42nd Session of ICESCO Executive Council Kicks off in Cairo
6 December 2021
The 42nd Session of the Executive Council of the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO) kicked off today, December 6, 2021, in Egypt with the participation of forty-nine (49) out of fifty-one (51) countries.
The opening session began with the recitation of verses from the Holy Quran, followed by an address by Dr. Khaled Abdel Ghaffar, Egyptian Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Chairman of the Egyptian National Commission for Education, Science and Culture. In his address, the Minister welcomed the participating delegations and ICESCO’s delegation, stressing that the Organization represents the broadest and best-suited framework for constructive cooperation and fruitful dialogue on issues of common interest in the fields of education, science and culture, based on the aspirations of leaders and populations, noting that these fields are the key to the development of human societies.
Dr. Khaled Abdel Ghaffar added that nations have become fully aware that they play an active role in scientific advancement and human development only through the establishment of a comprehensive education system equipped with comprehensive databases as strengthened by educational, scientific and practical expertise, and promoted by societal and behavioral values to adapt to contemporary developments and changes.
In his address, Dr. Nawwaf Al-Ajarmeh, Acting Chairman of the Executive Council, commended the effective framework that ICESCO adopts for promoting constructive cooperation and fruitful dialogue on issues pertinent to education, science and culture, following the aspirations of the Islamic world populations to face challenges, particularly those induced by the Covid-19 pandemic.
He stressed his support for ICESCO’s action, which is a leading Organization in the areas of education, science, culture, Arabic language teaching to non-Arabic speakers, and heritage protection, commending its sustained efforts in serving these fields.
Dr. Ali Zeidan Abu Zuhri, President of the Palestinian National Commission for Education, Science and Culture, President of the 13th General Conference of ICESCO, noted that this meeting catalyzes countering the pandemic’s impact on the educational, cultural and scientific systems, paving the way towards the future, strengthening cooperation among Muslim countries and adopting plans and strategies that are in line with the rapid changes in modern societies. “ICESCO has been striving to achieve those objectives through empowerment, educational programs, training sessions, research and innovation.
The Organization’s General Directorate and staff have made great achievements and extensive efforts for supporting Member States to address the pandemic’s repercussions on education, science and culture,” added Dr. Abu Zuhri.
At the outset of his address, Dr. Salim M. AlMalik, ICESCO Director-General (DG) expressed his gratitude and appreciation to His Excellency President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, and to the Egyptian government represented by Dr. Khaled Abdel Ghaffar, for hosting the Executive Council and the General Conference, stressing that renewal, transparency, leadership, solidarity, partnership, openness, and strategic vigilance have been the guiding principles of the Organization’s work throughout the current year. “ICESCO launched various major initiatives geared towards youth and women empowerment, as part of the proclamation of 2021 as the Year of Women, under the high patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI of Morocco. The Organization, through its Center of Strategic Foresight, is working towards spreading foresight culture,” noted ICESCO DG.
ICESCO DG also underlined that the Organization strengthened its participatory approach with Member-States and made cooperation one of its strategic priorities by signing agreements with parallel organizations, leading regional and international institutions, as well as prestigious universities in the Member States to host ICESCO’s international chairs.
Dr. AlMalik also stated that through the Draft Strategic Orientations by 2025 and the Draft Two-Year Action Plan and Budget for 2022-2023, ICESCO has paved the way towards achieving three strategic objectives. These include maintaining ICESCO’s guiding and advisory roles for the benefit of its Member States to develop their educational, scientific, cultural and communication plans and programmes, further accelerating the process of recovery from Covid-19’s repercussions. Among beneficial outcomes, it rebuilds the national capacities of Member States by reshaping leaderships for tomorrow’s jobs and providing training on the programs that are based on new technologies and artificial intelligence applications. It doubles down in sustaining the implementation of ICESCO’s major initiatives and programs launched in 2021 for the benefit of its Members States.
The participants in the Executive Council took a group photo at the close of the opening session.
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