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Ihsanoglu Tasks Myanmar’s Government On Responsibility To Eradicate Discrimination Against Muslims

Posted by Human Rights in Islamic Countries on July 9, 2013


07/07/2013 |  The Secretary General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, tasked the Government of Myanmar to assume its responsibility to eradicate all forms of discrimination against Muslims and not allow Buddhist extremists to incite against any section of the community. He noted that this discrimination includes the 2005 law which imposes on all Rohingya Muslim families the policy limiting them to only two children in Buthidaung and Maundaw cities in Arakan State. He described this law a violation of all human rights standards. 

In his speech to the Arakan Rohingya Union Congress held at the OIC General Secretariat in Jeddah from 7 – 8 July 2013 and read on his behalf by the Director of Muslim Minorities in the OIC, Talal Daous, the Secretary General stated that the violence targeted at Rohingya Muslims last June led to killings and destruction of properties and created thousands of refugees and displaced persons. He asserted that this type of violence should not continue and that it is the responsibility of the authorities to address the root causes of the issue and protect peoples’ lives and properties in Myanmar. 

Ihsanoglu explained that the OIC continues to support and participate in all national, regional and international efforts and initiatives geared towards finding peaceful and lasting solution to the problems in Myanmar. It also supports the return of refugees and the restoration of the rights and privileges they have been denied by the authorities. In this regard, the Secretary General expressed its gratitude to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Ibn Abdulaziz who supported the Rohingya minorities, gave them a generous welcome and granted them the opportunity to live and work in Saudi Arabia. This year has already been marked by an important event of official issuance of residence permits to Rohingya refugees. 

Ihsanoglu remarked that today’s meeting is the second for the Union since it was inaugurated at the OIC General Secretariat on 30 May 2011. The Arakan Rohingya Union was established on the basis agreed upon principles o achieve peaceful coexistence, democracy and human rights. OIC Member States has supported the establishment of the Union in Resolution No. 4/38-MM adopted by the 38th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers held in Astana. 

The Secretary General stated that the Arakan Rohingya Union had in the last two years made tremendous progress considering the various challenges it faces and the dearth of resources. He stressed that the Arakan Rohingya Union plays its role as the legitimate representative of the Rohingya people across the world, defends their cause and improves their conditions in Myanmar, and helps to find a lasting solution to their suffering.

Source: OIC
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OIC conference on Rohingyas in Jeddah next week

Posted by Human Rights in Islamic Countries on July 5, 2013


Arab News, Friday 5 July 2013 | The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) will hold on July 7 and 8 the Arakan Rohingya Union Conference at its headquarters in Jeddah.

The charter of the Arakan Rohingya Union (ARU) will be submitted to the members for discussion in preparation for its adoption.

The agenda of the conference will also include introduction of the current and new members of the union, which was established by the OIC in May 2011 to unite the Rohingya refugees around the world.

Waqarudin, director general of the first session of the union, will present his report on ARU’s achievements. The conference will look into the strategy and action plan of the union in the next session, in addition to electing officials and the formation of the Supreme Council, the committees and advisory board.

In a letter sent through his special envoy, OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu told Myanmar President Thein Sein that the organization, on behalf of the 57 heads of the member states, is ready to assist in reaching a long-term solution to problems of Muslims in Myanmar.

Special envoy Talal Daous, director of minorities department at the OIC, accompanied by Hassan Abdin, delivered the letter last week.

In the letter, the secretary-general said the OIC is ready to assist in any way to reach a long-term solution for the existing and emerging problems of all Muslims in Myanmar, who deserve nothing less than the basic rights accorded to any citizen of Myanmar, including access to urgent humanitarian assistance.

The special envoy delivered the letter to Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin and during the meeting discussions focused on the importance of the secretary-general’s visit to Myanmar and the Contact Group on Myanmar.

“We believe that a long-term solution to the problems of the Rohingya Muslims can only be found through the restoration of their legal status and the recognition of their birth right, including citizenship,” said Ihsanoglu.

He said the targeting of Muslims in central Myanmar during the last week of March and last week of April has been a particularly worrying development for the reason that unlike the Rohingya Muslims, the recent events involved Muslims who are integrated in the Myanmarese society with full citizenship rights in areas outside the Rakhine region.

“We are concerned that what was once considered as a case of inter-communal violence confined to one part of Myanmar now has the danger of spreading throughout the country,” Ihsanoglu said.

The OIC chief said that with the cooperation of the authorities in Myanmar, OIC member states would be willing to establish a collaborative mechanism with Myanmar to provide economic and humanitarian assistance to all those in need, confidence building between communities, interfaith dialogue and technical expertise to assist Myanmar in its democratic transition and integration into the international community.

