On 17 November, 2016 the Delegation of the Republic of Uzbekistan will take part in the work of the extraordinary session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Mecca, reports the press-service of the Foreign Ministry of Uzbekistan.
During the session it is planning to consider topical issues of multilateral cooperation, including the candidacy of the new Secretary General of the OIC.
Within the visit to Mecca the Uzbek delegation also planned to hold a number of meetings in OIC General Secretary, as well as with heads of delegations from other countries to discuss the implementation of the priorities of the presidency of Uzbekistan in the Council of Foreign Ministers of the organization and the prospects for strengthening bilateral cooperation.
SPEECH BY THE CHAIR OF THE OIC COUNCIL OF FOREIGN MINISTERS, MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE REPUBLIC OF UZBEKISTAN ABDULAZIZ KAMILOV AT THE BRIEFING FOR MASS MEDIA
Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem,
Dear representatives of mass media!
The 43rd Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which has just ended, saw the participation of the heads and high-profile delegations of the foreign policy institutions of OIC Member States and Observers, the distinguished Secretary General Mr. Iyad Amin Madani, the heads and representatives of various structures and commissions of our Organization, as well as the guests invited from various regional and international organizations.
I want to inform with pleasure that this time as well the Member States have demonstrated the solid unity, similarity and concurrence of views and positions on the most urgent issues of international agenda, the political will to find compromise, and thus, to assist the effective resolution of available problems and consolidation of authority of our Organization in the world.
On the outcomes of our work the Tashkent Declaration was adopted, which underscores a worthy place of the OIC among the authoritative and influential international organizations, as well as calls on to stir up the efforts in terms of bettering the activity of the Organization to ensure the unity of the Muslim Ummah, to establish a solid peace and security, to render assistance to sustainable social and economic development in the Member States.
The CFM has once again confirmed the full support for Palestine and Al-Quds Ash-Shareef, the lawful and inviolable rights of the Palestinian people, the peaceful initiatives on Middle East settlement, as well as fair and concurred resolution of the problem of Palestinian refugees in accordance with relevant resolutions of United Nations Security Council and norms of international law.
The OIC Member States stand united in their view on the need for the soonest stabilization of the situation in the Middle East and North Africa by way of political settlement of crises in line with the principles of the United Nations Charter and universally recognized international norms.
Drawing again the attention of the international community towards the situation in Afghanistan, this time as well we have stated that there is no military solution of the Afghan problem. We have voiced support to settlement of the intra-Afghan problem through advancement of an inclusive process of national reconciliation proceeding from the fact that these efforts must be taken under the leadership of Afghans and by the Afghans themselves.
The Member States of the Organization have emphasized the priority of countering terrorism and extremism in all of their manifestations, illicit production and trafficking of drugs, illegal arms trade, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and means of its delivery. It was noted that it is possible to defeat and eliminate these dangerous phenomena only by way of stirring up the joint struggle and elaborating the retaliation measures bоth against the symptoms and roots of these problems.
All participants of the Session supported the necessity of disseminating the knowledge about enlightened Islam as an important instrument of the struggle against the ideology of terrorism, violent extremism and religious fanaticism.
Taking into account that Uzbekistan’s chairmanship in the OIC CFM is held under a slogan «The education and enlightenment – path to peace and creativity», a special attention was paid to such issues as an in-depth contemplation of historical scientific heritage of outstanding scholars and thinkers of the Islamic world, ensuring growth of investments and input into a human capital, development and betterment of the system of education, upbringing of the forthcoming generation in the spirit of strife to master the universal human and Islamic values and summits of modern science.
The OIC stands ready to further continue and expand the programs and events in the sphere of higher education, in particular, in the framework of the Educational exchange program, to stir up the connections among higher education institutions, to advance the joint science and research projects, to institute scholarships and professional training programs.
In this context, the adoption of the new «Ten-year action program: the OIC – Year 2025» was highly appreciated. Its implementation will serve for further development of trade and investments, transfer of high technologies, advancement of private sector, industrialization, scientific spheres and education in the Muslim countries in the 21st century.
A particular attention was paid to such issues as exchange of experience in terms of addressing the issues of slowdown in growth of an economy, introduction of innovative technologies, shaping favorable investment and business climate, implementation of the long-term mutually beneficial projects in the priority directions of cooperation and development of infrastructure.
The participants of the Session have unanimously supported the efforts of the OIC Member States in terms of implementation of the national programs for using the renewable sources of energy and establishing the innovative economy.
As for the sphere of healthcare the Council has underscored its key significance in ensuring the high living standards and as a whole prosperity of society, and called for effective and full implementation of the «OIC strategic action plan in the sphere of healthcare for 2014-2023».
