DIFI participates in OIC’s Conference on Marriage and Family
Doha International Family Institute (DIFI) participated in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) First Ministerial Conference on the subject: “Towards an OIC Approach to Empower the Marriage and Family Institution in the Member States and Preserve its Values”, hosted by the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Labour and Social Development, Jeddah, 8-9 February 2017.
The first day of the conference was a preparatory day. It included speeches of the Saudi Arabian Head of Delegation and the OIC Secretariat Representative, followed by presentations on; “Family and SDGS” by the Islamic Chamber of Commerce; “The challenges faced by Arab families” by the Arab Family Organization; “The challenges faced by Asian families” by the Turkey’s Women and Democracy Association; and “The challenges face by African families” by the Children of Africa Foundation. After the presentations, there was a closed meeting for the high officials representing their governments in preparation for the second day of the Ministerial Conference.
The second day of the Ministerial Conference began with a speech from the Conference Chairperson, HE. Ali Al-Ghafis, the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, Saudi Arabia, followed by speeches from 43 Official Delegates; their Excellency the Ministers of Labour and Social Affairs from 19 Member States; and Chief Delegates from 24 Member States. Their speeches were about the national strategies, policies and programs to empower the marriage and family institution and preserve its values in the contemporary challenges.
The Ministerial Conference ended up with Jeddah Declaration on “Towards an OIC Approach to Empower the Marriage and Family Institution in the Member States and Preserve its Values”. The declaration emphasizes the marriage and family institution as the nucleus of society. It also calls the member states to develop and implement comprehensive family policies geared towards consolidating the institution of marriage, as well as taking practical steps towards eliminating poverty and its impact on the family.
Jeddah Declaration provides a definition of the family being conceptually a bond between a man and a woman united through marriage within a sharia framework. The declaration rejects the advocates of homosexuality and the voices calling on the member states to recognize in their legislations the rights of those groups as minorities. In addition, the declaration stresses on the states’ roles in the establishment of mechanisms to confront the risks resulting from wars and conflicts. It also highlighted the role of the family towards children and youth to ensure the principles of moderation and protect them from deviance and terrorist ideologies.
Besides Jeddah Declaration, the conference adopted 5 resolutions; the first is on developing the OIC strategy for empowerment of the marriage and family institution, the second resolution assigned some OIC entities to prepare a paper and develop an index on implementing SDGs from a family perspective; the third is related to the rejection of the Human Rights Council resolution on sexual orientation; the forth pertains to holding the Ministerial Conference on a biennial basis; the last resolution specifies follow-up mechanisms of the conference resolutions.
DIFI participated in the OIC Ministerial Conference as an observer organization among international and regional organizations, universities and NGOs, such as; ECOSCO, UNFPA-Arab States Regional Office, UNDP, GCC Executive Bureau, International Islamic University Malaysia, ISESCO, Arab Family Organization, Family Watch International, Turkey’s Women and Democracy Association, etc.