Egypt’s participation in the 43rd session of ICESCO’s Executive Council
Friday، 23 December 2022 - 12:00 AM
The 43rd session of the Executive Council of the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO) was inaugurated at the organization’s headquarters in the Moroccan capital, Rabat.
The event will be held on 23-24 December 2022, with the attendance of 46 out of the 53 member states of the organization.
During this annual meeting, the executive reports of ICESCO’s activities, the financial reports of the Organization and a series of administrative and legal documents and proposals will be examined.
The opening session
The opening session began with the recitation of verses from the Holy Quran.
Afterwards, Dr. Salim Bin Mohammed Al-Malik, the ICESCO Director-General (DG), delivered a speech, in which he reaffirmed that the Organization continues its innovative and modernizing approach to have an integrated practical orientation and become among the most prestigious international institutions, noting that ICESCO won many distinguished international awards and certificates during 2022.
He also reviewed the salient achievements of ICESCO, including the organization of conferences, seminars and workshops, the launch of initiatives and programs that give priority to women and youth, technology, space sciences and heritage safeguarding, and the establishment of several academic chairs in prestigious universities, adding that ICESCO currently hosts the International Museum of the Prophet’s Biography and Islamic Civilization as a new civilizational contribution.
Moreover, ICESCO DG stated that the Organization promotes the principles of tolerance, anticipates the future, showcases arts and literature and celebrates the talents and skills of young people based on governance and transparency.
For his part, Dr. Mohamed Ayman Ashour, the Egyptian Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research of Egypt, and the Chairman of ICESCO’s 14th General Conference, commended the constructive cooperation with the Organization in the fields of education, science and culture, within the framework of coordination with Member States and National Commissions, to define new trends for its strategies and programs, and respond to future requirements.
He also commended ICESCO’s efforts in shaping the future, preserving cultural heritage, teaching Arabic for non-Arabic speakers, and building national capacities in the Member States by supporting education, qualifying and training youth and women, and supporting research and innovation.
For his part, Dr. Dawas Tayseer Dawas, Chairman of ICESCO Executive Council and Secretary-General of the Palestinian National Commission for Education, Culture and Science, reaffirmed that the Organization should be applauded for its endeavours to spread outstanding educational and cultural practices, and meet the challenges and needs of Member States through various activities and programs.
Besides, he explained the importance of convening the Executive Council for supporting ICESCO’s efforts to fulfill its mission in all fields, calling for continued development within the framework of a multilateral approach along with the orientations of the Organization’s General Directorate.
At the end of the opening session, ICESCO DG announced the official accession of the Lebanese Republic to the Organization after fulfilling the legal procedures, indicating that he had received an official letter on this matter from Mr. Najib Mikati, Prime Minister of Lebanon.
Afterward, the participants in the 43rd session of ICESCO Executive Council took a group photo.
The Council working sessions
The opening session was followed by working sessions, which included presentations on the performance reports of sectors, departments, and specialized centers of ICESCO.
The program for this session also includes working sessions on a series of major issues, namely the “Artificial Intelligence” project, the “Young Professionals” program, the “Governance System” and the “Strategy of cooperation with National Commissions”.
In the presence of Dr. Mohamed Ayman Ashour, Egyptian Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, delegations of ICESCO Member States and the representatives of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation and UNDP, Dr. Salim M. AlMalik, ICESCO Director-General (DG), welcomed all the participants, pointing out that these brainstorming sessions aim to outline proposals to help Muslim countries have knowledge-based economies and reach advanced ranks in the knowledge index.
During the first session on pre-university education issues, Dr. Najwa Grace, an expert at UNDP, indicated that the knowledge index hinges upon knowledge capital and the enabling environment. Dr. Bari Bolly Koumbou, Head of ICESCO Education Sector, presented the Organization’s initiatives to ensure quality education for all through a comprehensive vision that stems from the perspective that human values are the basis of education. Ms. Ramata Almami, Head of ICESCO Social and Human Sciences Sector, indicated that we should understand the social variables, contribute to improving individual behaviors, and pay attention to mental health to build knowledge societies.
During the second session on developing proposals on higher education issues, Dr. Hany Torky, UNDP Chief Technical Advisor of the Knowledge Project, presented the latest statistics related to the knowledge index, explaining that the percentage of missing data on higher education in the ICESCO Member States exceeds the data related to pre-university education.
Dr. Omar Helli, Advisor to ICESCO DG for the Federation of the Universities of the Islamic World (FUIW), said that the sources of knowledge have become diverse and numerous, but universities are considered major spaces for supporting knowledge through innovation and scientific research.
Dr. Driss Aouicha, former delegate minister in charge of higher education and scientific research of the Kingdom of Morocco, reaffirmed that measuring the knowledge index through data collection is key to improving the knowledge index in Muslim countries.
During the third session on developing proposals for technical education issues, Dr. Yusuf Sediq, an expert at UNDP, stressed that it is necessary to explore the professions of tomorrow and anticipate the future of the labor market to formulate proposals for improving the knowledge index in the Islamic world, explaining the sub-index of technical education and professional training.
For his part, Dr. Raheel Qamar, Head of ICESCO Science and Technology Sector, reviewed the sector’s initiatives to keep pace with the rapid technological developments through critical thinking and innovation.
After each session, the participants were divided into three working groups to generate ideas and outline proposals that would envision initiatives related to the addressed issues. Each workshop was followed by a presentation of the most prominent proposals to be included in the recommendations of the meeting.
A consultative working session was held with the Secretaries-General of the National Commissions for Education, Science and Culture of ICESCO Member States to enhance the participation of Muslim co.untries in the global development index. The closing session presented the most prominent outcomes of the consultative meeting.
Dr Salim M. Al-Malik, Director-General (DG) of the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO), announced the official accession of Lebanon to the Organization, given the country’s status and significance in the Islamic world and its presence in the fields of education, science and culture, commending Lebanon for being a model in coexistence and peace.
The Members of the ICESCO Executive Council welcomed Lebanon’s official accession, reaffirming their eagerness to cooperate with the Lebanese National Commission.
Ministerial Roundtable at ICESCO to discuss launch of Support Fund for Talents in the Islamic World
The headquarters of the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO) hosted a ministerial roundtable to discuss the broad lines and agree on the implementation mechanisms of the initiative of launching the Support Fund for Talents in the Islamic World, as proposed by H.E. President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi of the Arab Republic of Egypt, during the 14th Session of the General Conference in Cairo.
The Roundtable discussed the various aspects of the initiative to ensure the best outcomes.
The Roundtable witnessed high-level participation, including Dr. Ayman Ashour, Minister of Higher Education and scientific Research, President of the National Commission for Education, Science and Culture of the Arab Republic of Egypt; Dr. Younes Skouri, Minister of Economic Integration, Small Enterprises, Employment and Competencies of the Kingdom of Morocco; Dr. Patrick Mouguiama-Daouda, Minister of Higher Education, Scientific Research, Technology Transfer and National Education, the Gabonese Republic; Ms. Amna bint Salim Al Balushi, Secretary-General of the Omani National Commission for Education, Science and Culture; and a representative of the Moroccan Ministry of Higher Education.
At the beginning of the event, Dr. Salim M. Al-Malik, ICESCO Director-General, reiterated his thanks and appreciation for H.E. President El-Sisi for proposing the creation of this fund, noting that ICESCO had held multiple talks with the Member States which welcomed this initiative, which is in harmony with ICESCO’s new vision and strategic orientations to support innovation in the Islamic world.
In his address, Dr. Ayman Ashour, the Egyptian Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research of Egypt, and the Chairman of ICESCO’s 14th General Conference expressed his thanks to the Director-General and the Organization’s working team for the achievements scored over the course of the past three years.
He then gave a presentation on the Fund Initiative, stating that Egypt is eager to share its experience in setting up such funds with the Islamic world. He noted that the Republic established a fund in 2019 for sponsoring innovators and talented people by virtue of a presidential decision, a fund which has achieved great success.
Moreover, the Egyptian Minister stated that the initiative of President El-Sisi also includes offering 100 scholarships to the Islamic world students to study in Egyptian universities that are affiliated with the Ministry of Higher Education, 100 scholarships from Al-Azhar University and 50 scholarships from private universities.
For his part, Dr. Younes Skouri, welcomed the initiative which he described as pioneering, reaffirming the support of the Kingdom of Morocco for such a work, given that it targets a category with no dedicated programs.
Dr. Patrick Mouguiama-Daouda commended the Fund’s areas of action, which include promoting gender equality and supporting talented people in the field of innovation in relation to issues of climate change.
Likewise, Dr. Amna Al-Balushi stated that this initiative is in line with the interest the Sultanate of Oman accords to talented people, siezing the opportunity to give an overview of the “Tharwa” program, overseen by the Omani Ministry of Education.
The Representative of the Moroccan Ministry of Higher Education presented a number of proposals to enrich the initiative.
At the close of the Roundtable, the Director-General underlines that all ideas and proposals put forth during the roundtable will be elaborated before submitting this initiative to the Executive Council. He added that following that, ICESCO will prepare the final version of the Fund, set out its legal and administrative framework and finalize its working mechanism along with all the relevant matters prior to submitting them to the 2023 session of the Executive Council.