OIC, known as the ‘ Voice of Muslims,’ the second-largest intergovernmental organization after the UN in the world. 57 Muslim countries across four continents are members of OIC. The second edition of the Council of Foreign Ministers with the theme “Partnering for Unity, Justice, and Development” started in Islamabad on 22nd-23rd Match. The members had the chance to witness the Pakistan Day Parade as well.
Opening session of the 48th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in #Islamabad on March 22, 2022 under the Theme: (Building Partnerships for Unity, Justice and Development). #OIC48CFM #OICInPakistan pic.twitter.com/QWznOMhrO1
— OIC (@OIC_OCI) March 22, 2022
Foreign ministers of 46 countries took part, whereas the remaining countries were represented by their senior officials. 800 delegates had attended the meetings. This time, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was invited as a guest. This was the first time a Chinese FM was attending the OIC session.
Snapshots from the 48th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in #Islamabad, capital of the Islamic Republic of #Pakistan – March 22-23, 2022. #OIC48CFM #OICInPakistan pic.twitter.com/1AEQUUehX5
— OIC (@OIC_OCI) March 24, 2022
The ministers met “to pursue a shared global vision for peace, security, development and human rights grounded in faithful adherence to universal principles of equity and justice, sovereign equality, territorial integrity and non-interference in the internal affairs of states.”
The meeting reiterated its solidarity with Mali, Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan, Cote d’Ivoire, Union of Comoros, Djibouti, Bosnia, and Herzegovina, the People of Jammu and Kashmir, and the Turkish Cypriots and their aspirations to live in peace, security, and prosperity.
Imran Khan on Russia-Ukraine Conflict
Prime Minister Imran Khan urged the foreign ministers from Muslim-majority nations to help resolve the Russia-Ukraine conflict. The spillover will have great consequences as the fuel prices and wheat are already at an all-time high. He said, “We need to prevent humanitarian disasters and prevent the spillover of the Ukrainian crisis from affecting or harming the legitimate rights and interests of other regions and countries.” There is a need to “mediate, try to bring about a ceasefire and an end to the conflict.”
He said, “We have failed both the Palestinians and the people of Kashmir. I am sad to say that we have been able to make no impact at all. We (Muslims) are 1.5 billion people, and yet our voice to stop this blatant injustice is insignificant.”
OIC Secretary-General Hissein Brahim Taha and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in a press conference shared the 70 points of the Islamabad Declaration.
OIC Secretary-General Hissein Brahim Taha
Hissein said, “Palestine remains high on the agenda of OIC and was discussed thoroughly. All ministers taking part reiterated their support for the Palestine cause. They thoroughly discussed the question of Jammu and Kashmir. This is a just cause. It has our full support. The conference reaffirmed our stance and reiterated support for the right of Kashmiri people to self-determination.”
Shah Mahmood Qureshi
Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that Palestine and Kashmir have been going through injustice, oppression, occupation, and human rights violations. The ministries would work together to go beyond resolutions, and it was time to plan an action plan. He stated, “We have a clear plan of action (on Kashmir) for the members of the contact group, the secretary-general, the secretariat, the special envoy, and the OIC independent permanent human rights commission.” He also said that China wishes to invest about $400 million in Muslim countries under its Belt and Road Initiative and expand its ties with them.
They brought the following issues to light and reemphasized:
- Support for Kashmir, Palestine
- Afghan Crisis
- Issues about Africa and Muslims in Europe
- Developments in Yemen, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, and Syria
- International terrorism
- Cooperation in economic, cultural, social, humanitarian, and scientific domains
A big day for 🇵🇰
Foreign Ministers of 57 #OIC member countries (~22 Trillion$ GDP) & China (~14 Trillion$) are in Pakistan , i.e. 42.5% of 🌍's GDP.
Focus should also be on enhancing mutual trade as it creates stronger bonds in the modern world.#OICInPakistan #OIC48CFM pic.twitter.com/vzZPP8hT1T
— Economy of Pakistan (@Pakistanomy) March 22, 2022
Indian Missile Fiasco
Pakistan also requested to probe the Indian Missile Fiasco to which the FMs appreciated Pakistan’s effort to establish peace in the region. They said, “We acknowledge Pakistan’s pivotal role as an anchor of stability in South Asia, and commend its role and efforts for promotion of regional peace, based on the UN Charter principles including the sovereign equality of States, political independence, non-use or threat of use of force and Pacific settlement of disputes. We call on India to fully abide by international law and norms of responsible state behavior and conduct a joint probe with Pakistan to accurately establish facts.”
