The 35th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) was held on 18-20 June 2008 in Kampala, the capital city of Uganda and was attended by representatives from 53 Member States, the General Secretariat of the OIC and its subsidiary, specialised and affiliated institutions. Dr. Savaş Alpay, Director General of the SESRIC, represented the Centre thereat.
In the Opening Session, His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the President of the Republic of Uganda, addressed the Meeting. He emphasized in his speech the need for unity, dialogue and peaceful coexistence and noted that the diversities in the Member States if properly harnessed and managed could be a source of great strength.
During the opening session, H. E. Prof. Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, Secretary-General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, began his address by thanking H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda for hosting the 35th Session of the CFM and for gracing the opening ceremony of the meeting with his personal presence. He stated that the reform of the OIC had taken roots by the adoption of the Charter which had heralded a new dawn for the Organization. He, therefore, appealed to Member States to urgently sign the news Charter. He further spoke of the rising profile of the Organization and pointed out that the Organization had emerged as an indispensible international player. Elaborating on the need to strengthen intra-OIC cooperation, he identified the Ten Year Program of Action as a key framework for achieving sustainable economic and social development. He strongly emphasized the commitment of the OIC in addressing poverty alleviation, food security and agricultural development in its Member States, and for combating the issue of defamation of Islam and the scourge of Islamophobia.
The Meeting then elected H.E. Hon. Sam Kutesa, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uganda, as Chairman of the 35th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers. It also approved the composition of the Bureau as follows: Islamic Republic of Iran, Syrian Arab Republic and the State of Palestine as Vice-Chairs, and Islamic Republic of Pakistan as Rapporteur.
The representatives of the three geographic groups, the Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran for the Asian Group, the Foreign Minister of Chad for the African Group and the Deputy Foreign Minister of Syria for the Arab Group, thanked Uganda for hosting the Meeting and its generous hospitality and congratulated the host Foreign Minister for his election as chairman of the 35th CFM and assured him of their cooperation.
In addition to that, the Foreign Minister of Senegal, H.E. Dr. Cheikh Tidiane Gadio conveyed to the meeting a message of H.E. Maitre Abdoulaye Wade, President of the Republic of Senegal and Chairman of the 11th Summit. President Wade remarked that the adoption of the new Charter would enable the OIC to confront the serious challenges facing the Ummah.
The Council adopted the report of the preparatory Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) for the current session, held in Jeddah from 17 to 19 May 2008. It also adopted the Draft Agenda and Work Program submitted to it by the SOM as well as the reports of the Islamic Commission for Economic, Social and Cultural Affairs.
Guided by the Final Communiqué of the 11th Summit held in March 2008 in Dakar, Republic of Senegal, a wide range of issues of interest to Member States were discussed including the situation in Kosovo. The Council has adopted various resolutions, inter alia, in the following areas:
The Cause of Palestine, the City of Al-Quds Al-Sharif and the Arab –Israeli Conflict, the Implementation of the OIC Ten Year Programme of Action, the Situation in Iraq, the Jammu and Kashmir Dispute, the Peace Process between India and Pakistan, the Situation in Somalia, Solidarity with the Republic of the Sudan, the Situation in Cyprus, Aggression of the Republic of Armenia against the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Situation in Afghanistan, the Situation in Cote D’Ivoire, Assistance to the Union of Comoros, Combating International Terrorism, Combating Islamophobia and raising awareness of its implications on global peace and security, Rejection of the Unilateral US Sanctions imposed on the Syrian Arab Republic, Imposition of Unilateral Economic Sanctions on Member States Negative impact of economic and financial sanctions on the full enjoyment of Human Rights by people of the targeted country, Right of the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya to Reparation for the Losses Caused by the 1986 American Military Aggression, Lifting of sanctions against the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, United Nations Reform, Disarmament issues, Cooperation by the Islamic Republic of Iran with IAEA, Security and Solidarity among Member States, Situation at the border between Djibouti and Eritrea, Questions of Muslim Communities and Minorities, Legal and Organic Information, Cultural, economic, Science and technology, and Administrative and Financial Affairs.
The Council decided to hold the 36th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) in the Arab Republic of Syria in the second half of May 2009. It also took note of the proposal made by Tajikistan to host the 37th CFM Session in Dushanbe, in 2010. The Council further supported the proposal of the Republic of Kazakhstan to host the 38th CFM in 2011 in Astana.
On behalf of all the participants, H. E. Prof. Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, Secretary General of the OIC, addressed his thanks to H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda, for hosting the CFM and for the facilities extended to the delegates, which highly contributed to the success of its 35th Session.