REPORT OF THE SECRETARY GENERAL
“THE SECURITY AND SoliDARITY OF THE ISLAMIC STATES”
TO THE TWENTY-SIXTH SESSION OF THE ISLAMIC CONFERENCE OF FOREIGN MINISTERS
OUAGADOUGOU – BURKINA FASO, 28 JUNE – 1 JULY 1999
Ever-since its inception, the OIC took interest in the issue of security and solidarity. It exerted painstaking efforts to promote this noble concept among Member States in order to establish sovereignty, independence and their national rights. This interest then crystallized in the adoption of Resolution No.16/11-P by the Eleventh Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers which inter-alia reiterated that “the security of any Islamic country is the concern of all Islamic States” and that it should be promoted through cooperation and solidarity among them in conformity with the principles and objectives enshrined in the OIC Charter. Proceeding therefrom, the Eleventh Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers decided also to an intergovernmental expert group to consider the necessary means to safeguard the security of the Islamic States in various fields.
2. The Eleventh Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers also reaffirmed the full and permanent sovereignty of Islamic States over their natural resources and expressed the determination of Member States to promote the Ummah’s common spiritual, social and economic values. The Conference also decided to establish an Inter-governmental Group of Experts to recommend concrete measures for strengthening the security of Islamic States in various fields.
3. The Group of Experts, composed of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Gambia, Republic of the Gambia, Republic of Indonesia, Republic of Iraq and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan 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 measures for their implementation.
4. Islamic Conferences of Foreign Ministers reiterated their firm resolve to strengthen the security of member states, through cooperation and solidarity among Islamic countries, in accordance with the objectives and principles of the Charters of the OIC and the United Nations. They called upon the member states to take appropriate steps individually and collectively to implement the recommendations of the Group of Experts.
5. The Seventh Islamic Summit Conference in its Resolution 18/7-P(I.S.) reaffirmed these principles and the principles contained in the Dakar Declaration on this subject. It also reaffirmed the full and permanent sovereignty of the Islamic countries and peoples over their natural resources and economic activities. The Conference expressed the Member States’ determination to preserve the Islamic values in all fields. It underlined the inevitable need to respect the principles of international law relating to the sovereignty, political independence and territorial integrity of the States and not to resort to the use of force in international relations and settlement of disputes as well as non-intervention in the internal affairs of States, considered essential requirements for the security of Islamic States. The Conference requested the Secretary General to constitute an Inter-Governmental Group of Experts to define the recommendations contained in the study on the issue of the Security and Solidarity of Islamic States in the light of ongoing developments.
6. In implementation of that Resolution, the Secretary General set up an Expert Group from fifteen Member States, taking into consideration the three OIC Groups (African, Arab and Asian).
7. In response to the invitation extended by the Secretary General, the First Meeting of the Group was held at the Headquarters of the General Secretariat, Jeddah on 22 Rabi II 1416H, corresponding to 19 September 1995. The Experts agreed that the concept of the security of Islamic State must be comprehensive, whether as regards the type of security or its objective so that it includes protection of sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence; or whether from the geographical and structural aspect, to include all the Member States without any distinction.
8. The Group affirmed the concept that each Member States has the right to safeguard its national security and territorial integrity. It was of the view that strengthening the security and solidarity of Islamic States in the context of ongoing developments requires intensifying Islamic cooperation in all the economic, social and cultural fields in accordance with the resolutions of Summit Conferences or Foreign Ministers Conferences.
9. The Group of Experts underlined the importance, the necessity of crystallizing an action oriented approach on coordination and cooperation regarding political and security issues based on commitment to the principles and values of Islam as well as the provisions of the noble Islamic Sharia, considered as the shield against imminent dangers, the optimum example to realize invincibility and the bulwark against defamatory campaigns hostile to Islam and Muslims.
10. The Group of Experts also recommended promotion of common elements regarding establishing the essentials of the security of Islamic States in the various fields, and the necessity of formulating and strengthening confidence-building measures as well as settling disputes by peaceful means. They also emphasized the necessity of the solidarity of the 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 deter the aggression and remove its consequences, while taking into consideration that this aggression or the threat thereof constitutes a violation of international security and peace.
11. The Group welcomed the efforts exerted by Islamic States to make the Middle East, South Asia, South East Asia and Africa areas free from all weapons of mass destruction. This should include all states in these regions without exception, including Israel. It recommended that these efforts be continued until their pursued objective is achieved.
12. The Group stressed the importance of the continued collective condemnation by Member States of the phenomenon of terrorism and the earnest endeavour to safeguard and promote the rights of Muslim communities and minorities in non-Member States in accordance with international conventions.
