Date : 12 May 2008 Venue : Antalya - Turkey

CottonThe First Meeting of the Steering Committee for the implementation of the OIC Cotton Cooperation Programme was held on 12 May 2008 in Antalya, Republic of Turkey.

The following OIC member countries attended the Meeting as members of the Steering Committee: Burkina Faso, Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Republic of Turkey. In addition to the OIC General Secretariat and the COMCEC Coordination Office (CCO), the following OIC Institutions attended the Meeting as members of the Steering Committee; Statistical, Economic and Social Research and Training Centre for Islamic Countries (SESRIC), Islamic Development Bank (IDB), Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) and Islamic Center for the Development of Trade (ICDT).

The Meeting was chaired by Mr. Mehmet Vehbi GÜNAN, General Director, Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Republic of Turkey, the Chairman of the Steering Committee. In its capacity as the Chairman of the Committee, the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Republic of Turkey briefed the Meeting on the background and the progress so far achieved regarding the OIC Cotton Cooperation Programme.

The Meeting adopted and considered an eight-item Agenda on different implementation and organisation matters regarding the OIC Cotton Cooperation Programme. During the Meeting, the participants agreed on and adopted a number of important decisions. Among others, these include the date of the 1st Project Committee Meeting to consider and evaluate the so far submitted project proposals and to decide on the project proposal format, project proposal approval, financing and implementing procedures. The Meeting also discussed the activation, improvement, translation and finance issues related to the OIC Web Portal on Cotton Sector.

During the Meeting, all the six Centres of Excellence representing the three OIC regions have been defined as follows: Asia: Turkey (Nazilli Cotton Research Institute) and Pakistan (Central Cotton Research Institute); Arab: Egypt (Cotton Research Centre) and Syria (Cotton Research Institute); and Africa: Nigeria (Ahmadou Bello University Agricultural Research Centre) Senegal (Experimental Unit of Velingara). In its capacity as the Coordinator of the Centres of Excellence, Nazilli Cotton Research Institute of Turkey expressed its willingness to organise and host a meeting of the Centres of Excellence in order to come up with specific project proposals to be implemented in the member countries.

The Meeting decided that the Steering Committee prepare an Implementation Plan in collaboration with Nazilli, ICDT and other related international institutions such as the FAO, ITC, and others. The IDB is requested to prepare a project proposal format to be included in the Implementation Plan. The Implementation Plan shall specify the implementation period in the short, medium and long run as well as, where possible, the executing agencies.

The Meeting decided that the OIC Cotton Fair be organised in 2009 and requested the OIC General Secretariat to make the necessary contacts with the Government of Benin to confirm Benin’s offer to host the First Cotton Fair in 2009. ICDT, in collaboration with IDB is invited to organize the Fair along with the buyer/seller workshop on cotton and textile at the appropriate time and place and will inform the Steering Committee members of the date of the Fair.

The Meeting requested that the OIC General Secretariat to call upon all the OIC Cotton Producing Countries to organise and host the upcoming 2nd OIC Cotton Forum in 2009 and inform the Steering Committee of the name of the potential host country and the date of the Forum. The Meeting decided that the final report of the 1st Meeting of the Steering Committee to be presented to the 24th Meeting of the Follow-up Committee of the COMCEC on 13-15 May 2008 in Antalya, and, if necessary, the Steering Committee will convene again on the sidelines of the 24th COMCEC Meeting in October 2008.