DR GOODLUCK EBELE JONATHAN, GCON, GCFR
President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces
Federal Republic of Nigeria
12 TH SESSION OF THE ISLAMIC SUMMIT CONFERENCE
6 TH – 7 TH FEBRUARY 2013
Your Excellency, Mohammed Morsi
President of the Arab Republic of Egypt and
Chairman of the 12 th Islamic Summit Conference
Your Excellencies, Presidents, Prime Ministers, and Heads of Delegation
Your Excellency, Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu
Secretary-General, Organisation of the Islamic Conference
Ladies and Gentlemen,
1. On behalf of myself and my Colleagues from the Africa Group, it is an honour for me to address the 12 th Summit of the Organisation of Islamic Conference, holding here in Cairo, the capital city of Egypt which is widely acclaimed as the cradle of civilization.
2. I wish to convey my sincere appreciation to President Morsi, the Government and people of the Arab Republic of Egypt for the generous hospitality extended to me and my delegation since our arrival; and for the excellent arrangements made for this Summit. I wish also, to congratulate him on his election as the Chairman of this Summit. We are confident that his acknowledged leadership qualities will go a long way in supporting the active role, which the Organisation has been playing on the global scene.
3. I also wish to place on record my sincere gratitude to President Macky Sall of the Republic of Senegal for the eminent role played by his country in steering the affairs of the Organisation, since the last Summit Conference in Dakar, in 2008.
4. Mr Chairman, this Summit is taking place at a very crucial moment in the history of our Organisation; given our collective determination to consolidate our solidarity especially in the socio-economic domain. Our deliberations would afford us the opportunity to take stock of what we have accomplished since the adoption of the Ten Year Programme of Action, which provides a credible road-map for the transformation of our respective economies and for the promotion of peace, security and sustainable development in our Member States.
5. The successful implementation of the poverty alleviation programmes is highly commendable. Equally so is the progress made in the domain of expanding intra-OIC trade, which has risen from 14.5% in 2005 to 17.71% in 2011.
6. Nigeria, and indeed Africa, is proud of the achievements realized in the area of trade financing, which recorded a cumulative increase by 63% from US$24.4 billion in 2005 to US$39.9 billion in 2011. It is also noteworthy that the Special Programme for development of Africa (SPDA) has made enormous financial contributions, such that it has increased the human and technical capacity development in African countries. This initiative, in addition to the OIC activities under the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD), has assisted the various national efforts at economic recovery in our respective countries.
7. While commending the various OIC institutions for their active contributions to these achievements, I wish to announce Nigeria’s support for the proposal to increase the authorized capital of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) from its present US$30 Billion to about US$50. It is our sincere belief that this new increase will assist the Bank, as it seeks to actualize the objectives for which this specialized OIC institution was established.
8. The sharp decline in agricultural productivity in addition to the colossal drop in foreign direct investments and the steady increase in food bills have all created economic hardships, which pushed up the average poverty index in OIC Member States from 25% in 2005 to 38% in 2011.
9. It is due to the interventions deployed under the various OIC poverty alleviation programmes that this Organisation has been able to mobilize collective actions, in order to address the menace posed by these crises.
10. Mr. Chairman, since our last Summit, the global political and economic landscapes have presented additional challenges for which our Organisation has been called upon to address. The global financial and food crises reached their peaks during this period and left their impacts on the economies of our countries.
11. Your Excellencies, on the political plane, many of our Member States are facing grave challenges bordering on terrorism, threat to peace and insecurity. The crises in Syria and the Sahel region have assumed such serious dimensions, requiring concerted efforts to resolve. So far, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union have taken the initiative to find solutions to the problems posed by the activities of armed terrorist groups operating in the region and threatening our collective stability.
12. The endeavours under the African-led Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA), to liberate areas occupied in the Northern part of this Member State of our Organisation by armed extremist groups, would require the full and unflinching support of this Summit. The bulk of the troop contributing nations are African members of the OIC. I therefore appeal to other Member States outside the continent, to actively extend all forms of support, financial and logistics, to ensure the successful implementation of all aspects of the UN Security Council Resolution 2085, which also authorised the deployment of AFISMA in Mali.
13. Mr Chairman and Excellencies, it is in this connection that I convey the utmost appreciation of Africa to this esteemed Organisation for her principled stand, solidarity and support for the ECOWAS/African Union (AU) initiatives on the unfortunate developments in Mali, nearly one year ago. The Declaration on Mali, which will be adopted at this Summit to establish a Contact Group at a Ministerial level to monitor developments in Mali, is a further testimony of the commitment and resolve of the OIC, to remain a valued partner with Africa in search for sustainable stability, peace and development in that country as well as in the Sahel in general.
14. Your Excellencies, as the menace posed by the activities of terrorist groups to the security and stability of our Member States is closely linked to the proliferation of small arms and light weapons, we, in Nigeria, have been in the forefront of the campaign for the adoption of the United Nations Plan of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons; due to the realisation that most wars were caused by the proliferation of small arms and light weapons. I wish, therefore, to request this Summit to align itself with the evolving global consensus on control of the movement of conventional weapons, in order to make our region a safer place for investment and development.
15. I would like to observe that the OIC, as the umbrella organisation of the Muslim World, provides a unique platform for the forging of cooperation, solidarity and joint actions, based on common values and ideals, which will help to promote the virtues of tolerance and moderation for the achievement of international peace and harmony.
16. Excellencies and dear colleagues, with regards to the reforms of the United Nations (UN), especially its Security Council (SC), Africa wishes to regretfully observe the slow pace and the seeming lack of progress, nearly one decade after the processes were initiated. We in Africa believe strongly, that the calls for democratization worldwide, should not be limited to member states alone but extended to International Organisations such as the UN, especially its Security Council. This is not only central to but imperative to the enthronement of justice, equity and fairness which are badly needed to create a sense of balance in our world. Africa and the OIC need to reinforce the support for each other, to attain this objective in the course of the 68 th Session of the UNGA.
17.Finally, Mr Chairman, I wish to take the opportunity to inform this august body that my country has decided to seek re-election for the 2014 -2015 rotational Non-Permanent seat of the UNSC which will be vacated by Togo in December 2013. In line with our tradition of forging consensus on matters of common interest, Nigeria will be counting on your usual support and solidarity.
18.I thank you for your kind attention.