The Participants in the international symposium on “Reconceiving post-COVID Islamic World”, that the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO) held on Wednesday 07 April 2021, stressed the importance of anticipating and discussing the challenges that the Islamic world will face post-COVID. The participants highlighted the need to broaden the scope of cooperation and joint action to find effective solutions to overcome the impact of the pandemic.
The Symposium, which was held via videoconference and saw high-caliber participation, discussed three main themes, namely “Inter-civilizational Dialogue in the Post-COVID Islamic World,” “Challenges and Prospects of Chinese-African Cooperation,” and “Vaccination Progress in the Islamic World.”
Dr. Salim M. AlMalik, ICESCO Director-General (DG), opened the Symposium and underscored that the Islamic world need to be prepared for the post-COVID period, noting that the pandemic was ever greater than the efforts that governments exerted, with its consecutive waves and exacerbating intensity. He added that the challenges require joint action that is based on cooperation and solidarity, values that Islam insists on.
The DG also noted that ICESCO, in cooperation with several donors, provided remarkable assistance to its Member States and that the Organization is working on contributing to the process of outlining the general conception of the post-COVID period and drawing lessons to benefit from this crisis in the future. He stated that ICESCO focuses on promoting peace and fostering the culture of tolerance and coexistence, stating that the Symposium is an opportunity to shed light on the way the Islamic world will deal with the Post-COVID-period.
In his address, the guest of honor, Mr. Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani, former Prime Minister of Pakistan, pointed out that COVID-19 cannot be reduced to a health crisis and that the pandemic has had a considerable impact on human lifestyles in general and affecting key economic aspects.
He described the pandemic as the most significant challenge that the world faced since WWII. Mr. Gillani added that the only way for the Islamic world to address the impacts of the pandemic is through cooperation and concerted efforts as boosting international cooperation mechanisms will allow a return to the pre-pandemic situation.
Speaking also in the event, Dr. Yahya Kamalipour, Founder of Global Media Journal Network, stressed the great importance that social media played during the pandemic as they constituted a virtual platform for connecting individuals from different nationalities and affiliations. He added that COVID-19 has improved public opinion about many concepts such as family, friendship, health and technology and promoted respect for front-line professionals who were on the line of contact with the pandemic.
Prof. Fang Zhaohui, Senior Expert on Confucian Philosophy at Tsinghua University, China, considered China to be a role model in addressing the pandemic thanks to its good management of the crisis and the measures it has taken in this respect over the past two years. He noted that the Chinese culture advocating strict adherence to health measures and advice has largely contributed to the success of this management.
Following the opening session, the working sessions featured fruitful discussions and outstanding ideas about anticipating, addressing, and solving post-COVID-19 global challenges. They also focused on ways to promote Chinese-African cooperation and challenges to the ongoing vaccination in the Islamic world.
The full video of the forum is available on the ICESCO Facebook page at: