OIC Summit closes, President Barrow calls for global unity, peace

Adama Barrow, President of the Republic of The Gambia and Chairman of the 15th Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Islamic Summit, has brought the curtains down on a transformative summit hosted in Banjul, The Gambia, on May 5th, 2024.

The closing remarks delivered by President Barrow resonated with gratitude and optimism as he reflected on the significance of this historic event held on African soil, expressing profound thanks to Allah for guiding the proceedings.

OIC chairman

The President extended heartfelt appreciation to all involved in making the summit a resounding success, particularly acknowledging the tireless efforts of the Secretariat of the OIC in Saudi Arabia and The Gambia for their unwavering commitment and dedication.

President Barrow highlighted the pivotal role played by the Senior Officials and Foreign Ministers in shaping the discussions and outcomes of the summit, which laid the groundwork for consensus-building among member states. He commended the contributions of each delegation in addressing critical issues facing the Muslim Ummah, emphasizing the importance of unity, peace, and dialogue in tackling global challenges.

Delegates at the summit

Special recognition was also extended to His Majesty King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, the Custodian of the two Holy Mosques of Saudi Arabia, and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, whose invaluable support was instrumental in facilitating The Gambia’s hosting of this prestigious event.

Addressing the future, President Barrow emphasized the role of the OIC in promoting peace, justice, and continuous dialogue within the Muslim Ummah and beyond. He stressed the collective responsibility to seek lasting solutions to conflicts and challenges that threaten humanity, advocating for tolerance and mutual respect as fundamental principles for sustainable peace and development.

In assuming the role of Chairman of the Organisation, President Barrow called upon member states to collaborate closely with The Gambia during its three-year tenure to advance the socio-economic status of the Ummah. He reiterated the summit’s theme of “Unity and Solidarity Through Dialogue and Sustainable Development,” urging leaders to leverage their influence for global peace and prosperity.

President Barrow concluded by expressing profound gratitude to all participants, delegates, and supporters for their invaluable contributions to the success of the 15th OIC Islamic Summit. With a sense of optimism and purpose, he officially declared the summit closed, marking a new chapter in the OIC’s mission to foster unity, solidarity, and progress among member states.

Read the speech in full:

Alhamdulillah, all praise is due to Allah, the Almighty for guiding us through this historic Summit, held in our dear motherland, the Smiling Coast of Africa.

It is quite clear that, over the years, the Secretariat of the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the National Secretariat in The Gambia exerted extreme effort and committed huge financial resources, time, and energy to ensure the successful hosting of the Summit. In this light, we are most thankful to everyone involved in the process for making this dream come true in such a remarkable manner.

Consequently, I convey special commendation to the technical staff, administrators, financiers, and the wide array of people for standing by The Gambia when we needed them most. We proudly associate the success of the Summit to years of hard work and the collective commitment of the Organisation.

In all fairness, the Sessions of the Senior Officials and Foreign Ministers ensured that all the OIC’s critical concerns were taken on board so that Your Majesties and Excellencies could wisely follow the lines of thought, resolutions, and outcomes of the discussions.

They expertly paved the way for the fruitful closed-door sessions and the guided review of the reports submitted by the Standing Committees and Foreign Ministers.

The thoughts and contributions of the Heads of delegation from Member Countries amicably facilitated  the consensus reached on the vital issues tabled before the Summit. We congratulate all the esteemed delegations on this achievement. I must reiterate the gratitude of the Government and People of The Gambia to His Majesty, the Custodian of the two Holy Mosques of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud for his invaluable support to us.
Likewise, the Crown Prince, His Royal Highness, Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, and the OIC Member States deserve similar sentiments for supporting The Gambia to host this grand Summit of the Organisation and, by extension, the Muslim Ummah.

Majesties, Highnesses, Excellences, Esteemed Delegates, 

The 15th Summit marks a fresh start for The Gambia to engage with Member States and relevant Stakeholders to promote peace, justice, and continuous dialogue within the Ummah and beyond. The responsibility rests collectively on the Organisation to seek lasting solutions to the plight of people in distress, resulting from any form of conflict, war, or challenge that confronts humanity.

Our guiding principle should be informed by the realisation that no nation can ever be comfortable and live in peace when their neighbours or other OIC Member States are not at peace. We must embrace tolerance, therefore, as a core value and vehicle for sustainable peace, development, and stability.

A key lesson to remember is that conflicts often result from biases, subjectivity, and illegitimate action that ignores or fails to prioritise our relationships with those likely to be affected by our thoughts and actions.

As an Islamic Organisation, we are lucky to draw on the sacred principles and values of kindness, generosity, and understanding, while leading honest and decent lives.

As a result, we should be grateful for the unique privilege bestowed on us as world leaders, scholars, and public servants to serve our people and contribute to creating a better world for all.

Esteemed Personalities, 

Your presence at the 15th Summit in Banjul indicates devotion and commitment to upholding the principles of the OIC.

As  incoming Chairman of the Organisation,  I urge all Member States to cooperate and accompany The Gambia during our three-year tenure to promote and realise our ideals and take concrete steps to advance the socio-economic status of the Ummah.

In saying this, I submit that we embrace the theme of the Summit, “Unity and Solidarity Through Dialogue and Sustainable Development,” to positively bring our influence to bear on the world stage for global peace and stability, sustained security and success in our national development endeavours.

I will conclude by renewing our deepest gratitude to everyone who contributed to the success of this Summit. They range from the distinguished leaders and officials with us to the technical and support teams from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and The Gambia.

Your Majesties, Excellences, OIC Secretary General, and Distinguished Personalities, 
We thank all the delegations, participants, and well-wishers for your valued presence and for making the Summit memorable and fruitful for the Muslim World and humankind.

I sincerely wish you success in your noble undertakings and a peaceful journey to your various destinations.

It is now my honour to declare the 15th Summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, held here at the Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Conference Centre in Banjul, The Gambia, officially closed.

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