A Better World - Volume 7

[ 30 ] A Bet ter Wor ld Intra-OIC trade development and the SDGs — Actions of the Islamic Centre for Development of Trade Islamic Centre for Development of Trade 1 / Organization of Islamic Cooperation T he Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is the second largest organization after the United Nations. With a membership of 57 states spread over four continents, and with more than 1.7 billion inhabitants, it represents 24 per cent of the world’s population. Since its establishment in 1969 based on principles promoting attach- ment to those of the United Nations Charter, the OIC works for the values of solidarity and brotherhood among peoples. The OIC Charter represents the desire of Member Countries (MCs) to constitute an area of shared prosperity and sustain- able economic development, promoting social inclusion in accordance with the principles of partnership and equity. The charter affirms the commitment of MCs to work for an economic partnership endorsing human values, giving priority to the promotion of all aspects relating to the pres- ervation of the environment for the benefit of current and future generations. In this spirit, the OIC has created a Ten-Year Programme of Action (2016–2025) that focuses on 18 priority areas with 107 goals, perfectly aligned with the global partnership for sustainable development encapsulated within the 2030 agenda adopted in 2015 by the United Nations General Assem- bly. Targeted areas include poverty alleviation, investment and finance, food security, climate change, sustainability, empowerment of women and good governance. This underlines that the “Human” is at the heart of the policy concerns that arise from the various institutions under the aegis of the OIC. The leaders of MCs continue to work for inclusive human development and the economic wellbeing of their peoples, based on the principles of solidar- ity and regional integration. In this regard, socioeconomic issues form the backbone of the development strategies of the OIC. Several initiatives attempt to increase the inclusiveness of vulnerable social strata, including women and youth, by combating poverty, illiteracy and poor access to factors of production, resources and decision-making bodies. Economic actions in favour of women are of great impor- tance to the balance of society and the dynamism of MCs’ economy. The establishment of the OIC Organization for Women’s Development, based in Cairo, is a good illustra- tion of this. Important resolutions have been adopted with a view to removing all obstacles that hinder women’s participation in development and promoting their role in all sectors of active life, while focusing on women from rural areas who are faced with inequalities, prejudice and social constraints. Some women in MCs continue to face inequali- ties and socioeconomic difficulties, hence the importance of the approaches led by those countries with the support of the relevant OIC institutions, each in its own core business, with a view to promoting economic development and social equity for the benefit of these women. In terms of governance, the deployment of technical assis- tance, training and awareness-raising initiatives related to the SDGs are entrusted to several institutions under the aegis of the OIC, notably the Islamic Centre for Develop- ment of Trade (ICDT), the Islamic Development Bank Group (IsDB) and the Islamic Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (ICCIA). Other technical and socioeconomic organizations are also involved. Other stakeholders, governments, the scientific and academic community, civil society, regional organizations, the private sector and the international community coordi- nate their efforts by strengthening synergies allowing the achievement of human development goals. Focusing on SDG17 relating to improving the means of implementation and the strengthening of partnerships for sustainable development, the OIC Institutions conducted joint studies based on surveys, in order to identify critical success factors of SDG implementation in the MCs. Five priority factors have been the subject of action: • The strengthening of governance • The implementation of a strategic monitoring mechanism • Data collection and processing • Capacity building • Rationalization of finance and the coherence of socio- economic and environmental policies. Created in 1984 in Casablanca (Kingdom of Morocco), the ICDT is the subsidiary organ of the OIC in charge of Trade and Investment promotion in OIC countries and ensures the coordination of several initiatives directly linked to the daily life of the populations. The tasks assigned to the Centre are consistent with the desire to help MCs meet the requirements to achieve SDG17.