1. In response to the kind invitation by His Excellency Blaise Campaoré, President of Faso, the Twenty-Sixth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers (Session of Peace and Partnership for Development) convened in the city of Ouagadougou – capital of Burkina Faso – from 15 to 18 Rabi’ul Awal 1420H, (28 June – 01 July 1999).
2. (a) The Conference was attended by the following Member States:
(b) Also attended as observers :
International And Regional Organisations
(c) The following Subsidiary Organs also attended the Conference:
(d) The following specialised institutions of the OIC also attended the Conference:
- Islamic Development Bank (IDB), Jeddah
e) The following affiliated institutions of the OIC also attended the Conference:
(g) Islamic Foundations and Societies:
3. His Excellency Blaise Campaoré, President of Faso, opened the Twenty-Sixth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers by delivering an address in which he recalled the major goals set by the Organisation of the Islamic Conference since its establishment in the City of Rabat in 1969, the most important of which has been the motto of the present session, i.e. "Peace and Partnership for Development". He highlighted the contribution of Member States in the eradication of racial discrimination and in supporting peoples in their struggle for independence and sovereignty, as well as in the resolution of conflicts, in addition to boosting peace and solidarity opportunities. His Excellency also commended the efforts made at the economic level, aimed at setting up appropriate structures and creating favourable conditions to meet the needs of Islamic communities as regards social and cultural development. His Excellency stressed the importance of the Organisation as an international force of moderation and tolerance, pointing out that peace, stability and security, as well as prosperity and integration, were still a long way off. Further efforts and courageous initiatives were required in order to achieve common aspirations. His Excellency then tackled the major international and Islamic issues, such as the issue of Somalia and the situation in Sierra Leone and Guinea Bissau, the cause of Palestine, the situation in the Gulf, the Afghan crisis, the tragedy of Kosovo Muslims, the question of refugees and its negative consequences. In this respect, he called for action in order to contain such recurrent situation and also for mobilising efforts to face the economic sanctions imposed unilaterally on a number of Member States. He emphasized the tolerant principles of Islam that were eminently suitable to settle any dispute that arose, whether internal or between brothers. He called for the establishment of a central authority for the resolution of political conflicts, answerable to the Chairman of the Islamic Summit Conference and entrusted with the task of averting anything likely to disturb the atmosphere of peace and security between Member States.
4. The Conference decided to adopt the inaugural address of His Excellency Blaise Campaoré as an official document.
5. Addresses were then given by Their Excellencies Adom Karkom, Minister Delegate in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cameroon in charge of the Islamic World, Mr. Mohamed Ben Aissa, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Morocco and Mr. Sartaj Aziz, Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, on behalf of the African, Arab and Asian Groups respectively. They expressed their gratitude to His Excellency Blaise Campaoré, President of Faso, for his kind invitation to hold this Conference in his country and conveyed their profound thanks to the Government and People of Burkina Faso for their warm welcome and generous hospitality, and the excellent conditions provided to ensure the success of the proceedings of the Conference.
6. His Excellency Ahmad Ben Abdall’ah Al Mahmud, Minister of State for External Affairs of the State of Qatar and Representative of the Chairman of the Twenty-Fifth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers, gave an address in which he stressed the need for consultation and co-operation in order to affirm Islamic specificity so as to face the rapid political, economic and scientific changes occurring in today’s world. His Excellency then dealt with the peace process in the Middle East and requested that it be given first priority, given the threat it represented to security and stability in the region if it failed. He called on the international community and the co-sponsors of the peace process to exert pressure on the Israeli Government to achieve the purposes sought for. He reviewed a number of issues concerning the Islamic World, particularly the hardships endured by the Muslim population of the region of Kosovo, the protection of the rights of Muslim minorities in certain non-member States, and the condemnation of terrorism, drawing a distinction between terrorism and the struggle of peoples and their legitimate right to freedom and self-determination.
7. His Excellency Dr. Azeddine Laraki, the Secretary General of the OIC, delivered an extensive address in which he presented a comprehensive report on the efforts, activities, and initiatives of the General Secretariat in the period between the previous and the current sessions of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers, as part of implementing the resolutions of the Islamic Summit and of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers and in keeping with the views of Member States on the pressing issues of particular relevance to the OIC. His address shed light on the successful reform measures taken by the General Secretariat, on the active role played by the OIC in the service of the higher interests of the Member States and the just causes of the Islamic Ummah, and also the high esteem enjoyed by the OIC at international level as manifested by its increasing participation in numerous international initiatives, whether they concern development initiatives or efforts designed to ensure peace and security around the world.
8. The Conference afterwards unanimously elected His Excellency Youssouf Ouedraogo, Minister of State and Foreign Minister of Burkina Faso, as Chairman of the Twenty-Sixth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers. His Excellency delivered an address in which he stressed the importance of laying down a strategy for cooperation among the Member States based on mutual interests in an attempt to reduce the gap between the North and the South. He called for completing the implementation of the joint programme of the General Secretariat, the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and the Inter-State Committee for drought control in Islamic States (CILSS) in support of the development projects in the countries concerned.
9. The Conference then unanimously elected the Foreign Ministers of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Syrian Arab Republic and the State of Palestine as Vice-Chairmen and the representative of the State of Qatar as General Rapporteur.
10. Before the closing of the Plenary Session, His Excellency Ibrahima Fall, Deputy Secretary General for Political Affairs, delivered a speech, on behalf of the U.N. Secretary General, in which he commended the notable progress witnessed in the relations of cooperation between the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the United Nations Organization, be it in the field of preventive diplomacy and enhancement of peace and security, or in the activities of the organs of the two Organizations concerned with the ten priority fields of cooperation. He also underlined the important initiative taken by His Excellency President Mohammad Khatami, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Chairman of the Eighth Session of the Islamic Summit Conference, with respect to the dialogue among civilizations which is likely to help improve understanding among peoples and overcome intolerance and confrontation.
11. The Conference decided that the motto of the present session would be: "Peace and Partnership for Development".
12. The Conference approved the report of the Preparatory Meeting of the Senior Officials for the current session.
13. The Conference adopted the draft Agenda for this session prepared by the Meeting of Senior Officials.
14. The Conference took note with appreciation the report submitted by the Chairman of the Twenty-Fifth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers included in the address of the Head of Delegation of the State of Qatar.
15. The Conference took note with appreciation of the reports submitted by the Secretary General on the items included in the agenda, and on the activities of the General Secretariat during the period between the Twenty-Fifth and Twenty-Sixth Sessions of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers.
16. The Conference heard, during the general debate, the interventions of Their Excellencies the Foreign Ministers and Heads of Delegations who expressed their support to the just causes of the Islamic Ummah and stressed the need for Islamic solidarity in order to consolidate unity and wage the battle for development. They also addressed various issues highlighted by current developments throughout the world.
17. The Conference heard with brotherly sentiments the address of Mr. Tahsin Ertugruloglu who introduced the just cause of the Muslim Turkish Cypriot people.
18. The Conference also heard the presentation of His Excellency Professor Nur Misuari, Chairman of the Moro National Liberation Front, on the developments relating to the implementation of the agreement concluded between the Front and the Government of the Philippines.
ORGANIC, STATUTORY AND GENERAL MATTERS:
19. The Conference commended the report of the Secretary General on the cooperation between the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the United Nations, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and other regional organizations. It commended the exhaustive presentation contained in the report on the various activities and initiatives of the Secretary General in this respect, which reflected his successful endeavours to enhance cooperation with the aforementioned organizations in order to support the common causes and serve their mutual interests.
20. The Conference entrusted the General Secretariat with the task of studying the suggestion of the delegation of Azerbaijan to send an invitation to the executive director of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to participate in the forthcoming Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers, as well as the next Islamic Summit Conference due to be held in the State of Qatar.
21. The Conference took note with satisfaction of the report of the Secretary General on the current situation of the Organization and ways and means of improving it, and commended the detailed explanations contained in the report on the rationalization measures taken by the Secretary General to reform the Organization and raise its standard of performance. The Conference invited the Governmental Experts Group entrusted with examining the question of reform to complete the study of the remaining measures recommended.
22. With respect to the draft four-year multilateral programme contained in the aforementioned report of the Secretary General, the Conference requested the Governmental Experts Group to study the possibility of funding it and invited the Secretary General, in the meantime, to pursue coordination with the Islamic Development Bank within the framework of putting into effect the substance of the Bank’s document dealing with the task of preparing the Islamic Ummah for the twenty-first century.
23. The Conference supported the following candidatures:
24. The Conference welcomed the initiative of the Republic of Turkey and Malaysia to consult each other in order to come to an agreement on which of the two shall host the Twenty-Seventh Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers, provided the outcome of such consultations be presented at the forthcoming coordination meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs due to be held in New York, during the Fifty-Fourth Session of the UN General Assembly.
25. Alongside the Conference, a ceremony was held on 1 July, 1999, to celebrate the Twenty-Fifth anniversary of the founding of the Islamic Development Bank. It was attended by H.E. President Blaise Compaore of Burkina Faso, H. E. Youssouf Ouedraogo, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of Burkina Faso, Their Excellencies the Ministers and Heads of Member States delegations, and H. E. Azeddine Laraki, Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference.
The question of Al-Quds Al-Sharif, Palestine and the Arab Israeli Conflict:
26. The Conference stressed that the question of Palestine and Al-Quds Al-Sharif is the paramount Islamic cause. It expressed its full solidarity with the Palestine Liberation Organization. The Conference called for further support to the National Palestinian Authority to enable it to build its national institutions. It hailed the steadfastness, and struggle of the Palestinian people for regaining their inalienable national rights, including the right to return to their homeland, the right to self-determination and to establish their own independent sovereign state on national soil, with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as capital. The Conference called on Member States to make efforts within the international community to bring Israel to put an end to occupation, and withdraw its troops from all Arab and Palestinian territories to the front line of 4 June 1967, and first and foremost from Al-Quds Al-Sharif in order to enable the Palestinian people to achieve their inalienable national rights.
27. The Conference emphasised that Al-Quds Al-Sharif forms an integral part of the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967 and whatever applies to the rest of the occupied territories also applies to it, in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council and UN General Assembly. The Conference called on the international community to take immediate action to put an end to Israeli colonization and all the inhuman and illegal measures and practices of the Israeli occupation authorities in the city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif aimed at judaizing it, namely confiscating land and property, demolishing houses and emptying the city of its Palestinian inhabitants, altering its demographic and geographical set up, obliterating cultural, civilizational, and historical monuments and desecrating Holy Islamic and Christian sites. The Conference called for exerting further joint efforts to restore the city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif to Palestinian sovereignty as capital of the State of Palestine, to ensure that international peace and security prevail in the region.
28. The Conference called on the international community to avoid any dealings with the Israeli occupation authorities that might in any way be interpreted as an implicit recognition of the "de facto" situation imposed by Israel when it declared the city of Al-Quds its capital. The Conference emphasised that all legal, administrative and colonization measures aimed at modifying the legal status of the Holy city are null and void and contravene international treaties, conventions and norms, are contrary to the agreements signed by the Palestinian and Israeli sides, and must therefore be ended and their consequences cancelled. It invited all Member States to attend the forthcoming conference of the high contracting parties on the steps to be taken in order to enforce the Fourth Geneva Convention in the occupied Palestinian territory including the city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif, and which is due to be held in Geneva on the 15th of next July, in accordance with the resolutions adopted by the Tenth Extraordinary Session of the UN General Assembly in order to compel Israel to implement the convention on Palestinian soil, including Al-Quds Al-Sharif.
29. The Conference affirmed its full support of the peace process in the Middle East and its commitment to the principles and parameters of the peace process. It called on Israel to respect and implement its commitments, pledges and agreements concluded through that process in accordance with the principles upon which the Madrid Conference was based pursuant to UN resolutions, in particular UN Security Council resolutions 242, 338 and 425, and the land-for-peace formula, all of which provide for Israel’s withdrawal from all occupied Arab and Palestinian territories, including the city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif and the occupied Syrian Golan to the front line of 4 June 1967, the occupied Southern Lebanon and Western Bekaa, and for the realization of the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people.
30. The Conference underlined that Israel’s violation of the principles and underpinnings of the peace process, reneging on the commitments, pledges and agreements concluded within this process, and procrastination and evasion at implementation level, have seriously undermined the peace process. The Conference held the Israeli Government wholly responsible for that state of affairs.
31. The Conference called on the Islamic States which had taken steps toward establishing relations with Israel within the framework of the peace process, to reconsider such relations by closing missions and offices until such time as Israel complete its withdrawal from all occupied Arab territories and the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people are guaranteed, including their right to establish their independent State on their national territory, Palestine, with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as capital.
32. The Conference urged the international community, particularly the co-sponsors of the peace process, to exert pressure on Israel to comply with the resolutions of international legitimacy and to end its settlement policy. The Conference requested the UN Security Council to revive the International Committee for supervising and monitoring the ban on settlements in the city of Al-Quds and the other occupied Palestinian and Arab territories. It also urged the international community and the States which provide economic and financial assistance to stop such assistance which Israel uses to carry out its colonization and settlement schemes in the occupied Arab territories, in occupied Palestine and the occupied Syrian Golan. The Conference called on the international community to refuse to consider Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian and Arab territories as Israeli places of origin thus allowing Israel to export its products therefrom, and to take action to stop such Israeli exports.
33. The Conference called for action by the United Nations and other international organizations and forums to force Israel to release the detainees, return the deportees, put an end to collective punishments, confiscation of land and property, demolition of houses, and to refrain from any act likely to endanger life and the environment in the occupied Palestinian and Arab territories, including Al-Quds Al-Sharif.
34. The Conference requested the international community and the UN Security Council to force Israel to comply with UN resolutions, particularly UN Security Council resolution 487 (1981), to sign the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and implement the resolutions of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
35. The Conference commended the efforts made by the Al-Quds Committee under the Chairmanship of this Majesty Hassan II, King of Morocco, and expressed satisfaction at the fact that the "Bait-Mal Al-Quds" Agency had started its activities. The Conference called on Member States, Islamic financing institutions, banks, funds, chambers of commerce and industry, companies, individuals and businessmen to extend generous support to “Bait-Mal Al-Quds" and to organize fund-raising campaigns on the popular level in favour of the Agency to enable it to implement the projects agreed upon in support of the resistance of the Palestinian people in the Holy City.
