D-8 and Islamic Countries


D-8 and Islamic Countries...

Your Excellency Senator Mushahid Hussain, Chairman Defence Committee Senate of Pakistan, Your Excellency Mr. Suleyman Sensoy, Chairman of TASAM, distinguished participants, ladies and gentlemen, I am delighted to be here with you for the 6. Islamic Countries Think Tanks Forum titled as “Building Multi-dimensional Security in the Islamic Countries“. I am certain that we will have fruitful discussions on the topics that concern all of us who are interested in interstate relations and dynamics influencing choices states themselves make as they continue to work to provide better life for their people. This forum has established itself as a venue for strategists, analysts and policy makers to congregate and exchange ideas. I look forward to very interesting ideas coming out of discussion during the course of this conference. But before I begin, please let me tell you how happy I am to return to Islamabad and express my deep appreciation for the warm welcome offered to me and my delegation since our arrival. Mr. Chairman, I have already prepared a long statement but in two phase I made it very concise.

In our lifetime we have witnessed a shift in the security discourse. Security concepts are today multi-dimensional, non-symmetric and non-linear. Comprehensive national and trans-border security means those economic and political security. Democracy and peace thrive when states as a unit of international system are secure and stable. These credentials creates growth for development and prosperity. We must know that development is a prerequisite of peace and at the same time peace is the prerequisite for development. This perhaps sounds like a cliche, but we seldom fully grasp how peace and development reinforce each other... Safeguarding security is a collective responsibility. It requires collective action. There is a scope of specialization but not for compartmentalization.

Now I will narrow my focus on economic security and link how this aspect of security is intermingled with conventional concepts of security and plays an instrumental role in overall security. First let me begin with a brief sketch of D-8 Organization for Economic Cooperation. I am sure you may know that in 1997 leaders of Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan under the leadership of later Prime Minister of Erbakan founded the D-8 Organization for Economic Cooperation with the historic Istanbul Declaration. The spirit of the establishment of this intergovernmental entity entails economic cooperation through intensification of trade and commercial relations and enhances participation in decision making at international level. The common and shared belief as well as diversity among member states make organization unique with opportunities as well as challenges.

We believe that peace and prosperity through economic cooperation mean the core business of the organization. Its members have set the target, the trade target and agreed on trade facilitation measures having major impact on the level of economic activities within D-8. We strive to make the organization self-reliant, not only sustained demand in itself but also beyond its periphery. We do these as a response to the change in international relations which have undergone radical shift in approaches. The D-8 Organization try to address the great threats to stability and prosperity. Inequality and poverty feed extremism. They go up to great detriment of sound economy and trust. The progress of D-8 in the first decade was marred with policy formulation and slow pace of implementation. D-8 moves institutionalization, its working procedure, defining operation, hierarchy of meeting, setting of the secretariat and etc. Multilateral instrument started to be implemented and economic matters began to realize.

The trade cooperation front of the D-8 preferential trade was signed in May 2006 and entered into force in August 2011. After entering into effect of PTA among the D-8 on 25th August 2011, supervisory committee was established. It is working on the draft document of this settlement and mechanism. In order to help boost D-8 trade, the organization is also succeeding the D-8 visa and D-8 custom agreement and aims facilitating people movement and commercial movements. These measures made significant positive impact on the increase of D-8 intra-trade since 1997 untill now. I will skip a lot of statistic I have prepared for you. But this is what we are doing at the D-8 organization, Mr. Chairman. We are doing continuous efforts to change the economic fate of people, to change the fate of poverty into the freedom of economic choice. There are of course politics and other major forces which influence our efforts to economic freedom and prosperity. We try to impose upon our leaders that the economic cooperation should be inclusive area of cooperation.

The team truly reflected the magnificent nature of security. The D-8 Organization promotes cooperation in 8 members which also have common membership to Organization of Islamic Cooperation. However, the size of population, economic potential, geographic orientation, composition of human resources, huge labor made this group unique within the Islamic world. We believe that sustainable change in lives of millions of people ... will assure safer place and peaceful co-existence. With the strengths of partnership and universal brotherhood, we hope to achieve our aim. In this regard, Mr. Chairman, economic cooperation is a strong link that binds us in all dimensions. Security must be all encompassing them.

Our outlooks may be different but there is a common thing: Affordability. We must create a capacity to afford basic needs and other amenities of life. Only economic partnership can ensure these in a peaceful environment and vice versa.

I come to the end of my statement. Last but not the least, the world we live today is fundamentally different from one that kings lived. This is the information age and era of nanotechnology, day of genomics revolution. In this age, we still confuse our conflict as peace. We are yet to acknowledge the true peace is actually absence of deprivation of the material, the intellectual and the spiritual. We must come to the terms that peace and deprivation cannot coexist. Sooner we do better chance we will have peace. And to do so, we must make ourselves more flexible to other...

I thank you all for your kind attendance and kind attention and wish this event result in success.

( Dr. Seyed Ali Mohammad MOUSAVI, The Secretary General of D-8 | Opening Speech | 6th Think Tanks Forum of the Islamic Countries | 7th March 2014, Islamabad)
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Continents ( 5 Fields )
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Africa 65 135
Asia 75 208
Europe 13 29
Latin America & Carribean 12 30
North America 7 5
Regions ( 4 Fields )
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Balkans 22 92
Middle East 18 56
Black Sea and Caucasus 2 15
Mediterranean 2 4
Identity Fields ( 2 Fields )
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Islamic World 51 143
Turkish World 15 29
Turkey ( 1 Fields )
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Turkey 49 198

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