The Foreign Ministers of the Member States of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) held their Annual Coordination Meeting (ACM) on Thursday, 22 September 2016 on the margins of the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York. The Meeting discussed the main issues in the Muslim world and those on the agenda of the UNGA.
The Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al Khalid Al Sabah, chaired the ACM. In his speech, HE spoke about the challenges and difficulties facing the Muslim ummah, at the forefront of which is the Palestinian issue, terrorism, the situation in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, stressing the importance of coordination and cooperation among the OIC Member States in addressing these challenges.
In his speech at the ACM, the OIC Secretary General Iyad Ameen Madani expressed his appreciation to the State of Kuwait for competently and diligently chairing the 42ndsession of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) and welcomed the chairmanship of the Republic of Uzbekistan of the next session of CFM in October. He also expressed his appreciation of the existing and constructive cooperation between OIC and the United Nations and its various organs and structures.
The Secretary General registered with satisfaction the return of international attention to the question of peace in the Middle East since the announcement of the French initiative and affirmed the importance of helping to intensify efforts towards coordination with all active international parties in order to hold a peace conference before the end of this year. Madani also urged the Palestinians to achieve real national reconciliation.
On the other hand, the Secretary General condemned the attacks on aid convoys in Syria and expressed deep concern and attention to the deteriorating and unpredictable situation in Syria, Yemen and Libya, the continuation of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the occupied Kashmir. He expressed his concern about the recent bloody developments, which threaten peace and security and have claimed the lives of innocent citizens.
The Secretary General stressed that the OIC is following closely the developments in Somalia, Mali and Central Africa with the hope to continue measures that would bring about the desired stability in these countries.
Madani also stressed that the OIC is working earnestly with the Government of Afghanistan, in coordination with other active actors, to organize international Ulema conference, which the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has kindly agreed to host next October.
As for the issue of the Rohingya community in Myanmar, the Secretary General pointed to his meeting on the margin of the current session of the UN General Assembly, Mrs. Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counsellor of Myanmar. The discussion we held on all Rohingya-related issues were marked by frankness, clarity and transparency. “Our meeting has also paved the way for a constructive dialogue with the Government of Myanmar towards finding serious and practical solutions to the causes of the Rohingya and the improvement of their humanitarian conditions,” he said.
He added that the OIC is working very hard to follow up on the situation of Muslim communicates in the Philippines, Thailand and other states.
As for the issue of terrorism, the Secretary General emphasized that terrorism remains one of the greatest threats to security, stability and lifestyle in many Member states. In view of the worsening situation of this phenomenon to such an extent that it cuts across borders coupled with the rising numbers of victims, he urged for further coordination and cooperation to find a common andcomprehensive approach.
Meanwhile, Madani said “At a time when our member states, including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, are deploying great efforts to combat terrorism, the recent ‘Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act’ passed by the US Congress has come to undermine, in our judgment, the international efforts to combat terrorism, to weaken alliances that promote peace and security throughout the world, and to challenge the principles and traditions governing inter-state relations. We call from this forum on the US Congress to withdraw this act that seeks to undermine international peace and security and bring about considerable chaos in international relations.”