36. The Conference lauded the resistance of the Syrian Arab citizens of the Golan against occupation and strongly condemned Israel for not complying with UN Security Council resolution 497 (1981). It affirmed that Israel’s decision to impose its laws, sovereignty and administration on the occupied Syrian Golan was illegal, null and void, with no legal effect whatsoever. The Conference condemned Israel for continuing to alter the legal and demographic status of the occupied Syrian Golan and its institutional structure. It reaffirmed the applicability of the 1949 Geneva Convention on the Protection of Civilian Persons in Times of War to the occupied Syrian Golan and called for Israel’s total withdrawal from all the occupied Syrian Golan to the lines of 4 June 1967.
37. The Conference strongly condemned Israel for its continuing occupation of parts of Southern Lebanon and Western Bekaa, and urged the international community to ensure the implementation of UN Security Council 425 (1978) stipulating Israel’s immediate and unconditional withdrawal from all occupied Lebanese territory to the internationally recognised borders. It called on the international community to take all measures to compel Israel to set free immediately all the prisoners, the Lebanese nationals who have been kidnapped as well as those detained in Israeli prisons and in the camps controlled by the forces allied to Israel, and to endeavour to put an end to Israel’s aggression and inhuman practices against the defenceless inhabitants in the Lebanese territory. It reiterated its support for the efforts of the State of Lebanon to establish its sovereignty over its entire territory including the area occupied by Israel in Southern Lebanon and Western Bekaa.
38. The Conference reaffirmed its full solidarity with the people of Kosova to help them overcome the tragedy they faced as a result of the policies of oppression and ethnic cleansing carried out by the Serbian forces, which has resulted in the worst human catastrophe ever witnessed by the region, the displacement of over one million refugees, the destruction of the infrastructure, the scorching of the land and the bloodshed of thousands of innocent dwellers in the region.
39. The Conference called for the return of all refugees and deportees to the region of Kosova, and commended in that regard the invaluable humanitarian aid provided by the member States to the victims in the region of Kosova. It called on the member States, the international community and all specialized organizations and bodies to step up efforts in order to fund the projects of reconstruction, resettlement of refugees and displaced persons and restoration of what has been destroyed by the war in the Balkans.
40. The Conference urged to speed up the process of bringing to court those Serbian responsible officials guilty of crimes against humanity in Kosova for a fair trial at international level for their horrible violations of the rights of the Muslims in Kosova, and called for rescinding all discriminatory legislation, in particular that enacted as of 1989.
41. The Conference called for a peaceful, comprehensive and just settlement ensuring peace and stability in Kosova and allowing the people in the region to decide on their political future and setting the stage for the establishment of genuinely democratic institutions at the legislative, political, economic and social levels, thus preventing the renewal of the tragedy witnessed in the region.
42. The Conference commended the efforts of the Contact Group for Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosova and requested it to pursue its efforts to draw the attention of the Security Council to the need to follow-up the situation in Kosova and urge it to guarantee the safe return of Kosovar refugees and to seek to mobilize humanitarian aid to the victims and ensure reconstruction of Kosova.
43. The Conference took note of the meeting held by the Contact Group for Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosova alongside the Conference and commended the considerable role played by the Contact Group in Geneva and New York. The Conference praised the positive results reached by the Ministerial Meeting of the Contact Group held in Geneva on 7 April 1999, and commended as well the efforts of the team representing the Contact Group during its tour in Europe and the important contacts it had. The Conference expressed appreciation for the efforts made by the Secretary General in this respect.
Jammu and Kashmir:
44. The Conference called for appointing a special representative of the OIC Secretary General for Jammu and Kashmir and urged the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir to hold its meetings during the Ordinary Sessions of the UN General Assembly, the UN Committee on human rights and the UN Committee on preventing discrimination against minorities.
45. The Conference condemned the flagrant violations of human rights to which the people of Kashmir are subjected, and called for respecting their basic rights, including their right to self-determination. It requested the member States to take all necessary measures to convince India to put an immediate end to these violations and enable the people of Kashmir to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions.
46. The Conference expressed deep concern over the dangerous escalation of the heavy bombing by Indian artillery and Indian air raids across the line of control which led to the death of innocent people. The Conference welcomed the diplomatic initiative of the Government of Pakistan designed to defuse that explosive situation and called on the two parties to exercise restraint and engage in dialogue to defuse the tension in the spirit of the Lahore Declaration.
47. The Conference deplored the losses of civilian lives and property resulting from that escalation and urged the international community, including the United Nations Organization, to pay urgent attention to the increasingly dangerous situation in Jammu and Kashmir and to mediate in that conflict to ensure restraint and restore peace. The Conference expressed full solidarity with the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in its efforts to safeguard its sovereignty, political independence and territorial integrity and security.
48. The Conference took note of the meeting held by the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir at ministerial level, on the sidelines of the Conference, and adopted the recommendations of that meeting; it also took cognizance of the memorandum submitted to it by the true representatives of the people of Kashmir.
49. The Conference reaffirmed its determination to continue to provide the necessary financial support for development and reconstruction projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina and asked the Member States and specialized financial institutions which had pledged their financial contribution to the development of Bosnia-Herzegovina, to fulfill their commitments, in order to urgently boost the completion of the projects for the return and resettlement of refugees and the rehabilitation of the State’s infrastructure.
50. The Conference requested the Assistance Mobilization Group (AMG) on Bosnia and OIC affiliated institutions to hold their forthcoming meeting in Sarajevo next October, and to strive harder to mobilize further financial resources for the various development projects in Bosnia. The Conference called on the international community to ensure full compliance with the agreement pertaining to stability and weapons limitation.
51. The Conference reaffirmed its support of UN and OIC initiatives for the peaceful settlement of the Afghan crisis and of the meetings convened for that purpose by the two Organizations for the Afghan parties, in particular the meeting of Ashkabat. It affirmed the need for continued close coordination between the two Organizations to achieve a peaceful comprehensive political settlement in Afghanistan.
52 The Conference called on all Afghan factions to observe an immediate and unconditional cease-fire and to work together to establish a broad-based multi-ethnic national coalition government. It requested all countries to abstain from interfering in internal Afghan affairs and reaffirmed the need for full respect of the sovereignty, unity, territorial integrity, independence and Islamic identity of Afghanistan.
53. The Conference called for the establishment of a fund, under OIC auspices, to assist the Afghan people and invited all the Afghan nationals to cooperate in order to put an end to the production and export of illicit drugs.
54. The Conference reaffirmed its commitment to contribute effectively to the restoration of stability in Somalia and its full commitment to the respect of that country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. It called for convening an international Conference on Peace and national Reconciliation in Somalia. It requested the General Secretariat to make the necessary contacts in order to convene that conference, in conjunction with the United Nations Organization, the Organization of African Unity and the other organizations concerned.
55. The Conference took note with deep concern of the renewed bloody confrontations among the Somali factions. It expressed deep concern over the interference of some foreign powers in rekindling the fires of combat and urged them to put an end to all activities likely impede the pursuit of peace and stability in Somalia.
56. The Conference called on the Somali parties to honour the pledges they had signed at the Cairo Conference of December 1997, and to strive together for a peaceful solution that would restore peace, stability and unity in Somalia.