Source: Arab News

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Rules of Procedure of the IPHRC

Posted by Human Rights in Islamic Countries on June 27, 2013


Rules of Procedure of the

Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (IPHRC)

OIC/IPHRC/ROP/FINAL

Rule 1 – Definitions

1)    The present Rules shall be titled: “Rules of Procedure of the Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission of the OIC” and shall aim at setting procedures for holding sessions of the Commission and for the exercise of its functions.

2)    The present Rules shall also be applicable to any working group or other mechanisms that may be set up by the Commission.

3)    In the present Rules, the following terms and expressions shall have the meanings assigned to them hereunder:

OIC                                        The Organization of Islamic Cooperation

Summit                              The Islamic Summit of Kings and Heads of State and Government

Council                               The Council of Foreign Ministers of the OIC

Charter                               The Charter of the OIC

Secretary General       The Secretary General of the OIC

General Secretariat    The General Secretariat of the OIC

Commission                  The Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission of the OIC

Secretariat                      The Secretariat of the Commission

Director                           The Administrative Director of the Commission

Chairperson                  The elected Chairperson of the Commission

Bureau                             The Bureau of the Commission composed of the Chairperson and two Vice-chairpersons one of whom serves as Rapporteur

Meeting(s)                     A meeting of the Commission (as a whole or part of the membership) including regular, extra-ordinary and emergency sessions or any of the mechanisms that may be established.

Commissioner(s)      The elected member(s) of the Commission

Statute                              The Statute of the Commission

Member States            The Member States of the OIC.

PART ONE: ORGANIZATION AND FUNCTIONING OF THE COMMISSION

SECTION I: NATURE AND OBJECTIVES

Rule 2 – Nature and objectives

  1. Commission shall be the principal organ of the OIC in the domain of human rights and shall exercise its functions in supporting Member States in the promotion and protection of human rights for all in an independent manner in accordance with the provisions of Charter, Statute and Council Resolution No. 2/38-LEG.
  2. Commission shall advance human rights and fundamental freedoms in Member States as well as the fundamental rights of Muslim minorities and communities in non- member States in conformity with the universally recognized human rights norms and standards and with the added value of Islamic principles of justice and equality.

SECTION II: MEMBERSHIP

 

Rule 3 – Composition

  1. Commission shall consist of eighteen (18) Commissioners elected by the Council in accordance with Chapter II of Statute.
  2. Two experts of the same nationality cannot be elected simultaneously as Commissioners.
  3. Member States shall ensure that the candidates with the highest degree of independence, impartiality, integrity and expertise are elected.

 

Rule 4 – Term of office

  1. Commissioners shall be elected for a term of three (3) years and may be reelected only once.
  2. The term of office shall commence on the date of the first regular session following the end of term of the outgoing Commissioners.
  3. In the event that new Commissioners have not been elected to replace those completing their term of office, the existing Commissioners shall continue to serve until new Commissioners are elected.

Rule 5 – Termination of office

  1. In the event of a unanimous agreement among all other Commissioners that a Commissioner is no longer apt to fulfill his/her functions for health or any other valid reason, Chairperson shall declare the post vacant and inform the Secretary General who shall take necessary administrative action.
  2. If a Commissioner is absent for three consecutive regular sessions without justifiable reason, the Commission shall declare the post vacant and inform the Secretary General who shall take necessary administrative action.
  3. In the event of death or resignation of a Commissioner, Chairperson shall inform Commission and the Secretary General who shall take necessary administrative action.
  4. When a post is declared vacant, the Member State of which the deceased or retiring Commissioner is national shall nominate another expert for the remaining period of his/her term of office, in accordance with Chapter II of Statute and the present rules of procedure.

Rule 6 – Independent status of Commissioners

  1. Commissioners shall act in their personal capacity and shall express their own convictions and views.
  2. In exercising their function, commissioners shall at all times uphold utmost professionalism, truthfulness, independence, impartiality and integrity whilst enhancing their moral authority and credibility, free from any kind of extraneous influence.
  3. Commissioners shall not receive instructions from any state, including their own, or any other third party.

Rule 7 – Solemn declaration

  1. Before assuming their duties, newly elected Commissioner(s) shall make the following declaration: “I solemnly declare that I shall faithfully discharge my duties with professionalism, truthfulness, independence, impartiality and integrity, free from any kind of extraneous influence, so help me God.”
  2. Chairperson shall conduct the ceremony.

