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Final Communique Of The Annual Coordination Meeting Of The Ministers Of Foreign Affairs Of The OIC Member States

Posted by Human Rights in Islamic Countries on October 2, 2012


 

29/09/2012 | United Nations Headquarters, New York

1. The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Member States of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) held their Annual Coordination Meeting (ACM) at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on 28 September 2012, under the Chairmanship of His Excellency, Mr. Yerzhan Kazykhanov, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan. A Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General attended the Meeting.

2. The Meeting reaffirmed the decisions taken during the 38th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the OIC held in Astana 28-30 June 2011, and previous communiqués issued by the ACM.

3. The Meeting praised the leadership of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques for his initiative to convene the 4th Extra-ordinary Islamic Summit held in the holy city of Makkah al Mukarramah on 14-15 August 2012 to strengthen Islamic solidarity and reiterated its commitment on the full implementation of the decisions of the Summit.

4. The Meeting expressed its appreciation to the Republic of Kazakhstan for its competent Chairmanship of the Council of Foreign Ministers and able steering of the OIC Groups.

5. The Meeting expressed its gratitude to the Secretary-General Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu for his commitment in promoting and defending the interests and causes of the Islamic World, and in raising the profile of the OIC as a significant player at the global level.

6. The Meeting urged all Member States to actively participate at the highest level, in the 12th Session of the Islamic Summit Conference to be held in Egypt.

7. The Meeting calls for the full participation in the 39th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers to be held on November 15-17, 2012 in Djibouti.

8. The Meeting reaffirmed the centrality of the cause of Palestine and Al-Quds Al-Sharif to the entire Islamic Ummah, and reiterated OIC’s full support for the just cause of Palestine and the rights of the Palestinian people. It reaffirmed strong backing for the efforts of the State of Palestine to mobilize international support for the achievement of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and their legitimate national aspirations, including their inalienable rights to self-determination and return, as well as to expand international recognition for the State of Palestine on the basis of the 4th of June 1967 borders at all levels, including the United Nations. It commended the decision of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), to admit Palestine’s full membership in UNESCO, welcomed the important decision made recently by numerous States to recognize the State of Palestine on the basis of the 4th of June 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and urged the States, that have not yet done so, to uphold their responsibilities under the Charter of the United Nations and, to recognize the State of Palestine as soon as possible and support the efforts to ensure that Palestine obtains full membership of the United Nations and takes its rightful place among the community of nations.

9. The Meeting reiterated strong condemnation of all illegal Israeli policies and actions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, including ongoing Israeli settlement activities, construction of the apartheid annexation wall, demolition of Palestinian homes and eviction of Palestinian families, all of which aimed at altering the demography and Arab and Islamic character of Occupied East Jerusalem in particular, that constitute flagrant breaches of international law, including international humanitarian law and relevant United Nations resolutions. It demanded the full cooperation by Israel, the occupying Power with the Human Rights Council in order to implement its mandate for an independent international fact-finding mission on the implications of the Israeli settlements for the political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. The Meeting, in this regard, demanded that Israel, the occupying Power, immediately cease all such illegal measures and activities and called for the implementation and full respect for the Fourth Geneva Convention, the relevant United Nations resolutions and the 9 July 2004 Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.

10. The Meeting expressed grave concern about the intensification of acts of violence, provocation, incitement and terror by illegal Israeli settlers against the Palestinian civilian population and their properties, including damage to homes and agricultural lands and desecration of mosques and churches, and cautioned that such illegal, provocative acts are fueling tensions and religious sensitivities that risk further destabilization of the situation on the ground. It called for protection of the Islamic and Christian holy sites throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in Al-Quds Al-Sharif, and respect for their sanctity and freedom of access for worshippers.

11. The Meeting also reiterated condemnation of Israel’s continued imposition of the illegal, inhumane blockade against the Gaza Strip and demanded that Israel, the occupying Power, immediately cease its unlawful collective punishment of the Palestinian people and completely lift its blockade of the Gaza Strip and comply fully with its obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law. The Meeting expressed deep concern at the decision of the government of Israel in May 2012 to suspend all forms of cooperation with the Human Rights Council.

12. The Meeting expressed grave concern about the thousands of Palestinian civilians imprisoned and detained by Israel, the occupying Power, including at least 300 children. It condemned this aggressive, inhumane practice by the occupying Power as a flagrant contravention of the Fourth Geneva Convention. It stressed that the question of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails and detention centers is a central issue and is a practical benchmark in the achievement of a just peace in the region. It also stressed the international responsibility in this regard and emphasized the importance of the role played by the OIC, the League of Arab States, the United Nations and the international community as a whole in raising awareness of the question of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails and detention centers and demanding their release and Israel’s compliance with legal obligations in this regard. It urged the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to take all appropriate steps to effectively address this subject.

13. The Meeting commended the efforts made by His Majesty King Mohammad VI, Chairman of Al-Quds Committee and Bayt Mal Al-Quds in order to preserve the identity of the Al-Quds Al-Sharif and support the steadfastness of the Palestinian people in the Holy City.

14. The meeting commended the ongoing efforts of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in preserving the City of Al-Quds Al-Sharif and supporting the steadfastness of its Arab inhabitants on their land in the face of Israeli attempts to erase the Arab, Muslim and Christian identity of the city of Al-Quds, change its Arab, Islamic and Christian features and evict its Al-Quds Palestinian inhabitants, and reaffirms its appreciation for the huge efforts of His Majesty King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein aimed at rebuilding the Islamic and Christian holy places in Al-Quds ,in particular to reconstruct the Salah al-Deen historic Pulpit, to maintain the Dome of the Rock, to restore the Islamic museum and to preserve the Islamic and Christian endowments in Al-Quds Al-Sharif.

15. The Meeting reiterated its support for Lebanon to complete the liberation of all its territories, and insisted on the necessity of Israel’s withdrawal from Sheba’s Farms, Kfarshouba Hills, and from the Lebanese part of Al-Ghajar village. It called for the strict and full implementation of Resolution 1701 (2006), and strongly condemned Israel`s continuous violations of Lebanon’s sovereignty, by land, sea, and air, including the spy networks implanted in Lebanon. The Meeting emphasized the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland and rejected any form of resettlement. It valued the important role played by H.E. President Michel Sleiman, in chairing the sessions of national dialogue. The Meeting took note of the determination of the Government of Lebanon to reveal the truth regarding the crime of assassination of martyr Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and his companions, and the Government will follow the process of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon which was established in principle to achieve righteousness and justice, without politicization or revenge, and without any negative impact on Lebanon’s Stability, Unity and Civil Peace.

