The OIC Human Rights

Human Rights in Islamic Countries

Charter of OIC

Posted by Human Rights in Islamic Countries on July 8, 2011


In the name of Allah, the most Compassionate, the most Merciful
We the Member States of the Organisation of the Islamic
Conference, determined:

to acknowledge the Conference of Kings, Heads of State and Government of the Member States convened in Rabat from 9 to 12 Rajab, 1389 H, corresponding to 22 to 25 September 1969, as well as the Conference of
Foreign Ministers held in Jeddah from 14 to 18 Muharram 1392 H corresponding to 29 February to 4 March 1972;

to be guided by the noble Islamic values of unity and fraternity, and affirming the essentiality of promoting and consolidating the unity and solidarity among the Member States in securing their common interests at the international arena;

to adhere our commitment to the principles of the United Nations Charter, the present Charter and International Law;

to preserve and promote the lofty Islamic values of peace, compassion, tolerance, equality, justice and human dignity;

to endeavour to work for revitalizing Islam’s pioneering role in the world while ensuring sustainable development, progress and prosperity for the peoples of Member States;

to enhance and strengthen the bond of unity and solidarity among the Muslim peoples and Member States;
to respect, safeguard and defend the national sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all Member States;

to contribute to international peace and security, understanding and dialogue among civilizations, cultures and religions and promote and encourage friendly relations and good neighbourliness, mutual respect and cooperation;

to promote human rights and fundamental freedoms, good governance, rule of law, democracy and accountability in Member States in accordance with their constitutional and legal systems;

to promote confidence and encourage friendly relations, mutual respect and cooperation between Member States and other States;

to foster noble Islamic values concerning moderation, tolerance, respect for diversity, preservation of Islamic symbols and common heritage and to defend the universality of Islamic religion;

to advance the acquisition and popularization of knowledge in consonance with the lofty ideals of Islam to achieve intellectual excellence;

to promote cooperation among Member States to achieve sustained socioeconomic development for effective integration in the global economy, in conformity with the principles of partnership and equality;

to preserve and promote all aspects related to environment for present and future generations;

to respect the right of self-determination and non-interference in the domestic affairs and to respect sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of each Member State;

to support the struggle of the Palestinian people, who are presently under foreign occupation, and to empower them to attain their inalienable rights, including the right to self-determination, and to establish their sovereign state with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital, while safeguarding its historic and Islamic character, and the holy places therein;

to safeguard and promote the rights of women and their participation in all spheres of life, in accordance with the laws and legislation of Member States;

to create conducive conditions for sound upbringing of Muslim children and youth, and to inculcate in them Islamic values through education for strengthening their cultural, social, moral and ethical ideals;

to assist Muslim minorities and communities outside the Member States to preserve their dignity, cultural and religious identity;

to uphold the objectives and principles of the present Charter, the Charter of the United Nations and international law as well as international humanitarian law while strictly adhering to the principle of non-interference in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any State;

to strive to achieve good governance at the international level and the democratization of the international relations based on the principles of equality and mutual respect among States and non-interference in matters
which are within their domestic jurisdiction;

Have resolved to cooperate in achieving these goals and agreed to the present amended Charter.

CHAPTER I

Objectives and Principles

Article 1
The objectives of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference shall be:

1. To enhance and consolidate the bonds of fraternity and solidarity among the Member States;

2. To safeguard and protect the common interests and support the legitimate causes of the Member States and coordinate and unify the efforts of the Member States in view of the challenges faced by the Islamic world in
particular and the international community in general;

3. To respect the right of self-determination and non-interference in the domestic affairs and to respect sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of each Member State;

4. To support the restoration of complete sovereignty and territorial integrity of any Member State under occupation, as a result of aggression, on the basis of international law and cooperation with the relevant international and regional organisations;

5. To ensure active participation of the Member States in the global political, economic and social decision-making processes to secure their common interests;

6. To promote inter-state relations based on justice, mutual respect and good neighbourliness to ensure global peace, security and harmony;

7. To reaffirm its support for the rights of peoples as stipulated in the UN Charter and international law;

8. To support and empower the Palestinian people to exercise their right to selfdetermination and establish their sovereign State with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital, while safeguarding its historic and Islamic character as well as the Holy places therein;