13. The Group of Experts recommended to consider a group of necessary tools to realize the security and solidarity of Islamic States including:
a) 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 due to it in order that it may perform that role.
b) The Organization of the Islamic Conference and its General Secretariat must participate in formulating an integrated concept of the security of the Member States in the light of its distinguished expertise in the efforts aimed at arriving at just settlements for international problems in various regions of the world.
c) 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.
d) Islamic States are to exchange their research and studies relating to international security in general and the security of Islamic States in particular.
14. The Eighth Session of the Islamic Summit Conference and the Twenty-fifth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers reaffirmed relevant Islamic resolutions, particularly the permanent and full sovereignty of the Islamic States and peoples over their natural resources, economic activities and cultural resources . The two sessions also emphasized the need for respect of the principles of international law concerning the sovereignty, political independence and territorial integrity of states, non-use of force in international relations, peaceful settlement of disputes, and non-intervention and non-interference in the internal affairs of States as essential prerequisites for the security of Islamic States.
15. The two sessions underlined the concept that “the security of any Islamic country is the concern of all Islamic country”. Both sessions recognized, in accordance with the principles enshrined in the OIC Charters that small states are particularly vulnerable to external threats and acts of interference in their internal affairs. They called on the Member States to extend assistance, upon request, to small states in order to strengthen their security in accordance with the principles of the Charter of the Organization of the Islamic Conference.
The Secretary General is of the view that the formulation of an Islamic Strategy to Safeguard the security and territorial integrity of Islamic States may be based on the lofty meanings and noble purposes contained in the Makkah Al-Mukarramah Declration, Dakar Declaration, Casablanca Declaration. Tehran Declaration and other relevant Islamic resolutions which reaffirmed that any threat against any Member States is a threat against international peace and security, include the peace and security of Islamic States.
The Secretary General is of the view that the Member States are invited to act individually and collectively in the framework of the OIC, the UN and other international and regional organizations to eliminate such a threat by taking appropriate measures aimed at promoting cooperation in international legality aimed at strengthening the security and stability of all the Member States.
The Secretary General reaffirms the importance of the recommendations adopted by the extend Group of Experts on their first meeting which were approved by the Eighth Session of the Islamic Summit Conference. The latter requested the Group to continue to follow their efforts in this respect. The Secretary General is also of the view that the Group must continue to discuss the necessary mechanisms and tools for achieving the security and solidarity of the Islamic Ummah which the Group recommended some of them during its previous meeting:
- 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 due to it in order that it may perform that role.
- The Organization of the Islamic Conference and its General Secretariat must participate in formulating an integrated concept of the security of the Member States in the light of its distinguished expertise in the efforts aimed at arriving at just settlements for international problems in various regions of the world.
- 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 for a 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.
16. In implementation of operative paragraph No. 8 of Resolution No. 20/8-P(I.S) of the Eighth Session of the Islamic Summit Conference and Resolution No. 21/25-P of the Twenty-fifth Session of the ICFM, the Group of Expert on the Security and Solidarity of Islamic States held its third meetisng at the seat of the OIC General Secretairat in Jeddah on 2-3 March 1999. As no specific views or recommendations were submitted in the meeting, the participating delegations agreed on resumption of the Third Meeting of the Governmental Group of Experts on 28 and 29 Dhul Qida 1419H (16-17 March 1999) to consider views which some Member States wished to submit to the Session.
17. At its Second Session, the Group of Experts considered the views submitted by the delegations of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Islamic Republic of Iran and Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The Meeting noted that the views reflected general orientations included in the recommendations of the Second Meeting of the Group and approved by both the Eighth Session of the Islamic Summit Conference and the Twenty-fifth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers.
18. The Group confirmed the importance of submission by the OIC Member States and the General Secretariat of working papers including specific ideas on how to put the recommendations of the Second Meeting of the Group into practice. It Group also confirmed the necessity for the General Secretariat to convene meetings of the Group at the beginning o the second half of the Session of the Ministerial Conference, and the necessity of complete and regular attendance by the Member States at the level of experts so as to enable the Group to perform its task as required.
19. Convinced with the importance of elaborating a comprehensive and integrated concept of the security of Islamic States the Group proposed to the Member States to contact their respective research centres and urge them to cooperate with the OIC and communicate to the latter available information as well as studies and research, prepared and carried out by these Centres in this respect.
20. Following his review of the report of the third meeting of the Group of Experts, the Secretary General underlined the importance of the recommendations adopted by the Experts at the second and third meetings with regard to the proposals relating to the role of the OIC General Secretariat, the Secretary General pointed out that since its inception, the OIC has been according extreme attention to this subject and that it will continue exerting its utmost to implement the proposals and recommendations of the Group of Experts.
- The Secretary General is of the view that the Group may continue carying out its task and holding more meetings to promote the concept of security and solidarity, develop its recommendations and to consider other means that would ensure its ability to keep abreast with the new developments taking place at the international arena.
- The Secretary General presents this report to the Twenty-sixth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers for consideration and appropriate action.