The participants of the Session have voiced a full support for the efforts of the Secretary General in terms of further deepening the cooperation and interaction of the OIC with regional and international organizations, especially the United Nations and its institutions.
Uzbekistan welcomes all these priorities of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and over the course of its chairmanship in the Organization’s CFM intends to channel efforts for implementation of the set goals in practice.
A special meeting «Extending opportunities and promoting the creative potential of the youth» was also held in the framework of the Session. The meeting saw a detailed and productive exchange of views on the issues of youth policy of the Member States and prospects of interaction in this area.
Taking this opportunity, as a chair of the OIC CFM I would like to thank His Excellency Secretary General Mr. Iyad Amin Madani for his role in advancement of the interests of the Muslim Ummah and uniting the efforts and aspirations of the OIC Member States in achieving the set goals in political, socio-economic and humanitarian spheres.
On the outcomes of our two-day work the participants of the Session approved 118 resolutions. You can learn their texts later on the OIC website and on the page of Uzbekistan’s chairmanship in the CFM on the website of the Uzbekistan Foreign Ministry.
The OIC Council of Foreign Ministers has received with pleasure the proposal of Côte d’Ivoire and adopted a decision to hold the 44th Session of the OIC CFM in 2017 in the city of Yamoussoukro.
In conclusion, dear representatives of mass media, allow me to thank you for your participation in this meeting.
Thank you for your attention and I offer the floor with pleasure to Mr. Secretary General.
UZBEKISTAN – OIC: COOPERATION FOR STRENGTHENING SECURITY
AND STABILITY IN THE MUSLIM WORLD
On 18-19 October, 2016 Tashkent will host the next 43th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC CFM), which will be conducted under the motto “Education and enlightenment – the path to peace and creation”. From this moment Uzbekistan officially receive the presidency of the Ministerial Council until the next 44th session of this authority.
History of the Organization starts from a summit of 25 Islamic states, taken place in Rabat (Morocco) on September 25, 1969. Its initial name – the Organization of the Islamic Conference has been changed on June 28, 2011 to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. The goal of the unification is the consolidation of the Islamic world efforts to protect its interests and ensure conditions for the full development of Islamic countries and promote the establishment of peace and harmony between different nations.
Currently, the OIC brings together 57 countries of the Islamic world and is considered the second largest international organization after the UN. As a subject of international law, the OIC takes decisions on political, economic, social and other issues.
In modern conditions the value of the OIC increases in promoting tolerance, mutual respect of cultures, peace and harmony within the Islamic world, and between representatives of different faiths and peoples. Such principles of the OIC activities become relevant, as the search for peaceful, political and diplomatic, preventive methods of conflict resolution, as well as timely response to them. The task of defending the true Islamic values and Islamic culture, demonstrating their great historical significance as a religion which preaches peace and harmony, education and intellectual enrichment, stands as priority plan of the organization’s activity.
The Republic of Uzbekistan was accepted in the OIC as an observer at an extraordinary meeting of foreign ministers of member countries in New York in the autumn of 1995, and October 2, 1996, our country became a full member of the organization.
As a member of the OIC, Uzbekistan attaches great significance to further enhancing cooperation with the organization and its bodies on all matters of mutual interest.
The decision on the presidency of Uzbekistan in 2016 in the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers was adopted in May 2015 at a meeting of this body in Kuwait.
It should be recalled that the Council of Foreign Ministers – the second most important after the Islamic Summit of the OIC body that convenes annually in one of the member countries. This is major annual event which allows develop guidelines for the implementation of common policies of the structure. The Uzbek side has conducted extensive preparatory work to ensure its effectiveness and opening up new prospects for cooperation.
Thus, in the framework of the preparation for the 43rd session of the Ministerial Council, the delegation of Uzbekistan headed by Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov has participated in the meetings of the Senior Officials and the Islamic Commission for Economic, Cultural and Social Affairs on July 23-28, 2016 in Jeddah. During these events there were considered and approved more than 100 projects of resolutions on major activities of the OIC which will be submitted for approval to the Council of Foreign Ministers session in Tashkent.
According to the spirit of the motto of the 43rd session of Foreign Ministers Council – “Education and enlightenment – the path to peace and creation», Uzbekistan has identified the strengthening and further development of the intellectual, scientific, technical and technological capacities of the OIC countries as one of the priorities for the period. In this context, particular importance is of to study and popularize the achievements of our great ancestors – the thinkers of the Islamic world, and their invaluable contribution to world civilization. Uzbekistan has a unique heritage of Islamic culture, and the names of such great figures as Imam al-Bukhari, Imam al-Tirmidhi, Abu Rayhon Beruni, al-Khwarizmi, Imam al-Maturudi and others are well known in the history not only of the Muslim countries, but also all over the world.