16. The Meeting emphasized its principled position on the need to preserve the unity, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Syria.

17. The Meeting condemned the continued bloodshed in Syria and stressed the principal responsibility of the Syrian government for the continuation of violence and bloodshed.

18. The Meeting called for immediate cessation of violence, killings and destruction, for the respect of Islamic values, human rights, and for saving Syria from the danger of an all-out civil war, including its dangerous consequences on the Syrian people, on the region, and on international peace and security.

19. The Meeting welcomed the United Nations General Assembly resolution of 3 August 2012 on the situation in Syria, which strongly condemned the continued, widespread and systematic violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms by the Syrian authorities, the use of force against civilians, and arbitrary assassinations, killings and oppression; and, in this regard, called for the commencement of immediate implementation of the transitional phase plan and the development of a peaceful mechanism that would allow building a new Syrian State based on pluralism, democratic and civilian system where there would be an equality on the basis of law, citizenship and fundamental freedoms.

20. The Meeting called on the Security Council to assume fully its responsibility by stopping the ongoing violence and bloodshed in Syria and finding a peaceful and lasting solution to the Syrian crisis.

21. The Meeting affirmed its strong commitment to secure humanitarian assistance for the Syrian people, and urged Member States to donate generously to the Syrian people to enable the General Secretariat implement immediately full-scale humanitarian assistance activities in Syria.

22. The Meeting welcomed the initiative of the formation of a Contact Group composed of the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Turkey aiming at solving the crisis in Syria.

23. The Meeting strongly condemned Israel’s policy of refusing to comply with Security Council resolution 497 (1981) concerning the occupied Syrian Golan and its policies of annexation building of colonial settlements, confiscation of land, diversion of water sources and imposition of Israel nationality upon Syrian citizens. It also demanded Israel to completely withdraw from the occupied Syrian Golan to the June 4th 1967 lines in accordance with Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), the principle of land for peace, the Madrid Peace Conference terms of reference and the Arab Peace Initiative, adopted by the Beirut Arab Summit on 28 March 2002.

24. The Meeting welcomed the holding on 7 July 2012 of the first Libyan national elections in more than four decades. It noted that the elections were fair and free and took place in peaceful atmosphere. It considered the elections a milestone for Libya’s democratic transition, through the adoption of a permanent constitution and the establishment of a democratically elected government.

25. The Meeting expressed its full and continued support to the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Yemen and called upon all the Member States to extend all necessary assistance to the new leadership to consolidate peace, stability security and development in the country.

26. The Meeting commended the success of the initiative presented by the Gulf Cooperation Council to resolve the crisis in the Republic of Yemen, achieve the peaceful transition of power and support of the National Unity Government in implementing the initiative and its implementation plan. It also commended the commitments of the international community in supporting security, stability and development in Yemen including the positive role played by the friends of Yemen. The Meeting highly appreciated the efforts of the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for organizing and holding two conferences, the first for the friends of Yemen and the second for donors in Riyadh and New York in under the co-chairmanship of Great Britain in order to mobilize support for Yemen’s economy, achieve development in the country and alleviate the suffering of its people.

27. The Meeting highlighted the significant outcomes of the friends of Yemen ministerial meetings held in Riyadh, as well as the importance of the ministerial meeting held on September 27, 2012 in New York and urged the donor countries to extend their support to meet the urgent economic and humanitarian needs of the Yemeni people.

28. The Meeting reaffirmed its full support for the Sudan and respect for its unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity. It urged the Sudan and its new neighbor, South Sudan, to maintain good neighborliness and seek to resolve peacefully all outstanding issues between them through dialogue and negotiation.

29. The Meeting commended the steps taken in implementation of the Darfur Peace Agreement signed in Doha – Qatar. It expressed its gratitude to His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al- Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar, for the support of his Government to the Doha Peace Process. The Meeting called on Member States to follow up the implementation of the outcome of the International Donors conference for the reconstruction, peace building in Darfur.

30. The Meeting welcomed the Framework Agreement which signed in Addis Ababa on 27 September 2012 between H.E. Omar Hasan Ahamd Al Bachir, President of the Republic of the Sudan, and H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic of South Sudan, and which addressed a number of outstanding issues between the two countries. The Meeting expressed hope that the Agreement would help find a final solution to all the outstanding issues and develop bilateral relations between the two countries in all domains.

31. The Meeting further reiterated the support of the Member States for the Sudan in its efforts to confront its economic and financial difficulties after the secession of South Sudan and appealed to the Member States to contribute in providing all forms of Support and assistance to the Sudan in order to enable it overcome the critical economic situation. The Meeting also called for the peaceful settlement of issues between the Sudan and the South Sudan. The Meeting commended the recent agreements reached between the Sudan and South Sudan on the oil production and its financial matters, and the allowing humanitarian access in the South Kordofan and Blue Nile to civilian populations in need.

32. The Meeting welcomed the significant milestone achieved by the leaders and people of Somalia in the implementation of the roadmap on ending the political transition in Somalia leading to the adoption of the provisional constitution, election of the new president, selection and inauguration of the members of a new Federal Parliament through a broad based and grassroots consultation and the election of the a new leadership. The Meeting commended their courage and determination for attaining the 20th August 2012 deadline in entrenching durable peace and stability in Somalia. The Meeting commended the African Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) as well as the Somali national security forces for creating an enabling environment for the advancement of the political process. The Meeting, while appreciating the outcome of the Second UN Istanbul Conference of 1st June 2012 on Somalia, urged the Member States to continue to support the long term reconciliation and peace building efforts to stabilize Somalia under the new dispensation.

33. The Meeting welcomed the results of the mediation by the State of Qatar aimed at ending the dispute between the Republic of Djibouti and the State of Eritrea with regard to the Ras Doumeira and Doumeira Island and encouraged both parties to restore the Status quo and to resolve their border dispute peacefully and in accordance with international law.

