OIC Ten-Year Programme of Action: To Meet the Challenges Facing the Muslim Ummah In The 21st Century
Posted by Human Rights in Islamic Countries on July 12, 2011
The Muslim World is faced with grave political, socio-economic, cultural and scientific challenges with implications for its unity, peace, security and development. OIC Member States would need to cooperate decisively in order to face these challenges and to take necessary initiatives to overcome them. It has therefore become imperative for them to take joint actions within the framework of the OIC, based on common values and ideals so as to revive the Muslim Ummah’s pioneering role as a fine example of tolerance and enlightened moderation, and a force for international peace and harmony.
Conscious of these challenges and anxious to bring the Ummah out of its present situation into a new reality marked by greater solidarity and more prosperity to achieve its decisive objectives and aspirations, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Ibn Abdulaziz, addressed the pilgrims on Eid Al-Adha Day in 1425 H, and called upon the leaders of the Muslim Ummah to convene an Extraordinary Conference of the leaders of OIC Member States to consider the issues of solidarity and Joint Islamic Action.
In preparation for this Extraordinary Conference, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques invited the scholars and intellectuals of the Ummah to meet in Makkah Al-Mukarramah in order to consider the state of the Ummah, develop visions and concepts and propose optimal solutions to the challenges facing the Ummah in all fields. Accordingly, an elite group of Muslim scholars and intellectuals from different countries met in Makkah Al-Mukarramah from 5 to 7 Shaaban 1426 H (9-11 September 2005) and examined the challenges facing the Ummah in the intellectual, cultural, political, media, economic and developmental fields. They also formulated a number of recommendations to effectively address these challenges.
Based on the views and recommendations of scholars and intellectuals, convinced of the potential for the Muslim Ummah to achieve its renaissance, and in order to take practical steps towards strengthening the bonds of Islamic solidarity, achieve unity of ranks, and project the true image and noble values of Islam and its civilizational approaches, a Ten-Year Programme of Action has been developed, which reviews the most prominent challenges facing the Muslim world today, as well as ways and means to address them in an objective and realistic way in order to serve as a practicable and workable programme for all OIC Member States.
In the intellectual and political fields, there are major issues, such as establishing the values of moderation and tolerance, combating extremism, violence and terrorism, countering Islamophobia, achieving solidarity and cooperation among Member States, conflict prevention, the question of Palestine, the rights of Muslim minorities and communities, and rejecting unilateral sanctions. All of these are issues which require a renewed commitment to be addressed through effective strategies. In this context, special attention needs to be given to Africa, which is the most affected region, due to poverty, diseases, illiteracy, famine, and debt burden.
In the economic and scientific fields, the Ummah needs to achieve higher levels of development and prosperity, given its abundant economic resources and capacities. Priority must be given to enhancing economic cooperation, intra-OIC trade, alleviating poverty in OIC Member States, particularly in conflict-affected areas, and addressing issues related to globalization, economic liberalization, environment, and science and technology.
As for education and culture, there is an urgent need to tackle the spread of illiteracy and low standards of education at all levels as well as a need to redress ideological deviation. In the social field, it is imperative to focus on the rights of women, children and the family.
In implementing the new vision and goals for the Muslim world, the role of the OIC is central, which requires its reform in a way that meets the hopes and aspirations of the Ummah in the 21st Century.
To achieve this new vision and mission for a brighter, more prosperous and dignified future for the Ummah, We, the Kings, Heads of State and Heads of Government of the OIC Member States, decide to adopt the following Ten-Year Programme of Action, with a mid-term review, for immediate implementation:
1. INTELLECTUAL AND POLITICAL ISSUES
I. Political Will
1. Demonstrate the necessary political will in order to translate the anticipated new vision into concrete reality and call upon the Secretary-General to take necessary steps to submit practical proposals to the Member States for consideration and subsequent submission to the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers.
2. Urge Member States to fully implement the provisions of the OIC Charter and resolutions.
II. Solidarity and Joint Islamic Action
1. Demonstrate strong commitment and credibility in Joint Islamic Action by effective implementation of OIC resolutions, and to focus on the adoption of implementable resolutions until the Ummah reaches its objectives. In this context, the Secretary General should be enabled to fully play his role in following up the implementation of all OIC resolutions.
2. Affirm commitment to Islamic solidarity among the OIC Member States vis-à-vis the challenges and threats faced or experienced by the Muslim Ummah, and request the Secretary General to elaborate a general framework, in consultation with Member States, on their duties and obligations in this regard, including solidarity and support to Member States who are facing threats.