SECTION III: BUREAU

 

Rule 8 – Election

  1. Commission shall elect Bureau from amongst Commissioners.
  2. Bureau shall consist of three Commissioners, each from one of the three constituent geographical groups. Election of the officers shall take place by seat,  starting with Chairperson and followed by the Vice-Chairpersons one of whom shall act as a rapporteur.
  3. In the absence of consensus, elections shall be held by secret ballot. Commissioner(s) obtaining a two-third (2/3) majority of those present and voting shall be elected. If, in the second (2nd) round, no candidate obtains the required majority, a third (3rd) round shall be organized between the two candidates who obtained the highest number of votes, and the Commissioner who obtains simple majority shall be elected. In the event of equal votes, the most senior Commissioner in terms of age shall be elected.
  4. Members of Bureau shall be elected for a term of office of three years. Offices of Bureau shall rotate on a yearly basis among its members.

Rule 9 – Renunciation by a member of Bureau

If a Commissioner declares his inability to continue in his/her duties as member of Bureau, Commission shall elect from the same geographical group another Commissioner for the remaining period of his/her term of office.

Rule 10 – Functions of Bureau

  1. Bureau shall be directly responsible to Commission and shall deal with procedural, organizational and representational matters, including in relation with Council.
  2. Chairperson, in consultation with Bureau as appropriate, shall carry out the functions that may be assigned to him/her by Commission as well as those assigned by the present rules of procedure; including:

a-    presiding over the sessions of Commission;

b-    acting as the spokesperson of Commission;

c-    supervising Secretariat; and

d-    performing functions, as may be required on behalf of the Commission, during the inter- sessional period.

  1. In the absence of Chairperson, he/she shall be replaced by a Vice-Chairperson.

 

SECTION IV: SECRETARIAT

 

Rule 11 – Structure

Commission shall be assisted by a Secretariat headed by a Director appointed in accordance with Statute. Secretariat shall provide Commission with such staff members, material means and services as may be necessary for the exercise of its functions.

Rule 12 – Functions

  1. In addition to the functions specified elsewhere in the present rules of procedure, Secretariat shall prepare all necessary documentation, including draft agendas, programs of work and reports of Commission’s sessions.
  2. Secretariat shall receive and transmit to Commission any correspondence or communication addressed to it. Secretariat may also request of any interested party information or documents, it considers relevant, for consideration by Commission.

Rule 13 – Functions of Director

  1. Director shall direct, plan and coordinate the tasks of Secretariat and coordinate the operational, technical and budgetary aspects of all functions related to Commission.
  2. Director shall assist Commission and its members in carrying out their functions and duties.
  3. Director shall be responsible for making all appropriate arrangements for the smooth running of Meetings.
  4. Director, or his/her representative, shall attend Meetings without participating in deliberations or in the vote. Director may, however, be invited by Chairperson as appropriate, to make written or oral statements at Meetings pertaining to the work of Commission.
  5. Director shall implement any other task entrusted to him/her by Commission or Chairperson.

 

SECTION V: SESSIONS

 

Rule 14 – Duration of sessions

In order to carry out its functions, Commission shall hold two (2) regular sessions a year, each for a duration of five (5) to ten (10) days. Extraordinary and emergency sessions may be convened for a duration not exceeding five (5) days.

 

Rule 15 – Venue of sessions

Commission shall convene bi-annually at its Secretariat, in regular sessions. It may also hold sessions, at another venue, at the request of any Member State or of the Secretary General with the approval of the Member States’ simple majority.

Rule 16 – Date of sessions

  1. Secretariat, in consultation with Bureau, shall endeavour to ensure predictability with regard to the dates for holding the two annual sessions of Commission to enable it to set the dates for the following session at the end of each session.
  2. Director shall inform Commissioners of the date and venue of Meetings. A formal notification shall be sent, in case of a regular or an extraordinary session,  at least forty (40) days before the session. In case of an emergency session, the notification should be sent at least five (5) days before the session.

Rule 17 – Extraordinary sessions

  1. The request to hold an extraordinary session of Commission emanates from the Secretary General or a Member State and requires the approval of Member States’ simple majority according to Article 18 of Statute.
  2. General Secretariat shall circulate the request to Member States who shall respond at the earliest, pursuant to Article 18 of Statute. An absence of response shall be deemed as consent.
  3. Commission shall accordingly meet at an appropriate date to be agreed between the Secretary General and the host State.

 

Rule 18 – Emergency Sessions

An emergency session of Commission may be convened by Chairperson, in consultation with Bureau, to address situations calling for immediate attention by Commission.