9. To strengthen intra-Islamic economic and trade cooperation; in order to achieve economic integration leading to the establishment of an Islamic Common Market;

10. To exert efforts to achieve sustainable and comprehensive human development and economic well-being in Member States;

11. To disseminate, promote and preserve the Islamic teachings and values based on moderation and tolerance, promote Islamic culture and safeguard Islamic heritage;

12. To protect and defend the true image of Islam, to combat defamation of Islam and encourage dialogue among civilisations and religions;

13. To enhance and develop science and technology and encourage research and cooperation among Member States in these fields;

14. To promote and to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms including the rights of women, children, youth, elderly and people with special needs as well as the preservation of Islamic family values;

15. To emphasize, protect and promote the role of the family as the natural and fundamental unit of society;

16. To safeguard the rights, dignity and religious and cultural identity of Muslim communities and minorities in non-Member States;

17. To promote and defend unified position on issues of common interest in the international fora;

18. To cooperate in combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, organised crime, illicit drug trafficking, corruption, money laundering and human trafficking;

19. To cooperate and coordinate in humanitarian emergencies such as natural disasters;

20. To promote cooperation in social, cultural and information fields among the Member States.

Article 2
The Member States undertake that in order to realize the objectives in Article 1, they shall be guided and inspired by the noble Islamic teachings and values and act in accordance with the following principles:

1. All Member States commit themselves to the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter;

2. Member States are sovereign, independent and equal in rights and obligations;

3. All Member States shall settle their disputes through peaceful means and refrain from use or threat of use of force in their relations;

4. All Member States undertake to respect national sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of other Member States and shall refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of others;

5. All Member States undertake to contribute to the maintenance of international peace and security and to refrain from interfering in each other’s internal affairs as enshrined in the present Charter, the Charter of the United Nations, international law and international humanitarian law;

6. As mentioned in the UN Charter, nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the Organisation and its Organs to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any State or related to it;

7. Member States shall uphold and promote, at the national and international levels, good governance, democracy, human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law;

8. Member States shall endeavour to protect and preserve the environment.

CHAPTER II

Membership

Article 3
1. The Organisation is made up of 57 States member of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference and other States which may accede to this Charter in accordance with Article 3 paragraph 2.

2. Any State, member of the United Nations, having Muslim majority and abiding by the Charter, which submits an application for membership may join the Organisation if approved by consensus only by the Council of Foreign Ministers on the basis of the agreed criteria adopted by the Council of Foreign Ministers.

3. Nothing in the present Charter shall undermine the present Member States’ rights or privileges relating to membership or any other issues.

Article 4
1. Decision on granting Observer status to a State, member of the United Nations, will be taken by the Council of Foreign Ministers by consensus only and on the basis of the agreed criteria by the Council of Foreign Ministers.

2. Decision on granting Observer status to an international organisation will be taken by the Council of Foreign Ministers by consensus only and on the basis of the agreed criteria by the Council of Foreign Ministers.

CHAPTER III

Organs

Article 5
The Organs of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference shall consist of:

  1. Islamic Summit
  2. Council of Foreign Ministers
  3. Standing Committees
  4. Executive Committee
  5. International Islamic Court of Justice
  6. Independent Permanent Commission of Human Rights
  7. Committee of Permanent Representatives
  8. General Secretariat
  9. Subsidiary Organs
  10. Specialized Institutions
  11. Affiliated Institutions

CHAPTER IV

Islamic Summit

Article 6
The Islamic Summit is composed of Kings and Heads of State and Government of Member States and is the supreme authority of the Organisation.

Article 7
The Islamic Summit shall deliberate, take policy decisions and provide guidance on all issues pertaining to the realization of the objectives as provided for in the Charter and consider other issues of concern to the Member States and the Ummah.

Article 8
1. The Islamic Summit shall convene every three years in one of the Member States.

2. The Preparation of the Agenda and all necessary arrangements for the convening of the Summit will be done by the Council of Foreign Ministers with the assistance of the General Secretariat.