The broad scientific and technical cooperation which is focused on ways to simplify the introduction of new innovative technologies, other scientific and technological achievements, has been defined as one of the other important activity of our country during its presidency. Uzbekistan intends to actively promote the establishment of exchange of scientific and technological expertise and joint research in various fields of science, thus contributing to the development of cooperation and expansion of mutually beneficial relations on these issues.
The need of improving mechanisms for cooperation and expansion of mutually beneficial trade and investment relations in the framework of the OIC between Member States of the Organization and other leading countries is of particular importance too. After all, the Islamic world has a huge economic and investment potential, as well as energy resources to support high rates of sustainable economic and social development.
Thus, during the presidency of the Council of Foreign Ministers Uzbekistan will stand for strengthening the role of the OIC as an effective and authoritative forum of Muslim countries, with special emphasis on the issues of strengthening the scientific and educational, cultural and humanitarian potential of the organization.
In Uzbekistan there are convinced that by implementing abovementioned priorities it can be ensured peace, security and prosperity in the Muslim community.
Jahon Information Agency
OIC SESSION PRESS-CENTRE OPENED IN TASHKENT
The 43rd session of the Council of foreign ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation will take place in Tashkent on 18-19 October this year.
A thorough preparation for this authoritative forum has been carried out in accordance with the resolution of the First President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov on 19 August 2016. All conditions have been created for meeting guests, holding events, ensuring security, provision of quality medical services should they be needed.
This big forum of the Organization of the Islamic cooperation, uniting 57 countries, attracts a huge interest among mass media. The representatives of mass media of the member-states of the organization, dialogue partners and invited countries, international news agencies, TV channels, print and electronic media have expressed their wish to report about the session work.
An international press-centre with all conditions has been established at the Wyndham hotel for this purpose. The press-centre has high-speed internet and wi-fi connection, electronic demonstration stands, meeting the world standards, computers, printers, telephones and other multifunctional equipment.
The modern press-centre allows to present rapid and full information about the session to the world community.
THE TASHKENT DECLARATION OF THE 43RD SESSION OF THE COUNCIL OF FOREIGN MINISTERS OF THE ORGANIZATION OF ISLAMIC COOPERATION «EDUCATION AND ENLIGHTENMENT – PATH TO PEACE AND CREATIVITY»
Tashkent, the Republic of Uzbekistan
October 18-19, 2016
(17-18 Muharram 1438 AH)
We, the Foreign Ministers and heads of delegations of member-states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), participants of the 43rd Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the OIC in Tashkent, held on October 18-19, 2016,
Recognizing the leading role of the OIC in joining efforts to strengthen the mutually beneficial cooperation between the Member States in political, economic, security, social, cultural, educational, scientific and other vital areas,
Welcoming the initiative of the Republic of Uzbekistan on holding the 43rd Session of the CFM under the motto: «Education and Enlightenment – Path to Peace and Creativity»,
Recognizing whereas in the conditions of growing tensions and instability in various regions of the world, aggravation of ongoing conflicts, manifestations of deliberate attempts to tarnish the sacred religion of Islam and countering the Islamic world with other cultures and religions, there is a growing need to convey to the entire world community the true humanistic essence and tolerance of Islam, its spiritual enlightening beginning,
Taking into account and deeply appreciating the historical scientific heritage of outstanding scholars and thinkers of the Islamic world, their invaluable role and place in the history of modern civilization and the entire humanity in general, their invaluable contribution to the development of the world science, thought, culture and socio-economic progress,
Highly appreciating the enormous attention paid by the Leadership of the Republic of Uzbekistan to preservation and enhancement of historical scientific and cultural-spiritual heritage, as well as the true values of Islam, such as aspiration for peaceful and tranquil life, tolerance in interethnic and interreligious relations, sense of mutual respect and accord, as well as development and improvement of education system, upbringing of the younger generation in the spirit of mastering the universal and Islamic values and peaks of modern science,
Reaffirming the full commitment to the goals and principles of the OIC in the interests of Member States and support for peace, stability, sustainable socio-economic development, advancement of science, education and enlightenment in the OIC countries in the framework of Islamic solidarity and coordination of joint actions, we hereby make the following declaration:
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the entire Islamic world deeply mourn the recent untimely passing of the First President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, a prominent politician of modernity and the great son of the Uzbek nation, His Excellency Mr. Islam Karimov.