3. Participate and coordinate effectively in all regional and international forums, in order to protect and promote the collective interests of the Muslim Ummah, including UN reform, expanding the Security Council membership, and extending the necessary support to candidatures of OIC Member States to international and regional organizations.
4. Continue to support the issue of Al Quds Al Sharif as a central cause of the OIC and the Muslim Ummah.
5. Reaffirm previous resolutions and decisions of the OIC on Jammu and Kashmir, Cyprus, Nagorno Karabakh and Somalia and demonstrate solidarity with these Muslim peoples in their just causes.
III. Islam – The Religion of Moderation and Tolerance
1. Endeavour to spread the correct ideas about Islam as a religion of moderation and tolerance and to safeguard Islamic values, beliefs and principles in order to fortify Muslims against extremism and narrow-mindedness.
2. Condemn extremism in all its forms and manifestations, as it contradicts Islamic and human values; and address its political, economic, social, and cultural root-causes, through development programmes and resolution of long-standing conflicts, which are to be faced with rationality, persuasion, and good counsel.
3. Emphasize that inter-civilizational dialogue, based on mutual respect and understanding, and equality amongst people are prerequisites for international peace and security, tolerance, peaceful co-existence, and participation in developing the mechanism for that dialogue.
4. Encourage inter-religious dialogue and underline common values and denominators.
5. Ensure the participation of the OIC and its specialized bodies, as a proactive partner in the dialogue among civilizations and religions, as well as in initiatives and efforts exerted in this regard.
6. Utilize the different mass media in order to serve and defend the causes of the Muslim Ummah, promote the noble principles and values of Islam, and correct misconceptions about it.
7. Strive for the teaching of Islamic education, culture, civilization, and the jurisprudence and literature of difference; call on Member States to cooperate amongst themselves in order to develop balanced educational curricula that promote values of tolerance, human rights, openness, and understanding of other religions and cultures; reject fanaticism and extremism, and establish pride in the Islamic identity.
IV. Multiplicity of Islamic Jurisprudence
1. Underline the need to strengthen dialogue among Islamic Schools, affirm the true faith of their followers and the inadmissibility of accusing them of heresy, as well as the inviolability of their blood, honor and property, as long as they believe in Allah Almighty, in the Prophet (PBUH) and in the other pillars of the Islamic faith, respect the pillars of Islam and do not deny any self-evident tenet of religion.
2. Condemn the audacity of those who are not qualified in issuing religious rulings (fatwa), thereby flouting the tenets and pillars of the religion and the well-established schools of jurisprudence. Consequently, compliance with the principle of fatwa, as approved by scholars, must be observed in line with the relevant provisions of the International Islamic Conference held in Amman in late July 2005 and in the recommendations of the Forum of Muslim Scholars and Intellectuals Preparatory to the Summit convened by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques in Makkah Al Mukarramah from 9 to 11 September 2005.
V. The Islamic Fiqh Academy (IFA)
1. Entrust the Secretary General to invite a group from the members of the Islamic Fiqh Academy and eminent Islamic scholars from outside to prepare a detailed study to develop the IFA’s work in accordance with the following objectives, for consideration by the ICFM:
a. Coordinate religious ruling (fatwa) authorities in the Muslim world.
b. Counter religious and sectarian extremism, refrain from accusing Islamic schools of heresy, emphasize dialogue among them, and strengthen balance, moderation, and tolerance.
c. Refute fatwas that take Muslims away from the parameters and constants of their religion and its established schools.
VI. Combating terrorism
1. Emphasize the condemnation of terrorism in all its forms, and reject any justification or rationalization for it, consider it as a global phenomenon that is not connected with any religion, race, color, or country, and distinguish it from the legitimate resistance to foreign occupation, which does not sanction the killing of innocent civilians.
2. Introduce comprehensive qualitative changes to national laws and legislations in order to criminalize all terrorist practices as well as all practices to support, finance, or instigate terrorism.
3. Affirm commitment to the OIC Convention on Combating Terrorism, participate actively in international counter-terrorism efforts, and endeavor to implement the recommendations of the International Conference on Combating Terrorism, held in Riyadh in February 2005, including the establishment of an International Center for Combating Terrorism, as well as the recommendations of the Special Meeting of OIC Foreign Ministers on Terrorism, held in Kuala Lumpur in April 2002.
