In response to the kind invitation addressed from the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz to his brothers and sister, the leaders of the Muslim Ummah, the Third Extraordinary Session of the Islamic Summit Conference was held in Makkah Al Mukarramah on 5-6 Dhul Qa’adah 1426 H (7-8 December 2005).
The Summit Conference was inaugurated by recitation of verses from the Holy Qur’an. Then the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Ibn Abdulaziz, delivered a speech in which he stressed that a strong Muslim believer in his Lord does not despair in God’s mercy and that Islamic unity will never be realized through the shedding of blood as misguided deviants assume. Extremism, fanaticism and excommunication will not take root in a land endowed with the spirit of tolerance and the dissemination of moderation. He affirmed his aspiration to the rise of a unified Islamic Ummah; a rule that eradicates injustice and oppression; comprehensive Islamic development targeting the removal of destitution and poverty; the spread of reason and moderation that characterize the tolerance of Islam; Muslim inventors and industrialists; an advanced Islamic technology; and to a Muslim youth who equally works for this life and the hereafter.
The Conference was also addressed by the Prime Minister of Malaysia, His Excellency Dato Seri Abdullah bin Ahmed Badawi, in his capacity as Chairman of the Tenth Islamic Summit Conference. In his statement, he stressed that the Muslim Ummah could no longer be in a state of denial and that the causes for the miserable conditions in which it finds itself today must be confronted and addressed in a holistic manner, inter alia, through building capacities as well as the projection of the true image of Islam and its civilizational approaches. He informed that Malaysia had offered to host meetings to discuss good governance and the establishment of a rapid response mechanism to alleviate the impact of natural disasters in OIC Member States.
Addressing the opening session, Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary-General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, reviewed the current situation of the OIC and the appropriate place it is aspiring to occupy on the international scene, taking into account the huge global developments and the need for strategic planning so as to keep abreast of these developments in such a way that safeguards the supreme interests of the Muslim world and enables it to preserve its identity, civilization and lofty human values as a fundamental factor for the cohesion of the fabric of the Muslim societies and the strengthening of their social stability.
Having taken cognizance of the reports and recommendations submitted to it by the Meeting of Foreign Ministers Preparatory to the Extraordinary Summit, and having discussed the issues on its agenda, the Conference decided to adopt the Makkah Declaration and the Ten-Year Programme of Action to Meet the Challenges Facing the Ummah in the 21st Century, and declared as follows:
I-In the Intellectual Field
The Summit reaffirmed that Islam is a religion of moderation which rejects bigotry, extremism and fanaticism, and underlined in this connection the importance of combating deviant ideology using all available means, besides developing educational curricula that firmly establish the values of understanding, tolerance, dialogue and multilateralism in accordance with the tenets of Islam.
The Conference stressed that dialogue among civilizations based on mutual respect, understanding and equality between people, is a prerequisite for establishing a world marked by tolerance, cooperation, peace and confidence among nations.
The Conference called for combating pseudo-religious and sectarian extremism, and for the need to refrain from accusing followers of Islamic schools of heresy, and reaffirmed the need to deepen dialogue and promote restraint, moderation and tolerance and issuance of Fatwas by those not eligible to issue them.
The Conference underlined the importance of reforming the Islamic Fiqh Academy such as to make it the jurisprudential authority of the Ummah.
II-In the Political Field
The Conference stressed the importance of the question of Palestine as the central cause of the Muslim Ummah. The ending of the Israeli occupation of the Arab and Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, the Syrian Golan and the remaining occupied Lebanese territories in compliance with Security Council Resolution 425, constitutes a vital request for the entire Muslim Ummah. This question should unify the Muslim position regarding the comprehensive settlement of the question of Palestine in accordance with the United Nations resolutions, the Arab Peace Initiative and the Roadmap. Efforts should be made to regain the city of Al-Quds, safeguard its Islamic and historical character, preserve and protect Al-Aqsa Mosque and other sacred sites, counter the judaization of the Holy City, support the Palestinian institutions in the city, and establish Al-Aqsa University in the city of Al-Quds. It Conference called for support to the Waqf of Al-Quds Fund with each Muslim individual contributing one dollar, besides contributions by Member States in order to preserve the holy sites in the city of Al-Quds, including in particular Al-Aqsa Mosque, safeguard the sacred city’s cultural and historic landmarks and Arab-Islamic identity, and strengthen the steadfastness of its population so that it may regain its character as a city of coexistence and tolerance and the capital of the State of Palestine. The Conference reiterated working hand in hand with the international community to cease and dismantle settlements in the occupied territories. It also called for a halt in the building of the Separation Wall and its demolition in accordance with the Opinion of the International Court of Justice.
The Summit Conference discussed the developments in Iraq and welcomed the Arab Initiative for National Accord among the Iraqi parties, and hoped that the forthcoming legislative elections would lead to a constitutional Iraqi government so as to safeguard the country’s unity and territorial integrity to ensure peace, security, stability and enable the brotherly Iraq to play its civilizational role on the Arab, Islamic and international arenas and condemned the terrorist violence faced by the Iraqi people. It supported the political process and the completion of building constitutional institutions as well as Iraqi reconstruction. The Conference further stressed the importance of the role of the UN in Iraq in cooperation with the OIC.
The Conference extended its support to the people of Jammu and Kashmir for their inalienable right to self-determination in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions and the aspirations of the Kashmiri people. It called for respect of the human rights of the Kashmiri people and agreed to provide all possible political and diplomatic support to the true representatives of the Kashmiri people in their struggle against foreign occupation.
