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Fwd: The OIC Weekly Newsletter Issue 18 (2008)

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  • Abdul Wahid Osman Belal
    News wrote: From: News To: A. Ehteshami Subject: The OIC Weekly Newsletter Issue 18
    Message 1 of 1 , May 1, 2008
      News <news@...> wrote:
      From: "News" <news@...>
      To: "A. Ehteshami" <A.Ehteshami@...>
      Subject: The OIC Weekly Newsletter Issue 18 (2008)
      Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2008 15:57:00 +0300


      The OIC Weekly Newsletter    Issue 18 (2008)
      30 April 2008 (24 Rabie Al-Thani 1429)
      • In the news
        • Ihsanoglu Gives Lecture in Oxford on Islam in Europe
        • ICCI Announces $100 million Islamic Investment Company
        • Workshop for IDB Scholarship Program for Muslim Communities in Non-Member Countries
        • IDB Funds Allocate $2 million for Gaza
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      In the News
      Ihsanoglu Gives Lecture in Oxford on Islam in Europe
      OIC Secretary General Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu gave a lecture at the Oxford Center for Islamic Studies on April 28, 2008 titled ‘Islam, an essential component of European identity’ where he emphasized Islam’s presence in Europe for centuries contributing immensely to the creation of modern Europe and the continued contributions of Muslims today in Europe. He spoke about the OIC’s efforts in reviving the Muslim Ummah’s pioneering role as a fine example of tolerance and enlightened moderation and a force for international peace and harmony.
      During his stay in London , the Secretary General met Mr. Shahid Malik, Parliamentary Undersecretary of State, Department of International Development, who said Britain looks forward to increased cooperation with the OIC to combat poverty and achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Prof. Ihsanoglu also met Dr. Kim Howells, Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
      On April 29, the Secretary General addressed a meeting with the Muslim Aid organization, which he commended for its magnificent humanitarian work all over the world and invited it and other international humanitarian organizations to cooperate with the OIC in its activities. He pointed to the looming food crisis and called for a collective strategy by governments and NGOs to tackle this issue. After the lecture he was presented with the Association of Muslim Social Scientists (AMSS) 2007 Building Bridges Award.
      ICCI Announces $100 million Islamic Investment Company
      Addressing the 24th session of the General Assembly of the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) in Jeddah, Saleh Kamel, Chairman of the Board of Directors of ICCI, highlighted the pivotal role the Chamber plays in the service of the Islamic countries’ economies, manifested in enhancing trade exchanges among member countries of the OIC. Reviewing the chamber’s accomplishments, Kamel said the Chamber serves as a business and economic hub for Islamic countries and a representative for the private sector in these countries.
      He also announced the establishment of a global investment company. “Within the Chamber’s efforts to increase the volume of trade exchanges among OIC Member States, an international company has been established, with a starting capital of $100 million, to explore investment opportunities in these countries,” he added. Kamel said the chamber’s efforts are not confined to this, but it also has formed the “Union of Business Owners” in the Member States, in addition to another union named “Earth Builders.” Kamel also unveiled a plan for the establishment of a company to promote tourism among the member countries.
      In his statement to the Assembly, the OIC Secretary General Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu paid tribute to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Ibn Abdulaziz for his constant support for the OIC and its institutions in general, and the ICCI in particular. Ihsanoglu added that the 11th Islamic Summit Conference held in Dakar , Senegal , gave a prominent place to the economic issues in view of the important role played by the economic dimension in joint Islamic Action in the advancement of the Ummah. He commended the efforts made by the ICCI in this regard and reiterated his full support for the ICCI Board of Directors.
      In conclusion of his statement, the Secretary-General stated that the Government of Uganda will host an OIC Business Forum on June 16-17, 2008 prior to the 35th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers. Also, the ICCI will organize the 12th Meeting of the Private Sector for the Promotion of Trade and Investment among Islamic Countries. The Secretary-General proposed that this meeting be held also in June in Kampala , the capital of Uganda .
      Workshop for IDB Scholarship Program for Muslim Communities in Non-Member Countries
      The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) conducted a workshop in Jeddah on April 27-29, 2008 for its partners of the IDB Scholarship Program for Muslim Communities in Non-Member Countries. A total of 73 representatives from 51 countries from 4 continents participated in the workshop. The workshop discussed the implementation of the multi-faceted Scholarship Program, the problems being encountered, and the solutions to overcome them and suggested recommendations for improvement in program implementation. The IDB Scholarship Program is for undergraduate studies in science and technology for students from non-members countries of the Bank. The Bank has selected more than 9000 students from 58 countries since the inception of the program in 1983, over 5200 of them have graduated.
      Meanwhile, as part of its efforts to help and develop Muslim communities in non-member countries, the IDB signed an agreement for offering $800,000 from its Waqf Fund to the Chinese Islamic Society in Peking in order to improve the Society’s work in providing elementary and secondary education to poor students in nine Chinese cities by building ten schools in those cities, which will benefit around ten thousand students.
      IDB Funds Allocate $2 million for Gaza
      The Administrative Committee of the Al-Aqsa and Quds Funds of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) held its 31st meeting in Jeddah and decided to allocate $2 million for medical and food aid to relieve the effects of the siege on Gaza . The Committee reviewed the progress made in implementing the development projects financed by the two Funds, and commended the decision made at the Funds’ regular meeting in Yemen on April 2, 2008 to allocate $50 million in support of development projects in Palestine, bringing the total of Arab funds’ contributions to projects managed by the Al-Aqsa Fund during the last four years to around $170 million.
      The OIC has expressed grave concern over the escalating catastrophic humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip resulting from the latest reports of the Israeli government’s action to halt fuel supplies to the impoverished territory, which has forced the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to stop delivering humanitarian aid. These actions on the part of the Israelis are totally unacceptable as they infringe on the rights of the innocent Palestinian civilian population and are bound to lead to an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe. The international community should exert pressure on Israel to accept its responsibility in applying international law.
      Meanwhile, OIC Secretary General Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu expressed strong condemnation over the crime committed on April 28, 2008 by Israel against Palestinian civilians in Gaza , which claimed many innocent lives, including a mother and her four children in the safety of their home. This has demonstrated once again Israel 's disdain for international law and its insistence on committing war crimes and violating the Fourth Geneva Convention. Prof. Ihsanoglu called for urgent international action to stop this carnage and violations. He called on the United Nations Security Council and Secretary General to act urgently to stop the Israeli aggression and to take measures to protect the Palestinian people from Israel ’s assault and state terrorism against Palestinian civilians.
      - OIC Secretary General Prof. Ihsanoglu condemned the attack perpetrated on the military ceremony in Kabul and targeted Afghan President Hamid Karzai. In a letter to the Afghan President, the Secretary General expressed his support and backing and voiced his strong condemnation of this terrorist act. He also regretted the killing of innocent victims.
      - A spokesman of the OIC General Secretariat, commenting on the April 24, 2008 report carried by the Associated Press (AP), welcomed the US government’s instructions to federal agencies including the U.S. Department of State, the National Counter Terrorism Center and the Department of Homeland Security not to use the terms “Jehadist”, “Islamo Fascism”, “Salafi” “Sufi” etc. in reference to Muslims. Describing the US Government’s decision as a positive development, the spokesman said that this would go a long way towards assuaging the misgivings and misinterpretations about Islam and Muslims in the US and elsewhere in the world.
      - OIC Secretary General Prof. Ihsanoglu welcomed the decision of the Philippines authorities to release on bail Prof. Nur Misuari, Chairman of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), after many years of detention and house arrest. On this occasion, the Secretary-General called on the two parties to proceed ahead with the implementation of the 1996 Peace Agreement and to fulfill the commitments and obligations of this historic agreement. He also hoped that the third Trilateral Meeting to be held in Manila on May 26-29, 2008 between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP), the MNLF, and the OIC would be successful, with a view to restoring peace, security and stability in Mindanao in southern Philippines .
      - OIC Secretary General Prof. Ihsanoglu received on April 26, 2008 at the General Secretariat, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of Uganda , Hon. Isaac Musumba, and his accompanying delegation. The meeting focused on the ongoing preparations for the forthcoming 35th Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) in Kampala , Uganda and further touched on the preparations for the holding of a business forum on the sidelines of the CFM.
      - The Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) held the 1st Preparatory Meeting of the Islamic Heritage Committee in its headquarters in Rabat , Morocco on April 29-30, 2008. The meeting was held pursuant to a resolution of the 5th Islamic Conference of Culture Ministers hosted in the Libyan capital Tripoli last November, which adopted the proposal of creating the Committee and asked ISESCO Director General to have its internal regulations devised and its functions and operating mechanisms defined.
      - The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) announced the recipients of the ‘Women’s Contribution in Development’ prize for 2008. The prize of $50,000 for individuals was awarded jointly to Ruwana Khan from Bangladesh and Saida Qudas from Iran . The prize of $100,000 for organizations and NGOs was awarded jointly to Orphan Care Society of Saudi Arabia and Afia for Development and Healthcare Society of Sudan.
      May 7-10: International Symposium on the Second Constitutional Period on its Centenary – Istanbul , Turkey .
      May 12: OIC Cotton Steering Committee Meeting – Antalya , Turkey .
      May 13-15: 24th Meeting of the Follow-up Committee of the COMCEC – Antalya , Turkey .
      May 17-19: Meeting of Senior Officials Preparatory to the 35th Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Minister (CFM) – Jeddah , Saudi Arabia .
      May 20-21: 31st Session of the Islamic Commission for Economic, Cultural and Social Affairs (ICECS) – Jeddah , Saudi Arabia .
      The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) is an inter-governmental organization grouping fifty-seven States established in September 25,1969. These States decided to pool their resources together, combine their efforts and speak with one voice to safeguard the interest and ensure the progress and well being of their peoples and those of other Muslims in the world over.
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