IOFS Director General Attends the 15th OIC Summit in Banjul

Country: Gambia
IOFS Director General Attends the 15th OIC Summit in Banjul
05 May 2024

Banjul, Republic of The Gambia – 04 May 2024 – The Director General of the Islamic Organization for Food Security (IOFS), H.E. Amb. Berik Aryn joined world leaders from the 57 Member States of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and beyond at the commencement of the 15th OIC Summit of the (OIC) today, in the Gambian capital Banjul.

With a shared commitment to addressing the pressing challenges facing the Ummah, Ambassador Aryn’s participation underscores the Organization's dedication to expanding cooperation and solidarity among Member States, particularly within the context of the Summit central theme, “Enhancing unity and solidarity through dialogue for sustainable development,” which reflects a collective endeavor to tackle global issues and foster sustainable growth.

The inaugural ceremony was addressed by the chair of the 15th OIC Summit, President of The Gambia, H. E. Mr. Adama Barrow, who stressed that he pledged to promote unity, solidarity, and sustainable development within the Islamic world. He added that his approach will include prioritizing initiatives that enhance economic cooperation, foster cultural exchange, and address pressing issues, such as poverty and access to education and healthcare. Other dignitaries that intervened at the solemn session included the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Chair of the previous 14th Summit H. H. Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, the OIC Secretary General, H. E. Mr. Hissein Taha, the President of the Islamic Development Bank Group (IsDB), H.E. Dr. Muhammad Sulaiman Al Jasser, the Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), H.E. Jasem Mohamed AlBudaiwi, and the Special Envoy of the President of China, H.E. Zheng Jianbang.

On the sidelines of the august gathering, the IOFS Director General had the opportunity to hold bilateral meetings with Heads of Delegation of different Member States, including Their Excellencies Mr. Jeyhun Bayramov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Mr. Aibek Moldogaziev, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic, and Mr. Nurdinjon Ismailov, Speaker of the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Coincidentally, all these Central Asian countries are yet to join the IOFS and, understandably, the exchanges were mostly around this important subject, as well as potential engagements to enhance respective bilateral cooperation within the fields of food security and agricultural development.

Brief consultations were also conducted by Ambassador Aryn with IOFS Member States, including with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, H. H. Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, and diverse number of Permanent Representatives with whom matters of how to enhance Islamic solidarity in the framework of the IOFS Vision 2031 were addressed. Additionally, the Director General engaged with the OIC Secretariat’s leadership, including H.E. Ambassador Tarig Bakheet, Assistant Secretary General for Cultural, Social & Humanitarian Issues, to review the current status of the Afghanistan Food Security Program, as well as with leadership of various OIC Institutions attending the Summit, as was the case of H.E. Ms. Latifa El Bouabdellaoui, Director General of the Islamic Center for Development of Trade (ICDT), and H.E. Mr. Salçuk Koç, Director General COMCEC Coordination Office (CCO) with whom the issue of addressing challenges of food trade within the OIC geography was discussed.

The 15th OIC Summit is to close on 05 May 2024 with adoption of a Final Communiqué that is to dwell on the matters under the Summit’s agenda, including pressing matters such as the current situation political and humanitarian situation in Palestine, with particular focus on the Gaza Strip, as well as initiatives aimed at bolstering domestic economies and revitalizing small and medium enterprises, highlighting the Summit’s multifaceted approach to fostering sustainable development.