End of the Proceedings of the 28th ICFM

OIC Press Release

27 June 2001

End of the Proceedings of the 28th ICFM

The proceedings of the Twenty-eighth Session of the ICFM, held in Mali, Bamako, for three days, ended on Wednesday 6 Rabi-ul-Thani 1422H (June 27, 2001).

H.E. Modibo Sidibe, Foreign Affairs Minister of the Republic of Mali, delivered the closing speech of the meeting. In his speech, H.E. the Minister commended the efforts made by all the delegations and praised the spirit of solidarity which prevailed over all the sessions. He also commended the cooperative spirit shown by the delegations to ensure the successful outcome of the Conference which contributed to the development of joint Islamic action, and to the strengthening of the ties of brotherhood within the Islamic Ummah.

The Conference approved the admission of the Republic of the Cote d’Ivoire as Member of the Organisation whose membership comprises now 56 States.

At the end of the closing session, a Final Declaration was issued, including all the resolutions adopted after examination by the Five Committees set up by the Conference to discuss Political Issues foremost of which the question of Palestine and Al-Quds Al-Sharif; Economic, Scientific and Technological Affairs; Cultural, Social and Information Affairs; Legal Affairs; in addition to Muslim Minorities Affairs and Statutory and General Questions.

Concerning the political questions, the Declaration hailed the heroic Intifada of the Palestinian people, "the auspicious Al-Aqsa Intifada", and called on all Member States to continue to reinforce their solidarity with the Palestinian people and to support their just and legitimate struggle until they recover their rights, exercise their national sovereignty and establish their independent state with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital. The Declaration also called on the UN Security Council to shoulder its responsibilities and provide the necessary international protection to the Palestinian people both at Al-Quds and the other Palestinian territories.

The Conference also expressed its indignation at the position adopted by the United States of America in the Security Council which refuses, as a result of the US veto, to provide an international protection for the Palestinian people. Yet, this attitude is inconsistent with its responsibilities as a sponsor of the peace process and as a guarantor of international peace and security. The Conference also decided to suspend all forms of political relations with the Israeli government as long as its aggression and blockade continue against the Palestinian people and their National Authority and Israel refuses to implement the relevant UN resolutions. The Conference also decided to implement the provisions of the Islamic boycott of Israel.

On the other hand, the Conference commended the resistance of the Arab Syrian citizens in the Golan Heights against occupation and expressed its support for Lebanon in its efforts to liberate all its territories within its internationally-recognized borders – including the Shabaa Farms and the management of its water resources. The Conference also denounced the Israeli expansionist schemes and condemned Israel’s non-abidance by UN Resolution No. 497, 1981, as well as the imposed rule it continues to exercise on the Occupied Syrian Golan Heights and its threats against Syria.

Concerning the Afghani issue, the Conference called on all warring factions to accept a ceasefire and cooperate with a view to setting up a broad-based national government representing all the Afghani people. The Conference also reaffirmed that there can be no military settlement of this issue. The Conference asked the OIC Secretary General to take all necessary measures towards opening a humanitarian relief office to operate under the aegis of the Organization in Afghanistan with the aim of facilitating the operations of providing humanitarian assistance to the Afghani people.

The Conference called for a speedy return of refugees and displaced people to their homes in Bosnia-Herzegovina, commending the Islamic states and organizations that volunteered to finance the "Credit Fund" set up especially for this return on the occasion of the first conference of donors held in Doha, State of Qatar, on 15 May 2001.

The Conference renewed it support for the efforts exerted by the President of the Republic of Somalia, Mr Abdelkacem Salad Hassan, aiming at achieving peace and national unity in his country, and urged all Somali parties to respond favourably to that call for peace.

The Conference reiterated its support for the self-determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir on the basis of relevant UN Resolutions, denouncing the blatant violations of human rights in Kashmir and calling on Member States to take all necessary measures to convince India to put an immediate end to these violations.

In accordance with the provisions of international and humanitarian laws, and with relevant UN Resolutions, the Conference called for a rapid settlement of the problem of Kuwaitis and other countries’ nationals, prisoners of war and missing in action, in co-operation with the International Committee of the Red Cross. In order to achieve good neighbourly relations, the Conference stressed the necessity to respect the safety and territorial integrity of the State of Kuwait as well as the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of Iraq. It called for stopping all illegitimate action, taken outside the framework of relevant Un Resolutions, that Iraq is currently victim of.

