COMCEC celebrates its 30th anniversary
The 30th Session of the COMCEC convened in Istanbul on 25-28 November 2014 with the participation of delegates from the member countries. The session started in the first two days with the meeting of senior officials. During the Meeting, the delegations of the Member States and the OIC institutions considered and deliberated on a number of agenda items related to various issues of enhancing economic and commercial cooperation among the Member States. The issues include: Review of the implementation of the COMCEC Strategy and the OIC Ten-Year Program of Action and the Plan of Action; world economic developments with special reference to the OIC member countries; expansion of intra-OIC trade; enhancing the role of private sector in economic cooperation; improving transport and communications; developing a sustainable and competitive tourism sector; increasing productivity of agriculture sector and sustaining food security; eradicating poverty; deepening financial cooperation; exchange of views on “the role of public private partnerships for the development of the tourism sector in the OIC member states”.
During the meeting of Senior Officials, SESRIC made presentations on the following agenda items:
World economic developments with special reference to the OIC member countries, where the report titled OIC Economic Outlook 2014 has been presented.
Eradicating poverty, where a progress report on the implementation of OIC-VET programme and the study titled “Managing Disasters and Conflicts in OIC Countries” have been presented.
Deepening financial cooperation, where the outcome of the 2014 Meeting of the Central Banks and the Monetary Authorities of the OIC Countries has been presented.
Exchange of views on “the role of public private partnerships for the development of the tourism sector in the OIC member states”, where the report and the recommendations of the workshop, which has been organized by SESRIC and COMCEC Coordination Office on this theme, has been presented.
In their deliberations on all these issues, the Senior Officials discussed and considered the recommendations and policy implications of many technical and background reports prepared and presented by various relevant OIC institutions. They also prepared the Draft Resolutions on these issues for consideration by the Ministerial Meeting, which was held on 27 November 2014.
The Ministerial Meeting of the 30th Session of the COMCEC
The Ministerial Meeting of the 30th Session of the COMCEC was held on 27 November 2014. The Opening Ceremony of the Meeting was held under the chairmanship of H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of the Republic of Turkey.
Following the recitation of the Holy Qur’an, opening statements made by H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of the Republic of Turkey and the Chairman of the COMCEC, H.E. Iyad Ameen Madani, the Secretary General of the OIC, the Heads of Delegations on behalf of the Arab, African, and Asian regional groups, H.E. Dr. Ahmed Muhammad Ali, President of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group, Mr. Saleh Abdullah Kamel, President of Islamic Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, and Mr. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, President of Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities.
During the Opening Ceremony of the 30th Session of COMCEC, an Award Ceremony was held on the occasion of the 30th Anniversary of the COMCEC, where the awards have been conferred by H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of the Republic of Turkey and the Chairman of the COMCEC. The awards have been given under three categories: Special Awards, Most Active Participation Awards, and Academic Awards for Islamic Economics and Finance.
Following the award ceremony, the “COMCEC 30th Year Exhibition”, “Palestine Trade and Business Expo 2014” and “Al-Quds Al-Sharif Photo Exhibition” have been officially launched by H.E. Recep Tayyip ERDOĞAN, President of the Republic of Turkey and Chairman of the COMCEC.
The Ministerial Working Session was held afternoon and moderated by H.E. Dr. Cevdet Yilmaz, Minister of Development of the Republic of Turkey. Following the adoption of the Agenda, the Session was briefed on the outcome of the Senior Officials Meeting. Following the presentation of the chairman of the Senior Officials Meeting, a keynote presentation on the theme of the ministerial exchange of views session was made by Mr. Amr Abdel-Gaffar, UNWTO Regional Director for the Middle East. The Ministers then exchanged their views on the theme “the role of public private partnerships for the development of the tourism sector in the OIC member states”. Mr. Nail Olpak, President of MUSIAD also made a presentation on the outcomes of the 18th International Business Forum Congress and 15th MUSIAD International Fair.
