OF THE FOUNDING CONFERENCE
OF THE PARliAMENTARY UNION OF OIC MEMBERS
TEHRAN, ISLAMIC REPUBliC OF IRAN
1-3 RABIUL AWAL 1420H
15-17 JUNE, 1999
Accepting the kind invitation extended by the Chairman of the Islamic Consultative Assembly of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and seeking to further the efforts exerted on the 25th and 26th of Sha’ban 1419H corresponding to 14-15 December 1998, by the Extended Coordinating Committee entrusted with the task of studying the setting up of a Union to which would belong Consultative and Legislative Councils of the OIC Member States, the Founding Conference of the Parliamentary Union of OIC Members, was held in Tehran, the Islamic Republic of Iran, during 1-3 Rabiul Awal 1420H, corresponding to 15-17 June 1999.
2. The Presidents, Speakers and Representatives of the Legislative and Consultative Assemblies of the countries listed in Appendix 1 participated in this Conference.
3. The Meeting started with a recitation of verses from the Holy Quran.
4. Mr. Mohamed Jawad Larijani, Chairman of the Extended Coordinating Committee on the study of the draft project of establishing the Union, read out a brief report concerning the meeting of the afore-mentioned Committee.
5. In accordance with Paragraph 2, Article 4 of the Draft Statute of the Parliamentary Union of OIC Members, the Conference was chaired by His Excellency Ali Akbar Natiq Nouri, Speaker of the Islamic Consultative Council of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
6. On behalf of His Eminence Ayatollah Khamenei, Leader of the Iranian Islamic Revolution, Dr. Ali Akbar Velayati launched an appeal (Appendix 2) confirming the fact that Islam pioneered the calls to ensure that rule was founded on Sharia. He pointed out that the initiative purporting to set up the Organization of Islamic Parliaments was a valuable contribution to the process leading to effective participation of all Islamic States in finding adequate solutions suited to the Islamic world, given the freedom of action enjoyed by Parliaments, away from bilateral and international diplomatic constraints. His Eminence also expounded that this organization was called upon to face the challenge of the destructive cultural invasion bearing with it the tides of the culture of degradation and abasement, to seek appropriate means of disseminating the rich Islamic culture and its traditional values, and to strengthen the foundations of faith of the Muslim peoples. He pointed out that Islamic international conferences could contribute to enabling the voice of Islamic revival to reach non-Muslim peoples, particularly industrial communities, starved of spiritual values. Finally, His Eminence expressed the hope that some day the Islamic world would witness the establishment of a joint Islamic Council for all representatives of the Ummah and take advantage of all Islamic potentialities in decision-making favourable to the interests of Muslim peoples.
7. The Conference heard the address delivered by His Excellency Mohammed Khatami, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Chairman of the Islamic Summit Conference (Appendix 3) in which he expressed the hope that this meeting would open wide prospects for the aspirations of the Islamic peoples, lead to the establishment of the Organization of Islamic Parliaments that will strive to facilitate contacts and cooperation among representatives of peoples of the Islamic States, ensure their participation in confronting the successive international developments and find appropriate solutions to them. He pointed out that dependence on Shura (consultation) as a Quranic principle for cooperation and active participation in international decision-making will strengthen the potential of the Islamic States and save their peoples from having a marginal and passive role in dealing with international developments. His Excellency stressed that representation and Shura are parts of the heritage of the Islamic political culture and the people’s sovereignty is more of a noble Islamic principle originating from the teachings and precepts of the Holy Quran than a necessary requirement of life in a modern world community. He called for adherence to these values to safeguard the peoples’ rights and ensure their participation, as part of efforts to reach an equitable non-discriminatory representation, especially with regard to women’s rights. His Excellency asserted that the cooperation of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, as the official Institution comprising representatives of States, and of the Islamic Parliamentary Organization which represents the peoples, is a logical and reasonable expectation which should contribute to the process of pursuing the executive policy, harnessing the available potentialities of the Islamic Ummah and taking positive steps towards improving the political, economic and cultural situation of the Islamic world and securing prosperity, welfare and ascendancy for the Muslims.
