Conclusion of the 24th Session of the Islamic Commission for Economic, Social and Cultural Affairs

OIC Press Release

14 February 2001

Conclusion of the 24th Session of the Islamic Commission for Economic, Social and Cultural Affairs

Delegates of Member States of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, participating in the deliberations of the 24th Session of the Islamic Commission for Economic, Social and Cultural Affairs, sent a cable of thanks and gratitude to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Fahad in Abdul-Azeez Al-Saoud of Saudi Arabia, for the support and care he is devoting to the OIC and its various Institutions which enabled them to play their role successfully. At the same time, they commended the overwhelming hospitality with which they are received when OIC meetings are hosted by the Kingdom.

Representatives of Member States had concluded on Tuesday 19th Zul Quada 1421 H (13 February 2201), the deliberations of the 24th Session of the Islamic Commission for Economic, Social and Cultural Affairs. During their meetings, they considered a number of economic , social, cultural and scientific issues of concern to the Islamic world. A report was adopted on the results of the meeting including several recommendations in fields of concern to the Commission. At the economic level they underlined the need to accelerate the process of taking practical steps toward the realization of economic integration of Member States. Such integration should take the form of an Islamic common market. They also emphasized the importance of developing the international financial market so as to redress the obstacles leading to its destabilization, and promoting multilateral commercial exchange system by urging the World Trade Organization to facilitate the adherence by all states to its membership.

With regard to the economic problems facing several states of the Islamic world, especially Palestine, the Commission invited all parties concerned to accelerate extension of the approved necessary assistance to the Palestinian people to help them build thier national economy. It also stressed the need to give priority to exported Palestinian products and to exempt them from tax and customs. Member States were urged to set fund raising popular committees with the aim of supporting the intifadah and ensuring immediate assistance to the Palestinian people in the hard conditions they experience.

The Commission also considered the economic problems facing by the least developed landlocked and low income Member States, with the aim of eradicating poverty prevailing therein. In addition, the Commission discussed the conditions of states hit by drought and natural calamities, and recommended the approval of assistance to help them overcome such predicaments.

As for Member States experiencing hardships because of political conditions and measures resulting from economic problems, as is the case of the Great Socialist Peoples’ Libyan Arab Jamaherya, Bosnia Herzegovina, Republic of Guinea, Republic of Albania, Afghanistan and others, participants adopted recommendations inviting Member States , which have the means to do so, to extend further material and moral support to the affected States so as to alleviate the negative effects of the conditions to which they were subjected, and to help them reinvigorate their economies. Members of the Commission expressed their thanks and appreciation to the Islamic Development Bank and Member States which always taken the initiative to extend assistance foremost of which the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the State United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Tunisia and others.

At the level of cultural and social affairs, the agenda was full of subjects on which the participants approved a set of recommendations aimed at preparing the means that should prepare the Islamic Ummah to the 21st century, equipping it with modern mechanisms, programs strategies, while benefiting from its genuine cultural heritage which is deeply rooted in history with the true Islamic faith as its source.

In this regard, members of the Commission recommended the extension of support to the OIC Organs and Institutions active in the above-mentioned fields with the aim of making the role for which it was established successful and enhancing it for the realization of further achievement.

The Commission requested the Secretary General to follow- these subjects up and to report thereon to the 28th Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers.