The General Secretariat of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) organized its First Ministerial Conference on the Marriage and Family Institution with participation of 56 states, hosted by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Jeddah on 8-9 February 2017, under the theme of “Towards an OIC Approach to Empower the Marriage and Family Institution and Preserve its Values”.
The Session is addressing ways to empower the marriage and family institution and boost its capacities in light of the challenges facing the Member States in that sphere. The Member States reviewed during the conference the efforts that have been exerted in the field and a number of OIC subsidiary organs and specialized institutions made presentations on the subject. The Conference also established its Bureau and elected the Republic of Azerbaijan as a Deputy Chair and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as Chair of Bureau.
Key among the session’s objectives was to take stock of the Member States’ policies and strategies in the area of preserving the values of the marriage and family institution and to identify the challenges facing the family in the OIC Member States. This was a preliminary step towards coming out with recommendations for the elaboration of an OIC strategy to empower the marriage and family institution and preserve its values in the Islamic world, and to discuss the appropriate frameworks and follow-up modalities for the execution of the conference’s findings and outcomes.
Mrs. Hicran Huseynova, the Chairperson of the State Committee for Family, Women and Children Affairs participated on behalf of the Azerbaijan Republic at this Conference. In her speech she highlighted: “Azerbaijan made significant contributions to formation of the tolerant environment, as well as establishment of the intercultural dialogue and promotion of the Islamic values in the world. It is not a coincidence that His Excellency President Mr. Ilham Aliyev has declared 2017 a Year of Islamic Solidarity in the country. This special decree and hosting The Islamic Solidarity Games show once again that Azerbaijan attaches great importance to the solidarity of Islamic world. Family –friendly policy is one of the main policies of our country and it has special focus on young families, refugee and IDP families, economic and social well being of families in the regions and family planning issues. Today Azerbaijan aims to enable the formation of active, strong families to provide valuable social and economic development.”
Also Mrs.Huseynova noted that: “Every year Azerbaijan celebrates Family Day on May 15. A series of events are held over 10 days in different cities and regions in order to preserve national moral values, educate young generation, to stimulate families to be the best and friendly parent for their children and advocate healthy life style. We announce annual “best family” nomination and choose the “family of the year. Large scale projects are also realized on interfamily relations, family values, preservation of respect and love to the old generation. We conducts a row of events on “Psychological climate of the family and its effect” to discuss issues of interfamily relation, divorce and domestic violence. Large scale projects are also realized on interfamily relations, family values, preservation of respect and love to the old generation. We conducts a row of events on “Psychological climate of the family and its effect” to discuss issues of interfamily relation, divorce and domestic violence”.
In the framework of the Conference, Mrs. Hicran Huseynova had also meetings with Mr. Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen, the Secretary General of Organization of Islamic Cooperation and with Mr. Ali bin Nasser al Ghafis, the Minister of Labour and Social Development. Strengthening co-operation and experience exchange were the major themes and topic areas that were discussed during the meetings. Also the Chairperson had meetings dedicated to the discussions on family, women and children issues with ministerial colleagues from the Kingdom of Morocco, Turkey, and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
One of the main challenges identified by the organizers was the growing obstruction of the concept of family under the cover of personal rights and freedoms.
Ministers, as well as representatives of regional and international organizations, discussed efforts by member states to achieve sustainable development in terms of empowering the foundation of marriage and family.
They also discussed globalization and its implications for families and societies in member states, fighting violence against women within Islamic laws, correcting misconceptions of marriage and family institutions, and developing ways to follow up on implementing the conference’s recommendations.