 

Rule 19 – Quorum

Two-thirds (2/3) of Commissioners provided there are at least (3) from each region, shall constitute the quorum for regular, extra-ordinary and emergency sessions of Commission.

Rule 20 –Public and private meetings

  1. Meetings shall, in principle, be public unless Commission decides otherwise.
  2. At the beginning of public Meetings, Commission shall announce the conclusions and decisions adopted during preceding private Meetings, if any.

SECTION VI: PROVISIONAL AGENDA

 

Rule 21 – Provisional agenda of regular sessions

  1. Director shall draw up the provisional agenda of each session in consultation and with the consent of Chairperson, in accordance with the provisions of Statute and the present rules of procedure.
  2. The provisional agenda may include items proposed, inter alia, by a Member State, an inter-governmental organization or NGO enjoying consultative status and national human rights institution of a Member State.
  3. Proposals under paragraph 2 shall be communicated to Director at least sixty (60) days before the start of the session. Observations of Director shall be taken into account while including proposals made pursuant to this Rule in the draft agenda.
  4. Items proposed under paragraph 2 should be accompanied by all related documentation and with an explanatory note, and should reach Secretariat at least forty five (45) days before the session of Commission.

 

Rule 22 – Provisional agenda of extra- ordinary and emergency sessions

The provisional agenda of the extraordinary and emergency sessions may only include the items for which the session is convened.

 

Rule 23 – Transmission and distribution

  1. The provisional agenda and its related documents shall be transmitted by Director to Commissioners at least thirty (30) days prior to regular and extraordinary sessions.
  2. Director may, in consultation with Chairperson and at least fifteen (15) days prior to regular and extraordinary sessions, distribute all the documents related to the items on the agenda of the session to General Secretariat, subsidiary organs, affiliated and specialized institutions, Member States, national human rights commissions, inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations enjoying the OIC consultative status and Muslim communities and minorities throughout the world.

Rule 24 – Adoption of the agenda

  1. Commission shall adopt its agenda at the beginning of Meetings.
  2. At the end of each session, items to be included on the provisional agenda of the following session may be proposed. In the absence of consensus, the adoption of the proposed item shall require simple majority of Commissioners present and voting.

SECTION VII: CONDUCT OF BUSINESS

 

Rule 25 – Duties and powers of Chairperson

In addition to other powers conferred upon him/her by the present rules of procedure, and in conformity with these rules, Chairperson, in conducting Commission’s proceedings, shall have the following duties and powers:

a-    To declare open and close the Meetings;

b-    To direct the proceedings with a view to ensuring the efficient conduct of business. Chairperson may grant and withdraw the floor; limit the time accorded to each speaker; redirect the course of discussion in case of deviation from the matter under discussion; and, subject to Rule 26, close the list of speakers;

c-    To call for vote on any matter under discussion and announce the outcome of such vote;

d-    To rule on points of order

e-    To declare the adjournment and the closure of debates as well as the adjournment and suspension of meetings.

Rule 26 – List of speakers and limit of time

  1. Chairperson shall grant the use of the floor to the speakers in the order in which it has been requested.
  2. Chairperson may limit the time accorded to speakers and the number of their interventions.
  3. Chairperson may, during a debate, read out the list of speakers and with the approval of Commission, declare the list closed. Where there are no more speakers, Chairperson shall declare the debate on the matter under discussion closed.

 

Rule 27 – Points of order

  1. During the debate a Commissioner may, at any time, raise a point of order on which Chairperson shall decide immediately. If a Commissioner objects, the decision shall immediately be put to the vote to be maintained or overruled by a simple majority.
  2. When raising a point of order, a Commissioner shall not debate the substance of the matter under discussion.

 

Rule 28 – Motion for the adjournment or closure of debates

A Commissioner may, at any time, move for the adjournment or closure of the debate. In the absence of a consensus, the motion shall be put to vote.

Rule 29 – Motion for the suspension or adjournment of meetings

During the discussion of any matter, a Commissioner may move for the suspension or adjournment of the meeting. In the absence of a consensus, the motion shall be put to vote.

Rule 30 – Motion on competence

Any motion tabled on the competence of Commission shall immediately be put to vote.

 

Rule 31 – Reconsideration of proposals

When a proposal is adopted or rejected, it shall not be reconsidered at the same session except by a unanimous decision.

 

SECTION VIII: ELECTIONS, VOTING AND DECISION MAKING

 

Rule 32 – Right to vote

The right to vote shall only be exercised by Commissioners. Each Commissioner shall have a single vote. In the event of a tie vote, Chairperson shall have the casting vote.