Consequences of the Iraqi Aggression against Kuwait:
57. The Conference expressed deep concern over the impasse faced by the UN mission regarding the elimination of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and called on Iraq to resume cooperation with the UN Security Council in the latter’s current bid to bring an end to the impasse in Iraqi cooperation with the United Nations, with a view to safeguarding peace and stability in the region, and in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions. The Conference welcomed the Ministerial Committee set up by the Arab Foreign Ministers on 24//1//1990 in Cairo in order to exert efforts within the framework of cooperation with the United Nations.
58. The Conference called once again on Iraq to cooperate fully with the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Tripartite Commission in Geneva, that was established under its auspices, for the release of prisoners and detainees from among Kuwaiti military troops and civilians and any other subjects of other states and the return by Iraq of Kuwaiti property.
59. The Conference reaffirmed UN Security Council resolution 949 calling on Iraq to abstain from using again its military forces or any other forces for aggression or defiant purposes to threaten its neighbours or UN operation in Iraq.
60. The Conference reaffirmed respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political indepedence of Iraq and expressed its sympathy for the suffering of the Iraqi people. It welcomed UN Secruity Council resolution 1153 (1998) pertaining to the extension of the effect of its resolution No. 686 (1995) for another six month period so as to meet the humaniterian needs of the Iraqi people and alleviate their sufferings.
61. The Conference expressed great concern about the dangerous and continuing deterioration in the food, health and humanitarian situation of the Muslim Iraqi people, in particular the children, women and the elderly, as acknowledged in the reports of the UN Secretary General, the specialised agencies and numerous governmental and non-governmental humanitarian organisations.
62. The Confernece called member States to pool efforts to assist Iraq in putting an end to the deteriorating situation and to bring a remedy to cases requiring humanitarian consideration in order to urgently end the suffering of the population in a serious and tangile manner and to reach a comprehensive and just politcal solution to the entire Iraqi problem.
Armenian Aggression against Azerbaijan:
63. The Conference reaffirmed its strong support to the Government of Azerbaijan which has been subjected to aggression by the Republic of Armenia, spreading to the extent of threatening the cultural and historical heritage of the Azeri people. The Conference called again for the settlement of the conflict through negotiations initiated within the framework of OSCE Minsk Group. The Conference called on the Republic of Armenia to withdraw its forces from all Azeri territories and reaffirmed the sovereignty of the Republic of Azerbaijan over its territorial integrity.
1986 U. S. Aggression against the Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya:
64. The Conference expressed once again its support for the right of the Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya to secure appropriate compensation for the losses sustained as a result of the American aggression against it in 1986, in accordance with the provisions of UN General Assembly resolution No. 38/41 of 20 November 1986. It called on the United States of America to respond positively to that resolution and to resort to peaceful means to solve its differences with the Jamahiriya.
Progress and Positive Steps taken towards settling the crisis between Libya and the United States of Ameria and the United Kingdom:
65. The Conference welcomed the efforts and endeavours of brotherly and friendly States to reach a settlement of this issue, and expressed appreciation for the results of the efforts exerted by both the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of South Africa in this respect.
66. The Conference welcomed the verdict of the International Court of Justice on 27/2/1998, to the effect that it was competent to judge the case, and took note of the explanations given by the delegation of the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya in that regard.
67. The Conference expressed support for the claims of the Great Jamahiriya for providing guarantees and proper conditions for a just and fair trial of the two Libyan suspects.
68. The Conference also expressed its satisfaction at the steps taken along the path of a complete solution to the crisis, including suspending the embargo imposed against the Great Jamahiriya pursuant to U.N. Security Council resolutions 748/92 and 883/93, pending its lifting.
69. The Conference called on the UN Security Council to take immediate measures for final lifting of the embargo, reaffirming the right of the Jamahiriya to demand compensation for damages sustained as a result of that embargo.
Solidarity with Iran and Libya on the so-called D’Amato Law:
70. The Conference affirmed the principles of the Charter of the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the United Nations that stipulate that all States must abstain from interfering in the internal affairs of other States and to settle their disputes through peaceful means.
71. The Conference reaffirmed, once again, its solidarity with the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriyah in their stand against the so-called D’Amato Law. It expressed its rejection of any arbitrary or unilateral measures, whether political or legal, on the part of one country against another. It urged all States to consider that law, which runs counter to the provisions of international law and norms, as null and void.
72. The Conference reaffirmed once again its past resolutions on Cyprus and expressed its solidarity with the Turkish Cypriot people in their rightful cause. It called on the two parties to negotiate freely a mutually acceptable solution and expressed its appreciation for the constructive efforts of the Turkish Cypriot side, as manifested by their comprehensive proposal of 31 August 1998. The Conference also expressed support for the efforts of the United Nations Secretary General within the framework of his mission of good offices. It called for a just political settlement which respects the legitimate aspirations of the Turkish Cypriot people and emphasized, in this regard, the pressing need for respecting the principle of equal political status in reaching a freely negotiated and mutually acceptable solution. The Conference also recalled its previous decision to pursue consideration of the Turkish Cypriot application for full membership in the OIC and to continue to promote the participation of the Turkish Muslim people of Cyprus in the activities and meetings of all the bodies of the Conference. It called on Member States to increase and expand their ties with the Turkish Cypriot people in all fields, including trade, tourism, culture, information, investment and sports.
Eastern and Central Europe:
73. The Conference expressed its support for the constant efforts of the OIC to promote ties of friendship and cooperation and to strengthen economic and cultural exchange between Eastern and Central European countries on the one hand, and the Islamic world on the other. It called on the countries of those regions to adopt an increased open door policy towards the Islamic world, expressing the hope that those States would afford Muslim communities therein more freedom to practise their right to learn their religion and languages, and to revive their cultural heritage, and thus become a typical manifestation of the civilized dialogue among peoples and proper respect of the culture of others.
Security and Solidarity
74. The Conference reaffirmed that the great challenges confronting the Islamic World and the cultural and intellectual elements brought about by cultural and economic globalization represent a genuine threat to the security of the member States which can be overcome only through solidarity among Islamic countries and their unity, so that it may become a single major bloc, for small groupings are the most vulnerable to external threats in our present world.
75. The Conference took note of the report and recommendations of the Governmental Experts Group for the assessment of the means for activation of Member States’ solidarity, and requested the Secretary General to take the necessary measures for the implementation of these recommendations. It asked Member States to cooperate and offer all possible facilities for the continuation of the Group’s activities.
76. The Conference affirmed the view of Member States regarding the advent of a world free of weapons of mass destruction, notably nuclear weapons. It reaffirmed the inalienable right of States to develop their programmes of peaceful uses of nuclear energy for economic development and prosperity of their peoples. The Conference asked to keep the regions of the Middle East, Central Asia and South Asia nuclear-weapon- free zones.
77. The Conference called on the Security Council and specialized agencies and the international community to compel Israel to implement Security Council Resolution 487 (1981) and the resolutions of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and to subject all Israeli atomic facilities to the IAEA Comprehensive Safeguards System and to all the other relevant resolutions. It also called for compelling Israel to renounce nuclear armaments and submit a full report on its stockpile of nuclear weapons and ammunition to the Security Council and the International Atomic Energy Agency.
78. The Conference recognized the importance of enhancing regional and international security and stability through the peaceful settlement of outstanding disputes, and the achievement of equitable balance of armaments. It affirmed in this respect the significance of providing clear and effective assurances to Non-Nuclear Weapon States against the use or threat to use these weapons against them. The Conference also expressed concern regarding the random spread of conventional weapons, especially in the African continent, and the ensuing increase in regional upheavals and disputes.
