On the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of the OIC Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation (COMCEC), the COMCEC Economic Summit was held in Istanbul on 9 November 2009 under the chairmanship of H.E. Abdullah Gül, President of the Republic of Turkey and Chairman of the COMCEC. The Summit was attended by the representatives of 41 OIC Member Countries; including Heads of States of many Member Countries. In this respect, I have the honour to inform the august audience of the Review that, at the inaugural session of the COMCEC Economic Summit, SESRIC has made a presentation on the Vocational Education and Training Programme (OIC-VET); a comprehensive programme which has been initiated, developed and designed by SESRIC to address one of the most salient developmental challenges of the OIC Member Countries, i.e. vocational education and training. The OIC-VET Programme was, then, officially launched by H.E. Abdullah Gül, President of the Republic of Turkey and Chairman of the COMCEC. The OIC-VET programme aims at improving the quality of vocational education and training (VET) in the public and private sectors with a view to supporting and enhancing the opportunities for individuals in the Member Countries to develop their knowledge and skills and thus to contribute significantly to the development and competitiveness of their economies. The Programme focuses on increasing accessibility and raising the quality of VET and provides an opportunity for organisations involved in VET to build OIC partnerships, exchange best practices, increase the expertise of their staff and develop the skills and competencies of the participants.
In this connection, I would like to dwell briefly on some other recent activities and initiatives of our Centre. SESRIC has organised, in collaboration with the Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TİKA), e-Government Centre of the Public Administration Institute for Turkey and the Middle East (TODAİE eDEM) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the "International Conference on e-Government: Sharing Experiences" (eGOVsharE2009). The Conference, which was held on 8-11 December 2009 in Antalya, Turkey, brought together leaders, public managers and professionals, ICT representatives and academics from the Member Countries and elsewhere. The main objective of the Conference was to exchange practical experiences and explore ways and means of cooperation in various issues related to e-government applications. The Conference opened new channels for cooperation among the OIC Member Countries in this important area through establishing a platform (portal/network) to facilitate and increase cooperation and collaboration among the OIC Member Countries with an interest in e-government applications and services with the aim of exchanging knowledge and enhancing technical cooperation on e-government related issues between public, private and municipal bodies of OIC Member Countries.
On the other hand our Centre has organised the Meeting of the National Statistical Organisations (NSOs) of the OIC Member Countries in collaboration with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB). The Meeting, which was held in Istanbul on 22-23 March 2010, discussed various issues related to the coordination of the statistical activities among the OIC institutions and the NSOs of the Member Countries to ensure consistency in statistical practices. The Meeting adopted Istanbul Declaration, in which the Heads of the NSOs agreed to organise the meeting of OIC-NSOs under the title “OIC Statistical Commission (OIC-SC)” annually, and to designate SESRIC as the secretariat of the OIC-SC. This Meeting was also instrumental in enhancing the cooperation between the NSOs of the OIC Member Countries and the users of the statistical data with the aim of producing high quality, accurate, reliable and consistent data for better policy making and strategy development.
In the area of cooperation among the Development Cooperation Institutions of the OIC Member Countries with a view to coordinating the efforts of these institutions towards poverty alleviation in the Member Countries, SESRIC will organise, in collaboration with the OIC General Secretariat and Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), the 2nd Meeting of the Development Cooperation Institutions (DCIs) of the OIC Member Countries. The Meeting will be hosted by ADFD and held on 3-4 May 2010 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The Meeting will mainly discuss and approve the “Draft Operational Framework for the OIC Development Assistance Committee (OIC-DAC)”, which has been prepared by the Experts Group Meeting organised by SESRIC in Ankara in December 2009. The delegations will discuss and deliberate on other issues such as enhancing the visibility of the development assistance of the DCIs of the OIC Member Countries and the potential areas and projects for cooperation and collaboration towards higher positive impact in the recipient countries.
Our Centre will also organise, in collaboration with the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey, the 2nd Meeting of the Central Banks and Monetary Authorities of the OIC Member Countries. The Meeting will be held on 26-27 September 2010 in Istanbul. During the Meeting, the Governors and representatives of the Central Banks and Monetary Authorities of the OIC Member Countries will discuss and deliberate on ways of cooperation among the Central Banks of the Member Countries with a view to strengthening the economies of the Member Countries in the face of the global financial crises. They will also follow up and discuss the decisions included in the Final Communiqué adopted at the 1st Meeting. The 1st Meeting was jointly organised by SESRIC, the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey and the COMCEC Coordination Office and held in Istanbul on 3 October 2009. At the end of the Meeting, the Governors of the Central Banks and Monetary Authorities of the OIC Member Countries adopted a Final Communiqué in which they decided to convene the Meeting of the Central Banks and Monetary Authorities of the OIC Member Countries on an annual basis and to establish a Troika system to perform the secretariat of the Meeting. SESRIC is also a member of the secretariat and will organize coordination with the COMCEC.
The fourth issue of the Economic Cooperation and Development Review includes an interview with H.E. Maitre Abdoulaye Wade, President of the Republic of Senegal and Chairman of the Eleventh Islamic Summit Conference. Among other issues of concern to the OIC Member Countries and Islamic world as a whole, the interview focused on President Wade’s views on the changes in the agenda and strategies of the OIC as well as the actions that are needed to be undertaken by the OIC and its Member Countries towards achieving more active role as partner in promoting international peace, security and development at both the Islamic world and the international levels.
This issue also includes two articles by eminent personalities on issues of immediate concern to the developing countries, including the OIC members. The Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Dr Hamadoun Touré, presents his views on tackling the challenge of climate change and the crucial role of the ITU in this regard. The Governor of the Central Bank of Malaysia (Bank Negara Malaysia), Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz, shares her very valuable views on the global financial crisis and policy recommendations in her article titled “Looking Beyond the Global Financial Crisis: Emerging Trends”.
We will continue to introduce more new innovative approaches in the activities of our Centre in order to enhance our services and contribution for more benefit to our Member Countries in the areas of the mandate of our Centre. I am confident that, with the continuous contributions of eminent personalities, economists, policy-makers, government officials, academicians and researchers in the OIC community and elsewhere, and the continuous and encouraging positive feedback, particularly from the highest levels of the governments of the OIC Member Countries, including Heads of States and Ministers, the Economic Cooperation and Development Review will continue to contribute significantly to the developmental efforts of the developing countries in general and the OIC Members in particular. At the end, I would like to express my deep thanks and appreciation to all the contributors to the fourth issue of the Review.
Dr. Savaş ALPAY
Online Electronic Version
Economic Cooperation and Development Review Vol.3 No.1 (English)