4. Support efforts to develop an International Code of Conduct to Combat Terrorism and to convene an international conference or a special session of the UN General Assembly to reiterate the international consensus on establishing a comprehensive strategy to combat this dangerous phenomenon.
VII. Combating Islamophobia
1. Emphasize the responsibility of the international community, including all governments, to ensure respect for all religions and combat their defamation.
2. Affirm the need to counter Islamophobia, through the establishment of an observatory at the OIC General Secretariat to monitor all forms of Islamophobia, issue an annual report thereon, and ensure cooperation with the relevant Governmental and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in order to counter Islamophobia.
3. Endeavor to have the United Nations adopt an international resolution to counter Islamophobia, and call upon all States to enact laws to counter it, including deterrent punishments.
4. Initiate a structured and sustained dialogue in order to project the true values of Islam and empower Muslim countries to help in the war against extremism and terrorism.
VIII. Human Rights and Good Governance:
1. Seriously endeavor to enlarge the scope of political participation, ensure equality, civil liberties and social justice and to promote transparency and accountability, and eliminate corruption in the OIC Member States.
2. Call upon the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers to consider the possibility of establishing an independent permanent body to promote human rights in the Member States, in accordance with the provisions of the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam and to also call for the elaboration of an OIC Charter for Human Rights. Introduce changes to national laws and regulations in order to guarantee the respect of human rights in Member States.
3. Mandate the OIC General Secretariat to cooperate with other international and regional organizations to guarantee the rights of Muslim Minorities and Communities in non-OIC Member States, and promote close cooperation with the Governments of the States hosting Muslim communities.
IX. Palestine and the Occupied Arab Territories
1. Make all efforts to end the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, the Syrian Golan and the full completion of the Israeli withdrawal from all remaining Lebanese territories, in compliance with Security Council Resolution 425, and extend effective support for the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination and the establishment of their independent State with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.
2. Maintain a united stand on the comprehensive resolution of the Palestinian question according to OIC resolutions, UN resolutions, including UN Security Council Resolutions 242, 338, 1515 and UN General Assembly
Resolution 194, the Arab Peace Initiative, and the Roadmap, in coordination and consultation with the UN, the Quartet, and other stakeholders, such as to make full withdrawal as a prerequisite for establishing normal relations with Israel, and for providing the OIC with a greater role in establishing peace.
3. Emphasize the central importance of the cause of Al-Quds for the Muslim Ummah, the need to establish the Palestinian rights in the city, preserve its heritage as well as its Arab and Islamic identity as a symbol of solidarity and the meeting point of divine religions; underline the sanctity of Al-Aqsa Mosque and its premises against violations and the need to protect the other Islamic and Christian holy places, counter the judaization of the Holy City, and support the efforts of Al-Quds Committee under the chairmanship of His Majesty King Mohamed VI; call for support to Baytmal Al-Quds and Al-Aqsa Fund, support the steadfastness of Al-Quds population and institutions, and establish Al-Aqsa University in Al-Quds Al-Sharif.
4. Extend full support to the Palestinian Authority in its efforts to negotiate for the inalienable Palestinian rights and extend necessary assistance to ensure control of all Palestinian territories, international crossings, reopen Gaza airport and seaport, and connect Gaza with the West Bank in order to ensure free movement of the Palestinians.
5. Work together with the international community to compel Israel to stop and dismantle its settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories and the occupied Syrian Golan; remove the racist separation Wall built inside the Palestinian territories, including within and around the city of Al-Quds, in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions and the Opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
X. Conflict Prevention, Conflict Resolution and Post-conflict Peace Building
1. Strengthen the role of the OIC in conflict prevention, confidence-building, peacekeeping, conflict resolution and post-conflict rehabilitation in OIC Member States as well as in conflict situations involving Muslim communities.
2. Enhance cooperation among the OIC Member States and between the OIC and international and regional organizations in order to protect the rights and interests of the Member States in conflict prevention, conflict resolution, and post-conflict peace-building.
XI. Reform of the OIC
1. Reform the OIC through restructuring, and consider changing its name, review its Charter and activities and provide it with highly qualified manpower, in such a manner as to promote its role, reactivate its institutions and strengthen its relations with the officially recognized NGOs in the OIC Member States; empower the Secretary-General to discharge his duties and provide him with sufficient flexibility and the resources that enable him to carry out the tasks assigned to him and strengthen all OIC specialized and affiliated organs in order to allow them to play their aspired role, and reinforce coordination with the General Secretariat, and request it to review the activities of these organs and recommend the dissolution of those that prove to be inefficient.