 

Rule 33 – Request for vote

A proposal or a motion submitted to Commission shall be put to vote if so requested by more than one Commissioner.

Rule 34 – Required majority

  1. Commission adopts its recommendations and decisions by consensus. In the absence of consensus, the decision may be adopted by a two-third (2/3) majority of Commissioners present and voting on substantive matters, and a simple majority on matters of procedure.
  2. In any case, a minimum of ten (10) affirmative votes shall be required for decision on non procedural matters.

 

Rule 35 – Method of voting

  1. Commission shall vote by show of hands. At the request of any Commissioner it can resort to roll-call vote, in which case the vote of each Commissioner shall be recorded in the minutes. Each Commissioner would be entitled to a brief explanation of his/her vote.
  2. Commission may decide to hold a secret ballot.

 

Rule 36 – Elections

In the case of multiple candidatures, elections shall be held by secret ballot.

Rule 37 – Decision making during inter-sessional periods

Commission may take decisions, as appropriate, during the inter-sessional period through electronic communication.

 

SECTION IX: MINUTES AND REPORTS

 

Rule 38 – Session report

  1. Secretariat shall record and preserve the proceedings of Commission Meetings.
  2. Secretariat shall prepare a draft session report and circulate it to Commissioners who shall have a fifteen (15) day deadline to introduce any factual rectifications. The final decision in this regard shall rest with Bureau.

 

Rule 39 – Reporting

Commission may periodically submit to the Council reports which may include, inter alia, the following:

a)    The status of implementation of its mandate and tasks assigned by the Council.

b)    Information and recommendations, as applicable, on the Member States’ status of ratification and implementation of OIC covenants and declarations and International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law treaties.

c)    Activities in support of Member States’ efforts in terms of policies aimed at enhancing legislation and policies in favour of the advancement and consolidation of human rights

d)    Activities in support of OIC position on human rights at the international level and consolidating cooperation among Member States in the field of human rights.

e)    The progress of provision of technical cooperation in the field of human rights and awareness–raising about human rights in Member States.

f)     Activities in support of the role of Member State-accredited national institutions and civil society organizations active in the field of human rights.

g)    Coordination of efforts and information exchange with Member States’ working groups on human rights issues in international fora.

h)   A mandated thematic analysis of the status of promotion and protection of human rights in Member States to be conducted, inter alia, on the basis of:

  1. observations and conclusions based on studies and research carried out by Commission or following visits to Member States upon request;
  2. reports submitted by Member States to the UN human rights treaty bodies;
  3. reports presented to other regional mechanisms of which Member State(s) are equally members;
  4. reports of Member State-accredited national human rights institutions and civil society organizations active in the area of human rights.

i)     Visits and contacts undertaken during the reporting period.

j)      Recommendations submitted to Council as stipulated in Rule 43.

k)    Other activities that may be undertaken during the reporting period.

 

Rule 40 – Recommendations to the Council

  1. Commission shall include in its reports to Council recommendations on measures necessary for the promotion of respect for human rights in Member States with a view to facilitating the implementation of the tasks of Commission conferred by the Summit or the Council and drawing their attention to any issue of relevance or urgency.
  2. Recommendations submitted to the Council must draw on good practices in the field of human rights.
  3. Recommendations may be on any matter pertaining to its mandates and objectives.
  4. Recommendations should, as appropriate, be accompanied by description of means of implementation, as well as the relevant technical assistance that could benefit Member States in implementing the said recommendations.

 

SECTION X: WORKING GROUPS AND CONSULTANTS

 

Rule 41 – Setting up of working groups

Commission may, as necessary, set up working groups and other relevant internal mechanisms to facilitate the performance of its functions.

Rule 42 – Consultants

Commission may, as appropriate, recruit the services of consultants to avail of specific studies or provide relevant material and documentation in areas related to its mandate.

Rule 43 – Roster of experts

Secretariat shall keep a list of renowned individuals to benefit from their experience and expertise in the different fields relevant to Commission’s functions.

 

SECTION XI: PARTICIPATION IN COMMISSION’S PROCEEDINGS

 

Rule 44 – Participation in Commission’s proceedings

  1. Representatives of Member States and OIC Observers may participate in public Meetings, as observers, and may make proposals without voting rights.
  2. After approval of the host country, Commission may invite OIC subsidiary organs and specialized and affiliated institutions, relevant OIC accredited governmental and non-governmental organizations, international organizations, and national human rights institutions, to participate in its sessions as guests.

 

Rule 45 – Participation of other individuals and organizations Commission may invite an individual, organization or other relevant entities whose aims and purposes are in conformity with the spirit, objectives and principles of Charter to facilitate exchange of views on any specific issue under consideration.

