ADDRESS BY THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE REPUBLIC OF UZBEKISTAN H.E. MR. ABDULAZIZ KAMILOV AT THE SENIOR OFFICIALS MEETING OF THE MEMBER-STATES OF THE OIC PREPARATORY TO THE 43RD SESSION OF THE COUNCIL OF FOREIGN MINISTERS
(Jeddah, July 26, 2016)
Dear Mr. Deputy Secretary General!
Esteemed Mr. Chairman!
Distinguished heads of delegations!
First of all, on behalf of the delegation of the Republic of Uzbekistan allow me to sincerely thank the General Secretariat of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for a cordial hospitality and wonderful organization of today’s meeting.
As you are well aware, the 43rd session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers will take place on October 18-19, 2016 in Tashkent – the capital city of Uzbekistan. The Uzbek Side is actively carrying out a preparatory work to this very important event with an aim to ensure its efficiency and open up the new prospects of cooperation for the entire Islamic Ummah.
Uzbekistan is grateful for the support and assistance which is rendered by the OIC General Secretariat and personally the Secretary General of the Organization His Excellency Mr. IyadAmeenMadani in preparation to the forthcoming meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers in Tashkent. In this regard, we also highly appreciate the results of Mr. Madani’s visit to Uzbekistan in June 2015 and the outcomes of his meeting with the President of our country.
Ladies and gentlemen!
Allow me briefly share with you Uzbekistan’s vision of the role and significance of the OIC in the modern world, as well as the priorities of forthcoming presidency in the Organization.
As a member of the OIC since 1996, the Republic of Uzbekistan attaches a big significance to further stirring up of cooperation with it and its structures on all of the issues of mutual interest.
As a matter of important significance accorded to the cooperation in the framework of Organization, early this year Uzbekistan signed and ratified the OIC Charter adopted in 2008 and calls upon all member-states, which didn’t do it, to join this fundamental document in the soonest dates.
Uzbekistan comprehends that the dynamic processes of globalization and deep transformation of the system of international relations are leading to emergence of new security challenges and threats before the OIC.
In these conditions the significance of the OIC becomes more important in strengthening the tolerance, mutual respect of cultures, peace and accord both inside the Islamic world and among the representatives of various religions and peoples. The urgency of such principles in the OIC’s activity is on the rise as the search for peaceful, political-diplomatic and preventive methods of tackling conflicts, as well as addressing them on timely basis.
In our opinion, one of the key reasons of challenges faced by the Muslim world are the attempts to besmear Islam, degrade its authority in the world.
As we see, today the primary task of the OIC is to protect the true Islamic values and the Muslim culture, demonstrate its enormous historical significance as a religion, which professes peace and harmony, and advances the values of tolerance, enlightenment and intellectual enrichment.
Taking this into account, during its presidency in the Council of Foreign Ministers Uzbekistan will stand up for consolidation of the OIC’s role as an effective and high-profile forum of Muslim states with a special focus on the issues of strengthening the cultural-humanitarian potential of our Organization. The slogan adopted for a presidency – «The education and enlightenment – path towards peace and creativity» - clearly and unambiguously reflects the priorities of our chairmanship, which are as follows:
First, at the moment there is a tense political, economic and humanitarian competition in the world. In these conditions the OIC must pay a serious attention to the issues of strengthening and further development of intellectual, scientific-technical and technological potential of our states.
In this context, it is of a special significance to study and popularize the achievements of our great ancestors – the thinkers of Islamic world, their priceless contribution to the development of world civilization. For example, Uzbekistan has a unique heritage of Islamic culture. The names of such great figures as Imam al-Bukhariy, Imam al-Termeziy, Beruniy, Al-Khorazmiy and Imam al-Maturudiy are well-known in the history of not only Muslim countries, but also the entire world.
The study and popularization of their works, as well as contribution to the development of world science and thought are important with an aim to rightly interpret and perceive the Islamic values and culture, especially among the young generation, as well as comprehensively protect Islam on the international stage and ensure the inter-confessional, inter-national and inter-cultural peace and accord.
Second, the sustainable social and economic development is impossible to imagine without broad scientific-technical cooperation aimed at simplification of the ways to introduce the new and innovative technologies, other achievements of science and technology into practice.
The issues of development of science and technology must secure a commendable place in the OIC’s agenda.
Third, the problems of security are continuing to remain as a serious factor which hinders development of both certain states of the region and the Muslim world as a whole.
In tackling the problems of security it is important to ensure the unity of the OIC member-states, eradicate the differences among them and unite their efforts in combating the ideology of terrorism and extremism.
Fourth, the Islamic world possesses the enormous economic and investment potential, as well as the energy resources which allow to sustain the high rates of sustainable socio-economic development. In this regard, it is especially important the need to better the mechanisms of cooperation and expanding the mutually beneficial trade and investment ties in the OIC framework, as well as among the states of the OIC area with other advanced countries of the world.
Fifth, the problem of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction is one of the most acute problems of modernity. In 1992 Uzbekistan joined the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. In 1993 it initiated the establishment of a nuclear-free zone in Central Asia. This initiative was implemented in the form of a Treaty on the Central Asia Nuclear Weapon Free Zone signed by Uzbekistan and neighboring states in 2006, as well as the Protocol of Guarantees signed by five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council in 2014.
Uzbekistan stands up for a consistent expansion of geography of nuclear weapon free zones and supports the idea of creating a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East.
Dear members of delegations!
We are convinced that all our countries stand up for consolidation of the role and place and raising the authority of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in the international community. The achievement of these goals directly depends on the extent of our unity, deepening of mutual understanding and mutual respect, readiness to a sober compromise and aspiration of parties to find the touch points of interests.
In this context, it will be important, and I would rather say, it will be of a key importance the work and decisions adopted at an expert level and particularly the Senior Officials Meeting.
The outcomes of this event in many ways will be a core and will pinpoint the success of the forthcoming Tashkent Session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers.
I would like to wish all participants of today’s meeting a productive and effective work in terms of discussions of the issues in agenda and endorsing the certain resolutions.