OIC :: **NEWS**

 The OIC Ambassadorial Level Group Convened in the UN Headquarters


The OIC Group meeting at the level of Ambassadors was convened today 22 August 2017 in the UN Headquarters in New York. The main purpose of the meeting was to transfer chairmanship of the Group from the Republic of Uzbekistan, the former chair of the CFM to the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, the current chair of the CFM.

The meeting started by the opening speech delivered by the Permanent Representative of Uzbekistan, to the United Nation in New York, Ambassador Ibrgimov in which he presented a brief report of the activities undertaken and the progress made under the chairmanship of Uzbekistan during the course of one year. He particularly referred to the big challenges the OIC Member States are currently facing including radicalization, terrorism and extremism.

He then handed over the chairmanship of the OIC Group in New York to the Permanent Representative of Côte d’Ivoire, Ambassador Claude Bouah-Kamon.

Following the transfer of Chairmanship, the OIC Permanent Observer to the UN in New York, Ambassador Agshin Mehdiyev made his statement in which he welcomed the new Chairman of the Group and thanked his government for the warm hospitality provide during the last CFM in Abidjan. He also expressed his appreciation to the government of Uzbekistan for the able stewardship of the OIC Group in New York over the past one year.

Then, the Ambassador of Côte d’Ivoire delivered his statement in which he informed the meeting about the ratification of the OIC charter by his government. He discussed his governments vision and strategy for addressing the challenges ahead of the OIC Member States including unemployment, extremism, terrorism, and education. He also referred to importance of the issue of Palestine and the principle of two state solution. He made particular reference to the programs and initiatives to be undertaken in order to attain economic development.

The meeting approved the following Six OIC Working Groups and their Coordinators:

1-            OIC Working Group on Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs - EGYPT.

2-            OIC Working Group on Peace and Security - INDONESIA.

3-            OIC Working Group on UN and Security Council Reform - UGANDA.

4-            OIC Working Group on Development - QATAR.

5-            OIC Working Group on Disarmament and Non-Proliferation - PAKISTAN.

6-            OIC Working Group on Counter-Terrorism – SAUDI ARABIA.

During the meeting, Daisy Khan, representative of Women’s Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality (WISE) and Executive Director of the American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA), a New York based non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening an expression of Islam based on cultural and religious harmony, as well as building bridges between Muslims and the general public, was given the opportunity to brief the meeting about their recent work in the form of a book that aimed at explaining and addressing difficult and challenging questions and concerns regarding violent extremism, Islam and how to address relevant misconceptions and distortion including the propaganda messages and tools used by Daesh and Al-Qaeda.

Representatives of Palestine, Mali, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia also took the floor and elaborated on various issues.

The Permanent Observer of the OIC to the UN in New York also briefed the meeting about the recent activities of the OIC Secretary General on the issue of Rohingya minority including his recent visit to Bangladesh where he met a number of Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazaar who fled following the October security operation. He also mentioned about the letter addressed by the OIC Secretary General to the UN SG calling for the continuation of UN’s pressure on Myanmar to give Rohingya their basic rights.