Dumping of Nuclear and Toxic Wastes:
79. The Conference condemned the immoral practices by some countries of dumping nuclear and toxic wastes in the territorial waters of some Member States and considered these practices an abominable crime against the peoples of the Member States and against humanity at large.
80. The Conference expressed its deep regret over the great losses and grave consequences caused by anti-personnel mines among children, women, elderly and innocent people. It urged all Member States to become party to the international agreement to ban anti-personnel mines and their production.
81. The Conference urged the international community, particularly the developed countries, to offer assistance for the remand of anti-personnel mines, to provide mine-stricken states with advanced equipment and technology for this purpose, and to offer direct or indirect assistance in the treatment or rehabilitation of mine victims.
Consultation and Coordination among Member States:
82. The Conference affirmed the need for Member States to observe the principle of consultation and coordination as a requirement for strengthening the bonds of brotherhood; and to direct Member States interaction towards observing the principles of good neighborliness and respecting the sovereignty of other States. It emphasized the necessity of coordination to control the phenomenon of terrorism and violence in all forms.
Solidarity with the Peoples of the Sahel:
83. The Conference expressed satisfaction with the resumption of activity by the Committee for Islamic Solidarity with the Peoples of the Sahel, commending in this respect the great positive role played by the IDB, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the State of Kuwait, and urging all Member States that promised financial support and to speed up payment of their contributions in support of the special OIC/CILSS/IDB Programme for the Sahelian populations. The Conference reaffirmed again its total support for the African Sahelian States stricken by drought and desertification.
Economic Situation in Africa:
84. The Conference commended the efforts made by the African countries towards their development and economic reform in conformity with the Treaty of Abuja 1991, establishing the African Economic Community. It stressed the importance of the successful implementation of the United Nations New Agenda for the Development of Africa in the 1990’s, and called upon the international community to fulfil its obligations to Africa.
85. The Conference called for a new approach for the cancellation of the debts of the least developed states. It urged the Member States which maintain good relations with the Seven Most industrialized countries and international financial institutions to use their connections with them and urge them to scrap the debts of all the least developed states.
Reparations of Damages Resulting from Colonialism:
86. The Conference affirmed again the right of the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for reparations for all the material and human losses it has sustained as a result of the period of colonization and settlement on Libyan territories. It called on the countries responsible for these damages to respond to the Great Jamahiriya’s requests.
Solidarity with Sudan:
87. The Conference reaffirmed its full solidarity with Sudan in facing hostile designs, and in its right to defend its unity, territorial integrity and stability. It commended the continuous efforts exerted by the Sudanese Government in order to reach a peaceful solution to the problem of Southern Sudan through negotiation and dialogue with the various Sudanese parties.
88. The Conference urged Member States to provide the Republic of Niger with financial and technical assistance to enable it to preserve its national unity, and achieve its developmental plans and programmes within the framework of the Peace Agreement with the Organization of Armed Resistance, signed five years ago, but remained unfulfilled yet, a case which poses a threat to the future of peace in the country. It called upon the government of Niger to provide efficient and comprehensive studies of basic developmental projects, and to coordinate with the General Secretariat to present these to Member States and international financial institutions in order to get the necessary funding.
Assisting the Republic of Mali:
89. The Conference affirmed its support to the efforts made by the government of Mali to face the economic, social and cultural challenges in the northern regions of Mali and which have been severely afflicted by the war in this province and the negative impact it left. It urged, once more, the member-states and Islamic financial institutions to provide their financial contribution within the framework of the scheme for development, reconstruction and repatriation of refugees. It requested the General Secretariat to take appropriate measures and follow up the Islamic readiness to finance these projects.
The right to use science and technology:
90. The Conference invited the member states to enhance and extend the use of science and technology in their cultural, social and economic projects, to establish scientific and experimental research centers and encourage scientists and researchers in this field. It requested the member states to foster their scientific and technological cooperation on a bilateral or multilateral basis, within the framework of the Standing Committee for Scientific and Technological Cooperation (COMSTECH).
91. The Conference urged the industrialized countries to facilitate the transfer of technology to the developing countries and to lift all obstacles that impede this process.
92. The Conference expressed its deep concern over the growing refugee phenomenon among the Islamic societies and the negative impact accompanying this phenomenon both for the Muslim refugees or in Islamic countries hosting these refugees. It called upon the member States to mobilize cooperation mechanisms among themselves, and within the international specialized bodies to face this phenomenon and offer the most appropriate solution to it.
93. The Conference took cognizance of the report and resolutions of the governmental experts meeting on the problem of refugees and called on the Secretary General to take necessary measures in order to address the refugees phenomenon from and into the Islamic world.
Assistance to Sudanese Refugees:
94. The Conference renewed its call for Member States and specialised international institutions to provide financial and technical assistance to Sudan in order to face the growing number of refugees and displaced persons within its territory. It called on the IDB to provide financial assistance to Sudan in order to support plans for the resettlement and rehabilitation of displaced Sudanese, refugees as well as those returning from the areas liberated from the rebel forces in contribution to the achievement of peace and stability in the country.
The Year 2000 Conference on the Review of the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons:
95. The Conference called on all member states, parties to the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons to participate in the year 2000 Conference on the Review of the Treaty. The Conference also called on all Member States of the Treaty to exert pressure on Israel to force it to join the Treaty and to submit all its programmes to the control system of the International Nuclear Energy Agency.
Supporting the Initiative of Kazakhstan to hold a Conference on Confidence-Building in Asia:
96. The Conference welcomed the efforts exerted by the Government of Kazakhstan in order to pursue the implementation of its initiative to organise a Conference on Confidence-Building in Asia, and recommended that all member States join the process of confidence-building in Asia.
97. In the context of the invitation to hold the aforementioned conference, the ICFM affirmed that the Islamic countries do not consider Israel as being part of Asian countries.
The Reform of the United Nations:
98. The Conference stressed that international changes of the post cold-war era and the disappearance of bipolarity and its concomitant far-reaching geo-political implications warrant transformations of the United Nations, the implementation of fundamental changes in the United Nations System, the expansion of the Security Council membership and mandate to empower it to exercise its true role in the preservation of peace and security around the world.
Situation in the Islamic Republic of Comoros:
99. The Conference showed deep concern about the political deterioration in the Republic of Comoros and considered that state of political instability is a negative factor for development and stability and promotes the country’s isolation. It emphasized the recommendations of the Antananarivo Conference on National Reconciliation and urged all parties to abide by those recommendations.
100. The Conference stressed that the secession of the islands of Mayotte and Anjouan will seriously undermine the territorial integrity of the Republic of Comoros. It appealed to the General Secretariat to continue co-ordination with the OAU and the Arab League so as to reach a peaceful solution to the problem. It also requested the Member States to extend financial and economic support to the people of Comoros in order to help them face the critical economic situation.
Economic sanctions against the Sudan:
101. The Conference reiterated its call to the United States of America to lift the unilateral economic sanctions imposed on the Sudan considering that they are contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations as they are contrary to the principles of the Organization of the Islamic Conference and in view of their harmful effects and the losses incurred by the Sudanese people economically and socially.