We highly appreciate the enormous contribution made by President Islam Karimov during his lifetime to the cause of ensuring the unity of the Islamic Ummah, maintaining and strengthening security and stability in Central Asia and the world as a whole, care for the heritage of outstanding scientists and thinkers of the Islamic world, protection of Islam in the international arena as a religion of peace and creativity, sustainable progressive socio-economic development of member-states of the OIC, formation of the younger generation in the spirit of respect for the true values of the Sacred religion of Islam, improving the system of cadres training, upbringing of highly-educated, intellectually and harmoniously developed youth, strengthening of mutual understanding and respect among the OIC countries by enhancing cultural and humanitarian cooperation.
We emphasize that since its establishment the OIC has secured a rightful place among the prestigious and influential international organizations, becoming a key dialogue platform for maintaining international peace and countering modern challenges and threats across the OIC space. In this context, we urge the Secretary-General to intensify the efforts on improving the activities of the Organization in order to ensure the unity of the Muslim Ummah, establishing lasting peace and security, promoting sustainable socio-economic development in member-states.
We once again place emphasis on the importance of ensuring security, sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and respect for the legitimate rights of member-states, as well as the need to resolve ongoing or emerging problems and conflicts through peaceful negotiations, with the use of political, diplomatic and international legal mechanisms based on the universally recognized principles and norms of international law. In this regard, we support the new OIC Peace and Security architecture and the efforts of the Secretary-General.
We note that in the conditions of the 21st century, which reputedly is the age of globalization, information-communication technologies, the Internet, and growing competition in the world space, as well as the world market, a priority attention must be paid to increasing investments and inputs in human capital, training an educated and intellectually developed generation which is the most important value and a decisive power in achieving the objectives of democratic development, modernization and renewal.
In the context of the motto of the Session: «Education and Enlightenment – Path to Peace and Creativity», we call upon member-states and relevant OIC institutions to continue and further expand the programs and activities in the field of higher education, in particular in the framework of Educational exchange program, put efforts to improve the training programs and courses, strengthen the links between higher educational institutions, promote the joint scientific and research projects, establish scholarships and programs of vocational training.
We note the need for dissemination of knowledge about enlightened Islam as an important tool to combat the ideology of terrorism, violent extremism and religious fanaticism. We highly appreciate the comprehensive efforts to combat radicalization and extremism using the true values of Islam and establishment of a broad educational process, inducting in the religious sphere. In this regard we note the positive role of the activities of the Tashkent Islamic University, which has become one of the leading educational institutions in Central Asia in training the qualified theologians and religious scholars.
We emphasize that a profound respect for its own history and intellectual heritage makes up the basis of bоth material and spiritual progress of any state. In this regard, we highly appreciate the work carried out in the member-states on studying and preserving the rich historical, scientific, cultural and spiritual heritage for future generations.
Recognizing the need to deeply comprehend the works of eminent Islamic scholars and thinkers, assess their role and place in the history of the modern civilization, we believe it is important to give a new powerful impetus to further comprehensive research and promotion of their invaluable scientific heritage, providing insight to the urgency and relevance of discoveries made by them for contemporary science and progress. We welcome the efforts of the member-states, including Uzbekistan, on creating a modern infrastructure for a comprehensive study and popularization of the invaluable scientific heritage and we highly appreciate the construction of new building of the library of the «Center of Oriental Manuscripts at the Tashkent Institute of Oriental Studies» being established with the assistance of the Sultanate of Oman.
We reiterate our full support for Palestine and Al-Quds Al-Shareef, the legitimate and inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to self-determination and return to their ancestral places of residence. In this context, we express support to the Arab Peace Initiative for the Middle East, as well as to fair and coordinated solution of the Palestinian refugee problem in accordance with relevant UN Security Council resolutions and international law.
We welcome the recently adopted Resolution of the UNESCO Executive Committee aimed at preservation of historical, religious and memorial sites in Palestine, including in East Jerusalem. Recognizing the invaluable nature of the cultural heritage of East Jerusalem, we call upon to careful treatment and ensuring integrity of all historical sites located in this sacred city.
We underline the need for earliest stabilization of the situation in the Middle East and North Africa and other parts of the continent by way of urgent political resolution of crises in accordance with the principles of the UN and OIC Charters and universally recognized international norms in order to bring to an end the sufferings of the people and the resultant migration and displacement of affected population.
We note that the earliest achievement of peace and stability in Afghanistan is an important factor in maintaining and strengthening security not only in the vast Asian continent, but also around the world. Reiterating the absence of a military solution to the Afghan problem, we support the settlement of the Afghan conflict through promotion of an inclusive process of national reconciliation and proceed from the fact that these efforts should be undertaken under the leadership of the Afghans and by the Afghans themselves, without putting any preconditions and under the central coordinating role of the UN in the process of international cooperation on Afghanistan. We welcome the OIC efforts to convene an International Ulema Conference aimed at political reconciliation and restoring peace, security and stability in Afghanistan.
