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Reassessment of the Role of the Organization of the Islamic Conference

The Organization of the Islamic Conference, as the only universal multilateral organization in the Islamic world, plays an important role in the accomplishment of the aforementioned and, in general, the realization of the fundamental objectives of 'participation, dialogue, security, and development'. In light of the steadily growing role of religion in general and Islam in particular in recent decades in explaining and shaping human relationships, Muslims all over the world are well-justified to look upon the Organization of the Islamic Conference as a refuge and source to meet their supranational Islamic and human needs and aspirations.

The Organization of the Islamic Conference, with thirty years of experience, enjoys the requisite potential resources for a more effective presence at the international level. Hence, it is natural that we now take up the question of looking for new approaches and mechanisms to strengthen its organizational structure as well as to make more efficient its decisions and ensure their implementation.

Under the present circumstances, it is incumbent upon the Organization of the Islamic Conference to assume a more active and innovative presence internationally, particularly in the resolution of current conflicts among member states or the crises imposed on them from outside. The Organization's initiative in defending the rights of the honorable people of Bosnia stands out as a good start for a serious change in the organization's approach to international difficulties and crises. Preservation and continuation of such a sensitivity and active support of the rights and interests of Muslim societies and Muslim communities and minorities in non-member countries, along with constructive engagement in finding a solution to such chronic cases as that of Kashmir, is imperative for the institutionalization of a more pronounced role for the organization.

All of us should help the Organization of the Islamic Conference so that it can strive, more forcefully and unequivocally, towards a sincere and compassionate resolution of differences within the Islamic world. We should also support the organization, financially as well as politically, in discharging its mandate. At the same time, more vigorous attention to the fundamental and pressing problems and issues of the Islamic world on the part of the organization, along with the enhancement of the content of its decisions;-and further reinforcement of its plans and activities, will certainly make the organization more energetic and dynamic.'

And finally, in closing, I would like to express my gratitude once again to our dear guests and wish every success for this august gathering and greater achievements for the Organization of the t Islamic Conference.

And let our last word be 'Praise be to Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the Worlds'.

'Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Creation, will be the last of our prayers'.

Adapted from the book: "Islam, Dialogue and Civil Society" by: "Sayyid Mohammad Khatami"

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