 

Rule 46 – Consultation

Commission may consult an individual, organization or other relevant entities whose aims and purposes are in conformity with the spirit, objectives and principles of Charter on issues pertaining to human rights within its mandates.

 

SECTION XII: LANGUAGES

 

Rule 47 – Languages

  1. The official languages of Commission shall be Arabic, English and French.
  2. All documents of Commission as well as all speeches delivered in any of the working languages shall be translated and interpreted into the other two.
  3. Any person submitting a document or making an address at Commission in a language other than the official languages must provide their translation/interpretation in one of the official working languages.

SECTION XIII: ADMINISTRATIVE AND FINANCIAL PROVISIONS

 

Rule 48 – Preparation of the budget

Secretariat, in consultation with Commission, shall prepare the draft budget of Commission concurrently with the schedule of the budget preparation of General Secretariat.

 

Rule 49 – Budget submission

Secretariat shall submit the draft budget of Commission to the OIC Permanent Finance Committee at least sixty (60) days before the date of its meeting for consideration, opinion and recommendation to the Council for its approval.

 

Rule 50 – Estimates

During Meetings, any proposal by a Commissioner entailing financial implication shall prompt Secretariat to prepare the budget estimate related to the said proposal and submit it, as soon as possible, to Commission. Chairperson shall draw the attention of Commission to those implications before it takes action on the proposal.

 

Rule 51 – Voluntary funding

  1. Commission may periodically re-assess its financial requirements, and reallocate funds based on changing priorities with notification to Secretariat. Commission may also accept voluntary contributions from Member States or from external sources provided donations are accepted only from appropriate donors whose aims and purposes are in conformity with the spirit, objectives and principles of Charter and without prejudice to the independence of Commission’s work and activities.
  2. Commission’s report to Council on financial matters shall detail sources and expenditure with regard to voluntary contributions.

 

Rule 52 – Financial responsibility

  1. The budget of Commission is used to cover all expenses related to Commission’s normal operations and activities, including expenses entailed for its Secretariat staff.
  2. The overall expenses of Commission’s regular annual sessions shall be borne by the host Member State.

 

Rule 53 – Allowances

Commissioners travelling on official missions for Commission, including participation in Meetings shall be granted a travel allowance equivalent to 140% of the rates paid to Assistant Secretaries-General in accordance with the OIC Financial and Personnel Regulations.

 

Rule 54 – Administrative and financial rules

Without prejudice to the provisions of Rule 53, the relevant provisions of the OIC Financial and Personnel Regulations shall govern Commission.

 

PART TWO: FUNCTIONS OF COMMISSION

 

SECTION XIV: PROMOTIONAL ACTIVITIES

 

Rule 55 – Promotional activities

  1. Commission shall pursue activities and devise programs in cooperation with Member States geared towards promotion and protection of human rights.
  2. Commission may organize workshops, trainings or seminars on priority human rights issues, in conformity with its mandate and objectives. Commission may also provide publications for posting on its website. It may also undertake awareness campaigns in favor of the objectives outlined in chapter III of Statute.

 

SECTION XV: PREPARATION OF STUDIES

 

Rule 56 – Preparation of studies

  1. Commission shall prepare studies and research on priority human rights issues,  including those referred to it by the Council.
  2. Studies and research initiated by Commission may, inter alia, include studies on international human rights norms and standards aiming at promoting intercivilizational dialogue and understanding.
  3. Studies may also aim at promoting the implementation of international norms and standards in relation to the rights of Muslim minorities and communities.
  4. Commission may prepare research, studies, texts elaborating definitions, explanations, etc. on certain Islamic notions and values, with a view to assisting the OIC representation at international fora

 

SECTION XVI: TECHNICAL COOPERATION AND CAPACITY BUILDING

 

Rule 57 – Technical cooperation and capacity building

Commission may extend technical assistance for capacity building in Member States.  Such projects may be conducted in cooperation with OIC subsidiary organs and specialized and affiliated institutions, international agencies, Member States’ governmental organizations and accredited National Human Rights Institutions and civil society organization active in the area of human rights.

 

Rule 58 – Roster of excellence, research and training centers

In order to facilitate Commission’s task in the field of technical cooperation and capacity building, Secretariat shall establish, besides the list of experts provided for under Rule 43, a list of centers of excellence, research and training, active in the field of human rights.

 

Rule 59 – Updates on main human rights initiatives

Secretariat may assist Commission in keeping it informed of the principal initiatives undertaken and results achieved in the field of promotion and protection of human rights by Member State-accredited National Human Rights Institutions and civil society organizations active in the area of human rights. The same information shall also be made available to Member States.