We reiterate that the struggle against terrorism and violent extremism in all forms and their manifestations, illicit production and trafficking of drugs, illegal trafficking of humans and arms, ammunition and explosives substances, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery should remain a priority of the OIC. We are convinced that these dangerous phenomena can be defeated and eliminated only through a joint action, elaborating the measures of influence bоth to the symptoms and the roots of these problems. We highly appreciate the launch of an OIC Messaging Centre to counter the sham narratives of radical and extremist groups. We are continuing to advocate for further close cooperation in the fight against terrorism, spread of extremist ideology, especially among youth.
We welcome the entry into force on March 21, 2009 of the Central Asian Nuclear Weapon Free Zone Treaty, which was initiated by the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan His Excellency Mr. Islam Karimov on September 28, 1993 at the 48th session of the UN General Assembly and which has become the first such zone entirely formed from member-countries of the OIC. In this connection, we call on other parts of the world to use this positive experience to establish similar zones in their regions, including the Middle East.
We believe that the earliest entry into force for each Party of the Protocol on negative security assurances to Central Asian Nuclear Weapon Free Zone Treaty will contribute significantly to strengthening the global non-proliferation regime, ensuring regional and international peace and stability.
We highly appreciate the adoption of the new «Ten-Year Program of Actions: OIC – 2025» and are confident that its implementation will contribute to further development of trade and investment, transfer of high technologies, promotion of private sector, industrialization, scientific spheres and education in Muslim countries in the 21st century.
We reaffirm the leading role of the Standing Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation (COMSTECH) in joining the efforts of the member-states in the development of science, innovation and technologies, promoting research and joint programs and call upon the member states to actively participate in the next OIC Summit on Science and Technology in 2017.
We underline the importance of sharing experience among OIC Member States in addressing the issues of economic slowdown, introducing the innovative technologies, forming a favorable investment and business climate, implementing the long term mutually beneficial projects in priority areas of cooperation and infrastructure development. In this regard we commend the role played by COMSEC and other OIC Institutions in promoting intra OIC trade and exchange.
We support the efforts of the OIC member-states on implementation of national programs for renewable energy and creation of an innovative economy, and call to continue studying international best practices in this area.
We note that in the conditions of depletion of natural resources and exacerbation of problems in the field of protection and preservation of ecosystems and biodiversity, there is a need for undertaking the large-scale scientific research and experiments on a wide range of directions of exploring the world around us.
We affirm the special importance of development of tourism, as one of the sectors of economy, which contributes to a long-term sustainable growth, socio-economic development, and as consequently, enhancement of mutual understanding and promotion of tolerance among peoples and nations.
We welcome the election of the cities of Al-Madinah Al-Munawarah (Saudi Arabia) and Tabriz (Iran) as the OIC tourism capitals in 2017 and 2018, respectively, at the 9th Islamic Conference of Tourism Ministers of the OIC member-states, which took place on December 21-23, 2015 in Niamey, the Republic of Niger.
We underline the key importance of healthcare in ensuring high living standards and prosperity of society as a whole, and in this context, call for the effective and full implementation of the «OIC Strategic Health Program of Action 2014-2023», as well as welcome the strengthening of cooperation of the OIC with relevant international partners in the sphere of health care.
We support the «Program of capitals of Islamic culture» developed by the Organization for the Islamic Education, Science and Culture (ISESCO) as an important factor in preserving and restoring the cultural heritage and exchanging best practices in learning and teaching languages, history and culture of the Islamic countries. In this regard, we welcome the announcement of the city of Bukhara in Uzbekistan as the «Capital of Islamic culture» in 2020.
We welcome the efforts of the Secretary-General to further deepen the cooperation and interaction of the OIC with regional and international organizations, especially the UN and its institutions.
We welcome signing of memoranda on obligations of India and Pakistan with the purpose of seeking the status of a SCO member-state at the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) on June 24, 2016 in Tashkent, which means the beginning of the process of joining of these countries the ranks of full members of the SCO, and express hope that this process will contribute to strengthening confidence between Pakistan and India, maintaining a constructive dialogue and effective multifaceted cooperation, ensuring security and stability in the regions of South and Central Asia.
We express our appreciation of the efforts made by the State Kuwait as the Chair of the 42nd session of CFM to promote Islamic solidarity and advance partnership among the OIC member-states. We congratulate His Highness the Emir of the State of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah, on having been designated the title of Humanitarian Leader by the UN Secretary General in September 2014 in recognition of His Highness’ significant role in the humanitarian domain, as well as designating the State of Kuwait as a global humanitarian center.