8. In his address to the Conference, His Excellency Mr. Ali Akbar Nateq Nouri, Speaker of the Islamic Consultative Assembly of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Chairman of the Meeting, emphasized that the establishment of the Organization of Islamic Parliaments was an effective means of utilizing the huge potentialities and diverse resources which are in abundance in the Islamic States. Besides the closing of ranks and exchange of experience, such a contemplated action would expand the Islamic civil institutions and create economic and cultural infrastructures befitting the Islamic nations, especially as Legislative and Consultative Assemblies are not only political institutions but also a congregation of Ulemas, thinkers and intellectuals capable of decision-making and drawing the broad guidelines and policies of their respective Governments. His Excellency added that the legal nature and the special role of the Organization in keeping regular contacts with the Inter-Parliamentary Union and Parliaments of various countries can provide a sound framework to learn from the experience of other nations, while respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all Member States and abiding by the recognized principles enshrined in International Law and the Charters of the United Nations and the Organization of the Islamic Conference.
9. His Excellency Dr. Azeddine Laraki, Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, in the address he delivered on the occasion, emphasized that the establishment of the Organization of Islamic Parliaments was a momentous event in which the Islamic Ummah should take pride as it came to pursue the ceaseless efforts exerted by the Organization of the Islamic Conference to consolidate Islamic solidarity and serve the higher interests of the Islamic States. He added that it would facilitate popular contacts between the various parts of the Islamic Ummah, besides eliminating from the minds and hearts lingering illusions, misrepresentations and false concepts, to leave the door wide open for familiarization, mutual understanding and a proper rationale. His Excellency hailed the expansion of the scope of joint Islamic action and the positive response to it by Muslims and others all along the period that His Excellency Mohamed Khatami, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, chaired the Islamic Summit Conference.
10. H.E. Anders Johnsson, Secretary-General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, delivered a speech in which he expressed his joy at witnessing the birth of another model for cooperation among Parliaments. After referring to the basic elements of democracy, the right to disagree and the necessity of settling disputes through peaceful means as principles that enfold institutional parliamentary action and the Union’s objectives, he expressed the hope that the establishment of an Islamic Parliamentary Organization would enhance full representation in Islamic States. He hoped further that among the priorities of that Organization – in view of their Islamic common denomination – would be the encouragement of dialogue between civilizations, as current events recently demonstrated the dire need for such dialogue. On the other hand, Mr. Anders Johnsson pointed out the dialectical connection between international events and daily parliamentary action, hence the determination of parliamentarians to participate in international cooperation and the need to have joint action between international organizations and parliaments in view of the support that all peoples of the world could give to such organizations to ensure the success of their activities. Moreover, parliaments could play an active role in putting into effect at national level all resolutions adopted by the representatives of governments at international level. Mr. Anders invited the Conference to participate in the national parliaments symposium that would be organized by the Union, parallel with the Millennium Summit that U.N. General Assembly will hold in September 2000.
11. After hearing the foregoing, the meeting adjourned – order to give a chance to the press to vacate the premises, after which the Conference resumed its proceedings in camera.
12. The meeting proceeded to elect the remaining members of the Bureau as follows:
– Mr. Kaddoura, the Speaker of the
Syrian Parliamentary Assembly – Vice-Chairman
– Mr. Sissoko, Speaker of
Senegalese National Assembly – Vice-Chairman
13. The Conference adopted its work programme and Agenda appearing as documents 4 and 5 respectively.
14. The Conference decided to adopt as official working documents of the Conference the Appeal of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, His Eminence Ayatollah Khamenei and the Address of His Excellency Mohamed Khatami, President of the Islamic Republic and Chairman of the Islamic Summit.
15. It was agreed to pursue the proceedings of the Conference and hear the intervention of Heads of Delegations at Plenary Session level, and entrust an open-ended Drafting Committee, as support for the foregoing, to hear the observations and amendments of the delegations on the Draft Statute of the Organization and finalize its wording in order to be submitted to the afternoon Plenary Session the following day.
16. The following ideas and trends could be extracted from the interventions of the Heads of Delegations:
a) The determination to have the Union achieve the expectations of the peoples of the Islamic States concerning the promotion of democracy and active participation in decision-making and in assuming responsibilities, in addition to rooting in the principle of equality and freedom. Furthermore, the trend to ease contacts and understanding among Muslim peoples was manifested. In such manner the exchange of experience and opinions would lead to a common understanding and boost the efforts of the OIC in strengthening the bonds of unity and solidarity among Muslims, with a view to achieving more active and useful cooperation that would be reflected at peoples’ level through the mutual assistance of Member States. Such complementarity would achieve a higher degree of economic development, more intensive trade exchange and enrich cultural life and the civic patterns of behaviour of citizens.
b) It was emphasized that the principle of Shura was a basic rule inspired by the teachings of the Holy Quran, for has not Allah, exalted be His Name, instructed His Noble Messenger to consult his nation in all matters. Islam set the first rule along that course and thus simplified the procedural matters of the State to ensure proper representation and participation in the process of identification and decision-making.
