The 36th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) of the Member States of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC)
Date: 23-25 May 2009
Venue: Damascus - Syria

Damascus, SyriaThe 36th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) of the Member States of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) was held in the Syrian capital Damascus, from 23 to 25 May 2009, under the theme 'Promoting Islamic Solidarity'.

The meeting, which brought together the foreign ministers of 57 Member States in the OIC, discussed a host of political issues, notably the issue of the Arab-Israeli conflict, latest developments in the Holy City of Al-Quds and Israeli relentless aggressions against Palestinians. Participating Ministers also explored other major political issues, such as the situation in Iraq, and the unfortunate developments in Somalia in the wake of worsening security conditions and the recent outbreak of deadly clashes on the outskirts of the Somali capital, Mogadishu. The unravelling developments in Sudan also figured high on the meeting's work agenda.

In parallel, the Ministers examined a conceptual paper on the OIC's future role in maintaining peace, security and resolving conflicts in the Member States. The paper sets out from the premise that the Muslim world needs to have peacekeeping troops, as myriad conflicts are waged within Muslim territories, not to mention that OIC Member States provide the largest contribution to UN peacekeeping forces.

Combating Islamophobia and the fight against the defamation of Islam were also on the cards of the meeting. The OIC Islamophobia Observatory published on the occasion its Second Annual Report on Islamophobia. The report highlights the abuses perpetrated against Muslims and Islam, and features the reality of the phenomenon of Islamophobia across the world.

The Ministers also discussed the issue of Muslim communities and minorities in non-OIC Member States, such as the situation of Muslims in the Philippines, the situation of the Turkish Muslim minority in Western Thrace in Greece, the situation of Muslim groups in the Republic of Myanmar, and the situation of Muslims in southern Thailand.

Additionally, the Ministers looked in detail into the economic endeavours associated with the implementation of the OIC Ten-Year Programme of Action (TYPOA) as well as issues of science and technology, health-care, higher education, environment in the Muslim world, and media in the OIC Member States.

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