The 31st Session of the Islamic Commission for Economic, Cultural and Social Affairs (ICECS)
Date: 20-21 May 2008
Venue: Jeddah - Saudi Arabia

The 31st Session of the Islamic Commission for Economic, Cultural and Social Affairs of the OIC was held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on 20-21 May 2008 with the participation of delegates from various member states and representatives of the OIC General Secretariat and its subsidiary, specialised and affiliated organs.

The Commission convened first in its capacity as the Joint General Assembly of the OIC subsidiary organs. As such, it reviewed the activities of these organs during the elapsed year and commended their efforts to strengthen economic cooperation among the member states, in particular their follow-up and implementation of the OIC Ten-Year Programme of Action.

The Commission then took up its technical agenda whereby it reviewed and discussed a number of issues of concern to the member states on the economic activities related to the implementation of the Ten-Year Programme of Action, to the implementation of the decisions of the COMCEC, to the Economic Assistance to the Member States and Non-OIC Countries and Muslim Communities. The Commission also reviewed and focussed on activities related to other Ministrial Conferences and Fora in the economic sectors, on “Sustainable Tourism Development in a Cross-border Network and Protected Areas in West Africa”, on the development of International Halal Standards, on the food security of the OIC Member States and finally on the new economic partnership of the Ummah. In this connection, the Centre presented two technical reports on prominent issues of interest and concern to the OIC countries, namely 1) Annual Economic Report on the OIC Countries 2007 and 2) Economic Problems of the Least-developed and Landlocked OIC Countries 2007. The commission expressed its appreciation of the work accomplished by the SESRIC and encouraged it to continue with its outstanding performance.

The agenda included other important issues of concern related to affairs and matters on Science and Technology, higher education, environment, on the role and activities of the OIC institutions in the Promotion of Science and Technology in the OIC Member Countries, on the role and activities of the OIC Universities in the promotion of higher education in the OIC Member Countries.

After the deliberations, the Commission adopted the draft resolutions on economic affairs, science and technology, cultural and social affairs and Dawa activities for submission to the 35th Session of Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers.