At the outset, I would like to express our thanks and appreciation to the Government of Azerbaijan for having taken the initiative of organizing this unique and timely meeting. The fact that the Security Council has accepted to convene today’s debate on the cooperation between OIC and UN shows the importance it rightly attaches to it. I should like to also highlight the importance of the excellent ideas contained in the concept paper prepared by the delegation of Azerbaijan that further develops this important issue.
I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate Azerbaijan for its outstanding performance during its tenure as a non-permanent member of the Security Council and the chairmanship of the Council for this month.
I wish to express my gratitude to H.E Mr. Ban Ki Moon, UN Secretary General for the tireless efforts he has been making to bring increasing significance to the existing relations and cooperation between the UN and the OIC. We share his vision about the strategic cooperation between the two organizations. During my term in office as OIC Secretary General, I have established an important working relationship with Mr Ban Ki Moon. We have discussed, on a regular basis, many issues that also top the agenda of the UN Security Council such as the Middle East, Syria, Somalia, Mali and Afghanistan. .
In his recent statement before the Annual Coordination Meeting of the OIC Foreign Ministers on the sidelines of the current UN General Assembly Session, the UN Secretary General requested OIC to strengthen the partnership in all areas of mutual concern and interest. From our part, we attach great importance to the relationship with the UN and stand ready to develop an effective partnership with it to promote peace, justice, human rights and development.
Based on our firm belief the critical role that international organizations play, we have deployed tremendous efforts to build and sustain a network of close cooperative relationships with UN and other international, regional and sub-regional organizations in order to secure an inter-organizational platform for the benefit of global peace, security and economic development.
International peace and development are now faced with many difficulties and challenges, and it is imperative to respond to them collectively at the national, regional and international levels. In a rapidly changing world, strengthening cooperation between the UN and OIC will both promote multilateralism and boost the international collective security mechanism
Proceeding from its new vision and mission of moderation and modernization, the OIC has continued to play an important role in the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts, promoting post-conflict reconstruction and defusing humanitarian crises in its Member States, combating terrorism and promoting socio economic development in its Member States as an important contribution to the global efforts in the promotion of international peace and security. In this regard, the OIC has expressed on many occasions that it stands ready to develop effective partnership with the UN to enhance cooperation in all areas and to evolve early responses to disputes and emerging crises.
As the second largest political intergovernmental organization, with 57 Member States, after the United Nations with a mission to defend the interests and just causes of its Member States, the OIC, based on its charter, was established on the noble principles of peace, harmony, tolerance, brotherhood and equality of all human beings as preached by Islam. The preamble of its Charter reaffirms the commitment of its Member States to the Charter of the UN. It has therefore since its establishment set for itself as a primary task, the realization of the principles and purposes of the UN, and has striven to play a positive role in the maintenance of international peace and security. The perceptions of the Member States of the Organization, all of whom are also members of the UN, are identical to those of the vast majority of the UN membership on important international issues.
The OIC Charter stresses the importance of all Member States adhering to the principles of the maintenance of international peace and security and of respecting the national sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of other Member States. An OIC road map document entitled “Ten-Year Programme of Action”, adopted in December 2005, which parallels the Millennium Development Goals, is a document that we consider to be a blueprint for reform promoting moderation and modernization in the Muslim world. It calls for strengthening OIC activities in conflict prevention, confidence-building, peacekeeping, conflict resolution and post-conflict rehabilitation in cooperation with international and regional organizations.
The OIC General Secretariat has made sustained efforts to increase the role of the Organization in the maintenance of peace and security, conflict prevention and conflict resolution. Under its program and agenda for reform, a peace, security and mediation unit, a center for the development of women, an independent human rights commission and an international cooperation and humanitarian affairs department have been established. These significant steps also indicate our understanding of the importance of socio-economic development, human rights and humanitarian assistance in promoting peace and security
In this regard, the OIC has made valuable contributions to the work of the United Nations in the fields of conflict prevention, crisis management, mediation, humanitarian assistance, promotion of human rights, the rule of law and sustainable development through the many political, economic and social instruments available to it. Accordingly, the OIC had hosted in its headquarters in Jeddah a number of international contacts groups such as Afghanistan and Somalia as well regional organizations mediation meetings and counter terrorism workshops. The UN-OIC general bi-annual consultation meeting provides an excellent opportunity for both organizations to identify all areas of cooperation with a specific time frame for implementation.
We are also in the process of preparing a promising joint action to support human development in Somalia. The UN Office for South-South Cooperation and the OIC General Secretariat are developing a project for capacity in education, healthcare and sustainable livelihood in Somalia.
We look forward for more engagement with UN to enhance the capacity of OIC on the basis of its needs and strategic priorities to enable it to act as effective UN partner in addressing the immediate and future challenges that face the Muslim World. The UN –AU example of partnership in the areas of peace, security and development is a good example to be followed in this regard.
Many of the issues on the agenda of the UNSC relate to the Muslim world, and the OIC is naturally seized of them. This fact demonstrates the importance of having strong links of cooperation and coordination between the OIC and the UN in order to benefit from both global and local approaches to addressing these issues. At the same time, I would like to emphasize the need of expediting the reform of the UN Security Council, by promoting its transparency; accountability, adequate representation, and full democratization to enable it play its full role in the maintenance of international peace and security in accordance with the United Nations Charter. Our principled position is that any reform of the Security Council must ensure adequate representation of OIC Member States in any category of membership, given that our organization represents 57 Member States and 1.6 billion people of the world population.
