JAKARTA: Indonesia and more than 12 member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation agreed on Wednesday to create a forum for a global consultative assembly aimed at strengthening solidarity among Muslim countries in the face of current uncertainties.
On Oct. 24 to 26, Indonesia hosted the International Conference of Speakers of Consultative Assembly, Shoura Council or Other Similar Names of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Member States.
The conference in Bandung, West Java, was attended by leaders of parliament and consultative bodies of 15 OIC member states, as well as representatives of the Parliamentary Union of the OIC Member States (PUIC) and the Muslim World League.
Delegations arrived from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Bahrain, and Malaysia, among others.
The formation of the Forum for World Consultative Assembly was announced during the closing ceremony by Bambang Soesatyo, speaker of the People’s Consultative Assembly in Indonesia.
Soesatyo said: “We are forming the Forum for World Consultative Assembly … to tackle world challenges that are of our collective interest, including matters pertaining to humanity, natural resources, environment, justice, women’s roles, and the young generation.
“It is necessary for us to collectively strengthen the position of the OIC to improve the collective bargaining position of Islamic countries in the face of global uncertainties … and to support and commit to solidarity between nations to tackle the various problems faced collectively or specifically by Muslim communities in different parts of the world,” he added.
Participants also agreed to form relevant committees to work out more details about the forum’s vision, mission, and programs.
The significance of the forum was in strengthening cooperation within the OIC, Dr. Luthfi Assyaukanie, international relations lecturer at Paramadina University in Jakarta, told Arab News.
“Our world is changing rapidly. There are various important issues — from health, through security and climate change, to new technological challenges — which need to be discussed at a higher level,” he said.
“The formation of this forum is important in strengthening cooperation between OIC countries, especially amid uncertain geopolitical and economic conditions.”
The Bandung Declaration also covered the matter of Palestine, which Soesatyo said would be a “central issue” for the forum and the Muslim community until Palestinians achieved their own independence and right to self-determination.