The 36th Executive Council of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) opened up today in Baku, Republic of Azerbaijan. It was presided over by Chairperson Dr Boubakar Doukouré, with the presence of Dr Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri, Director General of ISESCO, Mr Aboulfas Garayev, Minister of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan, and an elite group of intellectuals and academics.Mr Garayev gave an address wherein he welcomed the members of the Executive Council, while expressing deep gratitude for choosing Baku as a venue for the 36th Executive Council and the 12th General Conference.He added, “We take pride in being a member country of ISESCO, and thus being one of the stakeholders in the achievements made in the Organization’s fields of competence. We also greatly value Dr Altwaijri’s contribution to Azerbaijan’s drive to bring progress in education, science, culture and communication, through organizing a number of Islamic ministerial conferences in Baku over the previous years, choosing Baku as the 2009 Islamic Culture Capital, and appointing the First Lady of the Republic of Azerbaijan as ISESCO Goodwill Ambassador.”In addition, Dr Garayev placed on record the support provided by ISESCO and the Member States to promote Azerbaijan’s just cause to liberate Nagorno-Karabakh region, inviting ISESCO Member States to actively participate in youth and international forums and activities to be hosted by Azerbaijan in 2016 and 2017.For his part, the Executive Council Chairperson expressed gratitude to the President, government and people of Azerbaijan for providing all facilitation to convene this crucial session of the Executive Council in Baku. The meeting of the Executive Council, he went on, marks a new milestone in ISESCO’s thirty-three year history, which abounds with outstanding achievements made in ISESCO’s areas of competence, with a sustained growing trend in both quality and scope.The increased rate of activity implementation under the 2013-15 plan of action is a clear indication of ISESCO’s strong commitment to supporting the efforts of the Member States in the fields falling within the Organization’s ambit, he underlined.Further, he stressed the importance of the issues slated for discussion, pointing out that such positive record is mainly credited to the wise leadership of the Director General towards the materialization of the noble objectives of the Islamic world in the spheres of education, science, culture and communication.At the beginning of his speech, Dr Altwaijri thanked the government of Azerbaijan for playing host to the 36th Executive Council and 12th General Conference of ISESCO. He stated that this session is the concluding session of the 2013-2015 Action Plan, paving the way for the forthcoming Action Plan and Budget for the Years (2016-2018) placed on the agenda of the 12th General Conference for approval. He went on to stress that ISESCO is always ready to assume the roles and responsibilities incumbent upon it both with the help of Almighty Allah and with the growing trust and support of the Member States.Agenda items for the Executive Council include the 2016-18 Draft Three-Year Action Plan and Budget, Director General’s Activity Report for 2014, and Director General’s Evaluation Report for 2010-2012 and 2013-2015.Also discussed will be the Director General’s Financial Report and Closing Accounts, Report of the Audit Company, Report of the Financial Control Committee for 2014, and Director General’s Report on Member States’ Budget Contributions for 2014.The Executive Council of ISESCO convenes once every year, with the participation of one representative for each Member States. For the record, the Council’s first session took place in Rabat (November 1982), six months after the founding conference (Fez, May 1982), while the 35th session took place in June 2014 (Rabat, Kingdom of Morocco).