The Conference expressed its firm determination to act in solidarity with the Muslim Turkish Cypriot people and their rightful cause, through supporting the efforts within the UN framework to find a comprehensive, fair and lasting settlement of the problem on the basis of political equality, as well as through taking concrete steps towards the elimination of all restrictions isolating the Turkish Cypriots.
The Conference again welcomed the comprehensive peace agreement in Sudan and the resolution adopted by the 10th Islamic Summit Conference regarding the creation of a Fund for the Reconstruction of War-Affected areas in Sudan, and urged Member States to effectively contribute to this Fund.
The Conference reiterated its support for the Somali Government in its efforts to restore security and achieve reconstruction.
The Conference also reiterated its condemnation of the continued Armenian aggression against the sovereignty of Azerbaijan and its territorial integrity and called for complete and unconditional withdrawal from all occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
The Conference emphasized commitment to and credibility of Joint Islamic Action through implementation of Islamic resolutions, particularly as regard the display of Islamic solidarity in the face of natural disasters, etc, and countering foreign threats that jeopardize the security of any OIC Member State in a collective manner and rejected unilateral sanctions, which may be imposed against any Member State. The Conference also stressed the need to reform the OIC with a view to further energizing its institutions and enhance its role.
The Conference stressed the need to condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, reject any justification for it, and declared its solidarity with Member States which have been victims of terrorism and again stated the necessity to criminalize all terrorist practices and all forms of their support, finance and instigation, considering terrorism a global phenomenon not related to any religion, race, color or country. The Conference emphasized also the importance of joining international efforts to combat this phenomenon, and to endeavor to implement the recommendations adopted by the International Counter-Terrorism Conference, held in Riyadh in 2005, including the creation of an International Center for Combating Terrorism, as well as the need to differentiate between terrorism and the legitimate resistance to foreign occupation. The Conference also stressed the need to support the efforts aimed at drawing up an International Code of Conduct for Combating Terrorism, as well as the need to hold an international conference for special session of the United Nations General Assembly to affirm international agreement on laying down a coherent strategy for combating this dangerous phenomenon.
The Conference underlined the need to collectively endeavor to reflect the noble Islamic values, counter Islamophobia, defamation of Islam and its values and desecration of Islamic holy sites, and to effectively coordinate with States as well as regional and international institutions and organizations to urge them to criminalize this phenomenon as a form of racism.
The Conference expressed its concern at rising hatred against Islam and Muslims in the world and condemned the recent incident of desecration of the image of the Holy Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) in the media of certain countries and stressed the responsibility of all governments to ensure full respect of all religions and religious symbols and the inapplicability of using the freedom of expression as a pretext to defame religions.
The Conference emphasized the importance of promoting cooperation and dialogue with non-OIC member states with Muslim communities and their true representatives to preserve their rights and continue to carefully monitor the developments.
The Conference called for considering the possibility of establishing an independent permanent body to promote human rights in Member States as well as the possibility in preparing an Islamic Charter on Human Rights in accordance with the provisions of the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam and interact with the United Nations and other relevant international bodies. The Conference further highlighted importance of promoting women’s rights and education and welcomed Turkey’s offer to host the First OIC Women’s Conference.
The Conference stressed the need for the media in the Muslim world to project the true and bright image of our Islamic religion, and to effectively deal with international media to attain this objective. It also called for the revitalization of the Standing Committee for Information and Culture (COMIAC) and underlined the importance of extending support to the Digital Solidarity Fund in order to develop information society in the Muslim counries.
III-In the Economic and Social Field
The Conference emphasized the need to make optimal use of the human, natural and economic resources of the Muslim world in order to promote this cooperation, consider the possibility of establishing a Free Trade Area among the Member States, and accede and implement the agreements and resolutions concluded, and support the activities of the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation (COMCEC).
The Conference stressed the need to achieve a considerable increase in intra-OIC trade, and welcomed the establishment of the Islamic Corporation for Trade Finance in response to the initiative of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques launched at the Tenth Islamic Summit Conference, calling for this institution to expeditious start its work. The Conference also called for increase in the capital of the Islamic Development Bank in order to enable it to meet the needs of Member States, and reaffirmed the vital role played by the private sector in development.
The Conference underlined the importance of cooperation in the fields of poverty alleviation, capacity building, elimination of illiteracy, and eradication of diseases and epidemics such as AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis and the need to mobilize the necessary resources to this end by establishing a special fund within the IDB. The Conference mandated the IDB Board of Governors to implement this proposal. With reference to the call of the United Nations Secretary General to eradicate Polio, the Conference stressed the significance of international efforts exerted in this regard, especially that OIC Member States are the most affected by the disease.
The Conference called for support to African development and the NEPAD initiative and decided to set up a Special Programme to this end. It reaffirmed commitment to the Millennium Development Goals by adopting appropriate measures to alleviate poverty in the Member States, and urged creditor States to write off the bilateral and multilateral debts of low-income Member States. The Conference also encouraged Member States’ initiatives aimed at promoting economic cooperation with the rest of Member States and with the Least Developed and Low-Income States Members of the OIC.
The Conference decided to take practical steps to achieve scientific and technological development, with a view to supporting sustainable development in OIC Member States. The Conference stressed the importance of the resolutions and recommendations issued by the World Summit on the Information Society held in Tunis, Republic of Tunisia, and called for their implementation in order to reduce the digital gap between States and achieve civilizational progress.
The Conference extended gratitude and appreciation to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for its generous hospitality and for its continuing support to the OIC and its General Secretariat. It also expressed gratitude and appreciation to the OIC Secretary General for his efforts to bring a new spirit and vision for the Organization marked by efficiency and effectiveness. It also highly commended the officials of the General Secretariat for their professionalism and excellent work and for having performed the task assigned to them with utmost dedication and in a record time.