Press Releases

    SG/SM/8301
    10 July 2002

    At Eighth General Meeting of United Nations, Organization of Islamic Conference, Secretary-General Outlines Common Goals

    NEW YORK, 9 July (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the message of Secretary-General Kofi Annan to the General Meeting of the United Nations and the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), delivered on his behalf in Vienna on 9 July by Antonio Maria Costa, Director-General, United Nations Office at Vienna:

    It gives me great pleasure to send my greetings to all who have gathered for this annual general meeting of the United Nations and the Organization of the Islamic Conference. I would like to express appreciation to Dr. Abdelouahed Belkeziz, Secretary-General of the OIC, for his leadership. And I would like to pay tribute to Assistant Secretary-General Thierno Nabika Diallo, as well as the staff of the OIC secretariat, for their efforts to strengthen cooperation between our two organizations.

    The United Nations and the OIC share a commitment to tolerance, equality, the peaceful resolution of conflict and the promotion of economic and social development, and we have worked closely together to foster these universal principles. This is now the eighth general meeting of our secretariats and specialized agencies. While much has been accomplished, there is ample room to do more, particularly in the 10 priority areas that have been identified: trade; refugees; investment; environment; education; human resources; food security; science and technology; technical cooperation among Islamic countries; and the development of arts and crafts and promotion of heritage.

    Your meeting will also review cooperation in the political realm, in particular the Middle East and Afghanistan. I hope the OIC will continue doing its part in efforts to overcome the current deadlock in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in order to realize the vision, outlined in Security Council resolutions, of two States -- Israel and Palestine -- living side by side in peace, within secure and recognized borders. In Afghanistan, the political support of OIC member States contributed to the successful conclusion of the Emergency Loya Jirga last month, an important step in the country's moves towards peace and development. OIC member States have also made significant pledges for rehabilitation and reconstruction, and I would like to express gratitude for this show of support at a critical moment in Afghanistan's history.

    This general meeting offers a timely opportunity to discuss these and other vital matters, to identify possible new areas of collaboration, and to ensure that existing cooperation is as effective as possible. Thank you for your participation and for the preparatory work you have done for this session. In that spirit of partnership, please accept my best wishes for a successful meeting.

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