Tashkent hosts 43rd session of OIC Foreign Ministers Council

Tashkent, October 18, AZERTAC

Azerbaijani Minister of Foreign Affairs Elmar Mammadyarov has attended the 43rd OIC Foreign Ministers Council under the theme “Education and Enlightenment: The Path to Peace and Creativity in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

Iyad Ameen Madani, Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, as well as high-level officials of the United Nations, Islamic Development Bank, OSCE, Arab League attended the session.

Interim President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev delivered a statement in the inaugural ceremony, expressing the profound significance of the theme of the present, which was proposed by the first and late President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov, stressing upon the need to consider the spiritual aspects in education, and strengthen cooperation among the youth.

Mirziyoyev identified six priorities to be achieved by Uzbekistan, during its CFM chairmanship, epitomized in the considerable role of education in strengthening the capacity of member states, enhancing creativity by promoting sciences and technology in order to achieve developmental, economic and social progress, ensure unity, capitalize on the core elements of the Islamic world through cooperation between the member states and other states, the provision of initiatives, and the prohibition ofdisseminating chemical weapons.

OIC Secretary General Iyad Ameen Madani delivered a statement, in the beginning of which he recalled the wise stances taken by the late founder of Uzbekistan, who gave special attention to the OIC, his sustained affirmation of his country’s commitment to the issues of the Islamic world, and his eagerness to convene this present Session.

The Secretary General reviewed the conditions in the Arab world, where the Palestinian Cause is central to the OIC, emphasizing the sufferance endured by the Palestinian people, as well as the hostile Israeli policy and its persistent and obvious trend toward oppressing and besieging the Palestinians. He called for serious steps capable of puttingan end to such Israeli obstinate attitude, and the indifference of the international community and the international active forces.

The Secretary General also spoke of the situation in Iraq, Yemen, Mali, Afghanistan, Central Africa, Jammu and Kashmir, the Nagorno-Karabakh region in Azerbaijan, the tragedy of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and the situation of Muslims in the Philippines and Thailand.

Addressing the session, the Azerbaijani top diplomat said “Armed conflicts, terror acts, refugee and migrant crisis, devastating humanitarian situation in certain countries, pervasive misconceptions about religion and many more other impediments for peace and security continue to exist in our vulnerable and fragile world. To the deepest regret, at the moment a number of OIC Member States are face to face with the above-mentioned challenges”.

“Today’s session gives us great opportunity to address one of the main root causes for the existence of these challenges - which is the lack of education and rise of ignorance that are rapidly gaining pace in our modern world. The slogan of our session “Education and Enlightenment – Path to Peace and Creativity” is as though intended to remind us that the key to success in combating the problems confronting our world is laid in education. Education is the primary engine as well as the guarantee for the sustainable development of an individual, a family, a community, a country and of our world. Education and enlightenment are the main forces that can strengthen solidarity among Muslims, eradicate the trend of Islamophobia, counter extremism, promote culture of tolerance and lead to conditions conducive to the peaceful co-existence of the people representing different cultures, religions and nationalities. It is education that brings prosperity and welfare of the humanity,” the FM said.

“I am proud to state that as a country which believes that peace and security is achievable through education, science, culture and dialogue, Azerbaijan has transformed into the hub of events fostering dialogue of cultures and civilizations such as 7th Global Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue. Last month we hosted V Baku International Humanitarian Forum which included panels on a wide range of global issues in the interest of all humanity with the participation of renowned guests, among which were Nobel Prize Laureates. Besides this, as a country which has always been at the forefront endeavoring to foster Islamic solidarity Azerbaijan is honored to host the 4th Islamic Solidarity Games in Baku next year,” Mammadyarov noted.

“It is a common knowledge that Islam has made tremendous contributions to the world's civilization. Starting from the early stages of our history Muslim scholars have made immense achievements in different areas such as astronomy, physics, mathematics, medicine, architecture and many more. To the deepest regret, by ignoring innovations and positive influences brought by Islam, international community remains incapable in properly and effectively addressing Islamophobia. We should spare no effort to prevent the increase in frequency and notoriety of this unacceptable trend. In this regard, we praise the work done by OIC to combat the phenomenon of Islamophobia and call for further consolidation of our efforts within the OIC to prevent this danger.

We all acknowledge that one of the primary reasons and factors contributing to the emergence of Islamophobia is undoubtedly violent extremism and terrorism. The need to strengthen international cooperation geared towards eradicating this menace remains strong. It is imperative to take all necessary measures to effectively confront the threats and challenges posed by terrorism, as well as to address its root causes, which include but are not limited to prolonged armed conflicts, illiteracy and social exclusion,” the Minister added.

“As you are all well aware, Armenia continues to hold its destructive position in the negotiation process of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict by totally disregarding the position of the international community and flagrantly violating the international law. Azerbaijan reiterates its sincere gratitude to OIC Secretary General and OIC Member States for their constant principled position in condemnation of the Armenian aggression and occupation of Azerbaijani territories with notorious ethnic cleansing on the seized lands. We highly appreciate the establishment of the OIC Contact Group on the aggression of the Republic of Armenia against the Republic of Azerbaijan. We believe that the work of this Contact Group will contribute to the implementation of the relevant OIC and UN resolutions and help to harmonize the individual and joint efforts to this end,” the Azerbaijani FM noted.

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