Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The 14th Islamic Summit Conference organised by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has ended in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, with member countries agreeing to to make the fight against terrorism a major priority.
This was part of the 101 communique tagged “Session of hand to hand towards the future,” issued at the end of the conference.
The member countries welcomed the establishment of the OIC Centre for Dialogue to establish the use of social media and relevant instruments as an important step in dismantling and undermining the foundation of extremism.
The conference encouraged the United Nations and other regional and international bodies to declare 15th March each year as the International Day for the Combat of Islamaphobia.
This, they said, is in view of the growing spread of negative perception about Islam occasioned by religious intolerance, negative sterotyping, hatred and violence against Muslims.
The conference also welcomed the Iraqi government’s efforts at combating terrorism.
Member countries rejected and condemned any illegal acknowledgement of Jerusalem (Al-Quds) as the capital of Israel.
The OIC members further affirmed their support for the Sahel region, particullarly the G-5 measures in bulding military capacity. As well as the expressed solidarity with the Lake Chad Basin countries of Nigeria, Niger, Cameroun and Chad, which continue to face significant security challenges.
The leaders agreed to the consolidation on the structures of Islamic Organisation for Food Security (IOFS) and implementation of comprehensive agricultural plans in member countries.
The conference recommended the important role of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) in this regard.
The conference agreed to convene its 15th meeting in the Republic of Gambia in 2022.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari was among the 53 heads of state that attended the meeting of the OIC, which is celebrating 50 years of its existence this year.