c) It was decided that action should be taken to help the Union enable the Muslim peoples to face the challenges stemming from the speedy developments occurring in the contemporary world. Special stress was laid on the scientific and technological innovations that sprouted, alleviation from the throes of indigence, participation in rooting in the foundations of a new world order based on common ethical and humane values, rejection of violence and hegemony, immunizing youth against the evil of materialistic cultural invasion. This could be effected by strengthening their faith and spreading Islamic educational patterns, defending the image of Islam and emphasizing its cultural values and traditions that have enriched, as they still do, human civilization and nourish its spiritual values, without which there could exist no proper balance between the Ummah and the evils from which she suffers.
d) The endeavour to create the proper conditions at people’ level necessary to clear the atmosphere between Member States and enhance confidence building measures, and thus pave the way towards settling bilateral and regional disputes by peaceful means.
e) Spurring the people’s will in Islamic communities to persevere in upholding the just causes of the Ummah, in particular enabling the Palestinian people to exercise their inalienable rights to self-determination and to an independent State, with Al-Quds as capital and settling the Arab-Israeli conflict. Furthermore, it was deemed necessary to achieve national reconciliation among the warring Afghan factions, enable the Kashmiri peoples to exercise their right of self-determination, contribute to the return of the Muslims of Kosovo to their homes, secure and safe, safeguard their Muslim identity and rehabilitate them, guarantee the rights of Muslim communities and minorities in non-Islamic States and finally oppose Armenian aggression on the territory of Azerbaijan.
17. After comprehensive study and exhaustive discussions of the various proposals made by the participating delegations at the series of meetings held by the Drafting Committee during two days, the Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Mohamed Jawad Larijani submitted to the plenary session the amended Draft Statute of the Parliamentary Union of the OIC Members.
18. The Conference ratified the said Statute (Appendix 6), thus declaring the establishment of the Parliamentary Union of OIC Members.
19. Having established the Union through adoption of its Statute the Conference, decided that respective Parliaments of all delegations who have participated in this meeting be considered as the founding members of the Union.
20. After distributing among all Parliaments participating in the meeting a form to appoint their members in the Council, the Conference appointed the members of the Council. Their names appear in Appendix 7.
21. The Conference invited the Parliaments which have not yet appointed their members to do so by subsequently notifying the Chairman of the delegation hosting the current Conference so that they may become the members of the Council.
22. The Conference elected the 6 members of the executive committee according to geographical distribution. They are:
- For the African Group:- H.E. Mr. Ali Nouhoum Diallo, Speaker of the
National Assembly of Mali.
- H.E. Mr. Saleh Fadul Koyo, Member of
Parliament of Chad.
- For the Asian Group: - H.E. Mr. Ishak Latukonsina, Member of the
Parliament of Indonesia.
- H.E. Prof. Ali Ashraf, Member of Parliament of Bangladesh.
- For the Arab Group: - H.E. Dr. Yousif Ibn Ibrahim Al-Salloom,
Member of the Shura Council of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
- H.E. Mr. Abdel Wahab Al-Rady, Speaker of
the House of Representatives of the Kingdom of Morocco.
23. The Conference appointed the representative of the Islamic Consultative Assembly of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in its capacity of representative of the delegation hosting the current Conference, as member in the Executive Committee. It decided that the representative of the delegation hosting the following Conference which will be determined by the Council at its meeting to be held immediately following the conclusion of the activities of this Founding Conference, as member in the Executive Committee.
24. The Conference decided that Tehran, capital of the Islamic Republic of Iran, shall be the permanent headquarters of the Union.
25. The Founding Conference addressed a cable of thanks and tribute to His Eminence Ali Khamenei, Leader of the Iranian Islamic Revolution and to His Excellency Mr. Mohamed Khatami, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Chairman of the Islamic Summit Conference, expressing to them the highest appreciation and sincerest thanks of the participating delegations for the generous hospitality and genuine Islamic welcome extended to them by the leadership, government and people of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
26. The Conference presented warmest thanks and highest satisfaction to His Excellency Mr. Ali Akbar Natiq Nouri, Speaker of the Islamic Consultative Assembly of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Chairman of the meeting, for his masterly conduct of the proceedings of the Conference and for the wisdom and tolerance he displayed. This facilitated the deliberations of the Conference and paved the way for the coronation of its activities through the establishment of the Parliamentary Union of OIC Members.
*list of reservations appears in Appendix 8.
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
3 Rabiul Awal 1420H,
17 June 1999.