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Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC)
16 June 2004
FINAL COMMUNIQUÉ OF THE THIRTY-FIRST SESSION OF THE ISLAMIC CONFERENCE OF FOREIGN MINISTERS
SESSION OF PROGRESS AND GLOBAL HARMONY)
ISTANBUL, REPUBLIC OF TURKEY
26-28 RABIULTHANI 1425H
(14-16 JUNE 2004)
At the kind invitation of the Government of the Republic of Turkey, the 31st Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers entitled
Progress and Global Harmony
was held in Istanbul, Republic of Turkey, on 26-28 Rabiulthani 1425H (14-16 June 2004).
The Conference was opened with a recitation of verses from the Holy Quran. His Excellency Ahmet Necdet Sezer, President of the Republic of Turkey, delivered a speech in which he welcomed the Ministers and delegates participating in the Session (Annex).
The three OIC regional groups then successively took the floor to respond to the speech of His Excellency the President of the Republic of Turkey: His Excellency the Foreign Minister of Guinea for the African Group, His Excellency the Foreign Minister of Tunisia for the Arab Group and His Excellency the Foreign Minister of Indonesia for the Asian Group. They all expressed their deep gratitude to the government and people of the Republic of Turkey for the warm welcome and generous hospitality extended to the delegates and participants as well as for the efforts made to make the Conference a success. Based on their proposal, the Conference resolved to consider the statement of H.E. the President of the Republic of Turkey an official document of the Conference.
At the beginning of the first working session, H.E. Dr. Kamal Kharrazi, Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Chairman of the 30th ICFM, delivered a speech in which he outlined the efforts that the Islamic Republic of Iran made during the preceding of the 30th session of the ICFM to promote joint Islamic action. He commended the Secretary General, his aides and the entire staff of the General Secretariat for their efforts to implement the resolutions of the Islamic Conference. His Excellency, Dr. Abdelouahed Belkeziz, the Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference then presented a full report on the OIC’s activities over the past year. (Annex ) H.E. Hamid Albar, the Foreign Minister of Malaysia in his capacity as representative of the Chair of the Tenth Islamic Summit, and the Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations also made statements at the first working session.
In conformity with the recommendation of the Senior Officials’ Meeting, the Conference unanimously elected H.E. Mr. Abdullah Gul, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey, as Chairman of the 31st Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers. It approved the composition of the Bureau as follows: Republic of Tunisia, Burkina Faso, State of Palestine as Vice Chairmen and the Islamic Republic of Iran as Rapporteur.
The Conference adopted the report of the Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) Preparatory to the current session held in Jeddah from 20-23 Rabiul Awwal 1425H (9-12 May 2004 – annex No. ICFM/31-2004/SO/REP/FINAL). The Conference adopted the Draft Agenda and Work Program that the SOM submitted to it).
After considering the reports of the Secretary General and in light of the brilliant statements made and the constructive discussions that took place among the Ministers and Heads of Delegations at the Plenary Session and in the Committees, the Conference adopted a number of resolutions as follows:
The Conference stressed the need for an end to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian and Arab territories occupied since 1967 and called for the withdrawal of Israeli occupation forces from all occupied Palestinian territories, including Al-Quds Al-Sharif to the 4 June 1967 borders. It also stressed the need to establish an independent Palestinian State with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital in accordance with international resolutions on Palestine, Al Quds Al Sharif and the Middle East, particularly Security Council Resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 252 (1968), 267 (1969), 465 (1980), 476 (1980), 478 (1980), 1073 (1996), 1397 (2002), 1515 (2003) and General Assembly Resolution 194 on the Return of Palestinian Refugees, the Arab Peace Initiative and the Roadmap as published.
The Conference commended with pride the resistance of the valiant Palestinian people and their legitimate leadership headed by gallant President Yasser Arafat against Israeli aggression. It called for an immediate end to the siege imposed on the Palestinian people and President Yasser Arafat so that they can move freely in and out of the Palestinian territories. It condemned recent Israeli threats on President Arafat’s life and reaffirmed its continued political, financial and moral support for the Palestinian people so that they can regain their inalienable national rights, including the right of return, self-determination and an independent Palestinian State with Al-Quds Sharif as its capital.
The Conference called on the UN Security Council to assume its responsibility of ensuring international peace and security by compelling Israel to put an end to its aggression and state terrorism such as the killing of civilians, assassinations, detentions, collective punishment, incessant incursions, occupation of cities, villages and Palestinian refugee camps, demolition of homes of Palestinians, and destruction of the institutions and infrastructure of the Palestinian Authority and the national economy. It holds Israel fully and legally responsible for such crimes and requested the international community to compel Israel to put an immediate end to the destruction of homes and to implement UN Security Council Resolution 1544 of 19 May 2004. The Conference called for efforts to secure the release of Palestinian prisoners and detainees in Israeli prisons and stressed the need to implement the declaration issued on 5/12/2001 by the Conference of the States Parties to the Geneva Convention of 1949.
The Conference called on the UN Security Council to deploy UN peacekeeping forces in the occupied Palestinian territories in order to ensure international protection of the Palestinian people and their holy places.
The Conference affirmed its total condemnation of President George Bush’s statements made on 14/4/2004 at a joint press conference with the Prime Minister of Israeli as well as America’s letter of guarantees to Israel, which run counter to the resolutions of international legality and to the provisions of peace accords, the Arab Peace Initiative and the Roadmap, and blatantly violate the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, especially issues such as borders, refugees, Al Quds and settlements.