Unilateral Economic Sanctions in General:
102. The Conference called on all the states which impose unilateral sanctions on Member States of the Organisation to refrain from such practices, for they contradict the objectives and principles of the charters of the United Nations, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the Non-aligned Movement and the International Trade Organisation.
103. It urged the Member-States to extend support and assistance to Member States which face unilateral economic sanctions, and stand in solidarity with them.
104. The Conference commended the big political and military role played by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in bringing back stability and security to Sierra Leone, chasing rebellion away from the capital city of Free Town and restoring constitutional legality to President Ahmad Tejane Kabbah.
105. The Conference condemned the rebels’ savagery and blatant violation of human rights. It expressed sustained support to the programme of President Kabbah’s government which aims at reaching a peaceful settlement of the political crisis through negotiations.
106. The Conference urged all the Member States and the international and Islamic Institutions to provide urgent assistance to the Government of Sierra Leone to tackle the immense problems afflicting the country. It also called on them to support the neighbouring countries which give refuge to huge numbers of refugees from Sierra Leone.
U.S. Attack on Al Shifa Pharmaceutical Factory in Khartoum:
107. The Conference backed the request of the Republic of the Sudan whereby an international investigation commission should be formed under the supervision of the Security Council to investigate about the United States’ allegations that the Al Shifa Pharmaceutical Factory produces toxic chemical gases. It confirmed full solidarity with the Sudan in facing the hostile designs against its security and national integrity.
108. The Conference expressed its deep appreciation to the Economic Community of West African States for their efforts to reach a peaceful settlement of the crisis in Guinea Bissau.
109. The Conference expressed its deep concern about new fighting in Guinea Bissau and the developments that brought about the change of regime, which is in contradiction with the provisions of the Lagos Agreement. It called upon the new authorities to respect the reinstitution schedule of democratic constitutional life and stand for free elections in compliance with the Lagos Summit agreement.
Preservation of the Security and Territorial Integrity of Islamic States:
110. Aware of the utmost importance of achieving peace and stability, and concerned with the essential interests of the Islamic Ummah, the Conference reaffirmed the sovereignty, independence, integrity and territorial security of Iraq. It called on the international community to desist from all forms of intervention in the domestic affairs of Iraq and refrain, in the future, from any such acts in order to preserve Iraq’s sovereignty and the inviolability of its boundaries.
Combating the Illegal Spread and Circulation of Light Arms and small-calibre Weapons.
111. The Conference welcomed, in this respect, the initiative of the Republic of Mali of organising a festival (Peace Torch) which consists in burning and destroying thousands of light and short-range weapons. It appreciated its efforts in mobilising the international community towards fighting the trade in such weapons.
112. The Conference expressed satisfaction with forming national committees to control the spread of light weapons in the African Sahel region. It called on member States and African States, in particular, to foster co-operation amongst them in order to fight illegal trade in light weapons.
113. The Conference welcomed the European Union’s initiative of providing an international mechanism to combat and control illegal trade and handling of light and small-calibre weapons. It called on the Organisation of Islamic Conference to provide efficient means to co-ordinate with the European Community, the OAU, the West African Economic Community and the regional organisations concerned with this question.
Parliamentary Union of OIC members:
114. The Conference welcomed the establishment of the Parliamentary Union of OIC members, emanating from the Constituent Conference, held in Tehran from 15 to 17 June 1999 and called on the Secretary General to establish close relations with the Union.
The Muslim Communities and Minorities:
115. The Conference renewed its welcome to the Peace Agreement between the Government of the Philippines and the Moro National Liberation Front officially signed in Manila on 2 September 1996. It expressed its appreciation for the steps taken towards the full implementation of the agreement . It also called on the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Moro National Liberation Front to preserve the gains resulting from signing the Peace Agreement.
116. The Conference commended the efforts of the leaders of the Moro National Liberation Front and of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines for establishing peace in South Philippines. It asked the Secretary General and all the parties concerned to continue extending the necessary assistance in order to ensure the full implementation of the Peace Agreement during the transitional period and until the establishment of the self-rule zone in the south of the Philippines.
117. The Conference praised the Secretary General’s efforts to implement the adopted resolutions on Muslim communities and of minorities in non-Member States and specially for the creation of a Contact Group from among the Member States’ permanent delegations to the United Nations in New York and Geneva, to examine the cases of violation of the rights of Muslim communities and minorities in non-Member States.
118. The Conference affirmed the need to take action for the attachment of Muslim communities and minorities in non Member States to their religious and cultural identity, to equal treatment in terms of rights, commitments and duties, and to the provision of all their civil, religious and other rights, without discrimination or segregation.
119. The Conference reaffirmed its commitment to Muslim communities and minorities living in non-OIC Member States. The Conference, keeping in mind that the Turkish Muslim Minority in Western Thrace is an integral part of the Muslim World, regretted that the violation of the minority rights and fundamental freedoms of the Turkish Muslim Minority in Western Thrace is continuing. It deplored the imprisonment of the elected Mufti of Xanthi, Mr. Mehmet Emin Aga, and expressed its concern on the obstruction of the building of Kimmeria Mosque. The Conference urged Greece to take all measures to restore the rights of the Turkish Muslim Minority in Western Thrace and recognise the elected Muftis of Xanthi and Komotini as the official muftis.
120. The Conference urged the member States to expedite the ratification of the Statute of the International Islamic Court of Justice aimed at making it a reality.
121. The Conference reaffirmed the need to consolidate human rights, follow up the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam and formulate and codify Islamic standards and values in Islamic conventions on human rights. It underlined the importance of co-ordination between Member States in the field of human rights and the need for them to take into account the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam as well as the principles defining the position of the Member States on the issue of human rights which emerged during the discussions of the 54th Session of the Commission on Human Rights.
122. The Conference appreciated the great effort of the General Secretariat and of the OIC Group in Geneva to co-ordinate with the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights for the preparation of a seminar held on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the Proclamation of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights under the title “Enriching the Universality of Human Rights: Universal Declaration on Human Rights from an Islamic Perspective”.
123. The conference urged Member States to adhere to the agreements on the struggle against air piracy and extend help and assistance to victims upon any incident. It also stressed the need for holding an international conference under the aegis of the United Nations to define the concept of terrorism and to make a distinction between terrorism and people’s struggle for national liberation. It also condemned terrorist acts that are perpetrated deceitfully in the name of Islam and laid stress on the importance of international and regional co-operation to fight against all forms of terrorism.
124. The Conference condemned all forms and manifestations of terrorism including state terrorism, and expressed deep concern over the continuing violent acts and barbaric crimes, especially those which were recently perpetrated against foreign tourists. It called on Member States not to provide shelter to terrorists and help bringing them to trial.
125. The Conference welcomed the adoption of the OIC Convention on Combating International Terrorism. It appealed to the Member States to sign and ratify it as early as possible. In this context, the Conference expressed to the Group of Experts concerned with the issue and headed by H.E. Ambassador Dr. Mohammed Azzeddine Abdul Munim, Deputy Assistant of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Arab Republic of Egypt, its deep consideration for their efforts to prepare the text of the Convention.
INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION:
126. The Conference expressed deep satisfaction with the information activities undertaken by the OIC General Secretariat in the context of plans formulated by the Standing Committee for Information and Cultural Affairs (COMIAC) under the wise and able leadership of His Excellency President Abdou Diouf, President of the Republic of Senegal.
