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"As is" reference - not a United Nations document

Source: Organization of the Islamic Conference
27 June 2002


FINAL COMMUNIQUE
OF THE TWENTY-NINTH SESSION OF THE
ISLAMIC CONFERENCE OF FOREIGN MINISTERS

(SESSION OF SOLIDARITY AND DIALOGUE)
KHARTOUM — REPUBLIC OF THE SUDAN
14-16 RABIUL THANI 1423H (25-27 JUNE 2002)

POLITICAL AFFAIRS

Muslim Communities and Minorities

LEGAL AFFAIRS

Information and Communication

ECONOMIC AFFAIRS

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

CULTURAL AFFAIRS

ADMINISTRATIVE AND FINANCIAL AFFAIRS

ORGANIC, STATUTORY, AND GENERAL MATTERS

Candidacies for International Posts

CLOSING SESSION

1. In response to the kind invitation by the Government of the Republic of the Sudan, the Twenty-ninth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers (Session of Solidarity and Dialogue) was convened in Khartoum, Republic of the Sudan, on 14-16 Rabiul Thani 1423H (25-27 June 2002).

2. The Conference was opened with a graceful recitation of verses from the holy Quran. The Conference then extended its condolences and expressed its sympathy to the Islamic Republic of Iran because of the earthquake which shook it and a minute of silence was observed in memory of the victims.

3. His Excellency President Omar Hassan Ahmed Al-Bashir, President of the Republic of the Sudan, delivered a speech in which he welcomed the participating Ministers and members of delegations and described the Conference as a sizable cohesive international gathering, where we should strive in earnest to strengthen solidarity and consolidate ties until this becomes the living reality of our relations as states, peoples, regimes, and governments.

His Excellency the President asserted that our peoples are bound by spiritual, cultural, and civilizational ties, all springing from one source to which they look for guidance in their daily lives, their systems of government, their legislations, and their worship. He also asserted that today's world is different, that the new challenges are multifarious, and that the countries of the world, including the major industrial countries, have now realized that they can no longer face those challenges alone.

His Excellency stressed the enormous responsibility that the Conference has assumed in working to restore the balance in the shaken international relations and declared that the Islamic world with its glorious civilization, positive values, abundant resources, strategic location, and capacity for giving and contributions to all aspects of human advancement cannot be ignored or disregarded, let alone wiped out in what is referred to as the clash of civilizations.

His Excellency the President recalled that Khartoum hosted the Summit of the Arab Leaders following the June 1967 setback which voiced the three famous “NOs”. As it hosts this great Islamic Conference, Khartoum sends forth another three NOs to the whole world:

No going back on our religion but steadfast attachment to its guidelines with wisdom and sagacity.

No terrorism in Islam but peace, tolerance, interaction, and defense of self, land, honor, and religion.

No division or dispersal but unity, solidarity, and dialogue.

His Excellency the President concluded his speech by inviting the Member States to participate effectively in the project to reform the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) to enable it to assume the historic role entrusted to it. His Excellency then declared the opening of proceedings of the 29th Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers.

4. The Conference decided to consider the speech of H.E. the President of the Republic of the Sudan as a referential and guiding document for the Conference.

5. The three OIC regional groups then successively took the floor: H.E. the Foreign Minister of Guinea, for the African Group, Mr. Farouq Kaddoumi, Head of the Political Department of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), for the Arab Group, and H.E. Dr. Nour Hassan, the Foreign Minister of Indonesia, for the Asian Group. They all expressed their hearty appreciation to the government and people of the Republic of the Sudan for the warm welcome and generous hospitality extended to the delegations and participants as well as the efforts deployed to make a success of the Conference. They commended the wisdom, courage, spirit of initiative, and far-sighted vision of H.E. President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir.

6. The opening session was also marked by speeches from H.E. the Foreign Minister of the State of Qatar, representing the Ninth Islamic Summit, H.E. the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Mali, H.E. the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States (LAS), H.E. the Secretary-General of the OAU, the representative of the UN Secretary-General, H.E. the Secretary-General of Islamic Dawa and Relief, H.E. the Secretary-General of CEN-SAD, and H.E. the Secretary-General of the GCC. They commended the role played by the OIC and reaffirmed the determination of their organizations to boost and develop cooperation with the OIC.

7. His Excellency the OIC Secretary-General gave a speech in which he welcomed the Ministers and members of delegations participating in the Conference. He expressed his deep appreciation and gratitude to the governments of the Republic of the Sudan for hosting this session and for the efficient arrangements made for the Conference. His Excellency also expressed his thanks and appreciation for the warm welcome and the ingenuously generous hospitality extended to all the delegations by the brotherly government and people of the Sudan. His Excellency also thanked and paid tribute to H.E. the Foreign Minister of Mali, Chairman of the 28th Session of ICFM, for the commendable and sustained efforts he exerted throughout his chairmanship. His Excellency stressed that the challenges facing the Islamic world are grave and unprecedented, of a kind that Muslims have never faced before. These challenges are particularly complex, intricate, and daunting, and therefore require exceptional efforts and effective and carefully designed measures to stop these forces. To meet these challenges, we need first and foremost a unified political will to mobilize the public, and put an end to discord and divisions in thinking and policies and to the disunity that marginalizes and weakens us. We can achieve this result only through collective, sincere, and purposeful action, and the capacity and motivation to respect the resolutions and recommendations we adopt and to implement the agreements we sign.

His Excellency also called for tackling the real causes of terrorism and organizing an international conference under the aegis of the United Nations to arrive at an internationally agreed definition of terrorism and to develop a common and systematic response to the phenomenon of terrorism.

His Excellency stressed that the Palestinian cause represents one of the major international issues. A rapid succession of events took place in Palestine due to the escalating Israeli violations and utter disregard for the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions and, as we noted, after the initial victories achieved by the latest Intifada, the 11th of September events had an adverse effect on the Palestinian national struggle and allowed the Zionist interests to distort the image of this resistance to such an extent that it was degraded as terrorism.