Some of the important points are:
“We condemn massive violations of their human rights in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK). We reiterate rejection of India’s illegal and unilateral actions since Aug 5, 2019, aimed at altering the demographic composition of the occupied territory, suppressing the realization of the inalienable right to self-determination of the Kashmiris in violation of UN Security Council resolutions, and international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention. We declare that the final settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute following UN Security Council resolutions is indispensable for durable peace in South Asia. We reiterate our call on India to a) reverse its unilateral and illegal measures instituted since 5th August 2019; b) cease its oppression and human rights violations against the Kashmiris in IIOJK; c) halt and reverse attempts to alter the demographic structure and to redraw electoral constituencies in IIOJK; and d) take concrete and meaningful steps for full implementation of the UN Security Council resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir.”
“We took further effective measures to remove obstacles to the realization of the Palestinian people to self-determination, through ensuring protection and bringing an end to Israelis’ illegal colonial occupation and apartheid regime, and for achieving a just solution. We decide to seek accountability measures against the occupying power and to lend full support to and cooperation in all actions that seek accountability and are aimed at bringing an end to this colonial occupation and its apartheid regime, including at the ICJ. We also reaffirm our duty to protect the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes following UN General Assembly resolution 194 and to unequivocally counter any denial of these rights. We decide to take further effective measures to remove obstacles to the realization of the Palestinian people to self-determination, through ensuring protection and bringing an end to Israelis’ illegal colonial occupation and apartheid regime, and for achieving a just solution. We decide to seek accountability measures against the occupying power, and to lend full support to and cooperation in all actions that seek accountability and are aimed at bringing an end to this colonial occupation and its apartheid regime, including at the ICJ.”
OIC called for unfreezing Afghanistan’s national assets so that they can access the financial resources to prevent the economic meltdown and humanitarian situation from getting worse. Afghanistan can only achieve peace and stability through ‘the formation of a comprehensive, broad-based and inclusive government with the participation of all Afghan ethnicities.’ We should not compromise human rights at any cost. They said, “We reaffirm the importance of ensuring that the territory of Afghanistan is not used as a platform or haven by any terrorist group, in particular Al-Qaeda, Daesh and its affiliates, ETIM, and TTP; and urge the international community to remain cautious against the possibility of incitement and the role of spoilers, both inside and outside the country, to derail efforts aimed at ensuring peace and stability in Afghanistan.”
OIC expressed deep concern over the conflict and showed a willingness to mediate and facilitate the negotiation process. They said, “We reaffirm unequivocal support for the universal and consistent application of the principles of the UN Charter, including non-use of force, respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states, non-interference in their internal affairs, and Pacific settlement of disputes, to preserve and build international peace and security, to ensure equal security for all states and respect for International Humanitarian Law. We call for an immediate cessation of hostilities to prevent further loss of life and ensure that the humanitarian crisis does not worsen in Ukraine. We stress the need for the establishment of humanitarian corridors to ensure the safe movement of civilians from active conflict zones and the provision of humanitarian supplies. We urge both sides to engage in meaningful dialogue to find a solution to the present conflict.”
Role of Women in the Islamic World
“We reaffirm the vital role of women in the Islamic world and the importance of all OIC member states ratifying the statute of the Islamic Women Development Organization.”
Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar
The OIC members condemned the atrocities committed against the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. Urgent action was called to uphold their basic rights.
🎥 𝕀𝕤𝕝𝕒𝕞𝕒𝕓𝕒𝕕 𝔻𝕖𝕔𝕝𝕒𝕣𝕒𝕥𝕚𝕠𝕟
— OIC (@OIC_OCI) March 24, 2022
Humanitarian Trust Fund
Nigeria stepped forward to become the first contributor to set up Humanitarian Trust Fund for Afghanistan. They requested the OIC member states and the international community to contribute generously to the noble cause. This will provide the Afghan people with opportunities for progress and development.
It is in the best interests of the Muslim countries to work together to achieve the agenda by practically putting the resolutions into action.