D-8, also known as Developing-8, is an organization for development cooperation among the following countries: Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey.
The establishment of D-8 was announced officially through the Istanbul Declaration of Summit of Heads of State/Government on June 15, 1997.
The objectives of D-8 Organization for Economic Cooperation are to improve member states’ position in the global economy, diversify and create new opportunities in trade relations, enhance participation in decision-making at international level, and improve standards of living.
D-8 is a global arrangement rather than a regional one, as the composition of its members reflects. Organization for Economic Cooperation (D-8) is a forum with no adverse impact on bilateral and multi-lateral commitments of the member countries, emanating from their membership to other international or regional organizations.
Dr. Widi Agoes Pratikto from Indonesia is currently the Secretary General of the D-8 Organization with its Secretariat based in Istanbul-Turkey.
Brief History of D-8 Establishment
The idea of cooperation among major Muslim developing countries was mooted by Dr. Necmettin Erbakan, the then Prime Minister of Turkey, during a Seminar on “Cooperation in Development” which was held in Istanbul in October 1996. The group envisioned cooperation among countries stretching from South East Asia to Africa. Representatives from Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria and Pakistan attended the Seminar. This conference was the first step towards the establishment of D-8 and it was only after a series of preparatory meetings that D-8 was set up officially and began its activities with the Istanbul Declaration issued at the end of the summit of Heads of State and Government held in Istanbul on June 15, 1997.
Purposes & Objectives
According to the first Summit Declaration (Istanbul, 1997), the main objective of D-8 is declared to be socio-economic development in accordance with following principles:
Peace instead of conflict, dialogue instead of confrontation, cooperation instead of exploitation, justice instead of double-standard, equality instead of discrimination, democracy instead of oppression.
Thus D-8 objectives are to improve developing countries’ positions in the world economy, diversify and create new opportunities in trade relations, enhance participation in decision-making at the international level, and provide better standard of living.
By the same token, D-8 is a forum with no adverse impact on bilateral and multi-lateral commitments of the member countries, emanating from their membership to other regional or international organizations.
The following three phrases are quotations from the D-8 fifth Summit Declaration (Bali, 2006) which illustrates some application of the principle objectives:
“We commit ourselves to work together to solve the problem of economic disparities within our countries.”
“We reaffirm our commitment to enhance cooperation in the field of energy to develop alternative and renewable energy resources.”
“We emphasize the importance of D-8 in contributing to the economic development of its member countries and ensure that it promotes global trade.
The Summit, which is the supreme organ of D-8 is composed of the Heads of State/Government of member states. It is convened once every two years. The last Summit Meeting was held in Bali, Indonesia on May 13, 2006.
The Council is composed of the Ministers in charge of Foreign Affairs of member states. It is the political decision-making organ of D-8, and acts as a forum for thorough and comprehensive consideration of the issues at hand. The last Council Meeting was held in New York during UNGA on September 2006.
The Commission is the executive body of D-8. It is composed of senior officials appointed by their respective governments. Each Commissioner is responsible for the national coordination in his/her respective country. The last Commission Meeting was held in Jakarta, Indonesia on November 2006.
According to the decision made by Heads of State/Government during the Fifth Summit which was held in Bali, Indonesia on May 2006, the composition of the Secretariat is as follows;
Secretary General (Indonesia)
The Secretariat premise is based in Istanbul, Turkey and is looked after by local employees.
D-8 Federation of Chambers of Commerce
Member Countries’ Links Compilation
Areas of Cooperation
As per Istanbul Declaration of the First Summit of Heads of State/Government, cooperation will encompass all areas, including political consultation and co-ordination at the international fora. The Summit also agreed on a number of non-exhaustive areas of cooperation such as:
Trade, Industry, Communication and Information, Finance, Banking and Privatization, Rural Development, Science and Technology, Poverty Alleviation and Human Resources Development, Agriculture, Energy, Environment, Health, Tourism, Culture and Sport.
In order not to spread resources too thinly, the following priority areas for cooperation and their relevant country-coordinators are selected and activities are underway accordingly:Bangladesh, Rural Development
Indonesia, Human Resource Dev.
Iran, Communication & Info.
Malaysia, Finance & Banking
Turkey, Industry & Health.
Ever since the adoption of the above decision, member states hosted many technical meetings and explored different opportunities provided by interested member states to promote D-8 intra-relations.