We welcome the proposal made by Côte d’Ivoire to hold the 44th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the OIC in Abidjan in June 2017.
We express our gratitude to the Secretary General of the OIC His Excellency Mr. Iyad Ameen Madani for his role in promoting the interests of the Muslim Ummah and Joint Islamic Action in achieving the goals set in political, socio-economic and humanitarian spheres.
In conclusion of the 43rd Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers, we express our deep appreciation to the people and the Government of Uzbekistan for a warm hospitality and excellent organization of this conference, which ensured the success of the 43rd Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers titled «Education and Enlightenment – Path to Peace and Creativity».
Addressby the Acting President of the Republic of Uzbekistan H.E. Mr. Shavkat Mirziyoev
at the Opening Ceremonyof the 43rd Session of the Council of Foreign Ministersof the
Organization of Islamic Cooperation
Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem!
Dear Mr. Chairman!
Esteemed ministers and heads of delegations!
Ladies and gentlemen!
Assalamu-alaykum va rahmatullohi va barakatuhu!
First of all, allow to welcome you, dear guests, the heads of delegations of the Member States and Observer Countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, representatives of international organizations and all participants of the 43rd Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in the land of Uzbekistan and express my sincere respect!!!
We express our heartfelt gratitude that the capital city of Uzbekistan – Tashkent was chosen to hold this important forum of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation – today’s one of the most prestigious and largest institutions of multilateral cooperation.
We believe that this session will become an important step along the path of achieving such noble goals as safeguarding the values of sacred Islam, strengthening the solidarity among the Muslim nations, ensuring sustainable progress, as well as rendering assistance to the development and well-being of the people of Member States of the Organization.
We are pleased of the results of mutual cooperation achieved in the framework of preparations to this forum. In this regard we highly appreciate the productive work by the General Secretariat and personally its leadership –Mr. Iyad Madani and the Member States followed by the spirit of solidarity.
There is a deep symbolic meaning that the topic «The education and enlightenment – path to peace and creativity» was defined as a main idea of the 43rd session’s agenda. This idea is consonant with a famous hadith «Live and learn». This topic was proposed by the First President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov, the great statesman with a profound life experience and long-term vision, may Allah be pleased with him…..
This topic has resulted from the in-depth contemplations of the founder of the state of Uzbekistan about the people of the world, fate of his own nation and significance of our sacred religion in today’s complicated conditions.
We are witnessing how the world is rapidly changing and new menaces and dangers are emerging that threaten the stability and development of nations. In these conditions it is ever important to pay a serious attention to the spirituality and education, moral upbringing, obtaining knowledge by youth and their harmonious growth.
It is the education and enlightenment that are considered to be major factors of humanity’s well-being. They call on people for kindness. They appeal to be generous and patient.
Our sacred religion of Islam teaches us these very virtues!!!
Dear participants of the session!
It is not by chance that the slogan «The education and enlightenment – path to peace and creativity» was chosen as a topic of our today’s forum.
It is because this session is taking place in Uzbekistan, where our great ancestors were born.
The names of such geniuses as Imam Bukhariy and Burkhaniddin Marghinoniy, Isa and Khakim Termiziys, Makhmud Zamakhshariy and Qaffol Shoshiy, Bakhouddin Nakshband and Khoja Akhror Valiy, Muhammad Khorazmiy and Akhmad Farghoniy, Abu Raikhon Beruniy and Abu Ali ibn Sino, Mirzo Ulughbek, and Alisher Navoiy have been inscribed with golden letters in the history of world civilization.
The most authoritative compilation of ahadith of our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the well-known and famous work for all Muslims, is a result of selfless research by the son of this land – Imam Bukhariy. This work has been remaining as a second authoritative written source about our sacred religion after Holy Koran.
Certainly, it is not for nothing that millions of Muslims not only from our land, but also from other countries strive to go to a birthplace of this dear person – the sacred Bukhara and visit his graveside in Samarkand.
The teaching of Moturidiya which was founded in the 10th century by a scholar from Samarkand Abu Mansur Moturidiy is broadly spread in the Islamic world.
In the process of obtaining knowledge the teaching of Moturidiya attaches a profound attention to the place and significance of the human wit and intellect on the basis of the idea of tolerance. In its turn, this aspect was important in broad popularization of this teaching. At present, the humankind is still feeling a profound need in such ideas.
Nothing is left in great history without a trace. It remains in the blood and the historical memory of peoples, and reflects in practical deeds. Therefore it is powerful.
