NASIONALXPOS.CO.ID, ALGERIA —Speaker of the House of Representatives Indonesia, Puan Maharani spoke at the 17th Parliamentary Union of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) forum or the 17th Parliamentary Union Conference of Organization Member States of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) which was held in Algeria. Puan also touched on the issue of Palestine and women’s participation for Islamic countries.
The 17th session of the OIC Member States Parliamentary Union Conference or PUIC was held at the International Conference Center (ICC), Algeria, Monday (30/1/2022). The forum was attended by 40 parliaments of OIC countries, including representatives from Palestine.
“Peace be upon you, and Allah’s mercy and blessings. I am happy to be here, among the parliamentary leaders of Muslim countries,” said Puan starting her speech at the 17th PUIC.
The first woman to serve as Chair of the Indonesian Parliament also appreciated the Algerian parliament for hosting the PUIC forum this time. Puan praised the Algerian parliament for organizing the 17th PUIC very well.
“I also have to give my highest appreciation to the Algerian Parliament for its hospitality, and the excellent organization of the Conference,” he said.
Puan then spoke about global challenges that must be overcome jointly by Muslim countries. Starting from prolonged wars, energy and water insecurity, high inflation, to the increasing threat of climate change.
“Crisis has become the new normal. Everything is uninterrupted, interrelated and more complicated, destroying the most needy, poor countries and developing countries,” she said.
“Almost all countries are suffering greatly, while the impact of the pandemic continues,” Puan continued.
She added that the unresolved war in Ukraine is putting the world at high risk. Especially, Puan said, to intensify the competition between the big powers.
“When we look at some Muslim countries, the situation is even more dire. These countries have been trapped for years in violent conflicts triggered by unresolved political disputes,” said the former Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture.
Puan then touched on the Palestinian issue, bearing in mind that there have not been many positive developments. Not to mention, violence in Palestine continues to exist.
“Conditions on the ground have not changed much. Violence and various forms of human rights violations continue to occur in Palestine,” said Puan.
“There are no signs of hope for the establishment of a Palestinian state that has been promised by the international community,” he added.
Puan also spoke about the situation that occurred with some Muslims who live in other parts of the world, including the existence of a number of acts of repression.
“We are very sorry to witness the prolonged divisions between Muslim countries instead of working together for the common interest of the people,” said Puan.
“This situation is bringing Muslim countries into a deeper decline of modernization and development. The question now is how do we respond to the current challenges of Muslim countries?” she continued.
According to Puan, political reform in Muslim countries is a decisive driver for fundamental changes towards further improvement. Such reforms are considered to have a strong impact on making progress for Muslim countries.
“Muslim countries need to uphold the rule of law, good governance, justice, human rights and guarantee inclusivity in running the government,” said Puan.
Bung Karno’s granddaughter said that, parliament must ensure that the government really represents the interests of the people. Puan reminded that the voice of the people must be heard and taken into account.
“Indonesia, as the world’s third most populous democracy and the world’s largest Muslim-majority country, has shown that Islam, democracy, economic progress and modernization can go hand in hand,” she explained.
Furthermore, Muslim countries are considered to be able to promote greater collaboration and solidarity. It is in the common interest to create peace and prosperity in Muslim countries and in the world.
“When the world is faced with complex and multidimensional challenges, Muslim countries must be at the forefront of advancing global cooperation. We must oppose violence and war as a solution to political disputes,” said Puan.
Not only that, according to Puan, Muslim countries are deemed necessary to increase cooperation in the midst of various global challenges that exist today.
“It’s not even involved in the competition of big powers,” said the winner of two Honorary Doctorate titles.
Puan said Muslim countries should contribute to expanding global partnerships that could pave the way for building trust between countries.
“And it is very important to invest in human resource development through education. We have to improve the quality of education in Muslim countries,” said Puan.
On the other hand, world leaders are deemed necessary to provide opportunities for the younger generation to access higher education and skills training. This, Puan explained, would be the gateway to advanced technology.
“Education is an investment in the future. We must not only rely on natural resources as the basis for our economic development. Our future will be determined by our ability to embrace science and technology,” she said.
In addition to investing in education for the younger generation, Puan believes that Islamic countries need to increase women’s participation in various fields of life, including in politics.
“We have to show that women can excel in the Muslim community. I, as Chair of the DPR RI, represent the progress of women in my country, the largest Muslim majority country, “said Puan.
Puan said, progress in Muslim countries would be greatly influenced by the willingness of leaders to provide equal opportunities for women to contribute to the development process.
“To achieve modernization and development progress, women are very important, because they make up half of the world’s population,” said puan again.
At the PUIC forum, Puan also spoke about the long-term challenges of Muslim countries over the past decades. One of them is the division that makes Muslim countries powerless on the global stage.
Therefore, Puan emphasized the importance of Muslim countries uniting in order to play a very strategic role in overcoming global challenges. Including creating peace, improving living standards, and reducing emissions.
“Muslim countries should not be part of the problem. We have to be part of the solution. That is a manifestation of Islam rahmatan lil ālamīn, mercy for the universe,” said Puan.
“I would like, now, to end my speech by asking PUIC Member States to unite in facing the enormity of the current challenges. Let us work together to strengthen solidarity among Muslims and make this conference contribute to the unity of the Islamic world,” he continued.
Puan’s speech also received a warm welcome from members of the OIC parliament. Puan even received a standing ovation at the 17th PUIC forum. (Uchan)