The Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Dr. Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen has urged the United Nations Human Rights Council to find appropriate solutions to the problems and issues faced by Muslim countries and communities with regard to selectivity in the field of human rights. At the same time, he emphasized the Organization’s firm belief in the utility of cultural diversity and its importance in addressing the countless challenges facing humanity in the fields of peace, security, human rights and development.
In his speech during the high-level segment of the 40th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva (25-27 February 2019), the Secretary-General said that the intellectual and political resistance to multiculturalism is one of the underlying causes of the resurgence of racism and xenophobia, including their contemporary manifestation of Islamophobia. He added that, the OIC, in cooperation with its partners, had developed a comprehensive and consensual approach to deal with incitement to hatred, discrimination and violence based on religion, in the shape of the Human Rights Council resolution 16/18, which must be fully implemented, including the reactivation of the Istanbul process.
Al-Othaimeen called for the utilization of all platforms to promote pluralism, push for dialogue among cultures and religions, as well as respect for tolerance and integration, to defeat the forces of bigotry and discrimination. He stressed that the organization explicitly denounces the ideological narratives adopted by all terrorist and extremist groups using religion, ideology or cultural and ethnic superiority.
The Secretary-General called on the Human Rights Council to focus on economic, social and cultural rights, which are no less important than other rights, adding that stability, growth and development remain key objectives for developing countries. He stressed the readiness of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to cooperate and engage constructively with every process that is aimed at strengthening the edifice of universal human rights.
In his speech, Al- Othaimeentouched on the human rights suffering faced by the Rohingya Muslim minority, the Palestinians and the Kashmiris, reiterating the OIC’s condemnation of the Khojaly massacre committed by Armenia in the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan.