The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is the second largest inter-governmental organization after the United Nations with a membership of 57 states spread over four continents. The Organization is the collective voice of the Muslim world. It endeavors to safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony among the people of the world.
The Organization was established upon a decision of the historical summit which took place in Rabat, Kingdom of Morocco, on 12th Rajab 1389 Hijra (25 September 1969) following the criminal arson of Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem.
In 1970 the first ever meeting of Islamic Conference of Foreign Minister (ICFM) was held in Jeddah which decided to establish a permanent secretariat in that city, headed by the organization’s secretary general. Dr. Yousef Ahmed Al-Othaimeen is the 11th Secretary General who assumed the office in November 2016.
The first OIC Charter was adopted by the 3rd ICFM Session held in 1972. The Charter laid down the objectives and principles of the organization and fundamental purposes to strengthen the solidarity and cooperation among the Member States. Over the last 40 years, the membership has grown from its founding members of 30 to 57 states. The Charter was amended to keep pace with the developments that have unraveled across the world. The present Charter of the OIC was adopted by the Eleventh Islamic Summit held in Dakar on 13-14 March 2008 to become the pillar of the OIC future Islamic action in line with the requirements of the 21st century.
The Organization has the singular honor to galvanize the Ummah into a unified body and has actively represented the Muslims by espousing all causes close to the hearts of over 1.5 billion Muslims of the world. The Organization has consultative and cooperative relations with the UN and other inter-governmental organizations to protect the vital interests of Muslims and to work for the settlement of conflicts and disputes involving Member States. In safeguarding the true values of Islam and Muslims, the organization has taken various steps to remove misperceptions and has strongly advocated elimination of discrimination against Muslims in all forms and manifestations.
The Member States of the OIC face many challenges in the 21st century and to address those challenges, the Third Extraordinary Session of the Islamic Summit held in Makkah in December 2005, laid down the blueprint called the Ten-Year Program of Action. It successfully concluded with the close of 2015. A successor programme for the next decade (2016-2025) has since been adopted.
The new programme OIC-2025 is anchored in the provisions of the OIC Charter and focuses on 18 priority areas with 107 goals. The priority areas include issues of Peace and Security, Palestine and Al-Quds, Poverty Alleviation, Counter-terrorism, Investment and Finance, Food Security, Science and Technology, Climate Change and Sustainability, Moderation, Culture and Interfaith Harmony, Empowerment of Women, Joint Islamic Humanitarian Action, Human Rights and Good Governance, among others.
Among the OIC’s key bodies: the Islamic Summit, the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM), the General Secretariat, in addition to the Al-Quds Committee and three permanent committees concerned with science and technology, economy and trade, and information and culture. There are also specialized organs under the banner of the OIC including the Islamic Development Bank and the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, as well as subsidiary and affiliate organs that play a vital role in boosting cooperation in various fields among the OIC member states.
The Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (COMCEC) is the main multilateral economic and commercial cooperation platform of the Islamic world. COMCEC serves as a central forum to address the common development problems of the Islamic Ummah and provide solutions.
As one of the four Standing Committees of the OIC, COMCEC was established by the Third Islamic Summit Conference held in Mecca/Taif, in 1981. It became operational at the Fourth Islamic Summit Conference held in Casablanca, Kingdom of Morocco, in 1984, with the election of the President of the Republic of Turkey to its Chairmanship and convened its first ministerial level meeting in the same year. COMCEC has 57 Member Countries as well as 5 Observer Countries which are spread over four continents.
The objectives of COMCEC are:
OIC-COMCEC Central Banks Forum
The Central Banks and Monetary Authorities of the OIC Countries carry out their efforts to enhance cooperation and capacity building under the umbrella of COMCEC financial cooperation. Furthermore, they actively participate in the Financial Cooperation Working Group by helping the realization of its objective and generating concrete policy recommendations.
In accordance with the resolution of the 24th Session of the COMCEC, the Central Banks and Monetary Authorities of the OIC Countries met on October 3, 2009 in Istanbul, Turkey and agreed to gather regularly to share experiences and enhance institutional and human capacity. Since then, Central Banks and Monetary Authorities Meetings have become an important platform providing an interactive and open environment to discuss monetary, banking and financial issues, along with strengthening efforts aimed at deepening the cooperation and coordination among Central Banks and Monetary Authorities of the OIC countries.
At the 16th Meeting of the OIC Central Banks and Monetary Authorities, held on 23-25 September 2018 in Antalya, Turkey, Governors and Heads of Delegations agreed to reorganize the Meetings as the “OIC-COMCEC Central Banks Forum” to safeguard and deepen the cooperation among the central banks and monetary authorities. It was also decided that the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey would provide secretariat services to the Forum.
The decisions regarding the reorganization as a forum and provision of secretariat services by the Central Bank of the Republic Turkey were also stated in the resolution of the 34th Session of the COMCEC in November 2018.