The General Secretariat of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), held its annual coordination meeting of Foreign Ministers of the OIC Member States in New York on September 27, 2019 on the sidelines of the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
The opening session of the meeting included speeches by the Chair of the 14th Islamic Summit Conference delivered by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia, Dr. Ibrahim Al-Assaf, and the Chair of the 46th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM), delivered by the State Minister of Foreign Affairs of UAE, Dr. Anwar Gargash. It also included statements by the UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Ms. Rosemary Anne DiCarlo, and the OIC Secretary-General, Dr. Yousef A. Al-Othaimeen.
The OIC Secretary-General started his statement with a commendation of the efforts of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia according to the directions and generous patronage of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz, and the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, for hosting the 14th Session of the Islamic Summit Conference in Makkah Al-Mukarramah in May 2019. He reiterated his profound gratitude and appreciation for the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the host country, for the generous support, assistance, and facilities it has been providing to the OIC to enable it to discharge its mandated functions.
Al-Othaimeen stated that the OIC participation in the UNGA proceedings is part of the cooperation and consultation on many issues concerning the Muslim world, which are also of interest to the international community. In this regard, he commended the presence of Ms. Rosemary Anne DiCarlo in the ACM.
In the same vein, Al-Othaimeen asserted that the OIC General Secretariat would hold a series of bilateral consultations with regional organizations and non-Member States that have an active role in the international community to enhance the OIC role in addressing the issues of common interest and bolster its position at the regional and international levels.
As the meeting coincided with the celebration of the 50th OIC Anniversary, Al-Othaimeen indicated that the OIC has made many achievements over the past five decades. He called for addressing the challenges facing the Muslim world through more cooperation and solidarity between its Member States, pursuing the OIC reform process and progressing the implementation of the OIC-2025: Plan of Action.
Concerning combating the scourges of terrorism and extremism that have affected Saudi Arabia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka recently, the OIC Secretary-General said that these events had demonstrated that terrorism has no religion, nationality or race. He added that it is thus necessary to intensify cooperation with the international community to combat this plight. He also reaffirmed the OIC continuous endeavor to counter the misperceptions about Islam through its initiatives to counter Islamophobia, promote tolerance and moderation, and foster dialogue among peoples of different cultures and religions through its Islamophobia Observatory and Sawt Al-Hikmah Center.
Al-Othaimeen reiterated the OIC denunciation of the terrorist attack on two Aramco plants in Saudi Arabia. He asserted that any prejudice to the security of Saudi Arabia, as an OIC Member State and host country, would prejudice the security and cohesion of the entire Muslim world and would endanger the entire global economy. He renewed the OIC full solidarity with Saudi Arabia in all measures it may take to defend its security and stability in line with the OIC and UN Charters.
On the other hand, the OIC Secretary-General welcomed the generous donation by Saudi Arabia of US$ 50 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) during the Donors’ Conference held in New York on September 26, 2019.
In his statement to the Foreign Ministers of Member States, the OIC Secretary-General also addressed the current situation concerning Palestine, Al-Quds Ash-Sharif, Jammu and Kashmir, Yemen, Sudan, Afghanistan, Libya, Mali and the Sahel, Central Africa, Somalia, Nagorno-Karabakh, the Rohingya minority in Myanmar, and the situation of Muslim communities in the Philippines, Thailand and Sri Lanka.