2. Establish a mechanism for the follow-up of resolutions by creating an Executive Body, comprising the Summit and Ministerial Troikas, the OIC host country, and the General Secretariat. The Member States concerned should be invited to participate in the deliberations of these meetings.
3. Mandate the Secretary-General to prepare a study to strengthen the role of Islamic Solidarity Fund and develop it, and submit the study to the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers.
4. Urge Member States to pay in full and on time their mandatory contributions to the General Secretariat and Subsidiary Organs, in accordance with relevant resolutions, in order to enable Member States to avail themselves of the facilities and services offered by OIC subsidiary organs and specialized and affiliated institutions.
2. DEVELOPMENT, SOCIO-ECONOMIC AND SCIENTIFIC ISSUES
I. Economic Cooperation
1. Call upon the Member States to sign and ratify all existing OIC trade and economic agreements, and to implement the provisions of the relevant OIC Plan of Action to Strengthen Economic and Commercial Cooperation among OIC Member States.
2. Mandate COMCEC to promote measures to expand the scope of intra-OIC trade, and to consider the possibility of establishing a Free Trade Area between the Member States in order to achieve greater economic integration to raise it to a percentage of 20% of the overall trade volume during the period covered by the plan, and call on the Member States to support its activities and to participate in those activities at the highest possible level with delegations possessing the necessary expertise.
3. Promote endeavors for institutionalized and enhanced cooperation between OIC and regional and international institutions working in the economic and commercial fields.
4. Support OIC Member States in their efforts to accede to the World Trade Organization (WTO), and promote concerted positions between the Member States within the WTO.
5. Call upon the OIC Member States to facilitate the freedom of movement of businessmen and investors across their borders.
6. Support expanding electronic commerce among the OIC Member States and call on the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry to strengthen its activities in the field of data and expertise exchanges between chambers of commerce of the Member States.
7. Call upon the Member States to coordinate their environmental policies and positions in international environmental fora so as to prevent any adverse effects of such policies on their economic development.
II. Supporting the Islamic Development Bank (IDB)
1. Establish a special fund within the IDB in order to help address and alleviate poverty, and provide job opportunities; and commission the IDB Board of Governors to establish this special fund, including mechanisms for its financing.
2. Mandate the Islamic Development Bank to coordinate with the OIC General Secretariat in order to make the necessary contacts with the World Health Organization and other relevant institutions to draw up a programme for combating diseases and epidemics, to be financed through the special fund that will be created within the IDB.
3. Commission the IDB Board of Governors to take necessary measures for ensuring a substantial increase in the Bank’s authorized, subscribed, and paid-up capital, so as to enable it to strengthen its role in providing financial support and technical assistance to OIC Member States, and strengthen the Islamic Corporation for Trade Finance recently established within the IDB.
4. Urge the IDB to develop its mechanisms and programmes aimed at cooperation with the private sector and to consider streamlining and activating its decision-making process.
5. Urge the IDB and its institutions to promote investment opportunities and intra-OIC trade, and to conduct other feasibility studies to provide the necessary information to develop and promote joint ventures.
III. Social solidarity in the face of natural disasters
1. Islam advocates solidarity with, and assistance to, all the needy without discrimination, which requires the Islamic States to develop and adopt a clear strategy on Islamic relief action and support the trend towards cooperation and coordination between individual relief efforts of Islamic States and Islamic civil society institutions on the one hand, and international civil society institutions and organizations on the other hand.
2. Help countries affected by these disasters to rebuild their buffer stocks.
IV. Supporting development and poverty alleviation in Africa
1. Promote activities aimed at achieving economic and social development in African countries, including supporting industrialization, energizing trade and investment, transferring technology, alleviating their debt burden and poverty, and eradicating diseases; welcome the New Economic Partnership for African Development (NEPAD), adopt to this end, a special programme for the development of Africa.
2. Call upon the Member States to participate in international efforts to support programmes aimed at alleviating poverty and capacity-building in the Least-Developed Member States of the OIC.
3. Urge donor Member States to cancel bilateral and multilateral debts to low-income Member States.
4. Urge international specialized institutions and organizations to exert greater efforts to alleviate poverty in the Least-Developed Member States and assist Muslim societies, the refugees and displaced in the OIC Member States, and Muslim Minorities and Communities in non-OIC Member States; urge States to contribute to the World Fund for Solidarity and Combating Poverty.
