ISTANBUL YOUTH MANIFEST

We the leaders of organizations-members to Islamic Conference Youth Forum for
Dialogue and Cooperation (ICYF-DC), the leading youth institution and affiliated
organ of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and representing millions of
young people in the OIC Members States and Muslim diasporas worldwide;

Gathered at the 2nd General Assembly of ICYF-DC; reviewing pressing issues affecting
development of Muslim youth worldwide;
Guided by the Islamic principles and values enshrined in the Charter of the OIC, as well
as by the decisions adopted by the relevant Islamic Summit Conferences and Sessions of
Council of Foreign Ministers;
Considering that young people constitute about one-third of the population of most of the
OIC Member States, and growth rates for this age group are higher than in any other age
group;
Reiterating that poverty, gender gap in education and employment, low quality of
education, unemployment and delay in education-to-work transition are major societal
problems encountered by Muslim youth;
Emphasizing the importance of empowerment of youth to become open participants and
decision-makers in economic, political, and social processes of their countries;
Stating that tapping the full potential of youth is one of the most critical developmental
challenges facing in the twenty-first century the Muslim youth as well as the OIC
countries at large;
Alarmed by the opportunities of radical and extremist groups to involve youth into violent
activities in particular aimed at inter-sectarian hatred and enmity by using their socioeconomic
frustrations; attracting young people that can be identified as revenge, status,
identity and thrill seekers; as well as by means of distorting the religious values of Islam;

while calling for timely implementation of the proposal made by the Custodian of the

Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Bin Abdualziz during the 4th Extraordinary Summit,
held in Makkah in 2012, to establish a centre for dialogue among Islamic schools of
thought to reach a common understanding, as we as other relevant initiatives by OIC
Member States;

CALL UPON:

World governments, in particular leaders of the OIC Members States, our youth constituency,
decision-makers in the OIC and other Islamic and international organizations as well as all
relevant stakeholders to put their utmost efforts in designing and implementation of policies with
a view to achieving in the following critical goals:

1. TO ENSURE SOCIAL SECURITY AND WELLBEING OF YOUTH. BY
RADICALLY DECREASING OIC YOUTH UNEMPLOEYMENT RATE TO
WORLD ANNUAL 12,6 % from 15,6 %. In this regard to fund youth private
enterprises and start-ups (through funds allocated by the governments for that purpose or
lending credits using the instruments of Islamic banking) in order to alleviate their
dependence on public contract and to nurture the spirit of entrepreneurship.

2. TO UPRING STANDARTS OF EDUCATION. To increase tertiary and higher
education by paying special focus on the skills demanded by the labor market; to upgrade
the rating of 20 UNIVERSITIES in the OIC countries into the world TOP 500 LIST and
5 INTO THE TOP 100 relevantly; to establish coaching links between the OIC TOP 20
UNIVERSITIES WITH 200 PEERS in other OIC countries;

3. TO EASE SCHOOL-TO WORK TRANSITION. To initiate institutional changes
(labor market regulation, university admission policies, etc.) hindering easy and timely
transition from educational institutions to job market with a view of establishing 100
NEW UNIVERSITY–PRIVATE SECTOR SUSTAINABLE PARTNERSHIPS.

4. TO BRIDGE GENDER GAP. In this regard increase literacy level, promote formal and
non-formal female education, design programmes encouraging Member States to
empower and train women while urging employers to hire female graduates labor force,
lift institutional barriers for women to enter the job market with a view of achieving
REDUCTION OF FEMALE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IN THE OIC
COUNTRIES TO THE WORLD’S AVERAGE OF 15 %.

5. TO RAISE YOUTH AWARENESS ON TRUE VALUES OF ISLAM AS
RELIGION OF DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE. In this regard to design religious
education programs conducted with younger participants that can enlighten them with
complete and true understanding of their own faith; thus inoculating youth against both
the affect of “low ethic standard culture” and skewed appeal of extremist and violent
groups, while achieving inter-sectarian (inter-mazahib) peace and tolerance. In this
regard to initiate programmes and projects for youth educating in common values of
Islamic Ummah; to ensure mechanisms of legal prevention of inter-sectarian assaults and
defamation on national and international levels; to support relevant initiatives by the OIC
Member States in this area;

6.TO PREVENT RADICALIZATION OF YOUTH. In this regard to deny radical
violent groups to attract revenge, status, identity and thrill-seekers youth by implementing
programs and activities as identified in the ICYF-DC Action Plan for 2015-2020; TO
CREATE AN ALL-OIC MEDIA PLATFORM WHERE YOUTH WILL HAVE
THE CHANCE OF CONSTRUCTIVE SELF-EXPRESSION.
7. TO SUSTAIN DEVELOPMENT AND ENVIROMENT. By increasing awareness and
understanding of the global warming, involving youth in producing green solutions and
environmental friendly projects, designing programs and initiatives to plant for peace and
harmony with nature 500 trees per year across OIC Member States, as well as initiating
curricula revision with a view to including materials related to promotion of sustainability
and green and healthy environment for future generations based on Islamic values.
8. TO DELIVER JUSTICE AND SECURITY. To initiate programmes and projects that
provide conducive environment for sustainable economic, social and political
development, reduce inequality, ease grievances in countries affected by conflicts; seek
restoration of damaged justice by focusing on the wellbeing of the victims’ needs and by
making forces which perpetrated crimes against humanity to take responsibility for their
actions.
9. TO ACHIEVE REAL COOPERATION AND CLOSER SOLIDARITY OF
MUSLIM YOUTH. In this regard to ensure all OIC Member States respecting their
commitment of contributions and support to ICYF-DC as the leading global platform of
Muslim youth; TO ESTABLISH YOUTH WAQF in support of intellectual and socioeconomic
development of Muslim youth; to enhance cooperation of the OIC Member
States’ relevant governmental authorities responsible for youth with a view of achieving
sustainable coordination of youth policies.
10. TO PROMOTE DIALOGUE amongst youth of the OIC and with non-OIC countries
keeping in focus critical importance of countering the growing trend of incitement to
hatred based on religion and belief, including Islamophobia, and supporting youth of
Muslim minorities; to ensure joint stand of youth of different civilization in preventing
threats to Islamic and universal values.
This Declaration is issued by the delegates of the ICYF-DC 2nd General Assembly; will be
submitted for consideration by the 42nd Council of Foreign Ministers of the OIC Member States
to be held in Kuwait in 2015 and supported by ALL government, international institutions, and
civil societies and youth leaders.

UNDERSIGNED:

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