Article 9
Extraordinary Sessions will be held, whenever the interests of Ummah warrant it, to consider matters of vital importance to the Ummah and coordinate the policy of the Organisation accordingly. An Extraordinary Session may be held at the recommendation of the Council of Foreign Ministers or on the initiative of one of the Member States or the Secretary-General, provided that such initiative obtains the support of simple majority of the Member States.

CHAPTER V

Council of Foreign Ministers

Article 10
1. The Council of Foreign Ministers shall be convened once a year in one of the Member States.

2. An Extraordinary Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers may be convened at the initiative of any Member State or of the Secretary-General if such initiative is approved by a simple majority of the Member States.

3. The Council of Foreign Ministers may recommend convening other sectorial Ministerial meetings to deal with the specific issues of concern to the Ummah.Such meetings shall submit their reports to the Islamic Summit and the Council of  Foreign Ministers.

4. The Council of Foreign Ministers shall consider the means for the implementation of the general policy of the Organisation by:

a. Adopting decisions and resolutions on matters of common interest in the implementation of the objectives and the general policy of the Organisation;

b. Reviewing progress of the implementation of the decisions and resolutions adopted at the previous Summits and Councils of Foreign Ministers;

c. Considering and approving the programme, budget and other financial and administrative reports of the General Secretariat and Subsidiary Organs;

d. Considering any issue affecting one or more Member States whenever a request to that effect by the Member State concerned is made with a view to taking appropriate measures in that respect;

e. Recommending to establish any new organ or committee;

f. Electing the Secretary General and appointing the Assistant Secretaries General in accordance with Articles 16 and 18 of the Charter respectively;

g. Considering any other issue it deems fit.

CHAPTER VI

Standing Committees

Article 11
1. In order to advance issues of critical importance to the Organisation and its Member States, the Organisation has formed the following Standing Committees:

i. Al Quds Committee

ii. Standing Committee for Information and Cultural Affairs (COMIAC)

iii. Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation (COMCEC)

iv. Standing Committee for Scientific and Technological Cooperation (COMSTECH).

2. The Standing Committees are chaired by Kings and Heads of State and Government and are established in accordance with decisions of the Summit or upon the recommendation of the Council of Foreign Ministers and the membership of such Committees.

CHAPTER VII

Executive Committee

Article 12
The Executive Committee is comprised of the Chairmen of the current, preceding and succeeding Islamic Summits and Councils of Foreign Ministers, the host country of the Headquarters of the General Secretariat as well as the Secretary-General as an exofficio member. The Meetings of the Executive Committee shall be conducted according to its Rules of Procedure.

CHAPTER VIII

Committee of Permanent Representatives

Article 13
The prerogatives and modes of operation of the Committee of Permanent Representatives shall be defined by the Council of Foreign Ministers.

CHAPTER IX

International Islamic Court of Justice

Article 14
The International Islamic Court of Justice established in Kuwait in 1987 shall, upon the entry into force of its Statute, be the principal judicial organ of the Organisation.

CHAPTER X

Independent Permanent Commission on Human Rights

Article 15
The Independent Permanent Commission on Human Rights shall promote the civil, political, social and economic rights enshrined in the organisation’s covenants and declarations and in universally agreed human rights instruments, in conformity with Islamic values.

CHAPTER XI

General Secretariat

Article 16
The General Secretariat shall comprise a Secretary-General, who shall be the Chief Administrative Officer of the Organisation and such staff as the Organisation requires. The Secretary-General shall be elected by the Council of Foreign Ministers for a period of five years, renewable once only. The Secretary-General shall be elected from among nationals of the Member States in accordance with the principles of equitable geographical distribution, rotation and equal opportunity for all Member States with due consideration to competence, integrity and experience.

Article 17
The Secretary General shall assume the following responsibilities:

a. bring to the attention of the competent organs of the Organisation matters which, in his opinion, may serve or impair the objectives of the Organisation;

b. follow-up the implementation of decisions, resolutions and recommendations of the Islamic Summits, and Councils of Foreign Ministers and other Ministerial meetings;

c. provide the Member States with working papers and memoranda, in implementation of the decisions, resolutions and recommendations of the Islamic Summits and the Councils of Foreign Ministers;

d. coordinate and harmonize, the work of the relevant Organs of the Organisation;

e. prepare the programme and the budget of the General Secretariat; f. promote communication among Member States and facilitate consultations and exchange of views as well as the dissemination of information that could be of importance to Member States;

g. perform such other functions as are entrusted to him by the Islamic Summit or the Council of Foreign Ministers;

h. submit annual reports to the Council of Foreign Ministers on the work of the Organisation.