It is one of the priority directions of our state to preserve the historical heritage, study and transfer it from generations to generations.
These priorities become more important in the condition of globalization, when the new threats, and particularly, the «popular culture» and mood of sponging are emerging.
Therefore, at present it is ever important to safeguard and enrich the sources that define the spiritual world of a man and culture of peoples.
It is a noble duty of all of us to preserve and cherish our sacred religion which embodies our eternal values and moral qualities.
Islam means comprehending truth.
It calls upon humankind to practice kind deeds. It calls upon each of us to goodness and peace. It teaches to be a real human being.
We strongly condemn the persons who are exploiting the religion of Islam for the purposes of violence and bloodshed, and we will never come to terms with them.
We will always protect our sacred religion!!!
During the years of Independence the large-scale work was accomplished in Uzbekistan in terms of restoring the place of Islam in our society. Islam is considered to be the sacred religion of our ancestors.
In 1999 the first Islamic University in Central Asia was established in Tashkent. Ten religious educational institutions, in particular, the Tashkent Islamic Institute, 9 secondary special educational institutions are operating in our country. Two of them are for girls and women.
Among those institutes there are Mir Arab madrassah in Bukhara and Kukaldosh madrassah in Tashkent, which were built in the 16th century and are serving to broadly disseminate knowledge and science in our country.
During the communistic regime, which reigned for 70 years, just 130 people from Uzbekistan undertook a Hajj pilgrimage. Now each year more than 5 thousand people are accomplishing a Muslim’s duty. Those years only 30 mosques were in our republic.
At present, the thousands of mosques are operating in our country. The monuments of Islam and sacred sites were restored in every region of our country. Dear guests, you can visit most of them during your stay in Uzbekistan.
No doubt, from now onwards our sacred religion will continue to serve as a medium, which cannot be replaced by anything, to unite our people irrespective of their nationality and language, call upon to mutual respect and accord, spiritual purification, peace, kindness and tolerance.
Dear participants of the session!
The main goal while building an independent and strong state in Uzbekistan is to construct a just society where a human being, his spiritual, cultural and material needs shall be considered as a prime value, as well as his rights and freedoms shall be upheld.
We well comprehend that this is, first of all, related to improving the system of education and enlightenment, directing the youth, who are the future of our country, to acquiring a modern knowledge and upbringing a harmoniously mature generation. The implementation of the National program for cadres training adopted in 1997 has cardinally reformed this sphere.
At present, all our sons and daughters are covered with a twelve-year free and mandatory education. They are obtaining knowledge at 10 thousand reconstructed or newly built comfortable schools, 1,5 thousand academic lyceums and vocational colleges. Nearly 300 schools of music and art, and over 2200 sport facilities are also operating.
During the years of Independence, the number of higher education institutions in our country increased 2,5 times. The branches of seven foreign higher education institutes are functioning in Uzbekistan. Thousands of our talented youth are attending the prestigious universities of the world.
In our country more than 7% of the State budget against GDP is channeled to the sphere of education.
Since the early years of Independence, the youth policy in our country is considered to be the most priority and one of the main guidelines of state. Since the youth are our future. With an aim to further deepen the state policy in this sphere the Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan «On the state policy on youth» in new wording was adopted recently.
The accomplished reforms are now proving to be effective. Our youth are securing the world-acclaimed gains in the sphere of business, science, culture, arts, literature and sports. This instills us a profound confidence that the forthcoming generations are capable to worthily continue the noble deeds started by our great ancestors.
Ladies and gentlemen!
At present we are living in a historical stage of the human progress, literally speaking, in the historical stage with rapid changes in place.
For over the last years, the radical geopolitical changes have taken place in the world. The sharp intensification of the globalization process is not only expanding the human capabilities, but also leading to the growth of gap between the developed and backward countries.
As a result, various actions are being carried out, which are of a transnational nature by their essence and scope, and threaten peace and stability.
The people, who are left without a shelter, are wondering in alien lands and experiencing grave sufferings. Due to the armed confrontations and terrorism the innocent children, elderly and women are being killed. Many countries are being devastated as an outcome of endless wars.
In these conditions the role and responsibility of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation are ever increasing in serving as a particular ground for maintaining a dialogue on urgent issues of the Member States.
We highly value that our Organization is carrying out its activity with deep comprehension that it is impossible to achieve stability and security without tackling the economic and social problems.
This, in its turn, necessitates to further expand the scope of activities of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
It is important to widen the dialogue on various levels among countries and nations, establish the systemic ties not only among governments, but also the parliaments, representatives of education and science, culture and public. These very objectives can consolidate the multilateral cooperation in the framework of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
As a chair of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the Republic of Uzbekistan will do its best to further strengthen the potential of the Organization and contribute to the achievement of the noble goals.
