The over 40 years of presence of OIC in the international community has developed an image of a mixed perception. While its inception was moved by the concern for Masjid Al Aqsa , it was essentially meant to initiate a coordinated effort to address the status and soicio-economic development of the ummah as a whole. Member states have since then organized a secretariat to plan and developed ideas for adoption and action.
However the emphasis was much weighted to link members amongst government representatives. The effort to strengthen a people to people networking among civil societies within OIC member states is much to be expected.
While government make important significant policy decisions and in the various summit has adopted hundreds of resolutions pertaining to the advancement of the ummah , little attention has being given to enhance a people to people initiatives.
It is obvious that the most crucial element of any progress and development to be realized has to do with the involvement of people , and OIC has yet to give enough attention to this need.
Even in the OIC summit , the presence of civil societies to participate is almost nil. While it is an accepted debate that the world has now moved to an increasing concern for people’s participation , civil societies within OIC members states has not significantly been recognized as important partners in the international fora .
Senegal who now presides as the Chair of the OIC would make an important contribution to the more than 40 years of the presence of OIC if a new approach and concept of ummah development involving civil societies be introduced.
The President of Senegal has made significant gesture for his concern to the welfare of his people by emphasizing more on education and public housing. This initiatives would be an example to many OIC countries to set the tone for human development model by strengthening people’s involvement .
It would be a significant sign of change if the Senegal leadership could institute a people to people concept in the function of the OIC.
Giving the civil society in the OIC member states an important role would be an important mark which will augur well for setting a more dynamic and inclusive community .
We propose that the President of Senegal initiate a wide spectrum of concern for people to people plan of action with the various groups within the OIC member states : scholars , youth , women , media professionals , legal expertise , NGO community development activists , grass root leaders , peasant societies , workers ect .
We also propose that the OIC Chair initiate a special unit in the OIC Secretary Office to cater to the functions of implementing and follow through activities in line with the objective of creating and communicating with the various Muslim civil societies in all the member states.
The objective of these proposal are :
1.To adopt a civil society involvement in OIC as active partners in decision makings.
2.To create an avenue for sharing and exchange of Muslim civil society activities in the OIC member states for the advancement of the Islamic cause.
3.To facilitate training and organizational capacity building activities for the improvement of Muslim civil societies in OIC member states.
4.To establish active participation among civil societies in OIC countries so as to contribute to the creation of a more open and democratic community in various fields.
5.To form a special forum of the various Muslim NGOs in the OIC Chair Office which should be facilitated by the OIC Secretariat General office that could contribute to the improvement of the socio-economic and cultural standing of the ummah.
Proposal for Conference for the Strengthening of Civil Society Participation in OIC
Vaneu : Dakar / Riyadh /Kuala Lumpur / Jakarta
- 1. OIC – Advancing the ummah through People’s participation
- 2. Current Status of the Ummah
- 3. Developing the Youth – where do you begin
- 4. Muslim Women vis-à-vis development
- 5. Eradicating Illitercy and Poverty – The role of civil society
- 6. Resisting Globilization – The Islamic Challenge