Article 18
1. The Secretary-General shall submit nominations of Assistant Secretaries General to the Council of Foreign Ministers, for appointment, for a period of 5 years in accordance with the principle of equitable geographical distribution and with due regard to the competence, integrity and dedication to the objectives of the Charter. One post of Assistant Secretary General shall be devoted to the cause of Al-Quds Al-Sharif and Palestine with the
understanding that the State of Palestine shall designate its candidate.

2. The Secretary-General may, for the implementation of the resolutions and decisions of the Islamic Summits and the Councils of Foreign Ministers, appoint Special Representatives. Such appointments along with mandates of the Special Representatives shall be made with the approval of the Council of Foreign Ministers.

3. The Secretary-General shall appoint the staff of the General Secretariat from among nationals of Member States, paying due regard to their competence, eligibility, integrity and gender in accordance with the principle of equitable geographical distribution. The Secretary-General may appoint experts and consultants on temporary basis.

Article 19
In the performance of their duties, the Secretary-General, Assistant Secretaries General and the staff of the General Secretariat shall not seek or accept instructions from any government or authority other than the Organisation. They shall refrain from taking any action that may be detrimental to their position as international officials responsible only to the Organisation. Member States shall respect this exclusively international character, and shall not seek to influence them in any way in the discharge of their duties.

Article 20
The General Secretariat shall prepare the meetings of the Islamic Summits and the Councils of Foreign Ministers in close cooperation with the host country insofar as administrative and organizational matters are concerned.

Article 21
The Headquarters of the General Secretariat shall be in the city of Jeddah until the liberation of the city of Al-Quds so that it will become the permanent Headquarters of the Organisation.

CHAPTER XII

Article 22
The Organisation may establish Subsidiary Organs, Specialized Institutions and grant affiliated status, after approval of the Council of Foreign Ministers, in accordance with the Charter.

Subsidiary Organs

Article 23
Subsidiary organs are established within the framework of the Organisation in accordance with the decisions taken by the Islamic Summit or Council of Foreign Ministers and their budgets shall be approved by the Council of Foreign Ministers.

CHAPTER XIII

Specialized Institutions

Article 24
Specialized institutions of the Organisation are established within the framework of the Organisation in accordance with the decisions of the Islamic Summit or Council of Foreign Ministers. Membership of the specialized institutions shall be optional and open to members of the Organisation. Their budgets are independent and are approved by their respective legislative bodies stipulated in their Statute.

Affiliated Institutions

Article 25
Affiliated institutions are entities or bodies whose objectives are in line with the objectives of this Charter, and are recognized as affiliated institutions by the Council of Foreign Ministers. Membership of the institutions is optional and open to organs and institutions of the Member States. Their budgets are independent of the budget of the General Secretariat and those of subsidiary organs and specialized institutions. Affiliated institutions may be granted observer status by virtue of a resolution of the Council of Foreign Ministers. They may obtain voluntary assistance from the subsidiary organs or specialized institutions as well as from Member States.

CHAPTER XIV

Cooperation with Islamic and other Organizations

Article 26
The Organisation will enhance its cooperation with the Islamic and other Organizations in the service of the objectives embodied in the present Charter.

CHAPTER XV

Peaceful Settlement of Disputes

Article 27
The Member States, parties to any dispute, the continuance of which may be detrimental to the interests of the Islamic Ummah or may endanger the maintenance of international peace and security, shall, seek a solution by good offices, negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement or other peaceful means of their own choice. In this context good offices may include consultation with the Executive Committee and the Secretary-General.

Article 28
The Organisation may cooperate with other international and regional organisations with the objective of preserving international peace and security, and settling disputes through peaceful means.

CHAPTER XVI

Budget & Finance

Article 29
1. The budget of the General Secretariat and Subsidiary Organs shall be borne by Member States proportionate to their national incomes.