8. The Conference unanimously elected H.E. Dr. Mustafa Osman Ismail, Minister of External Affairs of the Sudan, as Chairman of the 29th Session of the ICFM. His Excellency the Minister delivered a speech, welcoming the Islamic delegations, participating in the 29th Conference and stressing that the Republic of the Sudan, during its chairmanship of the Ministerial Conference and in cooperation with all the Member States, will seek to strengthen Islamic cooperation and solidarity at regional and international levels.

9. The Conference unanimously elected the other members of the Bureau, namely: The Republic of Mozambique, the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, and the State of Palestine, as Vice-Chairmen, and Mali as Rapporteur General of the Conference.

10. The Conference adopted the Report of the Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) Preparatory to the current session held in Jeddah from 7-10 Rabiul Awwal 1423H (19-22 May 2002).

11. The Conference adopted the Draft Agenda and Programme of Work prepared by the Senior Officials Meeting (SOM), and the work was distributed among the Plenary and four Committees, namely: The Political Affairs Committee, the Economic and Social Affairs Committee, the Cultural and Islamic Affairs Committee, and the Administrative and Financial Affairs Committee. Alongside the Conference, meetings were convened by the Eight-Member Committee on the situation of Muslims in Southern Philippines, the Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir, the Contact Group on Sierra Leone, the African Sahel Committee, and the Contact Group on Somalia.

12. The Conference and the Committees took note with appreciation of the reports prepared by the General Secretariat covering issues submitted to the current session and were thus able to assess the progress made in implementation of the tasks assigned to the General Secretariat and the developments which took place between the 28th and 29th Sessions of the ICFM.

13. In the light of the valuable statements and constructive discussions between Their Excellencies the Ministers and Heads of Delegations at both Plenary and Committee levels, the Conference adopted a number of resolutions aimed at strengthening Islamic solidarity, preparing the Islamic Ummah to meet contemporary challenges, achieving the aspirations of Muslim communities, and preserving the fundamental religious and cultural values of Islam.

POLITICAL AFFAIRS

The Question of Palestine and Al-Quds Al-Sharif and the Arab-Israeli Conflict

14. The Conference hailed with great pride the steadfastness of the Palestinian people and its valiant uprising in the face of the Israeli occupation forces so as to gain its legitimate rights. It reaffirmed its continuing political, material, and moral support, backing, and endorsement of the Palestinian people in facing the Israeli occupation, which is the main reason behind the deterioration and gravity of the situation in this region.

15. The Conference stressed the need for the establishment of the independent Palestinian State with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital. It stressed also the need to implement the international resolutions on the cause of Palestine, particularly UNSC resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 1397 (2002), 1402 (2002), and 1403 (2002).

16. The Conference also asserted its support of the stand of the State of Palestine resting on holding fast to sovereignty over Al-Quds Al-Sharif, including the Holy Haram in Al-Quds Al-Sharif and all the Christian and Muslim holy places which are part of the Palestinian territories occupied since June 1967. It also affirmed that Al-Quds Al-Sharif is the capital of the independent State of Palestine. In this connection, it underlined its rejection of any attempt to undermine Palestinian sovereignty over Al-Quds Al-Sharif.

17. The Conference called on the UN Security Council to assume its responsibilities by intervening immediately to put an end to the Israeli aggression and prevent the Israeli Government from pursuing its aggressive designs aimed at undermining the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) to destabilize the region and reoccupying the liberated areas of Palestinian territories in order to void the agreements and destroy the foundations of the peace process. It also called on the UNSC to compel Israel to lift the blockade and closures imposed on the Palestinian towns, villages, and camps, to halt its confiscation of lands and properties and demolition of houses, and to desist from any actions that threaten life and the environment in the occupied Palestinian territories, including Al-Quds Al-Sharif.

18. The Conference called upon the UNSC to shoulder its responsibilities in securing the necessary international protection for the Palestinian people in Al-Quds Al-Sharif and the rest of the occupied Palestinian territories to enable them to regain their inalienable and imprescriptible national rights, realize their national sovereignty over their national soil, and set up their own independent State with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as capital.

19. The Conference adopted the Arab peace initiative to resolve the issue of Palestine and the Middle East as approved by the Fourteenth Arab Summit held in Beirut, Republic of Lebanon, on 28th March 2002 and decided to use all possible means in order to explain and clarify the full implications of this initiative and win international support for its implementation.

20. The Conference commended the efforts exerted by Al-Quds Committee under the Chairmanship of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, and affirmed the necessity to implement the provisions of the Final Communiqués of the 19th Session of Al-Quds Committee held in Marrakech, Kingdom of Morocco, on 25th January 2002 under the auspices of His Majesty King Mohamed VI, the Extraordinary Meeting of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers of the OIC Member States on the Grave Conditions in the Palestinian Territories held in Doha on 26th May 2001, and the 10th Extraordinary Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers held in Doha on 10th December 2001 on the Grave Conditions in the Palestinian Territories; as well as the provisions of the Final Communiqué on Conditions in the Occupied Palestinian Territories adopted by the Extraordinary Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers on Terrorism held in Kuala Lumpur on 1-3 April 2002.

21. The Conference considered as null and void all the occupation-related settlement measures and practices in Al-Quds and the rest of the occupied Palestinian territories in line with the resolutions and decisions of international legitimacy as well as international covenants and conventions which consider all Israeli arrangements, and legislative, administrative, and settlement measures aiming at altering the legal, demographic, architectural, cultural, and heritage-related status of the Holy City as null and void, contrary to the resolutions and decisions of international legitimacy and of international covenants and conventions, and diametrically opposed to the agreements signed between the Palestinian and Israeli parties. It called on the UNSC to revive the International Committee for Supervision and Monitoring to Prevent Settlements in Al-Quds and the Occupied Arab Territories in accordance with UNSC resolution 446.

