OIC human rights commission reviewed
Posted by Human Rights in Islamic Countries on July 14, 2011
http://www.saudigazette.com – Tuesday, 10 August 2010 – 29 Shaban 1431 H
By Habib Shaikh
JEDDAH – The 38th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFMs) of the Organization of the Islamic Countries (OIC) will take appropriate action on the establishment of an independent human rights commission. A source at the OIC told Saudi Gazette Monday that the 37th session of the CFMs held at Dushanbe, in Tajikstan recently, reviewed the draft resolution on the establishment of the Independent Permanent Commission on Human Rights.
“Taking into account paragraph 13 of the report of the senior officials meeting for the 37th CFMs, it has been decided to defer the adoption of the draft resolution on the commission and to invite the General Secretariat to inform member states of the outcome of the consultations between Saudi Arabia and Iran on determining the headquarters of the commission within a maximum period of six months from this date, with a view to presenting the draft to the 38th session of the CFMs for appropriate action,” the source quoted the CFMs report as saying,
According to Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary General of the OIC, intra-OIC engagement on human rights has been an ongoing process at the organization.
Asked what prompted this almost unprecedented move, the secretary general explained that the OIC had already adopted the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam in 1990.
“Accordingly, a working group established following the adoption of the declaration had drafted some OIC covenants on human rights. The increasing international attention accorded to human rights in recent years and the diversity of these rights has underscored the importance of enhancing the content of this declaration aimed at harmonization with international standards,” he added.
Ihsanoglu said the prospective establishment of an OIC Independent Permanent Commission on Human Rights “must be viewed as a landmark event and a most positive development in the long history of the organization”.
He stressed that human rights and man’s dignity are an integral part of Islam and core components of Islamic culture and heritage. The human rights chapter in the Program of Action emphasized the necessity to seriously endeavor to enlarge the scope of political participation, ensure equality, civil liberties and social justice to promote transparency and accountability in the OIC member states. It further called for an OIC Charter for Human Rights as well as introduction of changes to national laws with a view to guaranteeing respect for human rights in the member states.
Ihsanoglu explained that a panel of eminent human rights experts and practitioners from the Muslim World prepared a concept paper with regard to the establishment of the commission. – SG