34. The Meeting reiterated its principled position in preserving the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Mali. It strongly condemned the attempts by the National Movement of the Liberation of Azwad and those of other armed groups threatening the integrity of the country. The Meeting reaffirmed its full solidarity with Government of National Unity in Mali and the Sahel, pledged support for ECOWAS and AU peace initiative. The Meeting called upon all OIC Member States and humanitarian organizations to help alleviate the severe hardship of thousands of refugees in the region and displaced persons in Mali. The Meeting also condemned strongly the exactions perpetrated by terrorist groups against unarmed civilians, and the destruction of sites classified by UNESCO as world cultural heritage, especially in Timbuktu; and called on the ISESCO to participate in the protection and preservation of this heritage.

35. The Meeting reaffirmed its solidarity with Cote d’Ivoire in its peace building endeavors and the renewal of its war ravaged economy. In this context, the meeting urged the Secretary General to step up efforts to convene the donors’ conference as approved by the 38th CFM and appealed to the Member States to actively participate and generously contribute in the said conference for the reconstruction of Cote d’Ivoire.

36. The Meeting condemned the aggression of Armenia against Azerbaijan, reaffirmed that the acquisition of territory by force is inadmissible under the Charter of the United Nations and international law, and called for the resolution of the conflict on the basis of respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of the internationally recognized borders of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The Meeting also expressed its grave concern at the forced demographic changes, interference with property rights, inadequate protection of the cultural heritage and sacred sites in the Daghlyq Garabagh (Nagorno Karabakh) region and other occupied territories of Azerbaijan and reaffirmed in this regard its principled support to the efforts of Azerbaijan, including within the United Nations General Assembly, aimed at ensuring respect for international humanitarian law and international human rights law in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.

37. The Meeting reaffirmed the collective commitment of all OIC Member States to a long-term engagement in Afghanistan in order to bring peace, stability and socioeconomic development to the country and to tackle challenges of illicit drug trafficking and extremism.

38. The Meeting reaffirmed its principled support to the people of Jammu and Kashmir for the realization of their legitimate right to self-determination, in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions and aspiration of the Kashmiri people. It emphasized the need for full respect of human rights as well as the importance of taking all requisite steps to provide relief and comfort to the Kashmiris. It further called upon India to allow international human rights groups and humanitarian organizations to visit Jammu and Kashmir.

39. The Meeting expressed concern at the indiscriminate use of force and gross violations of human rights committed against the innocent Kashmiris and regretting that India had not allowed the OIC Fact Finding Mission to visit Indian occupied Jammu & Kashmir or responded favourably to the offer of a Good Offices made by the OIC.

40. The Meeting noted that the discovery of mass graves with 2156 unidentified bodies in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir has been confirmed by international Human Rights organizations and urged India to undertake independent investigations into the discovery of mass graves and ensure free and fair trial of those responsible for these heinous crimes.

41. The Meeting commended the efforts of Pakistan and its readiness to engage with India to resolve all outstanding issues including Jammu and Kashmir dispute and urged the international community to play its due role to settle this long standing dispute on UN agenda for the overall improvement of the relations between Pakistan and India as well as to promote regional peace and stability.

42. The Meeting noted with satisfaction the continued progress made towards strengthening democracy and the institutional work at all relevant levels throughout the entire territory of Kosovo, serving peace and stability in the country and the entire region. It emphasized the importance of the continuation of the process of dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia with the facilitation of the European Union, and it encouraged parties to constructively continue this process on all technical and practical issues, pursuant to UNGA resolution 64/298, with a view of improving the lives of the people and cooperation between the Parties.

43. The Meeting renewed the call made in Resolution no. 17/38-Pol (On the situation in Kosovo), which was adopted during the 38th Session of the OIC CFM, addressed to all Member States of the Organization that have not yet done so, to consider recognizing Kosovo, based on their national practice. It also reaffirmed the call to Member States to continue contributing to the fostering of the Kosovo’s economy.

44. The Meeting strongly condemned violence and violations of human rights committed against innocent unarmed Muslim civilians in the Rakhine region of Myanmar which is contrary to all the principles of human rights, values, ethics and international law and has detrimental implications for regional peace, stability and security. In light of the ongoing democratization and reform process in Myanmar, the meeting reiterated its firm and unwavering demand for an immediate halt of the unlawful acts perpetrated towards Rohingya in Myanmar and the restoration of the Rohingya right to citizenship and priority given to peaceful resolutions. The Meeting emphasized the importance of transparency and unimpeded access for international and humanitarian aid to the affected region and commended the steps taken by the Myanmar Government in that direction particularly after the visit of H.E. Ahmet Davutoğlu, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Turkey. It also welcomed the establishment of an OIC Contact Group on Rohingya Muslims, endorsed the recommendations of the first meeting of this Contact Group based on the report of the OIC fact-finding mission to the region, called for the convening of a special session of the Human Rights Council and adoption of a resolution by the UN General Assembly at its 67th Session on the situation in Myanmar and invited the OIC Secretary General to visit Myanmar to communicate the strong expectation of the Member States with a view to ending violence and restoration of the rights of the Rohingya Muslims. The Meeting also called upon the Government of Myanmar to launch a rehabilitation and reconciliation process in the region; to endeavor to reintegrate the two communities that are currently segregated due to the events; to resettle the internally displaced persons to new homes and to take measures for the long-term economic development of the region.

45. The Meeting emphasized that it is crucial for the Islamic world to continue to follow the situation of minority Muslim communities in South East Asia. In that regard, the peace process concerning the Muslims in southern Philippines and the improvement of the conditions of the Muslims in southern Thailand is important. The Meeting encouraged all relevant Parties to continue to work towards achieving a satisfactory and long term solution regarding these issues through peaceful means and international law.

46. The Meeting, regretting that the last negotiation process for a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus issue initiated under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General’s Good Offices Mission in 2008 was unable to produce a result despite the dedicated efforts of the Turkish Cypriot side, declared its support for a just, comprehensive and lasting settlement in Cyprus based on the inherent constitutive power of the two peoples, their political equality and co-ownership of the Island. The Meeting expressed its solidarity with the Turkish Cypriots and its appreciation for their constructive efforts to attain a mutually acceptable settlement. The Meeting urged Member States to strengthen effective solidarity with the Turkish Muslim people of Cyprus by closely associating with them, increasing and expanding their relations in all fields and exchanging high-level visits with the Turkish Cypriot State with a view to helping them materially and politically to overcome the inhuman isolation which has been imposed upon them.

