July 11, 2017
Your Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Distinguished participants,

By the help of Allah we would continue our work, and now please allow me to deliver my statement.

First of all, allow me to convey to esteemed participants of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers the words of greetings and respect on behalf of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan H.E. Mr. Shavkat Mirziyoev and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan H.E. Mr. Abdulaziz Kamilov.

Today, when Uzbekistan's Chairmanship of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers has come to an end, I would like to share with you what has been done since our Chairmanship began, in terms of the tasks that we set in front of ourselves and the priorities which we have focused our efforts on, as well as the achievements that we have reached all together.

As was underscored in the Statement of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan H.E. Mr. Shavkat Mirziyoev at the Opening Ceremony of the 43rd Session of the OIC CFM held in Tashkent in October 2016, the slogan of our presidency has been chosen as: «The education and enlightenment – path to peace and creativity».

As it has been stated on many occasions, our chairmanship under this slogan was aimed at strengthening the leading role of the OIC in promoting mutually beneficial cooperation among the Member States in political, economic, social, cultural, educational, scientific and other areas.

The development of events on the international arena, increase of threats of terrorism and extremism, expansion of zones of conflicts and confrontations as never before reiterate now the urgency and significance of the issues of spirituality and enlightenment, upbringing of youth in the spirit of such true values of our sacred religion of Islam as tolerance, generosity, humanness, mutual respect and accord.

Today it’s particularly important to strengthen our efforts to prevent the Islamic nations from falling into the hands of extremists and radical groups which try to mislead people, dismantle the past achievements and destroy the social, ethnic and religious balance.

Based on these views and approaches, Uzbekistan has participated at the recent Arab Islamic American Summit held in Riyadh and fully supported the establishment of the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology.

As the Organization, we must continue to do our part of work to contribute to dialogue, stability and upholding the values that unite us.

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen!

During our presidency 22 Islamic and international events were organized, which have tangibly enriched both the agenda and activity of the OIC. In particular, 4 ministerial visits, 3 sessions of the Executive Council, 15 sessions in Jeddah, New York, Geneva and Brussels, as well as the whole number of conferences and meetings took place.

One of the strategic goals of our Chairmanship has been to support our brotherly nation of Palestine to establish their own independent state on the Palestinian territory within the border of 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital. We have actively promoted the Palestinian cause in a number of international fora. In particular, during our chairmanship an Extraordinary Meeting of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on 19 January 2017. It reaffirmed the centrality of the cause of Palestine for the OIC and recalled all relevant resolutions adopted by the OIC, the UN General Assembly and Security Council.

We have been paying particular attention also to the issue of Rohingya Muslim Minority in Myanmar and participated at a number of OIC high level meetings in Kuala Lumpur, New York, Geneva and Brussels. The meetings expressed grave concern at the recent eruption of violence in northern Rakhine that resulted in the loss of innocent lives and displaced tens of thousands of Rohingya people, and called upon the Government of Myanmar to take decisive steps to restore calm in the affected areas.

Esteemed colleagues,

As you see, the problem of Islamophobia has further deteriorated since the 43rd session of the CFM. During the past period, the world witnessed a number of attacks on Muslims, both individuals and communities, in different areas. Moreover, this negative phenomenon started to be institutionalized in the sectors of law, politics, education and employment of some countries.

These trends showed once again the necessity of promoting the genuine values of Islam and strengthen solidarity among the OIC countries.

We supported the 11th Session of the Islamic Conference of Information Ministers of the OIC Member States which was held in Jeddah on 21 December 2016. It has affirmed the importance of countering the fierce campaign waged on Islam and Muslim communities, stressed that addressing the issue of Islamophobia starts with presenting the truth about the magnanimous religion of Islam to foreign interlocutors in a thoughtful and effective manner, called the importance of cooperation among Member States in developing media mechanisms to fight terrorism, condemning all manifestations of violence, extremism, fanaticism and terrorism which distort the noble messages of human cultures.

We also welcomed the proposal by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to convene the 1st Session of the Ministerial Conference on the Marriage and Family Institution’s Empowerment and Value Preservation in Member States in 8-9 February 2017 in Jeddah. This forum certainly helped in developing general framework for cooperation and coordination among the OIC organs active in the field of women empowerment and capacity-building, and endeavoring to create special structures and departments within those organs that would be dedicated to family issues.

The conference also emphasized the need for Member States to urge the family to assume its responsibilities towards children and youth by enshrining the principles of moderation and protecting them from deviance and terrorists ideologies, propagate the spirit of love, peace and fighting hatred, has ensured that they grow into useful people for themselves, their societies, and rest of the world.

We participated at the workshop organized by the OIC General Secretariat in Jeddah on 8-10 November 2016. This workshop was aimed to prepare a comprehensive OIC media strategy until 2025 based on a concept paper prepared by the Information Department for a contemporary media strategy that includes clear programs and intensified campaigns to provide a true, fair and objective picture of Islam and issues and matters pertaining to Muslims in various parts of the world.

Building bridges and encouraging consultations among the followers of different schools of thought and strengthening initiatives relating to OIC and non-OIC countries and projects for inter-civilizational dialogue are among the essential elements of the ‘OIC-2025 Vision’. Therefore, promoting intercultural and interfaith dialogue remains a priority for the OIC, since the organization’s Program of Action for 2016-2025 continues to recognize intercultural dialogue as an effective tool for combating extremism and intolerance that impede development of the culture of peace and understanding.

