Thursday October 16, 2003 11:34 AM


1. I would like to take this opportunity to join the honourable Prime Minster, Dato Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad, in extending a very warm welcome to all of you to Malaysia and to this Tenth Summit of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference.

It is indeed a great honour for Malaysia to host this summit meeting and thereafter to chair the organisation for the next three years.

2. I am honoured to be given this opportunity to deliver this address on behalf of the chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

This summit meeting comes eight months after the 13th NAM summit was held in Kuala Lumpur.

Malaysia is doubly honoured and privileged to have been given the opportunity to host the summits of two important groupings of the developing countries, the NAM and OIC, all within the same year.

Your Majesties,


Ladies and Gentlemen,

3. This summit is taking place at a most challenging time for our organisation.

The global situation has undergone fundamental changes since the establishment of the OIC. one member state is just emerging from a prolonged period of civil war, while another is under foreign occupation.

Some of the goals of the OIC have been achieved, but, like the NAM, some others still remain unattained.

4. Domestically, many of us are still grappling with the challenges posed by nation building, even as we struggle to preserve the sovereignty and integrity of our nations.

We continue to come to grips with the issues of poverty, social and economic development and political stability externally, the developing world continues to be sidelined by the wealthy, industrialised countries which have tremendous influence over global affairs.

Many major decisions by international bodies, including the un security council, are made not on the basis of objective criteria, but in the interests of the strong and powerful. It is clearly in our vital interest that our two organizations, the NAM and OIC, stand should-to-shoulder to strengthen the multilateral process and to make every effort to ensure that diplomacy and civilized conduct among nations are based on international law.

5. Indeed, the struggle for a world free of conflict and war should be the common struggle of both the NAM and OIC in this new era.

We should be actively involved in efforts to manage, resolve and prevent conflicts in the world, particularly among our member states.

We should substitute the culture of conflict and war with that of peace based on understanding, tolerance and accommodation. In this regard, the on-going process of dialogue between civilisations plays a particularly important role and should be given the strong support that it deserves.

6. However, if the world is in an unsatisfactory state of affairs, we cannot entirely blame others for it. We, the developing world, are ourselves partly to be blamed-for not putting our houses in good order, and for submitting ourselves to the dictates of others.

Many of our countries remain poor and are vulnerable to external pressures and influence.

In spite of the abundant natural resources in many of our countries, we lack the knowledge and expertise to productively use these resources. Our lack of unity and clear strategies in advancing our interests result in our countries being marginalised in the international decision-making process.

Thus, we continue to be dependent on the north when in fact, In the context of south-south cooperation, it is possible for us to develop mutually-sustaining and beneficial economic relationships.


Ladies and Gentlemen,

7. The challenges faced by the OIC in the context of a vastly transformed global environment are many and varied.

Our two organisations must continue to provide strong and undiminished support for the Palestinian people in their struggle against occupation and oppression, and for their inalienable right to establish a sovereign and independent Palestinian state, with east Jerusalem as its capital. Our continued and unshakable solidarity with the people of Palestine is especially critical at this juncture of their struggle, and in light of the increasingly oppressive policies of the Israeli occupying power, with no prospect in sight of an early end to the plight of the Palestinian people.

8. In addition, we view with grave concern the hostile Israeli attack on Syria -a sovereign independent state and member of this organisation. It was a provocative act that does not serve the cause of peace but further aggravates the volatile situation in the middle east there is also an urgent need to bring stability to Iraq.

The end of war has not brought peace to the Iraqi people. In this regard, we must continue to call for and support the return of sovereignty to the Iraqi people as soon as possible.

9. Both our organisations must also continue to be at the forefront in the global effort for the total elimination of weapons of mass destruction the Non-Aligned Movement and the OIC must continue to be active promoters of the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones in various regions of the world.

We should, in particular, redouble our efforts to promote the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the middle east, as envisaged in a number of resolutions adopted by the un security council and general assembly. In realising this objective, we should press for the full acceptance and cooperation of all nuclear-weapon countries based on an even-handed approach not on double-standards and selectivity.


Ladies and Gentlemen,

10. In our readiness to face up to new challenges and threats against the fundamental interests and well-being of the developing countries, we will have to resist the attempts that are being made to erode the concept of the sovereignty of states, enshrined in the un charter.

It is, indeed, ironic that in an era of ever-increasing interaction among states and other international actors on the global stage, the multilateral process is being sidelined in favour of a unilateral approach. In our interdependent world, the need to strengthen the multilateral process is now more urgent than ever before in our quest for a more just and humane global order based on international cooperation, understanding and solidarity.

11. The developing countries have a vital stake in promoting and strengthening multilateralism we should give our strong support to, and work in tandem with, the United Nations in ensuring the centrality of the multilateral process and the primacy of international law. We must work constructively to shape the future of a just world order that adheres to, and is inspired by, the principles of the un charter and observes international law. As the current chairman of the Now Aligned Movement and the incoming chair of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, Malaysia will work closely with all member states of the two organizations to ensure the continued centrality of this process on all issues of vital interest to its members, including the promotion of our development agenda and in the global fight against terrorism which necessitates a multilateral and holistic approach, not one that is unilateral, non-consultative and piecemeal.


Ladies and Gentlemen,

12. Globalisation, as currently interpreted and promoted by the developed world, has had adverse effects on developing countries which are already severely handicapped by the increasing gap in trade, technology and development as well as the digital divide.

We must, therefore, continue to exert our combined efforts to ensure that globalisation works for the benefit of all. The developing countries, through NAM, the G77, the OIC and all other for a we belong to, must step up the fight for a fairer deal in international trade in which we are pitted against the biggest, richest and the most powerful.

13. As an essential part of our strategy to increase our leverage vis-a-vis our developed partners, we must demonstrate increased faith and commitment in south-south cooperation while maximizing north-south cooperation.

This is essential in enhancing our economic potential and resilience to propel our growth and competitiveness. In this regard, it is important that we expand trade and investment linkages among our members and with other partners in the developing world. We have the majority of the worlds population living in NAM member countries. Much of the earths natural resources are found in our lands.

We have capital to invest in each other's economies.

We have a rich pool of talented professionals and enterprising businesspeople.

It is time to unleash the economic potential inherent in NAM and the OIC so that we can compete effectively with the industrialised economies.

But as with the political challenges we face, we will only succeed if there is common purpose and coordinated action.


Ladies and Gentlemen,

14. To continue to be relevant to its memberships, the NAM and OIC must be forward-looking and action-oriented.

Our two organisations must be proactive, not reactive. We must continue to stand up for the principles that are dear to us-for equity, justice and fair play for all-and resist the pressures that are constantly being exerted upon us.

15. We must act-even if it is only in small but meaningful steps-and not merely deliberate.

The unspoken truth is that the developed world does not expect us to act in unison.

They expect from us much talk and little action. They expect us to be disunited and disorganised.

They expect to be able to continue to divide us and dominate us. It is here in Malaysia, that I hope we can defy expectations.

I thank you all for your kind attention and wish you a very pleasant stay in Malaysia.



Ghulam Ali Solangi, Malysia