47. The Meeting expressed its full solidarity with the Muslims in Greece in general, and called on Greece once again to take all the necessary measures to enable the Turkish Muslim Minority in Western Thrace to fully enjoy its rights and freedoms emanating from bilateral and international agreements to which Greece is a party, as well as to remedy the problems of the Muslim population of Turkish descent living in the Dodecanese in line with universal norms regarding minorities.

48. The Meeting renewed its resolve to combating the forces of intolerance and hatred for diversity, and strengthened its determination to develop a culture of peace and respect for living in diversity. It further called upon all people of diverse religious and faiths and cultural backgrounds to celebrate diversity as a means to live in peaceful cohabitations in a spirit of understanding, tolerance and respect for each other.

49. The Meeting deplored the misuse of any religion for acts of hatred, incitement and violence. It called upon people of all walks of life, to ensure that the voice of moderation prevails, to avoid all aspects of bigotry, extremism and terrorism, to promote tolerance, mutual understanding and respect.

50. The Meeting asserted that all human rights are universal, indivisible, interdependent, interrelated in nature, taking into consideration the significance of national and regional particularities, and the various historical, cultural and religious backgrounds. The Meeting emphasized the necessity for the international community to address all human rights issues in an objective, impartial and non-selective manner. The Meeting called for the necessity to consider all human rights in their global conception and in all their civil, political, social, economic, and cultural facets within the framework of international cooperation and solidarity, and within the framework of international Human Rights law and relevant international human rights instruments.

51. The Meeting expressed its alarm and great concern on the mounting trend of Islamophobia and systematic defamation of Islam as well as discrimination against Muslims and strongly condemned the anti-Islam/anti-Muslim incidents, such as the burning of the Koran, the ban on construction of minarets, attacks on Prophets and venerated personalities, prohibition on the use and ban on religious symbols, and other discriminatory measures.

52. The Meeting expressed strong condemnation of the production and projection of the reprehensible film insulting the noble Prophet (PBUH) by an irresponsible group in the US, resulting in unfortunate violent incidents. The Meeting denounced the aggressions perpetrated against many diplomatic missions around the world and the irresponsible violations, which claimed the lives of some workers of these missions, and insisted on the need to guard against those who promote or are planning to produce such films in order to provoke Muslims.

53. The Meeting called on all Member States and the international community to counter the production and promotion of media materials which insult the revealed religions and their symbols, through international institutions and mechanisms, and stressed the need to respect religious and cultural diversity in the world. It insisted on the principle of abstaining from defaming religions and their symbols as included in the Initiative of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue adopted by Madrid Dialogue Conference in 2008.

54. The Meeting called on the United Nations and its Secretary General to assume their responsibilities in countering irresponsible violations of producing media materials defaming religions and their symbols through criminalizing such defamatory acts against religions and their symbols.

55. The Meeting called upon the international community to exert efforts to prevent incitement to hatred and discrimination against Muslims and to take effective measures to combat the defamation of religions and negative stereotyping against persons based on their religions, faith or race. The Meeting requested the Secretary- General to continue the OIC initiatives in order to effectively counter anti-Islam/anti- Muslim campaigns and propaganda through discussions and deliberations in various international fora. The Meeting called for a global awareness on the dangerous implications of the rise of such campaigns and propaganda on world peace and security and called on the international community to demonstrate its collective political will to address the issue with all urgency.

56. The Meeting welcomed in this regard the historic consensual adoption by the UN Human Rights Council of an OIC sponsored resolution no. 16/18, titled “Combating intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of, and discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against persons based on religion and belief” at the 16th session of UN Human Rights Council in March 2011 and the subsequent adoption, of a similar resolution, again by consensus of the international community at the 66th Session of the UN General Assembly and qualifying this as a major step forward which underscores the paramount importance of engendering and upholding respect for and embracement of cultural diversity. The Meeting requested the OIC group in New York and Geneva to address the implementation gaps of these important resolutions when the issue is considered next at the United Nations General Assembly and the Human Rights Council, including through the development of a legally binding international instrument to promote respect for all religions and cultural values and prevent intolerance, discrimination and the instigation of hatred against any group or followers of any religion.

57. The Meeting attached utmost importance to the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of expression, as stipulated in international human rights law instruments. It further recalled that international human rights law provides that the exercise of the right to freedom of expression carries with it special duties and responsibilities and therefore may be subject to certain restrictions provided by law and necessary for respect of the rights or reputations of others, and for the protection of national security or public order, or public health or morals. The Meeting further stressed the need to prevent the abuse of freedom of expression and freedom of press for insulting Islam and other divine religions.

58. The Meeting expressed its satisfaction with the timely actions undertaken by the Observatory at the General Secretariat and the Secretary-General personally in monitoring and countering Islamophobic incidents. It commended the Observatory for its Annual Report on Islamophobia. It requested the members States to bear their responsibilities in dealing with incidents monitored by the Observatory.

59. The Meeting called the international community, including the United Nations, the European Union, the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia, the Council of Europe, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Alliance of Civilizations and other relevant organizations to engage with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to elaborate common position to combat intolerance.

60. The Meeting welcomed the landmark establishment of the OIC Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) and highly commended the Governments of the Republic of Indonesia and the Republic of Turkey for the successful holding of the 1st and 2nd meetings of the OIC Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) in 2012, respectively in Jakarta in February, and in Ankara in August. The Meeting reiterated the need to implement the ministerial resolution 2/38-LEG adopted by Astana Conference which decided that the IPHRC should start its operation within the OIC General Secretariat. It encouraged Member States to urge their representatives at the IPHRC to participate actively in its meetings.