 

SECTION XVII: SUPPORTING OIC POSITION IN INTERNATIONAL FORA

 

Rule 60 – Comments on Human Rights Agenda in international fora

  1. Commission may provide comments on items included on the OIC agenda and the agenda of the relevant UN bodies and other international fora on issues of interest to Member States.
  2. Commission may also prepare analyses and formulations as contribution to the content of draft resolutions sponsored by the OIC Groups.

 

Rule 61 – Designating focal points and special representatives

Commission may designate focal points and special representatives to address specific issues on the OIC agenda and/or the UN human rights agenda.

 

SECTION XVIII: GOOD PRACTICES

 

Rule 62 – Compendium of good practices

  1. Commission shall establish a compendium of good practices in the political and juridical fields aimed at the promotion of the rights of women, children and people with special needs as well as in matters relating to all forms of discrimination and violence.
  2. Secretariat may periodically solicit information on legislation, institutions and policies of Member States in the above-mentioned fields, so as to constantly update the compendium of best practices.

 

SECTION XIX: COOPERATION WITH OTHER HUMAN RIGHTS MECHANISMS

 

Rule 63 – Cooperation with international and regional human rights mechanisms

  1. Commission may maintain regular interaction with competent bodies within the UN system as well as with regional human rights mechanisms within its mandates.
  2. Commission may take necessary measures to follow and participate in discussions and meetings on key human rights issues at the international and regional levels.

 

SECTION XX: NEEDS ASSESSMENT MISSIONS

 

Rule 64 – Needs assessment missions

Commission may, with the consent of the concerned State, undertake needs assessment missions for matters under consideration.

 

SECTION XXI: ELECTION OBSERVANCE

 

Rule 65 – Election observance

Commission may, with the consent of the concerned State, participate in election observance missions in Member States and express its opinion and recommendations thereon.

PART THREE: TRANSITIONAL AND FINAL PROVISIONS

 

SECTION XXII: TRANSITIONAL AND FINAL PROVISIONS

 

Article 66 – Rotation of terms

  1. At the end of Commissioners’ first term of office, nine (9) Commissioners, three from each of the constituent geographical groups, shall exceptionally be reelected for eighteen (18) months in order to ensure the continuity of Commission’s work and expertise, without prejudice to the provisions of Rule 4 of the present rules of procedure.
  2. The Council shall designate nine (9) Commissioners to be re-elected through a drawing of lots.

 

Rule 67 – Computation of dates

All periods set forth in the present rules of procedure in number of days shall be understood to be counted as calendar days.

 

Rule 68 – Implementation

In the absence of specific provisions in the present rules of procedure, Commission shall take decisions on the basis of consensus or by two thirds (2/3) majority.

 

Rule 69 – Amendments

The present rules of procedure may be amended by consensus or by two thirds (2/3) majority. Amendments shall enter into force from the date of their adoption.

 

Rule 70 – Entry into force

The present rules of procedure shall enter into force from the date of endorsement by the Council.

PDF Version CLICK HERE

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Statement by His Excellency the Secretary General at the 3rd Istanbul Process Meeting on the follow-up of Implementation of HRC Resolution 16/18

Posted by Human Rights in Islamic Countries on June 21, 2013


Date: 20/06/2013

Geneva, Switzerland
(19 – 21 June 2013)

Excellencies,
Distinguished Panelists,
Dear guests and colleagues,

It is with great pleasure that I welcome you all to this 3rd Istanbul Process Meeting on the follow-up and Implementation of Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18 on Combating Incitement to violence, and Intolerance based on religion or belief.

I am grateful to all participants for their attendance, and particularly the distinguished panelists for sharing their valuable time and expertise. I would also like to thank all the esteemed State representatives and high officials from the UN and other international organizations for their participation. Let me also convey profound gratitude towards the esteemed Foreign Minister of Bangladesh, for her keen interest and gracious presence amongst us.

Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Combating discrimination and intolerance forms a most daunting challenge of our times. It constitutes a matter of vital concern at the OIC. Over the past decade, the debate over religious intolerance and its relationship with freedom of expression received greater attention in both the media and political discourse. Unfortunately, notwithstanding the exposure and recognition accorded to the core issue, divergences in approach prevented the enactment of effective and concrete remedial measures at the international level. It was in this context that, highly committed to the matter and determined to reach common ground, the OIC came up with an alternative approach reflected in the Resolution 16/18 on “Combating Intolerance, Negative Stereotyping and Stigmatization of, and Discrimination Incitement to Violence, and Violence Against Persons Based on Religion and Belief”.

