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    ICESCO and New Zealand Explore Cooperation Opportunities

    15 September 2020

    The Director-General (DG) of the Islamic World Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (ICESCO), Dr. Salim M. AlMalik, and Mr. Nigel Fyfe, Ambassador of New Zealand to Spain and Morocco, explored cooperation prospects between the Organization and New Zealand in education, science and culture.

    During yesterday’s videoconference, Dr. AlMalik reaffirmed ICESCO’s willingness to build mutually beneficial cooperation with the country, following the Organization’s re-engineered strategy. The Organization adopted an inclusive policy in assisting Member States and Muslim communities around the globe.

    He emphasized that ICESCO developed a new charter with an observer status to permit all countries to take part in ICESCO’s activities and programs. The updated status allowed room for stronger agreements and partnerships to share expertise with the countries of the Islamic world.

    The DG gave an overview of ICESCO’s major initiatives, programs, and activities during COVID-19. The list included “ICESCO Digital Home,” “Societies We Want,” “Distance Culture,” and “Teaching Arabic to non-Arabic Speakers.”

    Dr. Almalik also invited New Zealand to join the “Comprehensive Humanitarian Coalition” for international assistance. The coalition gathers multiple countries and donors.

    Talks during the meeting mainly touched on cooperation, particularly in education, where New Zealand is a leader. The two parties explored scholarships opportunities to students in the Islamic world and academic exchange programs between research centers and universities in ICESCO Member States and their counterparts in New Zealand.

    The New Zealander ambassador thanked ICESCO’s DG for the meeting and reaffirmed his country’s willingness to cooperate. New Zealand pays special attention to humanitarian, religious, ethical issues and to the promotion of coexistence and dialogue, he added.

    Ambassador Fyfe lauded ICESCO’s support to the most vulnerable countries during the COVID-19 pandemic. He also commended the Organization’s commitment to help ensure the continuity of schooling, cultural exchange, women and young entrepreneurs’ capacity building.

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