The 41st session of the Executive Council of the Islamic World Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (ICESCO) kicked off today, by videoconference for the first time in the Organization’s history, in the presence of the Council members and Member States’ National Commissions.
Following the recitation of verses from the Holy Quran, the opening session started with the address by Dr. Salim M. AlMalik, ICESCO Director-General (DG), who reaffirmed that despite all the challenges humanity has faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, ICESCO has endeavored to turn the pandemic from a crisis into an advantage. Thanks to Allah and the efforts and dedication of its leadership, experts and staff, Dr. AlMalik emphasized, ICESCO managed to score many achievements.
ICESCO DG highlighted the role of the Executive Council in shaping the future of the Organization and elevating its international status as an Organization with a mission to serve. He clarified that ICESCO is aspiring to sustain working with the members of the Executive Council so that each member would serve as a counselor with whom the Organization can share ideas and opinions and discuss projects and programmes.
Dr. AlMalik commended the Member States that always pay their contributions to ICESCO’s budget on a timely basis while pointing out that payment of contributions enables the Organization to achieve its objectives and goals in such a manner as to assume an outstanding position among other organizations and manage to meet the needs of Member States.
In Jordan’s address to the Council that communicated by Dr. Muhammad Khair Abu Qudeis, Jordanian Minister of Education, Higher Education and Scientific Research, President of the Jordanian National Commission for Education, Culture and Science, delivered on his behalf by Dr. Nawwaf Al-Ajarmeh, Secretary-General for Educational Affairs at the Ministry of Education in Jordan, Acting President of the Executive Council, mention was made of the enormous repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic on education.
In the same address, Jordan called on ICESCO to assist Member States in developing their educational systems, train teachers on ICT use. It also lauded the roles that the Organization discharged in the field of civilizational dialogue and its areas of action.
At the close of the opening session, Dr. Ali Zeidan Abu Zuhri, President of the 13th Session of the General Conference of ICESCO, touched on the practical response of the Organization to the various challenges through its major achievements and leading initiatives that allowed ICESCO to meet the expectations of its Member States.
Dr. Abu Zuhri noted that the pandemic was a decisive test for ICESCO, which successfully worked together with its Member States to address the adverse repercussions of the pandemic while stating that great challenges that need concerted efforts and a strong teamwork spirit.
The President of the 13th General Conference of ICESCO also expressed his hope that ICESCO would remain the beacon of civilizational outreach in its areas of competence and called on National Commissions to sustain communication through the interactive platform, set up by ICESCO as a unique initiative.
Shortly after the opening session, the proceedings of the first session of the 41st Executive Council commenced. Over two days, this session will review the reports on the activities of the Organization for 2019-2020, several strategic documents and the projects the Organization intends to implement in the upcoming years.