22. The Conference condemned Israel’s expansionist settlement policy and reiterated the need to stop all Israeli settlement activities and measures and practices which are contrary to the resolutions of international legitimacy and which also run counter to the accords signed in this context by the Palestinian and Israeli sides. The Conference urged the UN Security Council to prevent such measures and see to the removal of the Israeli settlements in accordance with UNSC resolution 465.

23. The Conference strongly condemned Israel’s dismembering of the Palestinian territories through the setting up of cantons and the apartheid fence eating up the land of the Palestinians and strangling their towns and villages. While the Conference considered the establishment of this fence a flagrant violation of international covenants, it called on the international community to assume its responsibilities immediately by deterring Israel and preventing it from implementing its designs to build this apartheid fence.

24. The Conference condemned the perpetration by the Israeli occupation forces of war crimes and crimes against humanity and their perpetration of massacres and mass executions, in particular the heinous massacres which took the lives of hundreds of martyrs in the refugee camp of Jenin and in the city of Nablus, on top of the shelling of towns, villages, camps, and PNA Headquarters with destructive weapons, including internationally banned weapons, against a defenseless people. The Conference held Israel fully responsible for its aggression and its consequences and considered this aggression a blatant violation of the human rights of the Palestinians and a flagrant breach of all international covenants, conventions, and laws, especially the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention. The Conference also strongly condemned Israel’s use of force in all its forms and warned it against the consequences of extortion and intransigence in pursuing these grave policies against the Palestinian people and their national institutions and legitimate leadership. It called on all the Palestinian people to rally around their national authority under the leadership of President Yasser Arafat.

25. The Conference hailed the steadfastness of the government, people, and resistance of Lebanon and their triumphs in liberating the Lebanese territories and repelling the Israeli occupation. It supported Lebanon in its efforts to complete the liberation of its entire territories up to the internationally recognized borders and urged the United Nations to force Israel to pay reparations for all the losses it inflicted or caused as a result of its persistent aggressions against Lebanon. It further supported Lebanon in its demands for the removal of the mines left behind by the Israeli occupation, which is responsible for planting these mines and therefore for removing them. It also supported the inalienable rights of Lebanon to utilize its waters in accordance with international law and condemned Israel’s designs on these waters. It held Israel responsible for any action such as to infringe upon Lebanon’s sovereignty, political independence, the safety of its people, or the integrity of its territories.

26. The Conference paid tribute to the steadfastness of the Syrian Arab citizens in the Syrian Golan against occupation and their valiant resistance to Israel’s repressive measures and persistent attempts to weaken their attachment to their land and their Syrian Arab identity and declared its support for this steadfast struggle.

27. The Conference strongly condemned Israel’s policy of refusing to comply with UNSC resolution 497 of 1981 and of imposing its laws, mandate, and administration on the occupied Syrian Golan as well as its policies of annexation, building of settlements, confiscation of land, diversion of water sources, and imposition of Israeli citizenship upon Syrian citizens. It considered all such measures as null and void and constituting a violation of the provisions and principles of international law and human rights, particularly the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention. It urged Israel to fully withdraw from the whole of the occupied Syrian Golan and pull back to the 4th of June 1967 lines.

POLITICAL ISSUES:

28. The Conference welcomed the new provisional government in Afghanistan and expressed its satisfaction with Afghanistan’s return to its vacant seat in the OIC.

29. The Conference requested the Secretary-General to finalize the administrative and technical measures relating to the Afghan People Assistance Fund to help it launch its activities as quickly as possible.

30. The Conference decided that the OIC Office will be activated in Afghanistan instead of the Islamabad Office and entrusted with supervising the Organization’s activities as well as those of the Afghan People Assistance Fund.

31. The Conference instructed the Trust Fund for the Urgent Return of the Refugees and the Displaced to Bosnia and Herzegovina to immediately start providing its services to Bosnian refugees and displaced persons. It commended the Member States that have already transferred their donations to the Trust Fund account.

32. The Conference called upon all Somali factions to reject war and violence, respond to the call of peace, and participate earnestly in the ongoing national debate for unification and reconstruction of the State. It called on all the states, particularly the neighboring ones, to respect Somalia’s sovereignty and refrain from interfering in its internal affairs.

33. The Conference expressed its deep concern over the current tension in South Asia following India's deployment of a large contingent of its forces. It also expressed its support for Pakistan's proposal to conduct a real dialogue between the two sides.

34. The Conference condemned the violations of human rights in Jammu and Kashmir and renewed its support for the right of self-determination for the Kashmiri people in accordance with the resolutions of the United Nations. It called for appointing a special Representative of the OIC Secretary-General on Jammu and Kashmir.

35. The Conference endorsed the recommendations adopted by the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir and took note of the Memorandum submitted to the Contact Group by the True Representatives of the People of Kashmir.

36. The Conference welcomed Iraq's affirmation on respecting the independence and sovereignty of the State of Kuwait, ensuring its security and territorial unity and integrity, and working to find a solution to the issue of prisoners, detainees, and missing persons. It also welcomed Iraq's expression of readiness to restore properties through the UN mechanism and the cooperation of the League of Arab States (LAS). It affirmed its determination to preserve the integrity, independence, sovereignty, and territorial unity of Iraq and to lift the blockade against it. The Conference further affirmed its absolute rejection of the recent threat to attack Iraq as a threat to the national security of all the Islamic States.

37. The Conference called for a peaceful and just settlement to the dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan on the basis of respecting the principle of neighborly relations and the sanctity of internationally-recognized borders; and demanded Armenia to implement the relative UNSC resolutions and withdraw its forces from all Azerbaijani territories that it is occupying.