127. The Conference commended the efforts of the Senegalese Ministry of Communication, while chairing the 4th Session of the Islamic Conference of Information Ministers, for ensuring follow up of the implementation of its resolutions and hosting the First Meeting of the Ministerial Follow up Committee of the 4th Islamic Conference of Information Ministers.
128. The Conference welcomed issuing by the General Secretariat of the second edition of "Moutamar" magazine which contained comprehensive information on the various activities of the Secretary General and of the OIC institutions.
129. The Conference also welcomed publishing booklets that include Islamic common actions’ regulating documents (Islamic Information Strategies, Islamic Information Code of Ethics, Islamic States’ Information Strategy and PIDIC) which contribute to defining the legal references of Islamic common information.
130. The Conference endorsed the conceptions proposed by the OIC Secretary General aimed at developing the information sector and promoting its role in supporting the just causes and the image of Islam, informing about its heritage and tolerant values in order to activate Islamic information media and enable them to be effective within its environment and interact in cyber space.
131. The Conference appealed to Member States to mobilise all the necessary financial resources, particularly through voluntary financial contributions, in order to overcome the crucial problem of the lack of financial resources and start implementing the activity programmes as stipulated in the Member States’ information plan in a way that goes in line with communication technology developments and that makes them capable of facing the challenges and requirements of this era.
132. The Conference urged Member States to support the Islamic satellite channels on mutual basis through an exchange of programmes, expertise and technologies. It reaffirmed the need for Member States to activate the work of the International Islamic News Agency (IINA) and the Islamic States Broadcasting Organisation (ISBO), so that they can attain their objectives in the service of common Islamic information.
133. The Conference praised the tangible progress achieved towards producing the documentary film on Al-Quds Al-Sharif, which is being made in Ramallah. It expressed warm thanks to His Highness Sheikh Zeyd Bin Sultan Al Nehyane, President of the United Arab Emirates for having kindly financed this project.
135. The Conference stressed the dire need to find necessary means to limit the negative implications of international economic order on the economies of the Islamic world, and called for taking appropriate measures to ensure that all countries are equally positioned to reap the benefits of globalisation. This will ensure an equilibrium between the benefits and responsibilities undertaken by the developing countries including some OIC Member States. The Conference also called for further trade liberalisation, more opportunities for basic commodities and services to have access to markets where Islamic countries enjoy a relative advantage, the transfer of technology on easier terms, and a more beneficial use of investment systems and technology.
136. The Conference urged member states to coordinate their efforts aiming at undertaking necessary contact with the parties and international organizations concerned to preserve the economic interests of member states without prejudicing their exports of commodities and basic materials.
137. The Conference also urged member States to intensify commercial exchanges among them and to try, as much as possible, to overcome any obstacle that might impede the achievement of such an objective, and to undertake the needed efforts to encourage commercial and economic cooperation. It called upon member States to bolster cooperation, especially in the fields that aimed at achieving integration arrangements.
138. The Conference expressed deep concern over the tendency of some developed countries to link issues on work and environment with trade transactions and affirmed that such a tendency hinders the establishment of free and equitable trade exchanges.
139. The Conference urged developed countries to increase their contributions, within the framework of the International Development Strategy, to initiate new means for this purpose, and to follow the example of the countries which have turned their debts to the Least-Developed Countries into grants-in-aid, so as to facilitate the implementation of the reform measures undertaken by those countries.
140. The Conference launched an appeal to developed countries to implement the 1990 Action Plan for the Least Developed and Land-locked Countreis a well as the other resolutions adopted by the United Nations, particulalry IX UNCTAD, and the recommendtions made in the report of the High-Level International Governmental Meeting on the Mid-Term Comprehensive Review concernign the implementation of the 1997 Action Plan for the Least-Developed Countries.
141. The Conference further welcomed the UN decision to convene the Third United Nations Conference on Least-Developed Countries in the Year 2001. It called on all governments, governmental and multilateral institutions to take appropriate measures to prepare for the said conference and to participate in the related preparatory meetings.
142. The Conference renewed its call to the international community, especially the developed countries to offer substantial reductions of African debts and the alleviation of the debt service charges while ensuring that this process is combined with a new and adequate capital flow to African countries with concessional terms and conditions.
143. The Conference expressed its appreciation of the international initiative concerning the debt burdened poor countries and reaffirmed the urgent need to provide effective and equitable solutions of a sustainable development nature to settle the problems of external debt and debt service changes in the developing countries and to help these countries to get rid of the debt-rescheduling process. The Conference noted with deep concern, in this regard, that only nine countries have clarified their position vis-à-vis the aforesaid initiative. It called for the rapid implementation of this initiative to enable the most eligible countries to benefit from it.
144. The Conference welcomed the extension of the time limit for the international initiative concerning the debt-burdened poor countries to the year 2000 to enable the most eligible countries to clarify their position. It urged, in this respect, the opening of formalities for accession to this initiative and the speeding up of its implementation.
145. The Conference invited all the concerned bodies to broaden the scope of the necessary assistance to help the Palestinians lay the foundations of their national economy, consolidate their national institutions and to enable them to establish their independent State with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.
146. The Conference urged the internqational community to broaden the scope of the assistance given to the Member States affected by drought and natural disasters. It called upon the Member States and OIC organs and institutions to extend urgent assistance to the OIC Member States which are members of Inter-Governmental Agency for Development (IGAD), and the Inter-State Committee for Drought Contrtol in the Sahel (CILSS) so that they can overcome their extreme difficulties.
147. The Conference emphasized the need to urgently implement the Plan of Action to strengthen Economic and Commercial Cooperation Among Member States within the framework of the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation (COMCEC) in accordance with the principles and operational modalities of the strategy and the procedure set forth in the chapter on follow-up and implementation.
148. The Conference called upon member states to exert efforts to strengthen current regional economic groupings among Islamic countris in order to consolidate coopeartion among them in th fields of trade, investment, finance and technology, so as to prepare a methodology for the establishment of a common Islamic market or any other form of economic integration.
149. The Conference called upon member states to participate in the various schemes recently launched by the Islamic Development Bank and to benefit from the Longer Term Trade Financing Scheme, Islamic Banks Portfolio, IDB Investment Fund Unit, the Islamic Corporation for Insurance of Investment and Export Credit along with other IDB’s existing schemes, programmes and operations.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
150. The Conference stressed the need for taking effective measures to counter the destructive damage ensuing from pollution and poisonous waste which give rise to climatic fluctuations and cause the deterioration of biological and socio-economic conditions. In this respect, the Conference emphasized that environmental considerations must be tied to development efforts, called on Member States to ratify the relevant international conventions if they have not already done so, and strongly condemned Israeli practices and their impact on the environment in the occupied Palestinian territories, the occupied Syrian Golan, southern Lebanon, the Western Bekaa Valley, as well as other territories occupied by Israel.
151. In the area of combating epidemic diseases, the Conference urged the strengthening of co-operation among Member States, and emphasized the urgent necessity of convening the Islamic Conference for Health Ministers, which the Islamic Republic of Iran, has so gracefully offered to host in Tehran. The Conference decided to expand the mandate of this Conference to cover Islamic co-operation in the area of health generally, including the sector of medicines.
