The General Secretariat of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) at its headquarters in Jeddah hosted two-day deliberations, October 7-8, to establish the OIC platform for cultural heritage protection and conservation. The workshop brought together delegates of member states and OIC agencies, along with representatives of international organizations and non-member states to discuss how to preserve heritage and archaeological sites in the Muslim world.
In his address to the meeting, Secretary General Dr Yousef Al-Othaimeen said, “the OIC cultural heritage protection and conservation platform stems from the Organization’s firm commitment to exert every possible effort to bolster joint Islamic action for the preservation of cultural heritage, both tangible and intangible.” The project, he went on, is a demonstration of the General Secretariat’s commitment to join in the effort to safeguard the global cultural heritage repository, particularly in the Muslim world.
Assistant Secretary General for Humanitarian, Cultural and Social Affairs Ambassador Tariq Bakheet, speaking on behalf of Dr Al-Othaimeen, explained that the objective of the OIC platform is to promote the integration of cultural policies into national development policies and contribute to effective mainstreaming of national cultural policies into international cooperation and development policy.
The meeting chairperson, Mr Ismail Al-Hammadi, Chief of the Tangible Heritage Department of the UAE Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development, pointed out that the platform should be seen as an effective springboard for the member states to further stimulate their economies.
For his part, the French Consul General and Special Envoy to the OIC underscored the need for international expertise and the combined effort of the OIC and the international community for heritage conservation in the Muslim world.