, who have not done so to expeditiously sign and ratify the Convention on the Establishment of the Islamic Committee of the International Crescent, so that it can start its work and seek the achievement of its noble objectives. It called on all Member States and Islamic institutions to support its efforts financially and morally.



122. The Conference thanked the Islamic Solidarity Sports Federation for hosting and organizing the Inter-governmental Experts’ Meeting in order to prepare a plan of action preparatory to the First Islamic Conference of the Ministers of Youth and Sports.



123. The Conference welcomed Malaysia’s Initiative to organize the Games of the Handicapped in Muslim Countries in Kuala Lumpur in 2004, and requested the Islamic Solidarity Sports Federation to co-operate in the organization of this event in order to guarantee its success.



DAWA AFFAIRS AND REACTIVATION OF THE COMMITTEE OF CO-ORDINATION OF ISLAMIC ACTION:



124. The Conference commended the role of the Committee of Co-ordination of Joint Islamic Action in the co-ordination of the various activities of Islamic official and popular organizations and institutions, expressing its satisfaction for the positive results reached by the Committee of Co-ordination of Islamic Action in order to build a common platform and a cohesive conception of Islamic action in the service of Muslims in different parts of the world and in the preservation of Islam’s heritage and brilliant image.



125. The Conference adopted the recommendations issued by the 13th Session of the Committee of Co-ordination of Islamic Action in the field of Daawa in the Organization of the Islamic Conference held in Makkah al Mukarramah from 19 - 21 May 2003.



126. The Conference commended the results and resolutions of the international conferences and forums held by the General Secretariat on Culture, Da’awa and Islamic Civilization with a view to correcting the cultural image of Islam in the world.



127. The Conference reaffirmed the necessity of countering the challenges facing the Muslim Ummah in economic, social and scientific fields, and stressed the importance of reaching a complementary conception of the action of the Committee of Experts in charge of studying the various challenges facing the Muslim Ummah in the Twenty-first century in order to carry out its functions in all areas of interest to the leaders and thinkers of the Islamic Ummah. The Conference urged the Members of the Experts Committee to set up a methodology of action to counter the ever-changing challenges and plans susceptible of facing them, which necessitates flexibility, awareness and permanent presence at the front.



128. The Conference stressed the importance of including the strategy of joint Islamic action in the domain of Daawa within the national policies adopted by the Member States in the educational, teaching and media fields, and the other fields of Islamic Daawa, to be used as a reference in the joint Islamic action.



ADMINISTRATIVE AND FINANCIAL AFFAIRS:



129. The Conference approved the budgets of the General Secretariat and its Subsidiary Organs for the Financial Year 2003/2004 with the same ceiling as that of the previous year.



130. The Conference urged the Member States to pay their annual contributions on time to enable the Organization to carry out the tasks and responsibilities assigned to it by the Conferences of Foreign Ministers and the Islamic Summit Conferences.



131. The Conference called on the Secretary General to make the necessary contacts as he deems appropriate, with the heads of States and governments, as well as with the Foreign Ministers of Member States to guarantee the payment of contributions on time and settlement of arrears.



132. The Conference decided to exempt the Member States of 50 per cent of the arrears provided that they speed up the payment of their contributions for two consecutive years as of 2003/2004. Should they continue their payment for two more years, the exemption of another 25 per cent may be considered. The States concerned might as well benefit from preferential treatment by getting loans, grants and subsidies from the subsidiary and specialized organs affiliated to the Organization. The States failing to meet the above would not benefit from loan advantages or subsidies from the subsidiary and specialized organs of the Organization until payment of their arrears.



133. The Conference welcomed the Report submitted by the Secretary-General on the progress made in preparing the Final Study on Restructuring the General Secretariat to Meet the Challenges of the New Millennium, and thanked the Islamic Development Bank for financing the special study on the reform of the Organization.



ORGANIC, STATUTORY, AND GENERAL MATTERS:



134. The Conference agreed to limit the agenda of the Annual Coordination Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Member States, held on the fringe of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, to consultations and coordination of the positions of OIC Member States regarding the matters of interest to the OIC and included in the Agenda of the United Nations General Assembly. It also agreed that the results of the proceedings should take the form of a communiqué agreed upon by the Foreign Ministers of the Member States or their representatives.



135. The Conference also agreed to set up an open-ended intergovernmental action group to carry out a comprehensive survey of the Organization’s resolutions as a means to strengthen its competency and efficiency, and to prevent repetition and overlap. It called on the General Secretariat, based on the past experiences of certain major international organizations in developing and rationalizing their action, to draft a preliminary study to be submitted to the Expert Group.



136. The Conference requested the Secretary General to continue his efforts in intensifying contacts with the international and regional organizations with a view to establishing, preserving and consolidating cooperation with the said organizations. It also requested the Secretary General to prepare a study on the utilization of the appropriate aspects of common interest, to be submitted to the following Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers to take the appropriate decision.



CLOSING SESSION:



137. ... ... ... ...addressed the closing session to commend the brotherly spirit that animated the deliberations of the Conference as well as its resolutions. He called for supporting the OIC to enable it to assume the role entrusted to it in strengthening joint Islamic action.



138. In reply to the speech of the ………, ………, on behalf of the African Group, and H.E. …………….….., on behalf of the Asian Group, and H.E………………..……, on behalf of the Arab Group, took the floor to express their sincere thanks to the government and people of Iran for the generous hospitality extended to the participating delegations and for the arrangements and facilities put at their disposal. They expressed to H.E. Dr. Kamal Kharazi their warm congratulations on his wise and competent steering of the proceedings of the Conference.



139. On behalf of all the participants in the Conference, H.E. Dr. Abdelouahed Belkeziz, OIC Secretary-General, addressed a Cable of Thanks and Gratitude to H.E. Mohammad Khatami, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, for kindly hosting the Conference and for his key-note speech, which greatly inspired the Conference in its endeavor to adopt optimal measures and appropriate resolutions to make headway towards fulfilling the aspirations of the Islamic Ummah.



140. In his closing speech, His Excellency Dr. Kamal Kharazi, Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Chairman of the Thirtieth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers, commended the spirit of Islamic solidarity and fraternity which inspired Their Excellencies the Ministers and Heads of participating delegations and played a great part in the adoption of this Session’s resolutions.







Tehran — Islamic Republic of Iran

29 Rabiul Awwal 1424H (30 May 2003)




Thursday, June 5, 2003

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