61. The Meeting strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations committed by whomsoever and wherever, and reaffirmed its commitment to strengthen mutual cooperation in the fight against terrorism through inter alia, evolving an appropriate definition of terrorism by consensus, mutual exchange of information, capacity building and by addressing the root causes of terrorism such as prolonged unresolved conflicts, continued suppression and marginalization of peoples and denial of the rights of peoples to their self-determination in situations of foreign occupation. The Meeting further condemned and rejected all attempts to associate Islam or any Islamic country, any race, religion, culture or nationality with terrorism.

62.The Meeting took note of the adoption of the United Nations Global Counter- Terrorism Strategy in 2006 and its three reviews in 2008, 2010 and 2012 and reaffirmed its status as a living document to be updated and called for the subsequent review mechanism of the strategy to take into account the root causes of terrorism and draw distinction between terrorism and the struggle for the right of self-determination by the people under foreign occupation and colonial or alien domination. The Meeting recognized that foreign occupation, state terrorism, political and economic injustice and denial of the right of self-determination to people are the main root causes of terrorism. The Meeting recognized that a time structured approach, envisaging short, medium, and long term objectives, to the implementation of the strategy could best accommodate the contentious issues related to the strategy. The Meeting called upon the Member States to sign and ratify the OIC Convention on Combating International Terrorism, if they have not already done so.

63. The Meeting reiterated that the struggle of peoples plying under the yoke of foreign occupation and colonialism, to exercise their right to self-determination and to achieve national freedom, does not in any way constitute an act of terrorism.

64. The Meeting considered that the financing of terrorism is a matter of grave concern to the international community and recognized that the payment of ransoms to terrorist groups constitutes one of the main sources of financing of terrorism. The Meeting urged the Member States to cooperate for banning the payment of ransoms claimed by terrorist groups.

65. The Meeting reiterated its support to the continued efforts made by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud in establishing the United Nations Counter Terrorism Centre. In addition, the Meeting welcomed the commencement of the activities of the Centre and commended the continuous efforts of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in strengthening global efforts in order to effectively eliminate all forms of terrorism.

66. The Meeting reaffirmed its continued support for the establishment of a Nuclear- Weapon-Free Zone in the Middle East. It called on Israel, as the only non-NPT party in the Middle East, to accede, unconditionally and without further delay, to the Treaty as a non-nuclear-weapon party, and to place all its nuclear facilities under comprehensive safeguards of the IAEA.

67. The Meeting noted the consensus adoption of a detailed plan of action on “the Middle East, particularly implementation of the 1995 Resolution on the Middle East” in the “Conclusions and Recommendations for Follow-on actions” of the 2010 NPT Review Conference. In this context, the Meeting urged the UN Secretary General and the cosponsors of the 1995 Resolution, in consultation with the States of the region, to commence immediately necessary preparations to convene a conference in 2012, to be attended by all States of the Middle East on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction. The Meeting expressed its full support to holding the Conference on Nuclear Weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction Free Zone in the Middle East before the end of 2012.

68. The Meeting reaffirmed the inalienable right of developing countries to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy, including the right to a full national nuclear fuel cycle, for peaceful purposes, without discrimination. It noted with concern that undue restrictions on exports to developing countries of material, equipment and technology, for peaceful purposes persist. The Meeting emphasized that the proliferation concerns are best addressed through multilaterally negotiated, universal, comprehensive and non-discriminatory agreements. It further underlined that Non-proliferation control arrangements should be transparent and open to participation by all States, and should ensure that they do not impose restrictions on access to material, equipment and technology for peaceful purposes required by developing countries for their continued development.

69. The Meeting condemned threat of a military strike, cyber attacks, and acts of sabotage against Iranian nuclear sites and assassination of a number of prominent Iranian nuclear scientists by the Israeli regime in an effort to disrupt Iran’s peaceful nuclear program.

70. The Meeting recognized that achievement of a nuclear-weapon-free world remains one of the fundamental objectives of the all International Community and reaffirmed its commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons. The Meeting supported the initiative of the Republic of Kazakhstan to adopt a Universal Declaration of a Nuclear-Free World, aiming at total elimination of nuclear weapons, as the absolute guarantee against the use or threat of use of such weapons.

71. The Meeting reiterated its belief that disarmament efforts should be promoted in an equitable and balanced manner so as to ensure the right of each State to security and to ensure that no individual State or group of States may obtain advantages over others at any stage. At each stage the objective should be undiminished security at the lowest possible level of armaments and military forces.

72. In this context, the Meeting called for an early convening of the Fourth Special Session of the UN General Assembly on Disarmament (SSOD-IV). The Meeting also emphasized the imperative of promoting multilateral diplomacy in resolving disarmament and non-proliferation concerns, and, in this context, underlined that treaty-based multilateral institutions established under the auspices of the United Nations are the sole legitimate bodies to verify and ensure compliance with relevant international agreements.

73. The Meeting subsequently took note of the various initiatives in the humanitarian field taken by the General Secretariat in affected OIC Member States, and reiterated its support to the OIC for its diverse humanitarian activities despite its very limited financial resources, and urged all Member States as well as their philanthropic and civil society humanitarian organisations to provide the General Secretariat with all necessary means and assistance so as to enable it to fulfil its duties towards the needy and vulnerable populations in the face of increasing humanitarian challenges.

74. The Meeting recalled all previous OIC resolutions to reiterate that any reform of the United Nations, including Security Council reform, should be carried out with transparency and all-inclusiveness, in accordance with the provisions of the UN Charter. The Meeting stressed that the UN Security Council reform must be comprehensive in all its aspects and be carried out through constructive negotiations, taking into account the views of the United Nations membership, including that of the OIC Member States. It reaffirmed its principle position that any reform of the Security Council must ensure adequate representation of the OIC Member States in any category of membership in an expanded Security Council and noted that OIC’s demand for adequate representation in the Security Council is in keeping with the significant demographic and political weight of the OIC Member States.

75. The Meeting reiterated that efforts at the restructuring of the Security Council shall not be subjected to any artificial deadlines, and that a decision on this issue should be made by consensus. It underlined the resolve of the Member States to continue contributing actively and constructively to the consideration of the UN reform, including through regular consultations among OIC Member States.

76. The Meeting lauded the contributions made by the UN Alliance of Civilizations initiative, of which Turkey is one of the co-sponsors, and called on all Member States who have not already done so to join the Alliance’s Group of Friends.