38. The Conference hailed the efforts exerted by the UN Secretary-General within the framework of his good offices to achieve a negotiable settlement acceptable to the two parties in Cyprus. It also welcomed the commencement of direct negotiations between the two parties, reaffirmed total equality between the two Sides, and expressed its support for the cause of the Turkish Muslim pepole of Cyprus till the achievement of a just solution of the Cypriot conflict based on the principle of parity and equality between the two communities in Cyprus.

39. The Conference renewed its request to the UN Security Council to definitively lift sanctions imposed on the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, now that the latter has honored all UNSC obligations. It also renewed its call for the release of the political hostage and Libyan citizen Abdulbasset Al-Megrahi.

40. The Conference endorsed the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD), considering it a promising African project that makes it possible to address the issues of underdevelopment and poverty and promote the process of development in Africa. It called on the international community to extend the necessary general and especially financial assistance to the African States to enable them to implement this ambitious plan.

41. The Conference welcomed the stability prevailing in the River Manu region and the political rapprochement between its states. It commended the organization of presidential elections in Sierra Leone and approved the establishment of a fund for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the country. In this connection, it emphasized its support for the efforts of the government of the Republic of Guinea to deal with the condition of instability and to promote development in the country. The Conference also welcomed the outcome of the presidential election in the Union of Comoros and urged the Member States and the international community to intensify their support for the government of the Union of Comoros to enable it to overcome the burdens of the previous era.

42. The Conference reaffirmed its solidarity with the Sudan in confronting hostile designs, defending its unity and territorial integrity, and exploiting its wealth and natural resources so as to promote the welfare of its people. It commended the Sudanese government for its continued efforts to reach a peaceful solution to the problem of southern Sudan through negotiations with the various Sudanese parties. In this regard, it condemned the military escalation and resort to violence by the insurgent movement.

43. The Conference reaffirmed the need to reach total nuclear disarmament and invited the Member States to take part in all relevant international initiatives, particularly in the Conference on reviewing the Treaty on Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons due to take place in 2005. It called on all the Member States to conclude and sign fair and non-discriminatory international conventions, and to encourage the establishment of nuclear arms-free zones in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. It strongly condemned Israel whose positions are in utter contempt of all international agreements on nuclear proliferation.

44. The Conference expressed its concern at the proliferation of light and small-caliber weapons, and the manufacturing, use, and trade of anti-personnel mines, considering that these two phenomena constitute obstacles to economic development and cause instability, insecurity, and the proliferation of civil wars in Member States.

45. The Conference affirmed that Islamic States have a direct interest in reforming the United Nations System, including the expansion of the UN Security Council. It called on the Member States to take an active and effective part in the reform process of the United Nations on the basis of the relevant declarations and statements emanating from the OIC.

46. The Conference stressed the need to promote confidence building among the Member States, uplift Islamic values, and refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of other States. It called for promoting cooperation and coordination, intensifying consultation, and taking a united stance in international forums.

47. The Conference reaffirmed its solidarity with the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya in confronting any unilateral arbitrary measures such as the D'Amato Law.

48. The Conference decided to entrust the Secretary-General with developing a mechanism for dialogue between the OIC and the EU.

49. The Conference emphasized that the Islamic boycott against Israel constitutes an effective measure and a right enshrined in the national sovereignty of the Islamic States, which exercise it to counter terrorist Israeli practices and to face Israel’s outright intransigence towards honoring its international commitments. The boycott thus constitutes a legitimate tool to protect the interests of the Islamic Ummah and defend its just causes.

50. The Conference called on the Member States to revive the Islamic boycott against Israel and take adequate measures to integrate the laws, legislations, and regulations governing the application of the boycott into their applicable national legislation.

51. The Conference commended the constructive cooperation and co-ordination between the Islamic Office for the Boycott of Israel at the OIC General Secretariat and the Arab Office for the Boycott of Israel at the General Secretariat of the League of Arab States so as to achieve the maximum measure of effectiveness in applying the provisions of the boycott against Israel in the Islamic States.

Protection of the Rights of Muslim Communities and Minorities in Non-OIC Member States:

52. The Conference expressed satisfaction at the efforts exerted by the Secretary-General to implement the resolutions on Muslims in non-member states, particularly those concerning the setting up of a contact group from among the Permanent Missions of the Member States to the UN in New York and Geneva to deal with cases of violation of the rights of Muslims in non-OIC Member States.

53. The Conference reaffirmed the need to help Muslims in non-Member States to preserve their religious and cultural identity, to enjoy equal treatment in terms of rights, obligations, and duties, and to exercise their civil, religious, and other rights without segregation or discrimination.

54. The Conference stressed that safeguarding the right of Muslims in non-member states is fundamentally the responsibility of the governments of those states, based on commitment to the principles of international law and respect of national territorial sovereignty.

55. The Conference urged the Member States to give special attention to the Muslims in non-OIC member states that are subjected to oppression or persecutions because of their religious beliefs, to identify their needs, and to advise Member States thereon with a view to providing the necessary financial, human, and material resources, while working to intensify the various Islamic, cultural, and educational activities so as to improve their general conditions.

56. The Conference urged the Member States to coordinate efforts to train the personnel capable of fulfilling the task of Islamic Dawa among Muslims around the world. Such personnel should include qualified female staff equipped with a set of integrated material and programmes that should be prepared for this purpose.

57. The Conference requested the General Secretariat to make contacts with the governments of states where Muslims reside to identify the latter’s problems and needs and their respective governments’ views on the best way to work out a formula for cooperation with the OIC in order to provide the inputs required in order to improve the conditions of these Muslims and preserve their religious and cultural identity. Priority should be given to contacts with the governments of non-member states where Muslims face urgent problems.

58. The Conference stressed the commitment of the Member States to respecting the rights of non-Muslim communities and minorities living on their territory in accordance with the teachings of our tolerant Islamic religion. It denounced the allegations by certain interests concerning the treatment of these minorities and the measures applicable to them as a pretext to interfere in the internal affairs of Member States.

