Ihsanoglu traveling to London for a high-level meeting on combating religious intolerance
Posted by Human Rights in Islamic Countries on January 23, 2013
22/01/2013 | Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, is traveling today, Monday, 21 January 2013, to London, UK for a high-level meeting to develop a common understanding and way forward for combating intolerance and discrimination on religious basis. The Secretary General was invited by Baroness Saiyda Warsi, Senior Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, to join a core group of influential government ministers and policy makers. Representatives from several countries including the UK, USA, Canada, Italy, Germany, Egypt, Pakistan and Turkey are expected to participate.
The focus of the meeting will be on retaining and furthering international consensus reflected in the approach signified by Human Rights Council resolution 16/18 towards combating intolerance, discrimination and incitement to violence and violence based on religious grounds. Resolution 16/18 was an OIC initiative that was adopted by consensus at the 16th Session of the HRC in Geneva in 2011 based on the eight points presented by the Secretary General. Ihsanoglu also launched the Istanbul Process in July 2011 with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the participation of Lady Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, to implement resolution 16/18.
The London meeting comes after the 67th Session of the UN General Assembly last month, which adopted the resolution on combating religious intolerance for the second year in a row, and before the 22nd session of the HRC in February. The London meeting is the third in a series of meetings after Istanbul, the second was held in Washington DC. in December 2011. The OIC is expected to announce hosting the fourth meeting during the first half of this year.