77. The Meeting reaffirmed the principled position of the OIC that where there are OIC Member States candidates for senior United Nations positions, or for membership of the main and other UN bodies, including the Security Council, ECOSOC, and the General Assembly subsidiary bodies, the OIC will support them; and urged the Member States to make the necessary arrangements towards agreeing on one candidate in the event of having multiple candidacies for the same post from the OIC Member States.

78. The Meeting welcomed the candidature of Turkey and Malaysia for non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council for the term 2015-2016.

79. The Meeting expressed support to the initiative of the Republic of Kazakhstan on the establishment of the OIC Food Security Office and invited Member States to actively participate in an expert meeting within the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation of the OIC (COMCEC) framework in October 2012 to finalize draft documents to be approved by the 39th session of OIC CFM in Djibouti.

80. The Meeting expressed its satisfaction on the initiatives taken by the Secretary General towards addressing the issues related to women, children and youths as provided for in the OIC Ten-Year Programme of Action. The Meeting laid importance on taking up appropriate projects by the Member States to empower these vulnerable groups by creating opportunities to quality education and access to health care, recreation, and strong family values based on the noble teachings of Islam.

81. In this regard the Meeting urged the Member States to expedite the process of ratification procedure on the Statute of the Organization of Women’s Development, based in Cairo.

82. The Meeting reiterated its support for the efforts towards enhancing regional cooperation and called for the implementation of the OIC Action Plan on Central Asia.

83. The Meeting reiterated its strong support to the candidacy of the Republic of Kazakhstan to host EXPO – 2017 during elections to be held in December 2012 at the meeting of the Bureau of International Exhibitions General Assembly in Paris, France.

84. The Meeting expressed its deep concern about the ongoing crisis situation in the world economy, the economic development slowdown, the slow and uneven progress in eradicating poverty, the increasing macroeconomic misbalance between developed and developing countries, and supported the initiative of the Kazakhstan’s side to hold the World Crisis Management Conference under the aegis of the United Nations within the VI Astana Economic Forum scheduled for 22-24 May 2013 in Astana (the Republic of Kazakhstan). The Meeting urged all stakeholders to take part in the conference. It is expected to ensure broad participation of all countries in developing a draft Crisis Management Action Plan to be submitted for consideration by the international community in 2013.

85. The Meeting welcomed the institutional cooperation of the OIC with other international and regional organizations including the United Nations. In this regard, the meeting welcomed the OIC-UN biennial meeting on cooperation held in Geneva on 1-3 May 2012.

86. The Meeting adopted the reports issued by:
The OIC Six Member Committee on Palestine (Annex-I)
The OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir (Annex-II)
The OIC Contact Group on Somalia (Annex – III)
The OIC Contact Group on Sierra Leone (Annex-IV)
The OIC Contact Group on Bosnia and Herzegovina (Annex-V)
The OIC Contact Group on Rohengya (Annex-VI)

 

 

 

 

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Declaration Annual Coordination Meeting of Minister of Foreign Affairs of OIC Member States

Posted by Human Rights in Islamic Countries on October 2, 2012


 

Declaration by the Annual Coordination Meeting of Minister of Foreign Affairs of OIC Member States to condemn the sacrilegious acts of release of defamatory video “Innocence of Muslims” and publication of offensive caricatures of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

United Nations Headquarters, New York, 28 September 2012 

We, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Heads of Delegation of the Member States of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation, participating at the Annual Coordination Meeting of the OIC Foreign Ministers, held in New York on 28 September 2012, declare the following:
We have noted with deep concern the continuing instances of intolerance, discrimination, profiling, negative stereotyping, stigmatization, religious hatred and violence against Muslims as well as denigration of their religion, Prophet (PBUH), Holy book and symbols occurring in many parts of the world, which contradict the international human rights norms as well as the principle of freedom of religions.

In this context, we deplore the recent despicable acts of the release of slanderous video “Innocence of Muslims” and publication of offensive caricatures of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), as well as other hate material under the pretext of freedom of expression. These Islamophobic acts stand in violation of the freedom of religion and belief, guaranteed by international Human Rights instruments, and have deeply offended more than a billion Muslims as well as all peoples of conscience around the world.

We welcome the statements by the Secretaries General of United Nations and OIC as well as by other world leaders denouncing those sacrilegious acts as bigotry, extreme intolerance and an affront to human dignity aimed at dividing peoples and societies.

We acknowledge the importance of freedom of expression, but at the same time stress the need to ensure that this freedom should be exercised by all with responsibility and in accordance with the relevant international human rights laws and instruments. We further condemn any advocacy of religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence, whether it involves the use of print, audio-visual or electronic media or any other means.

While recalling all relevant OIC resolutions on combating Islamophobia and Eliminating hatred and prejudice against Islam, defamation of religions and the landmark Human Rights Council resolution 16/18 on “Combating Intolerance, Negative Stereotyping and Stigmatization of, and Discrimination, Incitement to Violence and Violence Against, Persons Based on Religion or Belief”, we urge all Governments, in line with their obligations under international human rights law, to take all appropriate measures including necessary legislation against these acts that lead to incitement to hatred, discrimination and violence against persons based on their religion.

We also recognize that all civilizations share and possess basic human values and that cultural and religious diversity and the pursuit of socio-cultural development by all peoples and nations are a source of mutual enrichment for the socio-cultural life of humankind. We further acknowledge that the open public debate of ideas, as well as interfaith and intercultural dialogue at the local, national and international levels can be among the best protections against religious intolerance, and can play a positive role in combating religious hatred.

In this context we reiterate the importance of promoting dialogue, understanding and cooperation among religions, cultures and civilizations for peace and harmony in the world and welcome in this regard all international and regional initiatives and efforts.

We also welcome the efforts made by the media to promote interreligious and intercultural dialogue and encourages them further to disseminate to the grass roots the true image of religions and faiths focusing on their basic tenets of peace and tolerance as well as on the moderate and tolerant discourse of the mainstream;

We call for a global awareness about the dangerous implications of incitement to religious hatred, discrimination and violence on international peace and security and urge all Member States to exert renewed efforts towards developing an education system that includes basic human rights values such as tolerance for religious and cultural diversity that is fundamental to promoting tolerant, peaceful and harmonious multicultural societies;
We request the Secretary General to continue to monitor and take appropriate actions to prevent such acts of unfounded and willful incitement to hatred, discrimination and violence against persons based on their religions.

