Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. N Hassan Wirajuda
Delegate of the Republic of Indonesia
At the Organization of the Islamic Conference
Annual Coordination Meeting
of Ministers of Foreign Affairs
New York, 2 October 2007
Bismillahir Rahmaanir Rahim
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Assalaamu ‘alaikum wa-Rahmatullahi wa-Barakatuh
I wish to begin by expressing my appreciation to the Pakistani delegation for convening this meeting. I hope that this event, which takes place during the holy month of Ramadhan, will lead to new ways by which we can attain our objectives in a way that will benefit the Ummah.
We are facing formidable challenges, which we must address with vigorous concerted action.
One of them is the negative image of Islam. There were fewer anti-Muslim incidents reported last year but prejudice and suspicions against Muslims remain a matter of concern, as they foster a negative image of Islam and undermine interdenominational relations.
We the OIC member states must keep on working hard to remove prejudice against Islam from the minds of people. We must keep on reminding the world that Islam is a religion of peace. For that purpose, we must learn how to communicate effectively.
We must also keep on promoting interfaith and intercultural dialogue. These initiatives are generating a great deal of mutual understanding and goodwill among the faiths. They contribute significantly to the maintenance of international peace and security.
In line with our commitment to the promotion of cross-cultural dialogue at global, regional and bilateral levels, Indonesia will host an “Interfaith Youth Camp" in 2008, to send the message of tolerance and understanding directly to the younger generation. By directing that message at the younger generation, we are investing in better inter-communal relations in the future.
It is also important for us to address the challenge of democracy. This means greater participation of the people in decision-making processes. It also means the practice of transparency and good governance and respect for human rights based on the law and the constitution.
We have to manage this issue properly and demonstrate for all the world to see that Islam and democracy are not only compatible but also mutually supportive and mutually nurturing.
Fortunately, Islam has provided us with guidance for responding to the challenge of democracy. We only need to make use of the guidance and live the values of Islam in order to deal with all threats to the sovereignty, freedom, independence and even the existence of OIC member countries.
In the political sphere, we remain seized with the Middle East Conflict. The search for a political settlement has been going on for decades. But the situation between Palestine and Israel keeps getting worse.
My delegation once again calls for the immediate establishment of an independent and viable Palestinian State living side by side in peace with Israel, as stipulated in the Roadmap of the Quartet and relevant United Nations resolutions.
We also encourage Hamas and Fattah to engage in dialogue so that fratricidal conflict among the Palestinians may be averted. At the same time, we urge all Palestinians to nurture the peace process with their Israeli counterparts, since dialogue and negotiations are essential to the attainment of long-term peace in the Middle East.
Meanwhile we remain concerned at the fratricidal conflict raging in Iraq. It is taking a heavy toll in terms of human lives and in terms of lost opportunities for political and socioeconomic development. The presence of the coalition force in the country will never solve the problem. It only makes the situation more complex.
We believe that religious leaders play a vital role in any country. In an Islamic society, the Ulema have a profound influence on the attitudes and behavior of the faithful. We should therefore secure their participation in the dialogues that we are promoting so that they may put their soft power to the service of peace.
As to Lebanon, my delegation notes that security has greatly improved in the country. Still, all the parties concerned must strive for unity in order to hasten the reconstruction of the war-devastated parts of the country. Neighbouring countries can contribute to the quest for peace in Lebanon by persuading the Lebanese factions to engage in dialogue toward reconciliation.
In Afghanistan, we commend the various initiatives proposed by the Afghan Government to enhance security in the country. Considering that the insurgency in the country is rooted in sociopolitical grievances, the solution lies in reforms that will make the political more inclusive and widen participation in decision-making.
Although it is essential that we attend to political issues, it is also vitally important that we address our economic concerns. Many members of our organization are categorized as least developed and heavily indebted.
We must therefore strengthen our intra-trade cooperation through the 2009 platform for the establishment of the Trade Preferential System among the OIC Countries (TPS-OIC). We should also revitalize our Islamic economic institutions and tap the tremendous potential of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and its affiliated bodies. By doing so, we expedite the attainment of our Millennium Development Goals.
We are also pleased to see the establishment of the World Islamic Economic Forum as a venue for constructive discussion of our responses to the socio-economic challenges confronting by the Ummah.
Another challenge that we need to deal with is climate change. This is no longer just a threat. It is already a reality that is upon us. Adaptation and mitigation should therefore be among our responses to this issue. Moreover, there is still hope that we can attain climate stability through international cooperation.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of 2007, the increase of green house gasses concentration in the atmosphere has worsened global warming. It has also given rise to extreme weather conditions.
What is needed in order to effectively address this challenge is to form a global partnership on climate, a partnership involving the developed and developing world as well as all stakeholders. Civil society, the mass media, the academe and parliaments play an important role in the massive effort to deal with climate change.
In this regard, Indonesia is privileged to be hosting the 13th session of the Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the third session of the Meeting of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol in Bali this coming December. We fervently hope that the Bali Conference will lay the basis for the global partnership on climate change. We also trust that it will result in a roadmap that will specify concrete measures and targets that the world community will pursue after the expiration of the Kyoto Protocol in 2012.
It is therefore important that OIC members attend and take active part in the deliberations in the Bali Conference on climate change, consider that developing countries like us will bear the brunt of the devastation from climate change if left uncontrolled.
We the OIC members have a great stake in multilateral diplomacy that is anchored on the United Nations. We should therefore work hard together to strengthen the reform process both in the General Assembly and in the Security Council of the United Nations.
We would like to see the United Nations become a more effective instrument of global security and socio-economic development. A United Nations that is more democratic, more representative or and more sympathetic to developing countries. Such a United Nations will raise our hopes for a better world.
We also need to continue our own reform process. This is crucial to our efforts at making our organization resilient and capable of addressing the challenges of our time. When we have succeeded in reforming our Organization, it will be so much more effective as an advocate of the interests of the Ummah.
We therefore hope that the ongoing discussion on the draft charter can be concluded before the convening of the 11th Session of the OIC Summit in March 2008. With a new Charter, the OIC makes a fresh start. I look forward to our Organization becoming more dynamic and more relevant to the needs of the Ummah and playing a commensurately important role in international arena.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Wassalaamu'alaikum wa-Rahmatullahi wa-Barakatuh
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