Statement by H.E. Dr. Zahir Tanin
Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the UN Before the Annual Coordination Meeting of Ministers Foreign Affairs of Member States of the Organizatioin of the Islamic Conference.
Hon. Sam Kutesa, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uganda.
Hon. OIC SG,
Mr. Chairman, my delegation and I congratulate you on your assumption of the Chairmanship of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of the Islamic Conference. I would like to seize this opportunity to extend my gratitude to the Permanent Mission of Uganda as well as the OIC Secretariat for their able leadership with regard to the Final Communiqué of the Annual Coordination Meeting (ACM) of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers.
The Government of Afghanistan welcomes and supports the adoption of the amended Charter of the Organization of the Islamic Conference by the 11th Summit in Dakar, in March of this year and is fully committed to fulfilling its obligations to implement the OIC Ten-Year Plan of Action.
As a founding member of the OIC, Afghanistan has always attached great importance to the Organization of the Islamic Conference. We have always enjoyed tremendous support from the organization and its members. In this regard, I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to the people and governments of our fellow Muslim nations that have contributed to the reconstruction of Afghanistan, whether directly or through the OIC Trust Fund for the Assistance of the Afghan people.
We come together to address the most challenging issues we face today. Difficult economic conditions, food and energy crises, poverty, terrorism, and conflict and Islamophobia threaten the short and long term stability of the Muslim world perhaps even more than other parts of the world. My delegation is confident that our organization, as the largest international organization after the United Nations, can play a significant role in identifying ways and means of mobilizing our efforts to deal with all these challenges.
In order to deal with global food crisis effectively, in particular within Islamic countries, the OIC should unite its efforts and coordinate its actions to address the issue. By pooling our efforts across the Muslim world, we will be able to arrive at a sustainable solution that incorporates a short-term solution while developing a long term vision of food security.
The Government of Afghanistan expresses its solidarity with the Islamic peoples in addressing their political, economic and social problems. Today’s globalized world requires our unity and collective and complementary endeavors to tackle the complex issues we face.
Terrorism and extremism continue to be a threat to peace, security and progress in Afghanistan as well as the region. Terrorists attack and commit crimes against all sectors of Afghan society: women, children, clergies, aid workers, government employees, tribal and political leaders and 2
ordinary innocent people. Two thirds of the victims of all suicide bombings are civilians. The Taliban and Al-Qaeda act as a force of butchery and destruction: burning new schools and clinics, and destroying what we build. It is a painful truth that the brutality is no longer limited to the Afghan people, as it has been in the past, but also against our Muslim brothers in Pakistan.
Terrorists and extremist groups are trying to give their skewed political aspirations a religious justification. This justification is one of the greatest lies of our time, defaming the name of our people and our religion, and we cannot and should not remain silent. The OIC as an organization that embodies the collective will of all Islamic countries has a significant role and a great responsibility to embark on a strong campaign against those who try to justify their hideous actions against Muslim people in the name of Islam.
While international terrorism is the major threat to international peace and security, as well as to fundamental freedoms such as human rights, democracy, prosperity and territorial integrity in each country, we Muslims have the joint responsibility to redouble our efforts on all dimensions of the war against terrorism, to go after terrorists and their sources of training, inspiration and financing.
Terrorist campaign and continuing brutality, by Al-Qaeda and the Taliban and like minded groups, have led a misguided few to further stereotypes and fears of Islam or Muslims. Islamophobia, discrimination against Muslims and defamation of Islam, as we are witnessing in some parts of the world, has become an issue of serious concern for all of us. My delegation condemns the growing trend of Islamophobia, and we express our support for the organization’s observatory on Islamophobia.
Our efforts at combating Islamophobia will be half-hearted if they consist solely of denouncing false representations of Islam. The other half of our work must be to present the real image of Islam to the world. We must show the world Islam is indeed a religion of peace, love, justice, and tolerance and also draw a line between genuine Islam and the claim of those terrorist groups which attempt to project their deeds and actions as Islamic.
At the same time it is important to help all efforts that facilitate harmony and dialogue among different cultures and religions. In this regard, Afghanistan strongly supports the Alliance of Civilizations initiative which is co-sponsored by Turkey and Spain under the aegis of the UN Secretary-General.
As President Karzai said in his statement at the GA “We deeply sympathize with our Palestinian brothers and sisters on their struggle and suffering.” The Afghan people have long recognized the deep suffering of the Palestinian people, and we fully support the peace process negotiations between the two sides and the full implementation of the Road Map towards ending the occupation of the Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem and we believe in the necessity of realizing the two-state solution for peace in accordance with relevant U.N. resolutions.
The people of Afghanistan and our Iraqi brothers and sisters are all too familiar with the pains and challenges of national reconstruction while face the scourge of international terrorism. We are glad to see and welcome the recent improvements in the security situation in Iraq, and wish them continued success in their endeavors.
My delegation supports the inalienable rights of Member States to develop nuclear energy for peaceful uses as enshrined in the NPT and the Statute of the IAEA and hopes for the urgent and peaceful solution to the discussions regarding the peaceful and scientific nuclear activity of our brotherly country of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Afghanistan remains convinced of the central role of the United Nations as the only universal multilateral organization, and strongly and the OIC as the largest Islamic organization in the world, will contribute to promotion of international peace, security and development.
Finally, as the end of Ramadan and Eid are just a few days away, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you continued success and in the coming months.
Thank you Mr. Chairman.