REPORT OF THE SECRETARY GENERAL
“PRESERVATION OF THE SECURITY AND TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY OF THE ISLAMIC STATES”
TO THE TWENTY-SIXTH SESSION OF THE ISLAMIC CONFERENCE OF FOREIGN MINISTERS
OUAGADOUGOU – BURKINA FASO, 28 JUNE – 1 JULY 1999
Proceeding from the established conviction in the principle unanimously expressed by all Islamic Conferences that “the Security of each Muslim State is the concern of all Islamic States and has to be strengthened through cooperation and solidarity among them in accordance with the objectives and principles of the Charter of the OIC”, it is necessary that Member States continue their endeavours to promote their security and safeguard their independence and territorial integrity. The Member States crystallized this concept in a clear and frank manner during the 11th ICFM. They also affirmed the full and permanent sovereignty of Islamic States over their natural resources, and expressed their determination to promote spiritual, social and economic values common to the Ummah.
- To underline the importance of this matter, and in response to the earnest and collective desire of Member States, the Conference decided to establish an Inter-governmental Group of Experts to recommend concrete measures for strengthening the security of Islamic States in various fields. The Group of Experts met in 1980 and 1983. Its reports and recommendations were submitted to the 14th Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers which adopted them and requested the Member States to take appropriate and immediate measures for their implementation.
- Pursuant to this orientation, which faithfully and sincerely reflects the principles enshrined in the Charters of the OIC and the UN as well as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, foremost of which the right of states of freedom, justice, independence, durable and complete sovereignty of Islamic States and the rest of nations and States over their natural resources and economic activities, Islamic resolutions continued to underline the importance of the commitment by all States of the world, and in particular neighbouring countries, to the principles of international law in terms of the respect for territorial sovereignty and integrity of other States, not resorting to force in international relations, the peaceful settlement of disputes and non-intervention in the internal affairs of other States as basic prerequisites for the security of the Islamic States.
- Leaders of the Islamic States have been keen to underscore these noble concepts. This was clearly reflected in the Casablanca Declaration adopted by the Seventh Islamic Summit Conference. The latter reiterated the principles included in the Dakar Declaration which underlined to the dialogue, mutual understanding and non-resort to the use of force in international relations and settlement of disputes, and non-intervention in international affairs of States as it prerequisites for security and solidarity.
- In view of the importance of the subject, which constitutes an integral part of the security and solidarity of Islamic States, and proceeding from the great interest displayed by leaders of Islamic States, the Seventh Session of the Islamic Summit Conference requested the Secretary General to set up an inter-governmental experts group to consider the recommendations included in the study on the issue of the security and solidarity of Islamic States in the light of the on going developments.
- In implementation of the above-mentioned resolution, the Secretary General set up an extended group from fifteen Member States. Since its formation, the Group held two meetings at the seat of the General Secretariat in the city of Jeddah. The first was on September 19th, 1995 and the second on October 23rd, 1996 under several successive circumstances, events and developments witnessed in the Islamic and international arena. The recommendations adopted by the experts reiterated the concept included in the resolutions and documents adopted by the Summit Conferences namely “the right of each Member States to preserve its national security, independence and territorial integrity. The Experts also agreed that the concept of the security of the Islamic States should be comprehensive.
- The Experts were of the view that addressing the issue should lead to the promotion of Islamic solidarity i.e. the security of any Islamic State is the concern of all Member States. They also underlined the necessity of crystallizing an action
- Being aware of the great importance of the realization of security and stability in the Islamic world, without which neither its nations nor states could realize their aspirations in development and progress toward free and decent life, the Eighth Session of the Islamic Summit Conference and the 25th ICFM expressed, in the two resolutions adopted in this respect, their commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and regional security of Iraq. They called for halting the acts of intervention in Iraq and refraining in future from any such acts in order to preserve the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq and the inviolability of its borders, in implementation of the orientations and principles of security and solidarity among Member States, stipulated in Islamic resolutions, declarations adopted by Islamic Summits as well as the conclusions of the recommendations of the Group of Experts and Eminent Persons.
- Safeguarding the security and territorial integrity of Member States is not confined only to the above-mentioned factors. Indeed environmental problems have become of no less importance than the issues of security. Proceeding with the establishment of a nuclear weapon free zone in the Middle East. South Asia, South East Asia and Africa that would cover all States of the region without any exception including Israel, is one of the major factors that should represent a major contribution to the promotion of security, solidarity and good-neighbourliness in these regions in which most of the Islamic States are located.
- The Secretary General is of the view that there is a need to pay special attention to the results and recommendations reached by the Expert Group and the necessary means and measures recommended by the Group for the promotion of the security of Member States. These included the following:
oriented approach on coordination and cooperation regarding political and security issues and formulating and strengthening confidence-building measures as well as settling disputes by peaceful means. They also emphasized the necessity of the cooperation of Member States, individually and collectively. In case the Member States, or any one of them, was subjected to aggression or the threat of aggression, so as to reverse the aggression and remove its consequences.
- Consolidating the capabilities of the Organization of the Islamic Conference so as to enable it to play a more effective role regarding issues on the security and solidarity of Islamic States, together with providing all the necessary resources so that it may perform that role.
- The Organization of the Islamic Conference must participate in formulating an integrated concept of the security of the member States in
- To proceed with coordinating with international organizations that include members of the OIC as well as with other international organizations; and to intensify coordination and cooperation among Islamic States in international fora concerned with issues relevant to international security.
- Islamic States are to exchange their research and studies relating to international security in general and the security of Islamic States in particular.
the light of its distinguished expertise in the efforts aimed at arriving at just settlements for international problems in various regions of the world.
11. The Secretary General reiterates that safeguarding the security and territorial integrity of Member States may be based on the Makkah Al-Mukarramah Declaration, the Dakar Declaration, the Casablanca Declaration and the Tehran Declaration all of which confirmed that “any threat against any Member States is a direct threat against international peace and security and the security of Member States”. He is also of the view that Member States are invited to act individually and collectively within the framework of the OIC, the UN and other international and regional organizations for the elimination of such a threat with the aim of promoting the security and stability of all Member States through the adoption of appropriate measures to enhance cooperation among themselves.
12. The Secretary General believes that in addition to the importance of according due attention to the issues of security and solidarity, including safeguarding of the territorial integrity of Islamic States, not allowing any state to intervene or carry out aggression against another State. Member States are requested to accord due attention, in the light of the provisions of the Islamic resolutions, to the observations and recommendations submitted by the above-mentioned Group and the E.P.G. especially with regard to the issue of small States which are permanently subjected to external threats and acts of missionaries. It is important that Member States extend, as soon as possible, assistance to small States upon request with the aim of promoting their security and stability.
13. The Secretary General is of the view that the preservation of the solidarity, security, independence, territorial integrity, increased cooperation and encouragement of dialogue and exchange of views, represents the ideal means for the realization of the hopes of the Islamic nations and states to enjoy security, stability, territorial integrity, sovereignty over their natural resources and economic activities.
14. The Secretary General submits this report to the Twenty-sixth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers for consideration and appropriate action.