We are pleased to see you preside over this session.
Pakistan appreciates Azerbaijan's initiative to hold this debate on ways to strengthen cooperation between the United Nations and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
We thank UN Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki-moon and OIC Secretary General Mr. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu for their participation and briefings.
I will take a moment to thank the UN Secretary General and the Security Council for reaching out to the OIC to forge strong partnerships.
We pay tribute to Mr. Ihsanoglu who, on his watch, has moved the OIC to a higher plane of performance and engagement. He has made the OIC a mainstream international organization focusing on issues of peace and security, human rights, economic development, education, and scientific and technological exchanges.
With 57 member states from Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America, and with a combined population of 1.6 billion, the OIC is the second largest intergovernmental organization after the United Nations. Most significantly, its 2008 OIC Charter enshrines the purposes of international peace and security, as well understanding and dialogue among civilizations, cultures and religions.
Because of the vast geographical expanse of the OIC which straddles many regions and sub-regions, it is only natural that the OIC and the UN collaborate closely for the realization of the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.
Both organizations have cooperated productively to advance their shared agenda on (a) preventive diplomacy, mediation, peacekeeping and peace-building; (b) human rights, humanitarian assistance and refugees; (c) counterterrorism; and (d) promotion of tolerance and peace and intercultural dialogue.
The OIC itself is a natural partner and interlocutor for the United Nations and the Security Council. Its works closely with the League of Arab States, the Gulf Cooperation Council, the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) and ASEAN, all of which are partners of the United Nations. It networks successfully with the African Union, European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe on a host of issues including conflict resolution, human rights and mediation.
Many issues on the Council’s agenda relate to the OIC member states.
Millions in OIC countries continue to live in conflict and post-conflict situations //or under foreign occupation and alien domination. These conflicts and injustices pose a grave threat to international peace and security and impede the socio-economic development in the affected countries and regions.
The OIC has lent a helping hand by contributing to the various mediation, humanitarian, peace-building and reconstruction efforts in Sudan, Somalia, Sierra-Leone and Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is working with the UN for the promotion of sustainable peace and stability in Afghanistan, Iraq, Myanmar, Libya, Somalia, and Mali.
We thank the OIC for adopting, year after year, resolutions calling for the realization of the right to self-determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. It has established a contact group on Jammu and Kashmir, appointed a Special Representative, and called for ceasefire along the Line of Control and
The OIC countries, including Pakistan, constitute the bulk and backbone of the United Nations' peacekeeping endeavor.
In future, the United Nations Security Council and the OIC need to work energetically and cohesively on six issues.
• One,the threat of terrorism has increased manifold. It is now much more amorphous and lethal. We agree with the Secretary General that no culture or religion can be associated with terrorism. Terrorism is now inspired and driven by primeval brutality and extremism. It is an existential threat to our zeitgeist. The OIC and the UN can work to eliminate this menace through a combination of deterrence, dialogue and development. It is equally important to address root causes and alleviate deprivation and exclusion.
• Two,in collaboration with the United Nations and the UN Alliance of Civilizations, the OIC should explore political tools, legal means, and cultural metaphors to address the tension between incitement to hatred and violence// and freedom of thought and expression. We all need a harmonious world for us and for our future generations.
• Three,a just, comprehensive and durable peace in the Middle East is at the heart of the OIC-UN agenda. There is a deep sense of disappointment among the OIC countries and others over the inability of the UN Security Council to implement its own resolutions which provide the framework for a lasting solution for the Middle East. Now that there is renewed engagement between Palestine and Israel for a two-state solution, the OIC should use its clout and standing to help the Quartet and the United States resolve this longstanding issue. You resolve the issue of Palestine, we will all be living in a different, better world.
• Four,within the OIC there are influential countries who can use their proven leverage to prod and persuade the Syrian Government and Opposition to move to the negotiating table in Geneva to find a diplomatic formula for national reconciliation and transition that is acceptable to the Syrian people. In fact, a formula already exists. The Geneva Communique of June 30, 2012 has all the essential ingredients for a solution.
• Five,the UN Secretary General and the UN Security Council should involve the OIC more closely the Sahel region and the Horn of Africa on the issues of asymmetric warfare and terrorism. The OIC's competencies for mediation can help in moving the regions towards conflict resolution and political stabilization.
• Six,there should be closer interface between the UN and the OIC on social, economic, human rights and environmental issues. In the coming two years, as the UN fashions its post-2015 development agenda, it should work with the OIC and, through it, with its members for the achievement of MDGs and implementation of sustainable development goals as soon as they are designed.
We are confident that incoming Secretary General Mr. Iyad Madani, whom we welcome here, will build on the excellent work done over the years by Secretary-General Ihsanoglu.
Finally, to the wider audience I would say that the OIC, as an organization, has come of age. Its importance should not be underrated.
I thank you.