V. Higher Education, Science and Technology
1. Effectively improve and reform educational institutions and curricula in all levels, link postgraduate studies to the comprehensive development plans of the Islamic World. At the same time, priority should be given to science and technology and facilitating academic interaction and exchange of knowledge among the academic institutions of Member States, and urge the Member States to strive for quality education that promotes creativity, innovation, and research and development
2. Assimilate highly-qualified Muslims within the Muslim World, develop a comprehensive strategy in order to utilize their expertise and prevent brain migration phenomenon.
3. Entrust the General Secretariat to study the creation of an OIC Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievements by Muslim scientists.
4. Call upon Islamic countries to encourage research and development programmes, taking into account that the global percentage of this activity is 2% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and request Member States to ensure that their individual contribution is not inferior to half of this percentage.
5. Take advantage of the important results of the World Summit on Information Society, held in Tunis, in which all Muslim States actively participated with a view to close the digital gap between the developed and developing States and request the General Secretariat to follow up these results in order to build the capacities of Member States to adhere to the information society which, in turn, will sustain development in Muslim States.
6. Encourage public and private national research institutions to invest in technology capacity-building, in areas of advanced technologies, such as the acquisition of nuclear technology for peaceful uses.
7. Review the performance of the OIC-affiliated universities so as to improve their effectiveness and efficiency, and call for participation in the two Waqfs (Endowments) dedicated to the two universities in Niger and Uganda, and provide support to the International Islamic University in Malaysia.
8. Call upon the Member States to extend enhanced support to the Islamic University of Technology in Bangladesh in order to enable it to contribute more towards capacity building of the OIC Member States through human resources development.
9. Urge the IDB to further enhance its programme of scholarships for outstanding students and Hi-Tech specializations aimed at developing the scientific, technical, and research capabilities of scientists and researchers in the Member States.
VI. Rights of Women, Youth, Children, and the Family in the Muslim World
1. Strengthen laws aimed at enhancing the advancement of women in Muslim societies in economic, cultural, social, and political fields, in accordance with Islamic values of justice and equality; and aimed also at protecting women from all forms of violence and discrimination and adhering to the provisions of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women, in line with the Islamic values of justice and equality.
2. Give special attention to women’s education and female literacy.
3. Expedite developing “The Covenant on the Rights of Women in Islam”, in accordance with Resolution No. 60/27-P and the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam.
4. Strive to provide free and quality basic education for all children.
5. Strengthen laws aimed at preserving the rights of children, enjoying the highest possible health levels, taking effective measures in order to eradicate poliomyelitis and protect them from all forms of violence and exploitation.
6. Encourage the Member States to sign and ratify the OIC Covenant on the Rights of the Child in Islam, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Child in Islam, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and its annexed Optional Protocols, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and its Optional Protocol with regard to the Girl Child.
7. Call upon all Member States to support and promote youth programmes and youth forums.
8. Call upon the OIC to contribute towards projecting Islam as a religion that guarantees full protection of women’s rights and encourages their participation in all walks of life.
9. Accord necessary attention to the family as the principal nucleus of the Muslim society, exert all possible efforts, at all levels, to face up to the contemporary social challenges confronting the Muslim family and affecting its cohesion, on the basis of Islamic values.
10. Establish a Division responsible for Family Affairs within the framework of the General Secretariat’s restructuring.
VII. Cultural and Information Exchange among Member States
1. Call upon TV channels and the mass media to deal with international mass media effectively in order to enable the Muslim world to express its perspective on international developments. Call on the mass media in Member States, including satellite channels, to agree on a Code of Ethics that caters for diversity and pluralism and safeguards the Ummah’s values and interests. Mandate the Secretary-General to prepare a report to evaluate the current situation of IINA, ISBO, and the OIC Information Department; consider ways and means to activate the role and mechanisms of the media within the framework of the OIC System; and submit proposals, in this regard, to the Islamic Conference of Information Ministers for consideration. Accord attention to Arabic as the language of Qur’an, develop programmes for translation between the languages of the Muslim Ummah, and implement programs of cultural exchanges among the OIC Member States, including Observer States.
2. Strengthen COMIAC in order to give more care to information and cultural issues in Member States. In this context, the Member States should voluntarily support digital solidarity and allow the OIC to actively participate in the efforts to reduce the digital gap.