The Closing Session of the 30th Session of the COMCEC was held on 28th November 2014 under the Chairmanship of H.E. Dr. Cevdet Yilmaz, Minister of Development of the Republic of Turkey. Rapporteur of the Senior Officials Meeting summarized the proceedings of the Senior Officials Meeting and highlighted some salient points in the Resolutions. The Session adopted the Resolution. At the end of the Ministerial Meeting of the 30th Session of the COMCEC, H.E. Dr. Cevdet Yilmaz, Minister of State of Turkey, delivered a closing statement.
All documents and presentations presented to the 28th Session of COMCEC are available in the COMCEC website: www.comcec.org
On the occasion of the COMCEC’s 30th anniversary along with the regular sessions, three special sessions have been organized on 28 November 2014. These are:
Economic and Social Impact of Epidemics and OIC Response: The Case of Ebola
The Role of NGOs in the Development Efforts of the Islamic Countries, and
Development Challenges of Islamic Countries and Post-2015 Development Agenda
Economic and Social Impacts of Epidemics and OIC Response: The Case of Ebola
Islamic Development Bank and SESRIC have jointly organize a side event on “the Economic and Social Impacts of Epidemics and OIC Response: The Case of Ebola” with a view to discussing the critical actions that need to be taken to halt the spread of the disease and reduce the impact on the economy and the short and long term health of citizens of the countries in the West Africa. Members of the delegations from the affected countries as well as other member countries in the region of West Africa participated in the meeting.
In his presentation, as a keynote speaker, H.E. Dr. Qutb Mustafa Sano, Minister of International Cooperation in Guinea, as one of the most affected countries by Ebola, shared the experience and challenges which Guinea and the West African region are currently facing to fight Ebola. In his opening statements, Prof. Savas Alpay, Director General of SESRIC, stated that the extraordinary and unprecedented social and economic impact of the crisis can be minimized if OIC member countries can succeed to isolate the Ebola but not the affected countries. Following the deliberations on the theme, the participants proposed a set of recommendations on the steps which need to be taken against the transmission of Ebola disease, particularly on the response of the OIC and IDB in this regard.
The Role of NGOs in the Development Efforts of the Islamic Countries
Islamic Countries have a strong tradition of NGOs and voluntary institutions. Throughout the history, especially Waqfs have contributed substantially to economic development, social solidarity, education and training in the Islamic Countries and beyond. However, the current status of NGOs in the OIC Member States is far below the potential. In this respect, building an enabling environment for the development of NGOs in line with norms and traditions of Islamic Culture significantly contribute to the development efforts in the Islamic World.
This special session has been organized with the aim of evaluating the contributions of NGOs to national and international development efforts, reviewing the current level of NGOs in the Muslim Countries and discussing the relationship between the common culture of the Muslim Countries (specifically related to social solidarity and waqfs) and the economic and social development. This session introduced new insights through discussing present and potential relations between traditional social welfare mechanisms (such as waqfs) and development exertions in the Muslim Countries. The session was attended by the Ministerial-level delegations participating in the 30th Session of COMCEC, eminent scholars and experts.
Development Challenges of Islamic Countries and Post-2015 Development Agenda
A special session entitled “Development Challenges of Islamic Countries and Post-2015 Development Agenda” was held on November 28th, 2014 on the sidelines of the 30th Session of the COMCEC. The main aim of this Session was to discuss the achievements of MDGs in the OIC Member Countries and to deliberate on the development challenges facing the OIC Member Countries in light of the SDGs perspective and to dwell on how OIC Member Countries can contribute to the UN Post-2015 Development Goals. The Session attended by Ministers, academicians, delegations attending the 30th COMCEC Session. During this special event, the participants had the opportunity to raise their questions and to express their views.
During this special session, a keynote speech has been delivered by H.E. Prof. Numan Kurtulmuş, the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey. After that, a high-level panel session was held that brought together ministers / former ministers for planning, development and cooperation in OIC countries as well as the President of the IDB Group as panellists, where the speakers presented their views on various topics related to development challenges of Islamic countries. These included, among others, the role and contribution of civil society, government bodies, the media, and the private sector in achieving development goals in the Member Countries, the effective methods of extending global partnership and coordination for the Member Countries, SDGs and the development challenges of the Islamic Countries, the contribution of the Islamic countries to the implementation of the SDGs, and the instruments that the Islamic world might offer to eradicate poverty.