Speech of the Special Envoy For the Closing Ceremony of ICESCO Year of Women event.



30th March 2022


  • Dr Salim M.Almalik, Director General of The Islamic World Educational, Scientific, And Cultural Organization
  • Ms. Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, Former President of Malta
  • Ms Issatou Touray, vice president of the Republic of Gambia,
  • Ms Camelia Ntoutoume Leclerc, Minister of National Education in charge of Civic Education of the Republic of Gabon
  • Ms Awatef Hayar, Minister of Solidarity, Social Integration and Family in the Kingdom of Morocco
  • Dr Hayat Katat, Minister of Cultural Affairs, Republic of Tunisia
  • Dr Afnan Al Shuaiby, Executive Director of the Women’s Development Organization
  • Ms Moushira Khattab, President of the National Council for Human Rights

Ladies and Gentlemen!

All protocols duly observed.

Good evening!

Let me start by thanking the Islamic World Educational, Scientific, And Cultural Organization (ICESCO) for inviting me to celebrate with you the successful culmination of the 2021 year of women!

I also want to congratulate ICESCO for dedicating the year 2021 to women under the patronage of His Royal Highness King Mohamed VI.  Indeed, this is a true demonstration by ICESCO that Islam values women and Islam takes into consideration their contribution to society.

 I commend you also for choosing the month of March, which is the international month of women to celebrate achievements made throughout the ICESCO’S 2021 year of women.

Allow me to pose here and highlight some of the bold steps that have been unveiled by Morocco, the sisterly country, that is host to ICESCO. Indeed, we applaud the reforms being undertaken by the kingdom under the sterling leadership of his royal Majesty King Mohammed VI. Including  

  • the launch of first Morocco’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security in March 2022 at the margins of the 66th session of the CSW in New York.
  •  The amendment of the law on public limited companies to provide for 30% women representation on boards by 2024, and 40% by 2027
  •    The 29% female representation in cabinet and 21% in the foreign service

These are examples we all want to see in Africa and many countries in the world.  This is why ICESCO is critical to the world as it aligns with the objective to empower women in our development Agenda.

This is the vision and determination of a leader whose commitment does need to be demonstrated. Dr Salim Almalik your action to put women and youth at the core of the transformation of this organisation as well as science education and technology speak for itself.

Ladies and gentlemen,

the AU has adopted the parity principle and included culture in all its major development blueprints.  

The profound role of culture in the integration of civilizations and to socio-economic development in general and poverty mitigation are values that are shared by both ICESCO and the AUC.

As a result, there is a need for the two organizations to strengthen their ties. My presence here today is a resolve toward that move.

At this juncture, it will be remiss of me not to recognize and recall the wonderful work that my sister Amira has done as AUC Commissioner in charge of those questions.  Together we can achieve the fundamental values and contribution Islam can bring to uplifting humanity.

 Dear participants

Let me now dwell on my mandate as Special Envoy. 

The way to prevent conflicts and build lasting peace where violence and instability threaten communities is to empower women as full and equal partners at every step. The moral justification is evident.  But in addition, this is also a strategic goal because women are not only victims of conflict, they are also agents of peace and agents of development.

  I visited many places in Africa, including the Sahel, the horn of Africa, and the great Lack Chad basin. I have seen first-hand the suffering of women, as well as the extraordinary strength of African women proving their willingness to fight and die defending their communities. I have seen resilient women rebuilder of their communities through various entrepreneurial and innovative solutions.

What I have seen and experienced are testimonies that women’s Peace and Development are the cornerstone of Africa’s transformation. That is why the Commission launched initiatives such as Femmwise but also in partnership with the United Nations the African Women Leaders Network (AWLN), an initiative anchored on a solid nexus between peace, security, governance and development, all constituents of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda.

Ladies and gentlemen,

As I conclude, I would like to add my voice to that of my previous speakers to congratulate ICESCO for the different enterprises taken by ICESCO  during the proclaimed year of women such as the launch of the Leadership Training in Peace and Security Program, and the Project for Countering the COVID-19 Pandemic through supporting Women and Youth Innovation and Entrepreneurship and for cascading these initiatives to the rural areas,  which are core in advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment. I pray that these initiatives will continue.

I commend these achievements and urge all Member States of ICESCO, the governments, academia and civil society to continue supporting women in all fields of peace, security and development.

Thank you for your kind attention!