ASTANA: The first ever Summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation on science and technologies with the participation of the heads of several states opens in Astana, capital of Kazakhstan. The two-day international event will determine priorities, goals, and objectives in the field of science, technology and innovation development in the OIC member countries.
The idea of convening the summit was proposed by the President of Kazakhstan NursultanNazarbayev during the OIC Summit in Istanbul in 2016. The topic of the summit is “Science, Technology, Innovation and Modernization in the Islamic World”.
President of Kazakhstan said, “Being a meeting during which the heads of state and government for the first time in history exclusively discussed discussed scientific and technical issues, the summit is expected to facilitate the creation of a basis for a new scientific and technological agenda. It also confirmed the organization’s commitment to science and technology, setting priorities, goals, and recommendations for Muslim countries for the coming decade.”
“We express our concern over the recent conflict in Myanmar, we call upon all parties to immediately stop violence and start a dialogue within the UN,” the Head of State said. At the same time, NursultanNazarbayev emphasized that the Islamic ummah is facing some serious challenges. First of all, it is the spread of extremist and terrorist organizations. “It is Muslim countries that suffer first from their terrorist attacks,” said the President. “Second, it is the spread of Islamophobia. In Western countries, criminal acts against Muslims are increasing every year. Thirdly, the Islamic world, with more than 1.5 billion people, does not show its unity, and we suffer from this too. And external forces use this fragmentation and confessional division among Muslims for their purposes. We must eradicate this,” added NursultanNazarbayev.
NursultanNazarbayev proposed to create a forum of 15 advanced countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in the G20 format. “I think we need to create a forum, like G-20, an informal group for the development of science and economy in the Islamic world. From the advanced 15 states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, we could create an OIC-15. Because the development of science and technology is very important for us and in this regard, we must continue to develop fruitful cooperation with Western countries. This will facilitate the development of the entire Islamic world. We must develop relations between the Islamic religion and representatives of other religions, therefore, we should hold such forums regularly, as these meetings bring the Islamic world closer to the West,” the President said.
NursultanNazarbayev urged the participants to abandon stereotypes that lead to misunderstanding. In this regard, the Head of State noted that Kazakhstan is ready to share its experience in preserving interethnic and inter-confessional peace. “As you know, there are many ethnic groups in our country and we live in peace and friendship. For 14 years we have been holding the Congresses of leaders of the world and traditional religions where representatives of different confessions meet. And I would like to invite all of you to the sixth congress, which will be held in 2018,” said the President. As it was reported on September 10-10 Astana is hosting the first OIC Summit on Science and Technology with the participation of the heads of several states. The Summit will determine priorities, goals, and objectives in the field of science, technology and innovation development in the OIC member states. The idea of convening the summit was proposed by President of Kazakhstan NursultanNazarbayev during the OIC Summit in Istanbul in 2016. The Summit’s theme is “Science, Technology, Innovation and Modernization in the Islamic World”.
The meeting also highlighted the situation with Muslims in Myanmar. The main documents of the summit is the Final Communiqué and the Astana Declaration. Representatives of 56 OIC countries and other international and regional organizations are taking part in the summit, as well as representatives non-member states such President of Venezuela, NicolásMaduro.
The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation was established in 1969. The Permanent Secretariat is the executive organ of the Organisation, entrusted with the implementation of the decisions of the two preceding bodies, and is located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Currently, the organization has of 57 member states, with a collective population of over 1.6 billion as of 2008. Five countries and five international organizations have observer status within the Organizations. Kazakhstan has been a member of the OIC since 1995. The Permanent Mission of Kazakhstan to OIC has been operating in Jeddah since March 2010. The country presided at the 38th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of OIC that was held on July 28-30, 2011.
Author is senior editor with Media Hub International Dubai