 

 

 

 

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Speech OIC SG Annual Coordination Meeting Of The CFM Of The OIC Member States

Posted by Human Rights in Islamic Countries on October 2, 2012


Speech Of His Excellency Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu Secretary General Of The Organisation Of Islamic Cooperation To The Annual Coordination Meeting Of The Council Of Foreign Ministers Of The OIC Member States

New York, 29/09/2012 | 

United Nations Headquarters, New York

Honourable Ministers,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my distinct pleasure to welcome you all as we are gathered at this “Annual Coordination Meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the OIC Member States”, on the sidelines of the 67th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

Our last regular Council of the OIC Foreign Ministers (CFM) meeting was held in Astana chaired by H E Foreign Minister Yerzhan Kazikhanov, under the auspices and able leadership of H.E. President Nursultan Nazarbayev. To the President, the government and people of Kazakhstan go our sincere gratitude and appreciation for the brilliant organization of the 38th session of CFM they so aptly managed.

Honourable Ministers,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Our meeting today provides an opportunity to examine and exchange views on the various issues inscribed on the agenda of the UN General Assembly that bear on our interests. As customary, our meeting also offers us a good occasion to explore the ways and means of enhancing the collective performance of the OIC group here.

But before I proceed any further, I would like to briefly inform you about some major events that took place in the last two months and carry some importance to our work.

First and foremost, I would like to convey our most sincere appreciation and gratitude to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Ben Abdelaziz for his lofty initiative to convene the Fourth Extraordinary Islamic Summit Conference held in Makkah Al Mukarramah, a few weeks ago. The Summit highlighted the concept of Islamic Solidarity, the importance of Joint Islamic Action, and the need to restoring unity and harmony in the Muslim world. It also sought to address the sources of differences and conflicts in the Muslim world, and called for dialogue among Islamic school of thought. The initiative of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques also contained the establishment of a Centre for dialogue among Islamic Mezhabs.

Mr. Chairman
I am happy to report to you that as we are in the General Secretariat engaged in daily contacts with our mission in New York, and through it, with the OIC Group, we can testify to the fact that the performance of our Group has proven to be efficient and potent. By closely surveying and keeping track of the voting pattern of our Member States on important issues that require a special attention within the framework of Islamic solidarity, we are today able to affirm that we have indeed managed to create a substantially strong voting power in the United Nations System to be reckoned with.

The various coordination meetings of the representatives of our Member States have been throughout the year instrumental in consolidating the cohesion of our Group. To be sure, for our Group to remain as strong, and hopefully stronger, as well as respected by the others, we also need to foster our unity and to constantly nurture our unison. Likewise, we have to be very careful and vigilant on how to use our strong position wisely in a way that will help us to scale up our benefits without alienating others.

Another indication of our newly acquired strength at the global level is what we have achieved at the UN Human Rights Council, when we convinced the Council to unanimously pass Resolution No. 16/18 which will help us defend Muslim rights and shield Islam and Muslims from discrimination on the basis of their religion.

One operative paragraph of this landmark resolution stipulates that [Quote “condemns any advocacy of religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence, whether it involves the use of print, audio-visual or electronic media or any other means” unquote. Eight relevant points which I proposed emphasizing the thrust of the above mentioned resolution which is Quote “adopting measures to criminalize incitement to imminent violence based on religion or belief” unquote -were also adopted by the UN Human Rights Council by consensus. We believe, this new instrument with its eight points will go a long way in legally protecting Muslims from attack or discrimination on the basis of religion or culture.

In order to ensure the implementation of this Resolution by our European and American partners, we launched another initiative. This initiative in the form of a high level meeting was co-chaired by the Secretary General of the OIC representing the Muslim world, and the U.S. Secretary of State representing America, and was attended by the High Representative of the EU Foreign Policy representing Europe. The meeting came to be known as “Istanbul Process”. A second meeting of this process was held at the U.S. State Department in Washington D.C. A third meeting is expected to be held in London to signify Europe’s involvement in the process.

The key objective of this process is to encourage the implementation of the 16/18 Resolution as well as to adopt necessary and required measures to ensure the respect of our religious beliefs, our sacred symbols, personalities and scriptures.

Honourable Ministers,
Nonetheless, if we look at the incidents that took place in the past weeks, we should feel alarmed that whatever our achievements are in this regard, they are being challenged by a very small group of misguided people on both sides. The Middle East and North Africa region has witnessed in the last few weeks a wave of violent agitation against U.S. diplomatic missions. The protestations were provoked by the production of a film about which the US administration at the highest level announced that it had nothing to do with it.

In the aftermath of the production of the said film, “Innocence of Muslims” that denigrates Islam and the Prophet Mohammad (Peace be upon Him) and the violent repercussions that followed causing numerous deaths, destruction of property, and culminating in the killing of the United States Ambassador in Libya, the question of Islamophobia and negative profiling of religion has come again strongly to the forefront and dominated the attention of Muslims, the world over.

I strongly condemned the tragic killing of the American officials and the attacks on the US diplomatic missions in Cairo because I do believe that expressing anger or outrage should by no means get to killing people or destroying property. We did not stop at issuing statements on the OIC level only. We went further and issued joint statement along with EU, Arab League and the African Union condemning strongly both instigators and perpetrators of violence and calling for calm and restraint.

If anything, these incidents demonstrate the serious consequences of abusing the principle of freedom of expression at one side and the abuse of right to demonstration on the other side. These recent incidents brought again to the fore the dire need for respecting religions and their symbols.

Many Muslim quarters called for the adoption of a United Nations resolution denouncing the stigmatization of religion. In order to respond to these calls and ensure the implementation of the 8 point plan under Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18 and General Assembly Resolution 66/167, the OIC General Secretariat feels the need to develop measures to ensure filling the gaps of implementation of these Resolutions by national authorities. What is urgently needed now is the mobilization of the collective resources of all Member States, equipped with a well-considered comprehensive strategy, capable of defeating this hate campaign.