The Conference strongly condemned the recent Israeli unilateral plan and stressed that nobody whosoever has the right to concede Palestinians’ national rights to Israel or to negotiate them with the latter on behalf of the Palestinian people and their legitimate and democratically elected leadership.
The Conference stressed the need for a just settlement of the question of Palestinian refugees in accordance with resolutions of international legality, especially UN General Assembly Resolution 194 of 1948. It condemned all attempts to resettle Palestinians.
The Conference called on the Quartet to intensify efforts to achieve a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East in accordance with the Roadmap and related agreements and resolutions, and on the basis of the principles of the peace process and the Arab Peace Initiative. It also called upon the Quartet to set a specific timeframe that must not be implemented piecemeal. It condemned all unilateral measures that contradict such a stance.
The Conference condemned Israel’s construction of the separation wall and called on the international community to stop its construction and to remove the constructed parts in accordance with Resolution 13/10 (2003) adopted at an extraordinary session of the UN General Assembly. It warned against the adverse effects of the construction of such a wall, since it jeopardizes the establishment of a sovereign and viable Palestinian state and carries risks of a new wave of forced exodus of the Palestinians under harsh living conditions.
The Conference strongly condemned Israel’s expansionist and colonialist policy and emphasized the need to stop all settlement activities and Israeli measures and practices, which contravene resolutions of international legality and also violate related accords signed by Palestinian and Israeli sides. It requested the U.N. Security Council to prevent such measures, remove Israeli settlements in accordance with Security Council Resolution 465 and revive the International Supervision and Monitoring Committee for the Prevention of Settlements in Al-Quds and the Occupied Arab Territories in line with Security Council Resolution 446. The Conference commended the efforts made by the Al Quds Committee under the Chairmanship of His Majesty King Mohamed VI to safeguard the Arab Islamic identity of Al Quds.
The Conference hailed the government, people and the resistance movements of Lebanon for their steadfastness and for liberating Lebanese territories and repelling Israeli occupation. It also supported Lebanon in its efforts to liberate its entire territory within its internationally recognized borders. It also called on the United Nations to force Israel to pay damages for all the losses it inflicted or caused as a result of its continuous acts of aggression against Lebanon. It supported Lebanon in its demands for the removal of the mines left behind by Israeli occupation. Having planted these mines, Israel must bear the responsibility for their removal. It called for the necessity for Israel to hand out mine maps to Lebanon. In this connection, the Conference commended the efforts put in by the United Arab Emirates to remove mines in Lebanon. Furthermore, it backed 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 that may undermine Lebanon’s sovereignty, independence, national unity and territorial integrity.
The Conference strongly condemned Israel’s policy of refusing to comply with Security Council Resolution 497 of 1981 and of imposing its laws, jurisdiction and administration on occupied Syrian Golan as well as its policies of annexation, building of settlements, confiscation of land, diversion of water sources and imposition of Israeli nationality upon Syrian citizens. It considered all such measures null and void, and a violation of the provisions and principles of International Law and International Humanitarian Law, particularly the 4th Geneva Convention of 1949. It demanded Israel to withdraw completely from occupied Syrian Golan to the 4th June 1967 borders.
The Conference noted with appreciation the efforts of the leaders of the OIC Member States in favor of the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian people, including the efforts of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the exchange of letters between His Majesty the King of Jordan, Abdullah II, and the President of the United States, and called upon the US Administration to commit itself to the contents of these letters and the assurances contained therein.
The Conference called on Member States to implement the principles and resolutions of the Islamic Boycott against Israel and to adopt national legislations that govern it.
The Conference stressed the need to reserve a portion for the Boycott on television, on the radio and in the press because they are legitimate instruments of resistance that are based on international law and resolutions of international legality.
The Conference endorsed the recommendations made by the 7th Meeting of Liaison Officers of the Islamic Regional Bureaus for the Boycott of Israel held in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on 15-17 March 2004.
The Conference reaffirmed the need for total nuclear disarmament and for the destruction of weapons of mass destruction. It called on Member States to actively take part in all related international initiatives and conferences. It called on all Member States to ratify fair and non-discriminatory international conventions and to encourage the establishment of nuclear weapon-free zones. It strongly condemned Israel for developing nuclear weapons and persistently refusing to allow the International Atomic Energy Agency access to its nuclear facilities in contravention of all international agreements on nuclear proliferation. In this connection, the Conference condemned once again the principle of preemptive military strikes against any country under any pretext whatsoever.
The Conference condemned the demolition of Palestinian homes, institutions, facilities and land thereby causing huge losses to the Palestinian economy. It expressed deep concern over the disastrous economic repercussions of the Israeli government’s ongoing acts of aggression and called for their immediate cessation. The Conference also appealed for assistance to the Palestinian people so as to help them to rebuild their national economy and institutions and establish their independent state with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital. In this connection, the Conference commended once again the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for its initiative to establish two funds in support of Palestine and for donating USD 250 million to the said funds. The Conference also called for financial assistance for the funds.
The Conference strongly condemned Israel’s actions and their impact on the environment in the occupied Palestinian and Syrian territories as well as the previously occupied Lebanese territories.
Istanbul —Republic of Turkey
28 Rabiulthani 1425H
(16 June 2004)