152. The Conference expressed its concern at the exacerbation of the problem of narcotic drugs and psychothropic substances and their adverse effects on the society and economy of the countries affected by this plague. The Conference called for strict implementation of the UN Convention on Illegal Trafficking of Drugs, provided this goes hand in hand with efforts at Member States level to raise awareness of this problem with an appropriate use of cultural and mass media to that end. The Conference lauded the effective ongoing co-operation in this respect between the General Secretariat and the UN Programme of Drug Control.
153. The Conference stressed the vital role of science and technology in the socio-economic development of Member States. It reaffirmed that science and technology must be harnessed for the good of humanity and for a reinforcement of the socio-economic development of Member States. In this same context, it called for the initiation of negotiations with the participation of the countries concerned to lay down universal non-discriminatory guidelines on the transfer of advanced technology and the transfer of machinery and equipment for a military application. It referred to new advances in the fields of science and technology and particularly to the possible uses of space technologies for development purposes and urged the follow-up of current activities in the United Nations regarding these new advances.
154. The Conference noted the importance of the project for conducting an extensive study on the correlation between the environment and health and the sustainable development of the Member States, as well as the need for the urgent convening of a meeting of the Expert Group charged with conducting this study.
155. The Conference took note of the programs and activities of COMSTECH and called on the Member States to provide these programs and activities with financial support in the form of generous voluntary contributions.
156. With regard to the implementation of developmental strategies in the fields of science and technology in Member States, the Conference commended the positive efforts exerted by ISESCO in collaboration with UNESCO, in making preparations for the World Science Conference held in Hungary in June 1999. It requested at the same time the continuation of the consultations which have already started between Member States and the General Secretariat to make the necessary arrangements for the convening of the First Islamic Conference of Ministers in charge of Science, Higher Education and Scientific Research scheduled to be held in 2000.
157. The Conference commended the activities of the Islamic Institute of Technology in Dhaka and exhorted it to continue its efforts in motivating the human resources that the Member States may need in the fields of science and technology.
158. The Conference ratified the Statute of the Waqf of the Islamic University in Niger, and expressed its thanks to the Government of Kuwait for its donation of one million and 800 thousand US Dollars to the Waqfs of the Universities in Niger and Uganda.
159. The Conference expressed its satisfaction at the participation of ISESCO in the supervision of educational and cultural aspects of the education process in the Islamic University in Uganda and in developing appropriate educational curricula thereof.
160. The Conference mandated the Secretary General to take the necessary measures in co-ordination with the competent authorities in Chad, Mali, and Guinea Bissau in order to update the information available at the Islamic institutes and centres in the aforementioned countries.
161. The Conference called on the Member States to incorporate the objectives of the Cultural Strategy of the Islamic World into their Cultural plans according to their national policies and to give cultural action the place it deserves within their social and economic development plans.
162. The Conference expressed its appreciation to His Excellency Sayyid Mohamed Khatemi, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Chairman of the Eighth Summit Conference, for His Excellency’s initiative in proposing that the OIC call for a dialogue and for his sponsorship of the symposium of dialogue among civilizations hosted by His Excellency’s Government in Tehran from 3 to 5 May, 1999. The Conference adopted the Tehran Declaration on Dialogue among civilizations and decided to set up an Open-Minded High-Level Group of Governmental Experts to draft a Universal Declaration on Dialogue Among Civilizations, and its implementation Programme, in coordination with the United Nations and other relevant organizations.
163. The Conference urged the early convening of the Islamic Conference of Ministers in charge of the Child and Social Welfare. It charged the Secretary General with holding the necessary consultations in this regard with Member States particularly those having eminent experience in this field.
164. The Conference urged Member States to follow up their efforts in instilling traditional Islamic values in young people and conducting more cultural activities for their benefit. It called on the Government of Kuwait to prepare a comprehensive strategy to promote and develop Islamic Waqfs and activate their role in the development of Islamic societies, and to submit this draft strategy to the Twenty-Seventh Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers.
165. The Conference expressed its appreciation of the various activities sponsored by IRSICA to raise awareness in world public opinion of the Islamic cultural heritage in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as its efforts to maintain and safeguard this heritage.
166. The Conference expressed its appreciation of the United Arab Emirates and the Member States who have made generous donations to the Islamic Solidarity Fund and its Waqfs. It called on all Member States to make annual donations to the Fund and to contribute to the capital of the Fund’s Waqf.
167. The Conference expressed its pride in the distinguished role assumed by ISESCO in the international arena through the establishment of co-operative relationships with analogous international and regional organizations, which have led to the implementation of hundreds of joint programs thereby widening the scope of ISESCO’s work and strengthening its contribution to the cultural affirmation of the Islamic Ummah and its place in the international arena.
ADMINISTRATIVE AND FINANCIAL AFFAIRS:
168. The Conference approved the budgets of the General Secretariat and its subsidiary organs for the years 1998-99 and 1999-2000 with the same ceiling as that of previous years.
169. The Conference approved the division of the Administrative and Financial Department of the General Secretariat into two departments within the framework of the administrative and financial reforms proposed by the Secretary General. The Conference adopted the amendments proposed by the Secretary General pertaining to certain aspects of the Personnel Regulations of the General Secretariat.
170. The Conference urged Member States to hasten the payment of their accumulated contributions in arrears and to commit themselves to paying their compulsory annual contributions to the budgets of the General Secretariat and its subsidiary organs to avert a financial crisis that would cripple the activities of the Organizations.
The Closing Session:
171. His Excellency Youssouf Ouedraogo, State Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Burkina Faso, and Chairman of the Twenty-Sixth Islamic Conference of Foreign Affairs extended His Excellency’s thanks to the participants for their constructive co-operation and valuable contributions throughout the examination of the various subjects submitted to the Conference.
Motion of Thanks to His Excellency President Blaise Campaoré:
172. At the conclusion of the proceedings of the Conference, His Excellency, Jacques Baudin, Minister of External Affairs and Senegalese Abroad, presented on behalf of all the participants sincere thanks and appreciation to His Excellency Blaise Campaoré, President of Burkina Faso, for the generous hospitality extended to the participating Delegations and for the arrangements and facilities put at their disposal, which greatly contributed to the success of the Conference. He expressed to His Excellency Youssouf Ouedraogo, State Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Burkina Faso, and Chairman of the Twenty-Sixth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers his warm congratulations on his wise and competent conduct of the proceedings of the Conference.
173. The Conference decided to send a Motion of Thanks to His Excellency President Blaise Campaoré, President of Burkina Faso, for his gracious hosting of the Conference and for the contribution of Burkina Faso to bolstering the work of the OIC and its remarkable role on the African level in enhancing the spirit of coexistence among cultures.
174. In his closing address, His Excellency Youssouf Ouedraogo, State Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Burkina Faso, and Chairman of the Twenty-Sixth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers commended the spirit of Islamic solidarity and brotherhood demonstrated by their Excellencies the Foreign Ministers of the Delegations participating in the Conference which contributed greatly to the adoption of the session’s resolutions. He also commended the outstanding qualifications of His Excellency the Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, Dr. Azeddine Laraki, the seasoned politician who rendered great services to his country, succeeded in restructuring the Organization of the Islamic Conference and laid down the sound principles which will enable the Islamic Ummah to keep pace with the latest developments in the world. On this occasion, he awarded him the insignia of Officer of the National Order of Burkina Faso. Mr. Youssouf Ouedraogo then paid tribute to the professionalism and the excellent work of the staff of the General Secretariat which contributed to the success of the Session.
Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.