Niamey: The 47th session of the Islamic Council of Foreign Ministers kicked off in Niamey, Friday 27 November 2020, and was opened by His Excellency Mr. Mahamadou Issoufou, President of the Republic of Niger, who affirmed that the Organization of Islamic Cooperation is important to its member states, and that his country plays an active role in the Organization. He also extended his appreciation to the Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen for the work he did for the Organization.
On his part, Dr. Al-Othaimeen said that the choice of the theme for the session, “United against Terrorism for Peace and Development”, is a strong reminder that “terrorism is the single most serious threat to the region and the world, given its negative impact on growth rates and cooperation ties, in addition to worsening Human Development Indices (HDI) ranking.” He also valued the role assigned to the OIC Sawt al-Hikma (Voice of Wisdom) Center, which acts in coordination with the International Islamic Fiqh Academy to bring reason to bear and promote moderation and tolerance.
The Secretary General offered his gratitude to His Excellency the President of the Republic of Niger for his gracious patronage of the meeting, and also thanked the people and government of the republic of Niger for the organization of the meeting and the warm hospitality. He extended his appreciation to all African member states for their keen involvement and support of the work led by the OIC. Al-Othaimeen also commended the dedicated efforts the United Arab Emirates (UAE) exerted during its tenure, as the Chair of the esteemed Council’s 46th session, and the efforts the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia deploys in its capacity as the host country of the OIC and chair of the 14th Islamic Summit. He expressed his deepest gratitude and appreciation for the care and attention given to the Organization’s activities in their entirety, under the patronage of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and His Crown Prince and Deputy Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman, may they be under Allah’s protection forever.
His Royal Highness Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, the Foreign Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and its representative as Chair of the Islamic Summit, said that the Kingdom has donated a piece of land for the construction of the permanent building of the OIC General Secretariat.
Mrs. Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation in the UAE, delivered a speech where she referred to the activities that Abu Dhabi carried out during its chairmanship of the 46th Session of the ICFM, noting that her country has learned from the Organization the importance of advancementindiverse issues. Mrs. Al-Hashemy handed over the chairmanship of the Council to the Foreign Minister of the Republic of the Niger.
Speeches were also delivered by the foreign ministers of Tunisia, Senegal, Turkey, on behalf of the Arab, African and Asian groups, in addition to the speech of the African Union, the guest of this Session.