During its chairmanship in the Council, Uzbekistan will try to reinforce the role of the Organization as an efficient and authoritative forum of the Muslim states.
The slogan of this session, which is being held under the chairmanship of Uzbekistan, vividly reflects our priorities. They are as follows:
First, the role of education is ever increasing in enhancing the living standards of population and might of a country.
The life itself proves that in the competition among states and civilizations the place of national and universal values is unique.
From this point of view, it is especially important to deeply study, comprehensively understand and widely popularize the works of Islamic scholars, who are our great ancestors, their invaluable contribution to the development of the world civilization.
This is important to strengthen among the youth the feeling of strife to obtain education and learn science, ensure proper comprehension and acceptance of the Islamic values and culture by all societies, and promote the real essence of Islam among all nations of the world. At present, it is also especially important to establish a dialogue among religions, nations and cultures on international level to achieve peace and tranquility.
Second, it is impossible to imagine the sustainable social and economic progress without innovative development, broad-scale scientific and technical collaboration, introduction of new technologies, scientific and technical achievements.
For this very reason it is proposed in the framework of our Organization to further advance science and technology, stir up a scientific and technological exchange and conduct joint research in other spheres.
No doubt, it is difficult to imagine the cooperation of the Member States without the Islamic Development Bank.
Taking this opportunity, I am pleased to congratulate His Excellency, Esteemed Mr. Bandar Hajjar on his election as president of this Bank starting from October 1, 2016!!!
Third, all of us are concerned that the problem of security is becoming extremely acute and tragic.
Ensuring unity among the Member States of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation is important in combating the dangers which threaten peace and stability.
Particularly, the most important task is to peacefully resolve the existing or emerging discords and confrontations on the basis of negotiations, universally recognized principles and norms of international law, using the political-diplomatic and international legal mechanisms.
Fourth, the Islamic world possesses enormous economic and investment potential, as well as energy resources. Their proper use, extending the international trade, economic, financial and investment cooperation of the Member States of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and establishing the transport corridors, which link our countries, will give the opportunity to achieve the high economic growth. In the final outcome, this will serve as a basis for the development of all other areas.
In this regard, it is especially important to enhance the mechanisms of interaction of our Organization’s Member States with other countries of the world.
Fifth, taking this fine opportunity we would like to announce some initiatives for the period of chairmanship of Uzbekistan in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
The essence of the first initiative is about establishment of the international scientific research center with an aim to study the multifaceted religious and spiritual heritage of our great ancestors, who made a unique contribution not only to the Islamic culture, but also the world civilization.
It would be logical to establish such a center at the Imam Bukhariy Memorial Complex in Samarkand. A number of convenient factors determine this:
First of all, a special place of Samarkand in the world civilization as one of the pearls of Islamic culture.
Along with this, the unique moral and spiritual climate peculiar to this place, where the sacred mausoleum of one of the great Muslim scholars Imam Bukhariy is located.
The proposed research center could be given a sublime and symbolic name of «The Imam Bukhariy International Research Center in Samarkand» under the aegis of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
We hope that the Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation His Excellency, Esteemed Mr. Iyad Madani will support our initiative and kindly extend his assistance to implement this project!!!
Another initiative of Uzbekistan is establishment of the special chair of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in the structure of the Tashkent Islamic University.
The main area of activity of the new chair could be teaching the education, science and culture in the Muslim world.
We hope that learning about rich historical and cultural heritage of our Homeland in the course of our forum and your visit to Uzbekistan will further strengthen our ties in tourism, humanitarian, scientific and other spheres.
In this regard, on our part we will take measures aimed at simplification of formalities related to travelling of tourists and representatives of Member States of the Organization to our country.
Sixth, the problem of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction remains one of the most urgent issues of the present day. Yet in 1993 Uzbekistan put forward the initiative on establishment of the Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Central Asia.
This initiative found its practical embodiment in the Treaty on a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Central Asia signed by Uzbekistan and neighboring countries in 2006, as well as the Protocol on Negative Guarantees signed by five permanent members of the UN Security Council in 2014.
Uzbekistan stands for consistent widening of scales of nuclear-weapon-free zones and supports the idea of establishing a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East.
Dear participants of the session!
I am confident that the 43rd Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation will further strengthen the potential and authority of our Organization on the international arena and efficient accomplishment of common tasks standing before us.
In conclusion, I am pleased to invite all of you to Samarkand – one of the pearls of the Orient.
I wish success to the work of the 43rd Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
Thank you for your attention.