59. The Conference took cognizance of Oman's proposal to replace the terms “Muslim minorities and communities” when referring to Muslims in non-OIC member countries with the term “Muslims in” followed by the name of their country of residence. The Conference requested the General Secretariat to continue studying the proposal in collaboration with Oman and submit the results to the Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) Preparatory to the Thirtieth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers.

60. The Conference endorsed the recommendations of the Eight-Member Ministerial Committee which met alongside this session to monitor compliance with the 1996 Peace Agreement between the Moro National Liberation Front and the Government of the Philippines with the participation of representatives from the MNLF and the government of the Philippines. The Conference, having expressed its appreciation for the steps taken to fully comply with the above-indicated peace agreement, called upon the Government of the Philippines and the MNLF to safeguard the gains made as a result of the said agreement, especially the restoration of peace in the southern part of the country. In this regard, the Conference urged that adequate guarantees be provided for that purpose.

61. The Conference requested all parties concerned to continue providing adequate assistance to ensure full compliance with the Peace Agreement during the transitional period pending the establishment of the autonomous zone in the southern Philippines.

62. The Conference reiterated its commitment toward Muslims in non-OIC member states. Having taken into consideration the fact that the Turkish Muslim community in Western Thrace is an integral part of the Muslim world, the Conference deplored the ongoing violation of the fundamental rights and freedoms of this community. It also deplored the court ruling already issued to imprison Mr. Mohamed Amin Agha, the Mufti-elect of Xanthi, and expressed concern over the obstacles that have been raised to impede the construction of the Cambria Mosque. The Conference therefore urged the state of Greece to take all the necessary steps to restore the rights of the Muslims in Western Thrace and recognize with immediate effect the Muftis-elect of both Xanthi and Komotini in their capacity as official muftis.

63. The Conference commissioned the Islamic Liaison Committee on Considering the Situation of the Muslim communities and minorities to examine the violations of the rights of the Muslims in Myanmar and urged the Member States to provide them with moral and political support and to facilitate dialogue between them and the Government of Myanmar so as to enable them to exercise their basic rights on an equal footing with the other citizens of Myanmar.

LEGAL AFFAIRS:

64. The Conference urged the Member States that have not ratified the Statute of the International Islamic Court of Justice to complete the ratification process so that the Court can start to assume its functions and called for the promotion of ways and means to cooperate in the judicial field and related research and studies.

65. The Conference recognized the importance of following up the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam and called again on the Inter-governmental Group of Experts on this subject to start formulating Islamic Conventions on Human Rights in the form of covenants each of which would deal in detail with one or more issues based on the provisions of the Declaration. It also called on the sub-committee in charge of drafting international covenants for human rights in Islam to continue its work.

66. The Conference called on the Member States to continue their positive coordination and existing cooperation in the field of human rights, especially during international conferences and meetings on the issue, in order to reinforce Islamic solidarity and to confront any initiative that may lead to exploiting human rights as a means to exert political pressure on any Member State; and in order to convey the OIC positions on human rights issues, including the rights of Muslims, to the concerned organs and agencies of the United Nations. It also approved the efforts made by the Member States in Geneva, which led to a unified position on issues of common concern and on countering the distortion of the image of Islam as denounced in the relevant resolution of the Commission on Human Rights.

67. The Conference expressed its deep concern over the repeated and wrongful association between Islam and human rights violations, and over the use of the written and audiovisual media to propagate such misrepresentations. It called for an end to the unjustifiable campaigns waged by certain non-governmental organizations against a number of Member States to demand the abolition of Sharia laws and sanctions in the name of protecting human rights, and affirmed the right of states to hold fast onto their religious, social, and cultural specificities, which constitute their heritage and a source for enriching common universal concepts of human rights. It called for the universality of human rights not to be used as a pretext to interfere in the internal affairs of States and undermine their national sovereignty. The Conference also condemned the decision of the European Union to denounce the penalty of stoning and what it referred to as the inhuman punishments practiced by some Member States in their application of the provisions of Islamic Sharia.

68. The Conference urged the Member States again to proceed as soon as possible, with the signing/ratification of the different agreements concluded under the aegis of the OIC.

69. The Conference reaffirmed the determination of the Member States to abide by the provisions of the OIC Convention on Combating International Terrorism, and to coordinate their efforts to combat all forms and manifestations of terrorism, including state terrorism. It also called for the strengthening of cooperation among the Member States to combat terrorist acts.

70. The Conference reiterated its support for the convening of an international conference under the aegis of the United Nations to define the concept of terrorism and make a distinction between it and peoples’ struggle for national liberation. The Conference also called for the constitution of an Inter-governmental Experts Committee to follow up the implementation of the relevant OIC resolutions and instruments in order to make its recommendations on this matter.

71. The Conference condemned all forms of international terrorism, including the crimes of hijacking and illegal acts against the safety and security of civilian aircraft. It called on the Member States to expeditiously ratify international agreements on the Penalty for Hijacking and on Guaranteeing Civilian Aircraft Safety and Security.

Information and Communication:

72. The Conference took note with satisfaction of the commendable efforts made by His Excellency President Abdoulaye Wade, President of the Republic of Senegal and Chairman of the Standing Committee for Information and Cultural Affairs (COMIAC), with the aim of promoting joint Islamic action on information and implementing its various programmes. It welcomed His Excellency's invitation to convene the 7th Session of COMIAC in Dakar in December 2002.

73. The Conference also took note with satisfaction of the initiatives undertaken by the Ministry of Culture and National Guidance of the Islamic Republic of Iran in chairing the 5th Session of the Islamic Conference of Information Ministers (ICIM), held in Tehran (23-24 Shaaban 1420H/1-2 December 1999), ensuring follow-up of the resolutions adopted by this session, and convening the 1st Meeting of the Ministerial Follow-up Committee to be held in Tehran on 21-22 Shaaban 1422H (6-7 November 2001). It also took note with satisfaction of the positive results of that session.

