Top diplomats from Islamic states today are launching the 30th Session of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) in Tehran as the Islamic world is facing increasingly serious challenges. Representatives from 57 Islamic states are attending the three-day event. Reviewing regional and global issues, Middle East developments, and the threats looming over the Islamic world are on the top of the agenda.

In spite of the significance of the Islamic states, the OIC has not adopted an active stance with regard to the issues of the Islamic world and has all but failed in assuming effective deterrent policies. The conference has to restructure itself vis-à-vis developments in Afghanistan, Iraq, occupied Palestine, and the mistreatment of the Muslim minorities in the United States and Europe in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks.
Nobody denies the significance of the discussions raised at various OIC meetings so far, but the Islamic forum will not be able to establish itself as the voice of over one billion Muslims across the world until it enjoys the necessary mechanisms. It should get down to business and face the imminent challenges of terrorism, globalization, the diminished role of the UN, U.S. unilateralism in the Middle East, escalation of violence in Palestine, and global disarmament, and take serious measures to meet the challenges.
Nevertheless, many of the resolutions of the Islamic body have remained on paper. The heads of state or government of the Islamic states have so far participated in 13 summit meetings in which they have voted for the establishment of an Islamic common market, Islamic television, Islamic army, disarmament supervision body, Islamic tribunal, Islamic university, and the list goes on.
Implementation of Islamic projects would definitely guarantee the solidarity of the worldwide Islamic ummah (community). However, if the plans continue to remain on paper, the OIC can never fulfill its lofty mission.
Islamic states have one-fifth of the world's population and possess 80 percent of global energy resources. They should use their great potential and utilize the resources at their disposal to effectively influence international developments.
A revitalized OIC would definitely be a major player on the world stage. Furthermore, Muslims expect the Islamic forum to demonstrate its firm will through practical measures. If OIC officials fail to address the challenges facing the Islamic world today, tomorrow they will be responsible for the bleak prospects of the upcoming generation of the ummah.

News Code 29

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