Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The 14th Islamic Summit Conference organized by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has ended in Makkah, Saudi Arabia with member countries agreeing to make the fight against terrorism a 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 to dismantle and undermine the foundation of extremism.
The conference encouraged the United Nations and other regional and international organizations to declare March 15 of every year as the international day for the combat of Islamaphobia.
This, they said, is in view of growing spread of negative perception about Islam occasioned by religious intolerance, negative stereotyping, hatred and violence against Muslims.
The conference also welcomed Iraqi government’s efforts at combating terrorism.
Member countries, however, rejected and condemned any illegal acknowledgement of Al-Quds as the alleged capital of Israel.
The OIC members further affirmed their support for the Sahel Region particularly the G-5 measures in building military capacity, as well as the expressing solidarity with the Lake Chad Basin countries of Nigeria, Niger, Cameroun and Chad, which have continued to face grave security challenges.
The leaders agreed to the consolidation on the structures of Islamic Organization for Food Security (IOFS) and implementation of a comprehensive agricultural plans in member countries.
The conference recommended the important role of Islamic Development Bank (IDB) in this regard.
The conference agreed to convene its 15th meeting in Republic of Gambia in 2022.
President Muhammadu Buhari together with about 53 heads of state attended the meeting of OIC, which is celebrating 50 years of its existence this year.
President Buhari had earlier at the meeting asked the OIC for more intervention programmes in Africa, particularly in Nigeria.
He made the call while speaking on behalf of the African group at the meeting on Saturday.
Buhari affirmed Africa’s commitment towards the realization of the OIC objectives
Topical issues affecting member countries were brought to the fore at the meeting including the restoration of human rights in Palestine and other long unresolved conflicts in member countries, security challenges occasioned by the activities of terrorists, violent extremism armed criminalities, as well as political crisis in some member states.
Others are OIC programme in the cultural area aimed at combating Islamaphobia and deflamation of religions; OIC science and technology agenda 2026, which according to President Buhari will go along way in helping to attain the sustainable development goals and the OIC 2025 programme of action, among other issues.
The president expressed gratitude over the Islamic Development Bank Group development projects for Africa.
He listed the projects to include the national food development programme, roads and schools rehabilitation projects, as well as the Second Niger Bridge in Nigeria.
Buhari specifically called for more support for Nigeria, especially as the country begins a new transition.