74. The Conference welcomed the invitation issued by the Arab Republic of Egypt to host the 6th Session of the Islamic Conference of Information Ministers (ICIM) in Cairo in the second half of October 2002.

75. The Conference commended the measures proposed by the OIC Secretary-General to revitalize the information and communication sector so that it can fully assume its natural role in promoting the just causes and the true image of Islam. It exhorted the Member States to help implement these measures and enrich them with the experience of their respective information institutions.

76. The Conference welcomed the efforts made to modernize the mechanisms of the Information Strategy so as to keep up with advances in information and communication, and to launch the Islamic Programme for the Development of Information and Communication (PIDIC), as well as the results of the contacts established in this regard by the Secretary-General with the Member States and relevant international organizations, particularly UNESCO and its International Programme for the Development of Communication (PIDC). It called on the Member States that have not yet initiated relations with the PIDIC Committee to expeditiously provide all necessary technical assistance to finance jointly adopted projects. It also called on the Member States whose media institutions and organs are in need of support to submit their applications to the General Secretariat for subsequent submission to the Committee in charge of the Programme (the Ministerial Follow-up Committee).

77. The Conference called on the Member States to mobilize all necessary financial means and particularly voluntary financial contributions, with a view to addressing the lack of necessary funds for the Information Plan and to start the implementation of information programmes provided for in this plan so as to be able to keep abreast of communication technologies and meet the challenges of our times.

78. The Conference urged the Member States to provide material, logistic, technical, and human assistance of all kinds to the two OIC specialized institutions active in joint Islamic information: the International Islamic News Agency (IINA) and the Islamic States Broadcasting Organization (ISBO), in order to allow them to achieve the objectives assigned to them.

79. The Conference affirmed the importance of the World Summit on the Information Society and, in particular, its second part, which will be held in Tunisia in 2005. It requested the Member States to effectively participate in the conference and its preparatory proceedings and called on the General Secretariat to prepare for the participation of the Member States in this Summit, particularly through the Sixth Session of the Islamic Conference of Information Ministers (ICIM) in Cairo (October 2002).

ECONOMIC AFFAIRS:

80. The Conference underlined the urgency of minimizing the adverse effects of globalization on the economy of the OIC countries and called for an equitable sharing of the benefits of globalization by all countries. It also stressed the need for universal participation of all countries in the international decision-making process concerning economic and financial policies.

81. The Conference noted that the liberalization of international trade has not been that much beneficial to the developing countries and called for further liberalization of trade through the creation of more trading opportunities for the developing countries.

82. The Conference commended the Fourth WTO Ministerial Conference held in Qatar in November 2001, which paved the way for much needed negotiation on a range of subjects, and called upon the WTO to strengthen the development dimension in the various multilateral trade Agreements through a wide arrange of measures, including the application of the provisions on special and differential treatment for the developing countries and correction of the various imbalances in these Agreements having a major impact on the export interests of the developing countries.

83. The Conference called for speedy accession of all the developing countries, including the OIC Member States, to the World Trade Organization (WTO) underlining that no political consideration should impede this process of accession and that the specificities of other societies should be considered and respected. It rejected all attempts to include non-trade issues, such as labor and environment standards, into the work programme of the WTO, or to link such issues with trade deals in the interest of a just, free, and fair multilateral trading environment. In this connection, it called for the strengthening of economic policy co-ordination among the Member States.

84. The Conference called on the Member States to increase their share of the world trade by sustained improvement of their competitiveness at the international level. It further underscored the fundamental importance of expanding intra-OIC trade and called on the Member States to participate in the various IDB schemes aimed at expanding such trade; to reinforce intra-OIC regional and sub-regional economic groupings; and to reactivate existing projects aimed at some form of economic complementarity.

85. The Conference reaffirmed the importance of strengthening economic and commercial cooperation among the Member States through accelerating the implementation of the Plan of Action to Strengthen Economic and Commercial Co-operation among the Member States. It stressed in this connection the importance of implementing the recommendations of the experts group meeting held in Istanbul in May 2001 on accelerating the implementation of the Plan of Action.

86. The Conference expressed the conviction that the achievement of a higher level of economic and commercial co-operation among the Member States would provide the necessary basis for a gradual progression towards greater economic integration leading to the ultimate objective of an Islamic Common Market, which is acknowledged to be essentially a long term process with multiple dimensions and phases. In this connection, it appreciated the convening of an International Conference on Practical Measures to Establish an Islamic Common Market organized by the University of Qatar on 13-15 May 2002 in Doha in cooperation with the OIC General Secretariat.

87. The Conference stressed the importance of developing an orderly, cohesive, and solid international financial system with a view to addressing the weaknesses and imbalances of the present system, avoiding harmful and destabilizing capital flows, and limiting the repercussions of any future international financial crisis.

88. The Conference called upon the Member States that have not yet done so to sign and/or ratify at an early date the various agreements/statutes finalized under the aegis of the OIC, so as to provide the necessary framework for economic and commercial cooperation among the Member States.

89. The Conference renewed its appeal to the international community to fully and expeditiously implement the Programme of Action for 2001-2010 adopted by the Third UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries held in Brussels in May 2001. It expressed concern at the declining trend in the volume of Official Development Assistance to the LDCs and appealed to the developed countries that have not yet reached the agreed target of allocating 0.7% of their GNP to global official development assistance and from 0.15% to 0.20% of their GNP to the LDCs, to work on reaching this target. In this connection, it took note with the satisfaction of the convening of the International Conference on Financing Development on 18-22 March 2002 in Monterrey, Mexico.

90. The Conference expressed concern over the acute poverty in the LDCs leading to their marginalization in the global economy. It further reaffirmed the common objective of the Member States of eradicating poverty before the end of the next decade and agreed that Micro Credit Programmes providing access to small capital for productive self-employment be incorporated in the strategy for poverty eradication.

