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THE FIRST ISLAMIC MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE ON THE CHILD
 
I can think of no better focus for Islamic solidarity than the welfare of children, and I congratulate the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and UNICEF on this important initiative.
- Kofi Annan, United Nations Secretary-General

 
About the Conference
 
7 - 9 November 2005, Rabat, Kingdom of Morocco
 
The event is being co-organized by the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) and UNICEF in response to a special resolution on "Child Care and Protection in the Islamic World" passed unanimously by OIC Member States at the 2003 OIC Summit in Malaysia. The Conference signals the real commitment of leaders of Islamic countries to strengthen their co-operation on behalf of children and make them the focal point for Islamic governments in their drive for greater unity and solidarity.
 
The aims of this Ministerial meeting are: (1) to provide an opportunity for Ministers to share their experiences and progress made on behalf of children in light of the World Fit for Children and Millennium Declaration and Goals; (2) to identify priority areas where progress has been slow and where there are opportunities for accelerated action; and (3) to recommend actions to speed delivery on commitments.
 
The discussions of the meeting will be grounded in the joint report "Investing in the Children of the Islamic World" launched on 21 September 2005 by the Malaysian Foreign Minister, the Secretary-General of the OIC and Executive Director of UNICEF. The report provides a basis for Ministers and other participants to reflect on how Islamic countries have been delivering on the MDGs, and in making their countries "fit for children", as well as on areas of challenge, best practices, measures for accelerating progress, monitoring and follow up.
 
The conference will bring together 57 OIC ministers, as well as relevant experts to focus on issues specific to IOC member countries in four major areas: health and HIV/AIDS; quality education and culture; protection against abuse, exploitation and violence; and leveraging resources. On the basis of these expert discussions, recommendations will be made for consideration by attending Ministers. These recommendations will then be forwarded to the next OIC Foreign Ministers meeting scheduled for 2006 in Azerbaijan and also for consideration at the next OIC Summit to be held in Senegal in 2007.
 

 
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