The Conference commended the efforts exerted by the African countries to ensure economic welfare and development, in particular the creation of the African Economic Community aiming at the establishment of a gradual economic complementarity in Africa. It called on the international community to write off all African debts, a comprehensive and durable solution to the problem of African indebtedness.

The Conference urged all countries imposing unilateral sanctions on OIC Member States to put an end to such practices that run counter to the principles of international law and the UN Charter. It expressed its solidarity with the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Republic of Sudan as well as other countries subject to unilateral economic sanctions.

On the other hand, the Conference called for the establishment of a cohesive Islamic entity able to face the international commercial competition imposed by globalization, and urged Member States to develop communication techniques and information technologies in order to protect their cultural and social heritage, make their local heritage attain universality, and bridge the gap between them and the countries which possess these technologically advanced tools.

Concerning the Muslim Minorities in non-Member States, the Conference issued a number of resolutions aiming at the improvement of the situation of these minorities, the protection of their rights and the preservation of their religious and cultural identity, by means of contacts it requests the OIC General Secretariat to make with the states in which these Muslim Minorities and Communities live, in order to identify the problems and urgent needs of these minorities and improve their situation. In this respect, the Conference approved the resolutions adopted by the meeting held on the sidelines of the on-going Session by the Seven-Minister Committee in charge of following-up the implementation of the 1996 peace agreement between the Moro National Liberation Front and the Government of Philippines and to safeguard the results reached following the agreement, notably by establishment of peace in the Southern part of the country.

In economic affairs, the Conference stressed the necessity to find the ways and means to alleviate the negative impact of globalization on the economies of the Islamic world. It also called on the international community to take suitable measures to ensure that all countries get a fair share of the benefits of globalization so that the benefits of the developing countries may balance their burden of responsibilities. The Conference also insisted on the importance of meeting the challenges of globalization by calling for the full participation of the developing countries, and of the countries whose economies are in transition, in the global decision-making process pertaining to economic and financial policies.

The Conference also called on the developing countries, including OIC Member States, to join the World Trade Organization. Political considerations, it insisted, should not become a stumbling block against membership of the WTO. The Conference also called for the rejection of all attempts to incorporate issues unrelated to trade, such as labour and environmental standards in the WTO agenda, or to link such issues to commercial transactions, for such attempts may have a negative impact on the existence of an equitable, free, fair, multi-lateral trade environment.

The Conference reiterated the need to reinforce economic and commercial cooperation between Member States to achieve the highest possible degree of economic integration. It insisted in this regard on the importance of speeding up the implementation of 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) and in accordance with the working procedures referred to in the implementation and follow-up clause.

In cultural affairs, the Conference stressed the importance of the unity of the Islamic Ummah, the harmony of its cultural choices and the coordination of its field work in various sectors, taking into account the national and local cultural specificities of the Islamic peoples through the support of the organizations working in the fields of culture, education and scientific research, with a view to ensuring the implementation of projects in those fields, particularly in the fields of Islamic culture and civilization.

The Conference called on Member States and Islamic organizations and institutions, to contribute to financing the implementation of the ISESCO Cultural projects to be adopted by the Consultative Council to implement the Cultural Strategy.

The Conference also recommended ISESCO to convene as soon as possible the First Session of the Islamic Conference of Education Ministers with a view to contributing to the implementation of the Cultural Strategy.

In the press conference which followed the end of the proceedings, Dr. Abdelwahed Belkeziz, the Secretary General of the OIC, stressed the importance of the Resolutions issued by this session. He underlined the spirit of cooperation shown by the delegations contributing thereby to a clearer perception of the options available to joint Islamic Action. He pointed out that this session contributed to the effectiveness of the development efforts in Africa. In response to a question by a journalist, the Secretary General indicated that the OIC acts in coordination and interaction with the other international organizations, namely the United Nations, the Non-aligned Movement, the Organisation of African Unity and the League of Arab States, whose members are also members of the OIC. The Secretary General paid tribute to these organizations for their understanding and fruitful cooperation regarding issues of common concern, particularly the cause of Palestine and Al-Quds Al-Sharif, the embargo imposed on the people of Iraq, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kashmir and other questions of common concern.