04 December 2020 04:00 AM

Establishment of OIC

Thursday، 17 January 2013 - 12:00 AM

In the aftermath of the Israeli criminal arson of the Holy Aqsa Mosque on the 21st of August 1969, Egypt was among the first countries that responded positively to the call of convening an Islamic Summit in Rabat from the 22nd till the 25th of September 1969 in order to address that matter. During the conference sessions, Egypt was also among the countries supportive to the idea of establishing an International Islamic entity to confine the proceedings of the Conference to the purpose of discussing the Palestinian Cause.

First: The Egyptian role in establishing an International Islamic entity

In modern history, some Egyptian religious and political figures believed in the necessity of establishing an Islamic entity with an international character. They exerted sincere efforts at the beginning of the twentieth century to materialize such notion. Actually, the first indications of their success began to materialize after World War I, particularly when Egypt participated in a series of Islamic conferences, such as the one held in Mecca in 1924 and the Islamic world conference in 1926, as well as the General Islamic conference hosted by Egypt in May 1926, which was one of the first conferences calling for the unity of the Islamic world.

Second: Egypt and the 1st Islamic Ministerial Conference

Being enthusiastic to establish that International Islamic entity, Egypt participated in the first Islamic Ministerial conference held in Jeddah in March 1970. That Conference was entrusted by the Rabat Summit to assess the possibility of establishing a permanent general secretariat, which would be authorized to contact the Governments represented in Jeddah conference, and to consider drafting a charter for a new Islamic organization. As a matter of fact, the Jeddah conference became a significant turning point in the history of the Islamic world when it approved the establishment of an entity named “The Organization of the Islamic Conference”.

Egypt's participation in the various OIC meetings is always characterized by being active and serious towards resolving the problems confronting the Islamic countries. For Example, during the Second Islamic Ministerial conference in Karachi in December 1970, Egypt submitted a proposal for establishing an Islamic bank and a union of Islamic banks. Accordingly, Egypt was asked to prepare a comprehensive study of the project which was later submitted to the Third session of the Islamic Ministerial conference in Jeddah in March 1972, where it was decided to establish the “Islamic Development Bank”. Egypt was also a member of the committee held in Jeddah from the 21st till the 23rd of June 1971 with the aim of preparing a draft charter for the OIC, which was later adopted by the Third Ministerial conference in Jeddah in March 1972.

Third: Egypt's participation in the OIC activities

Throughout the years following the establishment of the OIC, Egypt Presented many proposals which enriched the joint Islamic work, and were put forward to the successive Islamic Summits. Those proposals can be illustrated by the following examples:

• Establishing specialized agencies affiliated to the OIC, such as “The International Islamic News Agency”, “The Islamic Educational, Scientific, and cultural Organization”, and the “Islamic Broadcasting Union” (Jeddah meeting for preparing the draft charter of the OIC – June 1971).
• Forming an expert team charged with the responsibility of developing an integrated approach to the concept of national security across the Islamic world and outlining the tools through which human and other capacities can be mobilized in order to prevent any aggression against the OIC member states (The Fifth Islamic Summit, Kuwait-January 1987).
• The necessity of confronting the despotic campaigns launched against the Islamic world through commitment to attain self-empowerment of all Islamic societies, enhancing the cohesion of its social components, protecting them from intrigues, and exerting efforts to protect Islamic culture from extremist interpretations which represent flagrant deviation away from what Muslim clerics presented in the glorious ages of Islamic prosperity. That Egyptian proposal emphasized the importance of building cooperation and communication bridges with non-Islamic countries (The Seventh Islamic Summit, Casablanca-December 2010).
• Calling for the complete elimination of illiteracy in the Islamic countries and drawing a cultural strategy with the aim of protecting the Islamic nation from being fused with any other culture (The Eighth Islamic Summit, Tehran-December 1997).
• Calling for a significant increase in the resources submitted by the Islamic countries and institutions to the “Intifada fund” and the “Jerusalem fund” which were established by the Cairo extraordinary Arab Summit in October 2000. There was a call as well for preparing a plan to develop the Islamic and Christian quarters of East Jerusalem; the Capital of the future Palestinian State (The Ninth Islamic Summit, Doha-November 2000).
• Presenting a comprehensive vision to develop the OIC, focusing on four items:

1. Commitment to activate and revitalize the OIC through providing the appropriate support needed for achieving that objective.
2. Defining clear priorities in the OIC plan of action and developing specific executive programmes, so as to achieve such priorities.
3. Activating existing mechanisms within the organization and achieving utmost coordination standards among them before establishing new mechanisms or structures.
4. The necessity of enhancing cooperation and coordination among member states in the international and the regional groupings (Extraordinary Islamic Summit, Mecca-December 2005).
5. Condemning all forms of defaming religions and humiliating religious symbols, and calling on the international community to adopt legislations criminalizing such attitudes which are considered to be a frank incitement to hatred, fanaticism and flagrant violation of human rights (Draft Resolution presented by Egypt and was adopted in the Eleventh Islamic Summit, Dakar-March 2008).

6. Reaffirming the role of Muslim women in the development of the OIC member states. In that regard, Egypt proposed to host a specialized agency for women development affiliated to the OIC, and this proposal was adopted by the Damascus Ministerial conference in May 2009, then the Statue of such agency was adopted by the following Ministerial conference in Dushanbe in May 2010.

Egypt participated in the Makkah-hosted Islamic summit in August 2012.

President Mohamed Morsi delivered a speech to stress the importance of cohesion between Egypt, Saudia Arabia, Turkey and Iran in solving the Syrian crisis.

Morsi also stressed that the Palestinian cause is the primary issue for Egypt and for the Arab and Islamic countries, calling on the Palestinians to be unified to achieve national reconciliation.

It is noteworthy that the Ministerial Preparatory Meeting for the 11th OIC Summit unanimously supported Egypt to host the 12th OIC Summit to be held in 2013. Egypt also will be handed the presidency of the summit for the coming three years (2013–2016).

Fourth: Egypt's vision to develop joint Islamic cooperation

Egypt will remain keen in developing joint Islamic cooperation, which stems from its deep belief in the common destiny of the Islamic countries and the necessity of revitalizing the principles and the noble objectives of the OIC, so as to enable this important institution to deal ably with the different challenges facing the Islamic nation.

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