The Twenty-third Session of the COMCEC convened in Istanbul on 14-17 November 2007 with the participation of delegates from 46 OIC member countries and a number of related international and regional organizations. The Ministerial Meeting of the Twenty-third Session of the COMCEC was held on 16-17 November and started, in the opening ceremony, with the inaugural address of H.E. Abdullah GŰL, President of the Republic of Turkey and Chairman of the COMCEC.
The OIC General Secretariat, subsidiary, specialized and affiliated organs also participated in the Session. The Centre was represented thereat by Dr. Savaş ALPAY, Director General; Mr. İlhan UĞUREL, Advisor to the Director General; Mr. Nabil DABOUR, Senior Researcher; Mr. Süleyman ISLAMOĞLU, Senior Researcher; and Mr. Esat BAKIMLI, Researcher.
The Meeting of the Senior Officials of the Twenty-third Session of the COMCEC was held on 14-15 November to deliberate on the various items on the agenda of the COMCEC. The Centre contributed the following background reports dealing with prominent issues on the said agenda: (1) Annual Economic Report on the OIC Countries 2007; (2) Report of the Workshop on "Micro-Credit Financing and Poverty Alleviation in OIC Member Countries”;. (3) SESRIC Proposal on Initiating Vocational Education and Training Programme for the OIC Member Countries (OIC-VET); (4) Results of the Questionnaire Circulated by the SESRIC to the Member Countries on the Proposed Themes for the COMCEC Exchange of Views Sessions; and (5) Terms of Reference (TOR) on a New Mechanism for Preparation and Implementation of the Exchange of Views Sessions of the COMCEC.
The Ministerial Meeting of the Twenty-third Session of the COMCEC was held on 16-17 November and started, in the opening ceremony, with the inaugural address of H.E. Abdullah GŰL, President of the Republic of Turkey and Chairman of the COMCEC. At the opening session, statements were also made by H.E. Prof. Ekmeleddin İHSANOĞLU, Secretary General of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC); the representatives of the three geographical groups of Member States; H.E. Dr. Ahmad Mohamed ALI, President of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB); and H.E. Shaikh Saleh Bin Abdullah KAMEL, President of the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI).
In the Ministerial Working Session, which was chaired by H.E. Nazım EKREN, Minister of State and Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey, the Ministers and Heads of Delegations exchanged views on the theme “Micro-Credit Financing and Poverty Alleviation in the Member States”. In this connection, the Director General, Dr. Savaş ALPAY, presented the outcomes (recommendations and project proposals) of the workshop, organised by the Centre in July 2007 in Istanbul on the said theme, in its capacity as the coordinating institution for the exchange of views sessions of the COMCEC. Prof. Dr. Muhammad YUNUS, Founder of the Grameen Bank and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate on Micro-Credit Financing also attended the Session as the keynote speaker where he made a presentation on his contribution and pioneering role in the area of micro-credit financing for alleviating poverty.
The Ministers and Heads of Delegations also reviewed and adopted the draft resolutions prepared by the senior officials. They decided, inter alia, that “Improving Investment Climate” be the theme of the Exchange of Views Session at the 24th Session of the COMCEC and requested the IDB, in collaboration with the SESRIC (the coordinating institution for the exchange of views sessions), the OIC General Secretariat, relevant OIC institutions and other related international organisations to organize a workshop on this topic prior to the 24th Session of the COMCEC and to submit its report to the next COMCEC Session. Furthermore, bilateral meetings were also arranged during the Ministerial Session of the COMCEC between Ministers and/or Heads of Delegations with the aim of enhancing economic and commercial relations among the Member States
The Closing Session of the Twenty-third Session of the COMCEC was held on 17 November 2007 under the chairmanship of H.E. Kürşad TÜZMEN, Minister of State of the Republic of Turkey in charge of foreign trade. A signing ceremony was held at the Closing Session where the Heads of Delegation of the Cameroon and Malaysia signed the TPSOIC Rules of Origin, the Head of Delegation of Guinea signed the Protocol on the Preferential Tariff Scheme for TPSOIC (PRETAS) and the Head of Delegation of Senegal signed the Statute of the Standards and Metrology Institute for the Islamic Countries (SMIIC). Finally, the Head of Delegation of Sierra Leone signed the General Agreement on Economic, Technical and Commercial Cooperation, the Agreement on Promotion, Protection and Guarantee of Investments, the Framework Agreement on Trade Preferential System, (TPSOIC) the Statute of the Islamic Civil Aviation Council, the Statute of the Islamic States Telecommunications Union and the Statute of the Standards and Metrology Institute for the Islamic Countries (SMIIC).
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