2. The Organisation may, with the approval of the Islamic Summit or the Council of Foreign Ministers, establish special funds and endowments (waqfs) on voluntary basis as contributed by Member States, individuals and
Organisations.These funds and endowments shall be subjected to the Organisation’s financial system and shall be audited by the Finance Control Organ annually.

Article 30
The General Secretariat and subsidiary organs shall administer their financial affairs according to the Financial Rules of Procedure approved by the Council of Foreign Ministers.

Article 31
1. A Permanent Finance Committee shall be set up by the Council of Foreign Ministers from the accredited representatives of the participating Member States which shall meet at the Headquarters of the Organisation to finalize the programme and budget of the General Secretariat and its subsidiary organs in accordance with the rules approved by the Council of Foreign Ministers.

2. The Permanent Finance Committee shall present an annual report to the Council of Foreign Ministers which shall consider and approve the programme and budget.

3. The Finance Control Organ comprising financial/auditing experts from the Member States shall undertake the audit of the General Secretariat and its subsidiary organs in accordance with its internal rules and regulations.

CHAPTER XVII

Rules of Procedure and Voting

Article 32
1. The Council of Foreign Ministers shall adopt its own rules of procedure.

2. The Council of Foreign Ministers shall recommend the rules of procedures of the Islamic Summit.

3. The Standing Committees shall establish their own respective rules of procedure.

Article 33
1. Two-third of the Member States shall constitute the quorum for the meetings of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference.

2. Decisions shall be taken by consensus. If consensus cannot be obtained, decision shall be taken by a two-third majority of members present and voting unless otherwise stipulated in this Charter.

CHAPTER XVIII

Final Provisions
Privileges and Immunities

Article 34
1. The Organisation shall enjoy in the Member States, immunities and privileges as necessary for the exercise of its functions and the fulfilment of its objectives.

2. Representatives of the Member States and officials of the Organisation shall enjoy such privileges and immunities as stipulated in the Agreement on Privileges and Immunities of 1976.

3. The staff of the General Secretariat, subsidiary organs and specialised institutions shall enjoy privileges and immunities necessary for the performance of their duties as may be agreed between the Organisation and
host countries.

4. A Member State which is in arrears in the payment of its financial contributions to the Organization shall have no vote in the Council of Foreign Ministers if the amount of its arrears equals or exceeds the amount of the
contributions due from it for the preceding two full years. The Council may, nevertheless, permit such a Member to vote if it is satisfied that the failure to pay is due to conditions beyond the control of the Member.

Withdrawal

Article 35
1. Any Member State may withdraw from the Organisation by notifying the Secretary-General one year prior to its withdrawal. Such a notification shall be communicated to all Member States.

2. The State applying for withdrawal shall be bound by its obligations until the end of the fiscal year during which the application for withdrawal is submitted. It shall also settle any other financial dues it owes to the Organisation.

Amendments

Article 36
Amendments to the present Charter shall take place according to the following procedure:

a. Any Member State may propose amendments to the present Charter to the Council of Foreign Ministers;

b. When approved by two-third majority of the Council of Foreign Ministers and ratified by a two-third majority of the Member States, it shall come into force.

Interpretation

Article 37
1. Any dispute that may arise in the interpretation, application or implementation of any Article in the present Charter shall be settled cordially, and in all cases through consultation, negotiation, reconciliation or arbitration;

2. The provisions of this Charter shall be implemented by the Member States in conformity with their constitutional requirements.

Article 38
Languages of the Organisation shall be Arabic, English and French. Transitional Arrangement

RATIFICATION AND ENTRY INTO FORCE

Article 39
1. This Charter shall be adopted by the Council of Foreign Ministers by two-third majority and shall be open for signature and ratification by Member States in accordance with the constitutional procedures of each Member State.

2. The instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Secretary General of the Organisation.

3- This Charter replaces the Charter of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference which was registered in conformity with Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations on February 1, 1974.

Done at the city of Dakar (Republic of Senegal), the Seventh day of Rabi Al-Awal,
One Thousand Four Hundred and Twenty-nine Hijra, corresponding to Fourteenth
day of March Two Thousand and Eight.

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