Siraj Wahab & Habib Shaikh, Arab News
Published — Friday 30 September 2005
Last Update 30 September 2005 3:00 am
JEDDAH, 30 September 2005 — The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) needs more political commitment from member countries and more financial sources and human resources, according to Secretary-General Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu.
“The OIC faces many problems and issues; they include the Palestinian and Afghan problems and the situation in Iraq,” Ihsanoglu told Arab News during a reception at his residence here on Wednesday night to celebrate 36 years of the OIC. “We need more political commitment from the member countries and more financial sources and human resources,” he said.
He called the OIC the first international inter-governmental organization of the Muslim world. “The OIC came into being after political and diplomatic efforts were exerted for a long time,” he said. “Thirty-six years after its establishment, the Muslim world is finally giving the organization more importance,” he added.
Ihsanoglu described the meeting of Muslim scholars and intellectuals from all over the world, that was held in Makkah earlier this month to thrash out draft recommendations for the Extraordinary Islamic Summit, as successful.
“I am glad it will enlighten the way for us and lead us to put before the summit very tangible ideas and projects. It will help in formulating a new vision for the OIC,” he added.
Masood Akhtar, consul general of Pakistan, said: “There is a big realization with the new secretary-general’s arrival that mere words are not achieving anything and that we need to concentrate on results.”
Tajudein Noor, consul general of Indonesia, said he found the situation of Muslims better than in the past and that the OIC was trying to make it even better. “The need is to think and act like one Ummah,” he said.
Indian Haj Consul Suhel Ajaz Khan said the OIC had a significant role to play.
Harun Junid, consul general of Brunei, said he saw better times ahead.
Abdulai Amadu Abukari, consul general of Ghana, said the OIC provides a forum whereby members can meet to discuss issues that are common to them. It also provides a forum for the Muslims to interact and bring out common problems, and to see how to solve the same. “For me, I think, it is a forum that can project Islam,” he added.