Friday October 17, 2003 06:58 PM



Bisrnillah Hir Rahamanir Rahim,

Your Excellency Dr. Mahathir bin Mohammed, Prime Minister of Malaysia

Your Excellencies Heads of States or Governments,

Your Excellency Dr. Abdelouahid Belkeziz, Secretary General of the OIC

Your Excellencies Ministers of Government

Your Excellencies Members of the Diplomatic Corps and Representatives of International and Regional Organisations,

Special Guests,

Participants, Brothers and Sisters,

Assalamu Alaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu

I bring you all warm greetings on behalf of the President of the Republic of Suriname, H.E. Runaldo Venetiaan, and the Government and the people of the Republic of Suriname.

Mr. Chairman,

May I express to Your Excellency, the Government of Malaysia and the wonderful people of Malaysia my deepest gratitude and appreciation for hosting this 10`h Session of the OIC Summit and doing so in the most excellent way.

Furthermore, I would also express my gratitude to the OIC-Secretary General and his Staff for their excellent performance in servicing the OIC Community and for their continuous efforts to further strengthen the relations between Member States.

May I also express solidarity with the friendly, hard working and hospitable people of Malaysia in their efforts to develop this beautiful country and to build a strong and prosperous nation? I would like to express my most profound gratitude for the warm and fraternal welcome extended to our delegation as well as for the generous hospitality since our arrival in Kuala Lumpur.

Mr. Chairman

The choice of the theme for this summit "Knowledge and Morality for Unity, Dignity and Progress of the Ummah could not come at a more opportune moment.

International developments this year have so far caused great concern worldwide. The sovereignty of states and the rights of the peoples of the world for self-determination are grossly undermined. Global peace and security are under -serious- threat of dangerous forms of unilateral acts causing damage to the World order as promoted by the United Nations and to the World Civilization as a whole.

The United Nations Organization has suffered some serious setbacks. In this respect it is important that the member states of the OIC continue to push for the reconstruction of the United Nations Organization and at the same time co-operate with other nations to further strengthen the'position of this body in guaranteeing and keeping world peace. We cannot allow World Civilization to degenerate; we must provide the UNO with the authority and strength to function at the centre of world affairs.

Mr. Chairman,

In view of the developments in the world, we must stress the fact that the OIC has an important role to fulfil in enhancing human well being and promoting peaceful coexistence in the world. Besides peace and security we have to address developmental issues in member states and continue to combat poverty. In this respect Unity and solidarity between OIC countries are very important. OIC member states should promote more trade between each other; they can collaborate with each other to combat common problems. -

Mr. Chairman,

As the Islam is a religion of peace and love, the world should know much more about Islam and Muslims. The ignorance of Islam is misused to create an anti-Muslim sphere among non-Muslims. This is not only happening in the United States and Europe, but also in other countries. At the same time this perception is being strengthened by terrorist activities by some Muslims.

As we all condemn terrorism of all kind, we have to tackle also the causes of terrorism. The Western world has to be convinced that without an acceptable solution of the Palestinian question and without terminating the aggression in several Muslim countries terrorism will continue to exist. We urge therefore the restoration of a democratic government in Afghanistan and Iraq. In Iraq the UN has to play an important role in restoring a representative government elected by the people.

Mr. Chairman,

The world should know more about the history and civilization of Islam, its norms and values. In this respect the OIC can play an important role. The dialogue between religions has to be continued with much more efforts. With the dissemination of knowledge about Islam and with the dialogue between religions, there will be more mutual understanding and respect.

With knowledge we mean not only knowledge of Islam, but also knowledge in the field of science and technology. It is our duty to promote science and technology in the OICcountries. We cannot allow ourselves to stay behind in the process of GIobalisation. So the role of ICT and the use of modern communication technology should be promoted. In this respect we should consider the use of distance education in several fields, which could be made available for all member states.

My country welcomes the initiative to enhance the role of Science and Technology for social and economic development. We also support policies aimed at acquiring and transferring technology for industrial use.

Mr. Chairman,

The world is going through a rapid process of transformation in the social, economic and political field. The international economy is being restructured under pressure of globalisation. This is accompanied by changes in the international political landscape with profound effects on the conduct of states in international politics. The OIC has to deal with the challenges of globalisation and to prepare itself for it. We therefore welcome all initiatives to revitalize the OIC and to restructure it in the sense that it can achieve its goals in a better way than in the past.

Globalisation comes along with a number of challenges, but it also holds tremendous opportunities. The OIC member states should be fully prepared to take advantage of all opportunities that presents itself. I would like to stress the need for unity and solidarity among OIC-member countries in the process of globalisation. In this respect Suriname would support policies aimed at connecting the markets of the OIC member countries and the establishment of special trade institutions.

Mr. Chairman,

May our deliberations be fruitful. Let us put best efforts and achieve the goals we have set.

In conclusion I would like to reiterate the commitment of the Government of Suriname to the Charter and the principles of the OIC and to the spirit of solidarity and co-operation with all member states.

Thank you.