While a period of extraordinary challenges is still evolving in the Middle East, a credible peace process towards a two state solution remains a core priority for the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. I would like to reaffirm that the international community, and this august body in particular, has a special responsibility of doing its utmost to solve the Palestinian question according to the relevant UN resolutions, the Arab Peace Initiative and the Israeli-Palestinians agreements reached within the framework of the Middle East peace process. The OIC believes that the key to reaching
At the same time, we remain committed to assisting the Palestinian people
improve their socio-economic life. Therefore, the OIC is ready to build a constructive partnership with the UN in improving the socio economic life of the Palestinians in the Palestinian territories including occupied East Jerusalem. The development agencies of both the OIC and the UN can cooperate in creating a better life for the Palestinians.
The OIC remains deeply concerned by the ongoing conflict in Syria. We welcomed all efforts aimed at the convening of Geneva 2 conference. However, we believe that the Security Council has to to assume its responsibility to do its utmost to protect the Syrian people and bring a peaceful solution to the Syrian conflict through a political dialogue.
We are also concerned on the continuation of the occupation by Armenia of the Azerbaijani territories of Nagorno-Karabakh and call for the resolution of the conflict on the basis of respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of the internationally recognized borders of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and in line with the Security Council resolutions in this regard. Non-implementation of the Security Council resolutions undermines its authority and people's belief in justice and possibility of peaceful political settlement.
While I commend the leading role played by the UN and other partners in the restoration of peace to two troubled OIC Member States, Somalia and Mali, we must continue to build on this partnership in order to achieve durable stability in these two African countries.
On the Humanitarian front, the OIC and UN-OCHA conducted a joint needs assessment mission in Syria in 2012, which resulted in a comprehensive humanitarian response plan. Likewise a similar mission was conducted by our two organisations in the Sahel, which visited Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali. Another joint mission was conducted to Mindanao and Philippines. Several appeals have been launched and some OIC Member States have come forward to alleviate the suffering of the vulnerable and needy people in Mali. Our cooperation is also continuing in Somalia. We have done our best to be able to help meet the humanitarian needs in Myanmar by facilitating provision of assistance from the OIC member states and civil society. We will discuss the matter with the authorities of Myanmar during the expected visit of myself and a group of Ministers of Foreign Affairs from the OIC member states to the country next month. Under the mandate of its Charter, OIC aims at playing a constructive role in helping non-member countries with Muslim minorities to resolve any issues with these minorities in order to strengthen their roles as bridges of friendship between those countries and the Muslim world, in full respect of national unity, territorial integrity and sovereignty of the countries hosting these minorities.
Polio eradication in affected OIC Member States continues to be a critical challenge for the OIC. We are engaged in close cooperation with W.H.O and the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) as well as Bill Gates Foundation in a wide campaign to eradicate Polio in our affected Member States. We are involved in advocacy and mobilizing high-level political support for polio vaccination programmes .We believe that more work needs to be done before we are able to claim total polio free-status in the OIC region. In this regard, we are concerned on the recent spread of Polio in the horn of Africa.
Due to the increase of humanitarian disasters in the OIC Member States, the OIC General Secretariat has felt that there is a vital need to establish an OIC Humanitarian Emergency Response Fund (HERF) so as to express collective action in the humanitarian field to relieve the most vulnerable segments of our populations whenever a disaster strikes one of our Member States.
One of the most daunting challenges that face the international community is radicalization of communities based on religious faith and belief. Religious and inter-communal hatred being propounded by some motivated and extremist individuals that render people to marginalization, negative stereotyping and racial discrimination pose a serious threat to global peace and security. The OIC has been vigilant in exposing this dangerous agenda of extremist elements and raising global awareness to combat religious intolerance, stigmatization and negative stereotyping. I should like to emphasize also the importance of political engagement in and support of the world’s leaders for dialogue, mutual recognition, respect and cooperation among representatives of cultures, Civilizations and religions, as this issue has gained an importance recently due to its implications on international peace and security. The consensual passage of UN Human Rights Council resolution 16/18 on combating religious intolerance, which codified the eight points I have identified in my address to the 15th Session of the Human Rights Council, has been widely acknowledged as a positive development and a triumph of multilateralism
I would like to assure you that the OIC will continue its efforts with its Member States and the international community as a whole to combat radicalization that leads to violent extremism and terrorism. We believe that to face the menace of radicalization, we need political will and commitment not only on part of governments but all segments of society.
The OIC has also been focusing on some key areas of development and empowerment of women, children, youth and civil societies in order to benefit from their roles and contributions in finding local remedies to challenges of conflicts, underdevelopment and radicalization. We also encourage all initiatives to bring positive contribution of religious and traditional leaders to mitigation of these challenges.
In conclusion, I would like to reiterate that OIC is strongly committed to an active partnership with the United Nations in promoting peace, security and development. We have achieved a lot together, but I believe more work remains to be done. With your support, both organizations would make our world a much better place.
I thank you for kind attention.