OIC lauded for focusing on people's practical needs

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has been lauded by HRH Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, as working in the world, with the world and as part of the world.

His Royal Highness said the organisation's work was widening and sharply focused on our people's practical needs. "In other words, it offers a modern world vision that covers all aspects of 21st Century life."

His Royal Highness delivered a statement at the General Debate of the 39th Session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers, yesterday, at Grand Nakheel, Kempinski Palace Hotel, Djibouti.

"Unfortunately, our celebration of the holy month of Muharram is deeply saddened by last night's terrible news from Gaza. Brunei Darussalam joins fellow members in expressing its heartfelt sympathy to all Palestinians and its condemnation of this act and the violence which is taking place even as we speak.

"Even on the saddest of occasions, however, our work must continue. And I think this is a good time to look back at the past year," said HRH Prince Mohamed Bolkiah.

"I would like to thank our colleagues from Kazakhstan for the work done during their chairmanship. The last year has seen ministerial meetings held on health, the environment, information, food security, agriculture and water as well as joint cooperation with the United Nations on many matters. These sent an important message to our people. It said that the OIC is now firmly engaged in strengthening their security in all its forms."

A clear example of how OIC is working in the world, with the world and as part of the world was last week's joint statement by most of the major embassies based in Myanmar. It offered positive and balanced help for the Myanmar Government in its effort to resolve the situation in Rakhine State. It means that the international communities are working together in the interests of Muslims who find themselves in a difficult and complex situation. I think this is a significant step forward, HRH said.

"Remarkable progress has been made in the last seven years in implementing the Makkah programme of action. Humanitarian offices have been opened in many countries. We have seen economic growth and increased trade. There has been major support for socio-cultural and political reform.

"As a result, the OIC is in a better position both internally and externally than ever before. Its views and positions count in making major international decisions. It has vision, purpose and a strong administration.

"The result this year has been major contributions by individual members to regional and global causes and concerns. They have ranged from regional and international peace to the renewed efforts to bring about justice in Palestine. They have covered economic and social development throughout the Islamic world and have included the magnificent academic and intellectual partnerships across the world being established through our researc institutes. That is the new-found strength of the OIC which we greatly appreciate.

"We all wish to look out across the Islamic world and contribute in whatever way we can and the OIC is giving us the opportunity to do this.

"In the words of our theme this year, it is that which provides our 'solidarity' and 'sustains' our organisation's 'development'."

Accompanying His Royal Highness was Pengiran Anak Mansurah Izzul Bolkiah.

Earlier, the meeting was opened by President Ismail Omar Guelleh of Djibouti and chaired by Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Djibouti, Mahmoud Ali Youssouf.

His Royal Highness, last evening, attended an official dinner hosted by Foreign Minister Mahmoud Ali Youssouf. - Borneo Bulletin (16 November 2012)