Statement by H.E. Dr. DipuMoni, MP, Hon'ble Foreign Minister of the People's Republic of Bangladesh at the Ministerial Meeting preparatory to the 12th Islamic Summit Conference in Cairo, Egypt on 04 January 2013
Cairo, 04 Jan 2013
Your Excellency, the Foreign Minister of Egypt and Chair of Ministerial Meeting for the 12th Islamic Summit,
Your Excellency, the Foreign Minister of Senegal and Chair of Ministerial Meeting for the 11th Islamic Summit,
Your Royal Highnesses,
Your Excellency, the Secretary-General of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation,
Brothers and Sisters,
Mr. Chair, my warm congratulations on your assumption of the Chair of this Ministerial Meeting preparatory to the 12th Islamic Summit Conference. Through you, I convey my gratitude to the government of Egypt for the excellent arrangements and wonderful hospitality extended to me and my delegation in this beautiful and historic city of Cairo. I thank the government of Senegal for its leadership of the Summit since its 11th Session. My appreciation goes for the Secretary General for his valuable contribution to the preparation for this Summit. In recent years, we have witnessed winds of change in the Muslim world. We made substantial progress in widening and deepening cooperation amongst us under the Ten Year Programme of Action. These developments bring new optimism to our pursuit of development. At the same time, Muslim world is faced with many new adversities at the national, regional and global level. We are grateful to you, Mr. Chair, for choosing a theme that inspires us to face the situation around us with resolve and confidence. We look forward to stimulating debates at the thematic sessions of the Summit as well as at the special session on Israeli settlements.
Palestine remains a fundamental issue for our Organization. We are hopeful that, under the leadership of Egyptian Chair, we will find an effective strategy to address the question of Palestine in the spirit of Islamic solidarity. Realization of the rights of the Palestinian people is an important element of the foreign policy of Bangladesh. We support a fully sovereign Palestine state within the pre-1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its Capital. Many of our brothers and sisters are suffering not only from the oppression of foreign occupation, but from grievous in-fighting as well. Parts of Africa and Middle East have become the hotbed of terrorism. We cannot afford to give way to forces of conflict and lay waste our unique civilizational achievements over the past fourteen centuries. We need to muster our resolve and solidarity to uphold the noble message of peace in Islam. As terrorism can breed in an environment of bigotry and extremism, it can also be provoked as a reaction to hatred and racism. Expression of Islamophobia is one of the greatest threats to future peace and stability in the world. We need to continue our efforts in the political and legal domain to withstand this new version of xenophobia and discrimination. The conflicts and natural disasters occurring in the Member States place a heavy demand on the humanitarian activities of OIC. It is important the General Secretariat is strengthened adequately to face this growing challenge.
We have a rich history of contribution to astronomy, mathematics and various disciplines of science, including medical science. We can reinvent our past glory by enriching our modern-day scientific expertise through sharing of experience and best practices as well as undertaking projects for capacity building in science and technology. The socio-cultural diversity of our Member States demonstrates that each Member State has something unique to offer. Many ideas emanating from our Member States can help transform positively the landscape of many other developing countries of comparable standing. In case of Bangladesh, empowerment of women through various social and economic interventions is contributing to their emancipation and mainstreaming. For dissemination of such best practices, OIC can act as a conduit.
Greater trade and investment among the Member States would be an important vehicle for increasing the aggregate wealth and its equitable distribution among Member States of OIC. By 2011, we have already taken the intra-OIC trade to the level of 17.71%, a fact that makes us optimistic of the possibility of reaching the TYPOA target of 20% by the year 2015. The economic cooperation can be further accelerated through implementation of agreements that we already have and promotion of participation of private sector.
A cooperation marked by a spirit of solidarity and an approach of understanding can indeed help us overcome the challenges and utilize the opportunities for achieving our cherished goal of peace and prosperity for the Ummah.