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Kazakhstan’s Chairmanship of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC): Prospects for Inclusive Growth and Institutional Development

When Apr 25, 2011
Attendees His Excellency Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kairat Abusseitov, His Excellency Ambassador of the Republic of Uzbekistan Otabek Akbarov, Dr. Zifa Auezova, Dr. Shenaz Bunglawala, Dr. Ken Charman, Hamid Ismailov, Her Excellency Ambassador of the Kyrgyz Republic Baktygul Kalambekova, Professor Geoffrey Khan FBA, Professor Charles Melville, Professor S.S. Saxena and Professor Mohammad Talib
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Cambridge Central Asia Forum organised a roundtable on the eve of Kazakhstan taking the Chairmanship of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference in 2011.

The meeting outlined three priorities for Kazakhstan to consider in its preparation for assuming the Chairmanship of the OIC.

They are as follows:-

1. Program for promoting awareness and knowledge of the diversity in Islam, especially in the context of an egalitarian and inclusive society which Kazakhstan has achieved. These attributes which are intrinsic to Islam and are attractive to the wider population can be brought to light through research on Islamic texts, art, languages, history and cultures.

2. Reconfiguring the ten year program of the OIC to focus more strenuously on gender equality, as the 8th directive in the OIC charter and reads, ‘Rights of women, youth, children and the family in the Muslim World’. This is visible in Kazakhstan where women are naturally active in positions in society at all levels. More particularly, Kazakhstan can serve as a model for creating gender parity in pay scales, which is largely missing in Western societies and will be a global contribution.

3. Bringing a multi-vector approach to the OIC which will help the organisation target its energies towards being more inclusive within the Muslim world, countries with large Muslim populations (which are not part of the OIC), and the West.

4. Promote and celebrate Islam as a culture by exploring the depth and breadth of its contributions and development practices worldwide.

5. Share with member states of the OIC the unique inter-ethnic and inter-cultural harmony and integration that Kazakhstan has achieved in the post-Soviet era.