The Secretary General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, Mr. Hissein Brahim Taha, met today, 20 February 2023, with Mr. Filippo Grandi, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, on the sidelines of the Third Riyadh International Humanitarian Forum.
During the meeting, the importance of the historical bilateral relations between the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the Office of the High Commissioner since 1988 was emphasized.
The two sides exchanged views on the situation of refugees and displaced persons in the Islamic world, especially those living in catastrophic humanitarian situations as a result of droughts, earthquakes, floods, and armed conflicts.
The Secretary-General stressed the importance of moving very quickly to avoid the spread of humanitarian crises, reduce the effects of natural disasters, and strengthen peacebuilding measures to ensure the voluntary and safe return of displaced people, especially children, women, and the elderly. He pointed out that the OIC shares the concern of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees and many humanitarian partners about the scale of the humanitarian response that needs more support as humanitarian crises increase.
For his part, the High Commissioner, Mr. Filippo Grand, stressed the pivotal role of the OIC in assisting refugees in the Member States, considering that some of its members are among the largest donors in the world, and some of its countries host large numbers of refugees and displaced persons.
On the other hand, the two sides agreed to proceed with the implementation of the activities agreed upon in the action plan for the period 2022-2025 recently signed between the two parties, especially on issues of common interest in the Sahel and the Lake Chad Basin region, Afghanistan, Somalia, and the Rohingya Muslim minority.