At the outset, I thank the delegation of Azerbaijan for having organized this debate on cooperation between the United Nations and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). We thank Secretaries-General Ban Ki-moon and Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu for their effective action in strengthening and giving renewed momentum to cooperation between their two organizations.
I also welcome Mr. Iyad bin Amin Mandani, who will shortly become the new Secretary-General of the OIC.
Morocco is proud of having been the country chosen to host the headquarters of the OIC when it was established 44 years ago. Since then, Morocco has worked tirelessly to strengthen the organization and to ensure that it became a tool for cooperation and dialogue that would strengthen the synergy of Islamic cooperation. We are gratified to see cooperation between our two organizations, pursuant to Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations, and the coordination of their activities in addressing common threats and challenges.
We welcome the fact that the two organizations are implementing the commitments determined and defined at the OIC-United Nations general meeting held in Geneva from 1 to 3 May 2012. Both organizations are working to strengthen peace and security in Somalia, Afghanistan, and the Sudan. The OIC maintains offices in Mogadishu and Kabul in support of the work of the United Nations. We also support the dialogue between the Government of the Sudan and the rebel movements in Darfur.
In the humanitarian sphere, and in the light of the problems in the Sahel, a joint mission of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and our organization is working to ease the suffering of the people of the region, especially in Mali. We support such cooperation, which must continue in order to assist Mali during the transition and reconstruction period launched following the elections and the restoration of peace and security in the country.
The vision of His Majesty king Mohammed VI, following the inauguration of his Excellency President Keita, aims at strengthening peace and security and Mali’s territorial integrity and is a reflection of the King’s wish to strengthen peace and security. Following orders given by His Highness, a local hospital was set up and 500 imams were sent from Morocco, in line with the fraternal relations of mutual assistance that have always existed between our two people.
Palestine is of critical importance to the OIC. It is the very raison d’etre for the establishment of the organization. The OIC has always supported the cause of the Palestinian people in various ways. In that regard, cooperation is essential and of primary importance in the different areas in which we work, including the mechanism s for cooperation between the two organizations, both aimed at a lasting, fair and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian issue.
I welcome the efforts of the Administration of the United States, especially of Secretary of State Kerry, aimed at resuming direct negotiations. We hope those negotiations will lead to a two-State solution, with the Palestinians creating an independent State with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Within the framework of those efforts, the OIC has continued its assistance to the Palestinian people, including through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East and the assistance provided for new construction in Gaza through the Al-Quds Committee, chaired by His Highness King Mohammed VI, as part of concrete efforts carried out with Al-Quds funds.
We cherish the hope of seeing a common partnership between our two organizations, based on a long-term perspective of strategic cooperation that takes into account all the needs of our two Organizations and the complementarity between them. The OIC also needs support to ensure that we are in a position to act in areas where we have easier access than others. That should take place in a similar manner to its cooperation with other regional organizations. It should be done to expand the field of cooperation, and therefore achieve a greater level of cooperation through annual discussions and debates.
We urge both organizations to strengthen dialogue among civilizations and to act with respect for cultural and religious diversity. International peace and security hinge on such respect, which helps to prevent conflicts, extremism, religious hatred and other types of discrimination. The Kingdom of Morocco, which is wedded to that concept of dialogue, stands ready to support such cooperation among all peoples of the planet and to work against narrow-minded ideas in a firm and clear way.