Having said the above, let me tell you that the exercises we have been involved in since 2005 starting immediately after the cartoon crisis and the successes and failures we have at the diplomatic level, would not produce any substantive result until and unless we address the root causes of this problem which can be described in a single word as ‘ignorance’. In order to stop and break the vicious circle of hate mongering actions and violent uncalled for reactions we must relate our initiatives to the mass. I believe through only two ways we can address this ‘ignorance’ effectively i.e. by reaching out to the mass through firstly encouraging the mass Media to vigorously and diligently disseminate the true image of religion and beliefs focusing on their basic tenets of peace and tolerance and not on actions taken by some misguided people in the name of those religions or faiths. Secondly, we all should recognize that we all are the part of one single human race and possess same human values. Today’s world is the result of the accumulated experiences of successive civilizations. Thus we should exert our all-out efforts to develop an education system for our next generation promoting better understanding of these facts.

Honourable Ministers,
The establishment of the OIC Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) constitutes a most important development. The Commission was launched at its first formal session in Jakarta where it elected a lady as its first Chairperson. The Commission’s work would help mainstream the human rights dimension across the programs and activities of OIC. The Commission has met twice in Jakarta and Ankara this year and the Commissioners successfully met the first statutory stipulation of finalizing the rules of procedure in time for submission to the CFM in Djibouti for endorsement. We are actually working within an integrated approach aimed at enhancing cooperation among Member States in mainstreaming the Human Rights perspective in the activities of the Organization.

Honourbale Ministers,
Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Palestine’s acceptance as a full-fledged member of UNESCO is an international recognition of the Palestinian cultural identity and it was possible because of joint cooperation among the OIC Group, regional groups and friendly States. I thank all for their cooperation.

Israel, recently, has escalated its illegal practices aimed at isolating the holy city of Al-Quds and altering its cultural and demographic character. In the face of this Israeli illegal practices, which targets the past, present and future of the holy city of Al-Quds, I would like to reiterate the appeal that I have launched at the conference ‘In Defense of Al-Quds’ held last February in Doha for an immediate and responsible action and to implement the strategic plan to develop the vital sectors in the city of Al-Quds. The blockade imposed by Israel on the Gaza Strip is illegal as well as a collective punishment of a civilian population, with serious humanitarian repercussions. It is our duty to work seriously toward lifting this unjust blockade, ending the suffering of the Palestinian people and facilitating the reconstruction of the Gaza strip.

Over the past three decades, the Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim citizens have been subjected to gross violation of human rights, killing, and forced displacements by Myanmar security forces. Renewed violence against Rohingya Muslims on June 3, 2012 caused great alarm and concern to the OIC.

The United Nations declared that the Rohingya people are an ethnic religious and linguistic minority from Western Burma, and that the practices of Myanmar government vis-à-vis the Rohingya population violate international norms by stripping Rohingyas unjustly of their rights to a citizenship. In defence to the Muslim Minority in Rohingya we have managed to put pressure to bear on the government of Myanmar to restore the dignity and rights of the Muslim population of Rohingya, through many sources among which is the UN Human Rights Council at the United Nations.

We have also dispatched an OIC fact finding mission to Myanmar that succeeded in convincing Myanmar government to open an OIC humanitarian office in Rangoon. They have also invited me to visit Myanmar. I would like to add that I wish to visit as soon as the position of the government of Myanmar and their willingness to remedy the fundamental rights issues of the Rohingya Muslims are made clear through accepting signing a joint statement or communiqué to be issued in conjunction with my visit.

Honourable Ministers,
Distinguished Delegates
In a nutshell, I can say that our positions on different issues in the world affairs have a direct bearing on the Muslim world and have enlisted greater respect by the world’s community. Today, our proactive actions have brought us to the position of a global actor with constructive approach to cooperation with other international actors.

On the other hand, the OIC with its forward looking vision for the twenty first century enshrined in its Ten Year Program of Action and the Charter has established itself as a trusted agent of moderation and modernization in the Muslim World.

The onus is now on all of us to continue to enhance these two roles of our Organization for an enlightened future of our own people.

I thank you.

 

 

 

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Ihsanoglu stresses on measures for implementing resolutions against stigmatizing religions

Posted by Human Rights in Islamic Countries on October 2, 2012


Ihsanoglu stresses on measures for implementing resolutions against stigmatizing religions Recent incidents demonstrate consequences of abusing freedom of expression and right to protest

New York, 28/09/2012 |  The Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) said that achievements made in regards to religious tolerance are being challenged by a very small group of misguided people on both sides. In his speech to the OIC Annual Coordination Meeting of the Foreign Ministers, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu stressed on the need to develop measures to ensure the implementation of the resolutions on combating religious intolerance by national authorities, particularly in the areas of media and education.

The Secretary General pointed out to the operative paragraph in Resolution 16/18 adopted unanimously by the UN Human Rights Council in 2011 stipulates that, “condemns any advocacy of religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence, whether it involves the use of print, audio-visual or electronic media or any other means.”

“What is urgently needed now is the mobilization of the collective resources of all member states, equipped with a well-considered comprehensive strategy, capable of defeating this hate campaign,” said Ihsanoglu to the meeting, which was held on the sidelines of the 67th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Friday, 28 September 2012.

While strongly condemning the tragic killing of the American officials in Benghazi and the attacks on the US diplomatic missions in Cairo, Ihsanoglu said that expressing anger or outrage should be no means get to killing people or destroying property.

“These incidents demonstrate the serious consequences of abusing the principle of freedom of expression at one side and the abuse of right to demonstration on the other side. These recent incidents brought again to the fore the dire need for respecting religions and their symbols.”
The Secretary General proposed addressing the root causes of this problem, which is “ignorance”.
In order to stop and break the vicious circle of hate mongering actions and violent uncalled for reactions, “we must relate our initiatives to the mass,” stressed Ihsanoglu.

He said that only two ways to address this ‘ignorance’ effectively, media and education. By reaching out to the mass through firstly encouraging the mass media to vigorously and diligently disseminate the true image of religion and beliefs focusing on their basic tenets of peace and tolerance and not on actions taken by some misguided people in the name of those religions or faiths. Secondly, efforts should be exerted to develop an education system for the next generation promoting better understanding of civilizations and common human values.

Source: OIC Secretariat

 

 

 

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