We supported continuation of our cooperation in the framework of the OIC-Computer Emergency Response Team as well as the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations to develop the OIC activities and programs in this regard.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In order to strengthen cooperation and unite efforts in combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations in OIC Member states and the world at large whilst respecting the principles of human rights and ensuring justice, we chaired the following important OIC events:

-the meeting of the OIC Executive Committee to denounce the launching of a ballistic missile towards Makkah by Houthis and Saleh in a flagrant disregard of the sanctity and holiness of Makkah for all Muslims on 5 November 2016 in Jeddah;

-the 2nd Emergency Ministerial meeting upon the recommendation of the Executive Committee where all Muslim countries expressed their displeasure, regret and concern by the reckless behaviors of Houthis and Saleh, notably the launch of a ballistic missile towards Makkah, considered as an infringement on the Islamic Ummah as a whole. The meeting was held on 17 November 2016 in Makkah;

-the 2nd Meeting of Legal Experts to Revisit the OIC Convention on Combating International Terrorism on 13 February 2017 in Jeddah;

-the meeting of the intergovernmental expert group on reviewing and updating the rules and procedures of OIC CFM on 4-15 March 2017 in Jeddah;

-the meeting of the Inter-Government Expert Group assigned to review the Charter that would govern cooperation between the General Secretariat and the civil society institutions on 28 March 2017 in Jeddah;

-the meeting of the Intergovernmental group of experts to review the draft statutes of “Endowment Fund of the International Islamic Fiqh Academy” on 12-13 April 2017 in Jeddah;

-the meeting on the establishment of the OIC Contact Group on Peace and Conflict Resolution on 17 April 2017 in Jeddah.

The OIC Executive Committee held an emergency meeting at the ministerial level on 22 December 2016 at the request of the State of Kuwait to discuss the situation in Syria in light of the tragic developments in Aleppo. The meeting came within the framework of the OIC’s continued efforts since the outbreak of the Syrian crisis to end the killing and the genocide and find a peaceful political settlement to the crisis in Syria on the basis of the Geneva I Communiqué and the UN-sponsored political process.

Uzbekistan participated in a Senior Officials meeting that was organized in this framework in cooperation with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on 18 December 2016 in Jeddah. This meeting brought together high officials from major donors and representatives of the main humanitarian actors in Yemen.

We highly appreciate the OIC Election Observers’ visit to Uzbekistan to monitor the presidential elections as well as their participation in various elections in Kyrgyzstan, Gambia, Jordan, Gabon, Turkmenistan, Algeria and Palestine.

During the Chairmanship Uzbekistan participated in 10th and 11th Regular Sessions of the OIC Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) in Jeddah on 27 November – 1 December 2016 and 7–11 May 2017. We are grateful to the Commission for taking all measures to ensure respect for human rights for all, and the rule of law at the national and international levels. In fact the Republic of Uzbekistan focuses on protecting the rights of vulnerable groups – women, children, elderly, disabled persons, etc. In this regards, Uzbekistan advances Uzbekistan Human Rights Centers Chairman Professor Akmal Saidov as candidate from Asian Group to the OIC IPHRC for a term of three (3) years, starting from February 2018.

We hope that Member States will support our candidature.

As it has been stated in many occasions, our primary goal during the Chairmanship was to strengthen the enlightenment and education among Muslim Ummah. We believe that our future requires continuation of considerable amount of work and colossal effort in this direction.

Research and study of the spiritual heritage of the outstanding thinker of Islamic world and great muhaddith Imam Muḥammad ibn Ismail al-Bukhariy, broad dissemination, especially among the youth, of the ideas, which call for kindness and moral perfection, advancement and coordination of scientific activity of the scientists from the OIC Member States, as well as establishment and development of scientific practical links among the state, public and charity organizations, today becomes great importance.

Establishment of the Imam al-Bukhariy International Scientific Research Center in Samarkand is extremely needed to stir up the study and propagate the multifaceted religious and spiritual heritage of great ancestors of the Muslim peoples as well as for careful treatment and preserving the universal Islamic heritage, dissemination of knowledge about Islam as a religion, which professes peace, stability, confessional and interethnic accord, friendship and good neighborliness, mutual respect and cooperation.

Expressing gratitude to the State of Kuwait, the Republic of Turkey, the Islamic Development Bank Group, the Research Center for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA) and the Statistical, Economic and Social Research and Training Center for Islamic Countries (SESRIC), in this light, we kindly request the Member States to support this Center.

It is well known that the Tashkent Islamic University becomes one of the leading educati onal institutions of the Central Asia for training of qualified theologians and religious scholars. It promotes knowledge about the true values of Islam, which is of a great importance in countering the radicalization, extremism and Islamophobia.

In this regard, we kindly call on the OIC Member States to support the establishment of the Special Chair of ISESCO at the Tashkent Islamic University that intended to study the history and current state of education, science and culture in the Muslim world, and teach them to students at in-depth special courses.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you again for close collaboration, particularly Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, and others throughout this period of our chairmanship.

I would like to thank the OIC Secretary General Dr. Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen for his close cooperation with Uzbekistan. We have witnessed his unparalleled dedication and personal commitment to the values and goals of the Organization. His efforts to raise the profile and effectiveness of this Organization are exemplary.

We believe that the Uzbekistan’s chairmanship would not achieve these results without direct engagement, participation and support of the OIC General Secretariat and delegations of our brotherly Member States. So, I would like to extend our sincere gratitude to all of you for your attention and partnership.

I am delighted to pass the truthful congratulations of the people and Government of Uzbekistan to Cote d’Ivoire on the occasion of this significant political event and I convey my best wishes for a successful and productive Chairmanship.

In the spirit of the slogan of this meeting, I certainly believe that Cote d’Ivoire will succeed in promoting “Youth, Peace and Development in a World of Solidarity”.

I wish all the success to Foreign Minister His Excellency Mr. Marcel Amon Tanoh and his team.

Thank you very much for your kind attention.

(Source: Press Service of the MFA of the Republic of Uzbekistan)


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