91. The Conference commended the convening, after fiver years of its previous session, of the World Food Summit in Rome on 8-13 June 2002 and emphasized the steps taken at the Summit aimed at alleviating hunger and achieving food security.

92. The Conference renewed its call to the international community to offer substantial reduction of the African debts and lower the burden of the servicing charges along with a flow of fresh and large finances on easy terms to the African countries. It also appealed for assistance to the Member States struck by drought and natural disasters and for providing assistance to the Inter-governmental Authority for Development (IGAD) and the Permanent Inter-State Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS).

93. The Conference stressed the role of the private sector in providing impetus to intra-OIC economic relations and called on the Member States to support the various activities of the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry. It further stressed the role of the small and medium enterprises as a crucial element in the process of industrial development of the Member States.

94. The Conference commended the role of the Islamic Development Bank in supporting development programmes in the Member States and in rendering technical assistance and other services. It welcomed the decision taken by the IDB Board of Governors at its last meeting in Algiers in October 2001 to take the necessary steps to increase the Bank’s authorized and subscribed capital.

95. The Conference appreciated the hosting of the Second Islamic Conference of Tourism Ministers (ICTM) by Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur on 10-13 October 2001, and welcomed the offer of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to host the Third Islamic Conference of Tourism Ministers (ICTM) on 6-9 October 2002.

96. The Conference expressed its deep concern over the disastrous economic repercussions of the on-going aggressive policies and practices of the Israeli government and called for immediate cessation of such aggressive practices as well as for international protection of the Palestinian people. It also appealed for assistance to the Palestinian people so as to enable them to build their national economy and strengthen their national institutions; and to establish their independent state with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital. It reiterated its commendation in this connection of the initiative of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the creation of two funds to support Palestine with its donation of USD 250 million to them and called for financial support to these funds.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY:

97. The Conference strongly condemned Israeli practices and their impact on the environment in the occupied Palestinian and Syrian territories, and the formerly occupied Lebanese territories.

98. The Conference stressed the need for cooperation and adoption of effective measures to protect the environment which is essential for the sustainable development of the Member States. Concerning health, combating epidemic diseases, and the abuse of narcotic drugs, the Conference urged the strengthening of co-operation among the Member States to combat the spread of such scourges.

99. The Conference adopted the resolutions and the Declaration adopted by the First Islamic Conference of Environment Ministers (ICEM) held in Jeddah on 10-12 June 2002, urged the Member States to take a united position at the World Summit for Sustainable Development to be held in Johannesburg from 26 August to 4 September, and thanked the Government of Saudi Arabia for hosting the First Islamic Conference of Environment Ministers (ICEM) and ISESCO for its part in that Conference.

100. The Conference reaffirmed that science and technology must be shared and harnessed for peaceful purposes for the good of humanity and for the socio-economic development of states.

101. The Conference commended the activities of COMSTECH, ISESCO, and the Islamic University of Technology in Dhaka for their efforts in serving the cause of the Islamic Ummah and encouraged support for them.

CULTURAL AFFAIRS:

102. The Conference stressed the importance of consolidating the unity and cultural coherence of the Islamic Ummah, coordinating its efforts in all the spheres of its general action while taking account of the national and local cultural specificities of Islamic peoples, and providing support to institutions operating in the fields of culture, education, and scientific research in order to ensure the implementation of relevant projects, particularly in the field of Islamic culture and civilization. It called on the Member States and on Islamic organizations and institutions to help fund the cultural projects that are approved by ISESCO’s Consultative Council with the aim of implementing the cultural strategy.

103. The Conference commended the programme drawn up by ISESCO in order to refute the smear media campaigns against Islam and the Islamic civilization. It also commended the conclusions and resolutions of international conferences and seminars organized in this connection by ISESCO. The Conference also called upon ISESCO to disseminate its resolutions among the OIC Member States so that they could refer to them in order to counter the said campaigns.

104. The Conference commissioned the Secretary-General to conduct a thorough study designed to safeguard Islamic culture and heritage against the adverse effects of globalization in coordination with the Member States. It also commended the conclusions and resolutions of international conferences and seminars organized by the OIC General Secretariat and ISESCO to address this issue. It requested the two bodies to pursue their efforts in this regard.

105. The Conference commended the successful meeting organized by the OIC in collaboration with the European Union within the framework of the Joint Forum held in Istanbul in February 2002 upon the invitation of the Turkish Foreign Minister and with the participation of the Foreign Ministers of the OIC Member States and countries with Observer Status at the OIC as well as the EU Member States and countries with Observer Status at the EU. The Forum was aimed at assessing the current international effort to promote understanding and harmony among civilizations. The Conference applauded the understanding indicated in the Press Release of the OIC-EU Joint Forum.

106. The Conference expressed its appreciation and support for the invitation addressed by the Emir of the State of Qatar and current Chairman of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, to host a Summit meeting of the Islamic Troika and the European Troika in Doha.

107. The Conference commended the strenuous efforts exerted by ISESCO to promote dialogue among civilizations as well as the initiatives made by the Director General, Abdulaziz Bin Othman Al-Twijri, in this regard.

108. The Conference welcomed the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s decision to host the First Islamic Conference of Youth and Sports Ministers (ICYSM). It also called for solid cooperation among the Member States aimed at a greater exchange of ideas and expertise between Muslim youths and youth organizations in all societies.

109. The Conference requested the Secretary-General to undertake a special mission to urge the Heads of State to make donations to the Waqf of the Islamic Universities of Niger and Uganda.

110. The Conference approved the report and recommendations of the 1st Meeting of the Steering Committee of the King Fahd Plaza in Uganda and requested the Secretary-General to follow up implementation of the contents of the report.

111. The Conference commended the Republic of Tunisia’s initiative to build the Higher Institute and Dar Tunis for Islamic Civilization and Comparative Cultural Studies (as part of the extension of the University of Zeitouna).

112. The Conference called on the Member States to award scholarships to Palestinian students wounded during Al-Aqsa Intifada as well as to other students from the families of martyrs of the Intifada. It also called on universities in the Member States to name scholarships after child martyrs of the Intifada and to name one after the martyr Muhammad Durra.

113. The Conference expressed its appreciation for various activities of the Research Centre for Islamic History, Art, and Culture (IRCICA) aimed at increasing awareness in world public opinion of the Islamic cultural heritage and for its efforts to protect and preserve that heritage.

114. The Conference took note of the report of the Chairman of the Permanent Council of the Islamic Solidarity Fund (ISF) on the activities of the ISF and its Waqf and urged all the Member States to continue making voluntary donations to its annual budget. It also called on all the Member States to make contributions to the capital of the Waqf of the Islamic Solidarity Fund.

115. The Conference commended the great achievements of ISESCO in the fields of education, science, culture, information, and communication in favor of the Member States and Muslim communities, especially in the dissemination of the Arabic language and Islamic culture, the protection of the Islamic heritage and culture, the promotion of dialogue among civilizations, cultures, and religions, the sponsoring of the children of immigrant Muslim communities, and the support provided to cultural and educational institutions. In this connection, it expressed satisfaction with ISESCO’s supervision of the educational and cultural aspects of the administrative and academic restructuring of the Islamic University of Uganda and its preparation of suitable syllabi for it.

116. The Conference expressed satisfaction with the humanitarian and social activities of the Islamic Committee of the International Crescent. It also accepted the interpretation of the General Secretariat regarding the quorum required for the entry into force of its agreement. It exhorted the Member States to expedite the signing and ratification of the said agreement.

117. The Conference expressed its gratitude to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for its continued support for the Islamic Solidarity Sports Federation and for hosting its headquarters in Riyadh. It also welcomed the activities that the Federation has decided to carry out during the next five years.

ADMINISTRATIVE AND FINANCIAL AFFAIRS:

118. The Conference approved the budgets of the General Secretariat and its Subsidiary Organs for the Financial Year 2002/2003 with the same ceiling as that of the previous year.

119. The Conference commended the role of the General Secretariat and Subsidiary Organs in rationalizing expenditure, and called on them to continue this commendable approach.

120. The Conference urged the Member States to pay their annual contributions and their arrears to the budget of the General Secretariat and Subsidiary Centers for the Financial Year 2002/2003 to enable them to carry out the task entrusted to them.

121. The Conference welcomed the Report submitted by the Secretary-General on the progress made in preparing the Final Study on Restructuring the General Secretariat to Meet the Challenges of the New Millennium.

122. The Conference elected the members of the OIC Finance Control Organ (FCO) for a two-year period as of 1 July 2002 in addition to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia being a permanent member.

ORGANIC, STATUTORY, AND GENERAL MATTERS:

123. The Conference agreed to update the Memorandum of Understanding between the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the United Nations Environment Programme (OIC-UNEP).

124. The Conference also agreed to defer the final decision on the Draft Cooperation Agreement between the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the Organization of African Unity (OIC-OAU).

125. The Conference decided to approve the Draft Cooperation Agreement between the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the International Migration Organization (OIC-IMO).

126. The Conference also decided to approve the Framework Cooperation Agreement between the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the International Organization of French-Speaking Countries.

127. The Conference also agreed to approve the Draft Cooperation Agreement between the OIC and CEN-SAD.

Candidacies for International Posts:

128. The Conference decided to support all the candidacies submitted by the Member States for posts in international organizations in accordance with the provisions of the relevant resolution. It also decided to support a candidate from Asia and Africa for the post of High Commissioner for Human Rights upon the expiry of the tenure of the current High Commissioner.

129. The Conference agreed to hold the 30th Session of the ICFM in Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, at a date to be determined between the host country and the General Secretariat.

CLOSING SESSION:

130. H.E. Mr. Ali Othman Mohammed Taha, the First Vice-President of the Republic of the Sudan, took the floor to commend the brotherly spirit that animated the deliberations of the Conference as well as its resolutions. He called for supporting the OIC to enable it to assume the role entrusted to it in strengthening joint Islamic action.

131. In reply to the speech of the First Vice-President, H.E. Mr. Mohammed Saleh Al-Nadhif, Foreign Minister of Chad, on behalf of the African Group, H.E. Mr. Datuk Sri Hamed Al-Bar, Foreign Minister of Malaysia, on behalf of the Asian Group, and H.E. Dr. Abu Bakr Abdullah al-Qurbi, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Yemen, on behalf of the Arab Group, took the floor to express their sincere thanks to the government and people of the Sudan for the generous hospitality extended to the participating delegations and for the arrangements and facilities put at their disposal. They expressed to H.E. Dr. Abdelouahed Belkeziz, the Secretary-General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference Mustafa Osman Ismail, their warm congratulations on his wise and competent steering of the proceedings of the Conference.

132. On behalf of all the participants in the Conference, H.E. Dr. Abdelouahed Belkeziz, OIC Secretary-General, addressed a Cable of Thanks and gratitude to H.E. Omar Hassan Ahmed El-Bashir, President of the Republic of the Sudan, for kindly hosting the Conference and for his key-note speech, which greatly inspired the Conference in its endeavor to adopt optimal measures to make headway towards fulfilling the aspirations of the Islamic Ummah.

133. In his closing speech, His Excellency Mustafa Osman Ismail, Minister of External Relations of the Sudan and Chairman of the Twenty-ninth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers, commended the spirit of Islamic solidarity and fraternity which inspired Their Excellencies the Ministers and Heads of participating delegations and played a great part in the adoption of this Session’s resolutions.


Khartoum — Republic of the Sudan
16 Rabiul Thani 1423H (27 June 2002)


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