The consensual passage of HRC resolution 16/18 in March 2011 has been widely acknowledged as a positive development. It demonstrated OIC’s ability to forge consensus on the most sensitive of issues in contemporary international relations. The resolution codified the eight points identified in my address to the 15th Session of the Human Rights Council in September 2010. These points constitute areas of action at the national and the international levels. I am gratified that they could form the basis of consensus. It afforded the opportunity to focus on the real issues away from the politicization and polarization of a decade.

Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

We did not stop at mere passage of a resolution. The Istanbul Process initiated with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton to build further on the consensus building that went into resolution 16/18 must be carried forward. While the resolution forms a triumph of multilateralism, Istanbul Process must also be seen as a poster child of OIC-US-EU cooperation. Our meeting today is a part of this Process. I appreciate that this Process has come to be recognized as the way forward by all stakeholders. Its merit lies in acceptance as the least common denominator. This approach carries a lot of potential in terms of evolving an international consensus to deal with the matter while addressing genuine concerns of all parties. The real test, however, lies in implementation. The consensus would, otherwise, be fragile. The approach signified by the resolution 16/18 is not an end in itself. It is a means to an end. We need to build on it.

To date, two expert meetings have already been held in the framework of the Istanbul Process in Washington D.C., in December 2011 and the Wilton Park event in London in December 2012. Each of these two experts meetings focused on specific action points contained in Resolution 16/18 with a view to assessing and promoting their implementation. Furthermore, both expert meetings offered significant contributions by first of all maintaining a live debate of ideas and keeping open channels of communications but also by compiling comprehensive reports, containing a set of recommendations and best practices from which all concerned parties can take stalk.

Excellencies,

Distinguished panelists and participants,
This third meeting of “Istanbul Process”, being held before the Geneva based diplomatic community, is of no lesser significance. It has brought the Istanbul Process to where it essentially belongs – the home ground of governing resolution. With the Geneva based experts from Member States and the distinguished panelists and participants in our midst, this meeting is perfectly poised – over the next three days-to address three important points that lie at the heart of the resolution 16/18. This is an opportunity for frank and candid debate particularly on the grey areas characterized by divergence of views. The significance and utility of the Istanbul Process lies in affording a forum for structured and open debate. Such debate must not, however, be sterile. It must generate ideas that can continue to feed the process of building on the consensus.

Let me briefly comment on each of the three substantive sessions.

In the first Session later this afternoon, distinguished panelists would lend the benefit of their perspectives and expert opinion on the importance and urgency of speaking out against intolerance, including advocacy of religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence. International community’s commitment to condemn intolerance and incitement to hatred on religious grounds is surely the most basic and simple step to be taken in implementation of HRC Resolution 16/18. It is essential for such condemnation to be strong, categorical and unified encompassing all aspects of the issue. The key message that must be consistently repeated, and which our meeting should echo loud and clear, is simple. In a world of increasing interconnectivity and multiculturalism, fast flow of information and human migration, Intolerance and incitement are not admissible. They continue to pose a clear and present danger to peace, security and stability at the national, regional and global levels.

The approach signified by resolution 16/18 has indeed been helpful to that end. The Joint Statement issued by the OIC, Arab League, the African Union and the European Union in September 2012 – in response to the reprehensible release of the highly provocative film “innocence of Muslims” on the Internet – forms a case in point. The joint statement condemned a clear act of advocacy to religious hatred that constituted incitement to hostility and violence. It also emphasized the need to respect believers’ legitimate and objective sensitivities with regard to the sanctity of religious figures and symbols, and that, irrespectively of their religious background. It is, of course, regrettable that acts of provocation often lead to violent reactions, which must not be condoned. The international community stands to gain from a unified and even handed approach in this regard.

Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Second Session of the Meeting touches upon a most important element of Resolution 16/18. It is most significantly characterized by divergence of views on the adoption of measures to criminalize incitement to violence based on religion or belief. It needs to be appreciated that while there is clarity, at least in terms of the existing international law, on how to address advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence. Progress with regard to concerted international action to that end, however, has been marred by extensive politicization and polarization of the issue.

Let me clearly state that this is a matter of vital concern for OIC. The alternative approach signified by the resolution 16/18 was intended to move beyond the politicization and polarization with regard to content or title of the erstwhile resolution in addressing the real issues on a consensual basis. The increasing trend of Islamophobia is indeed ominous in a globalized world. There has been an alarming increase in intolerance and discrimination against Muslims. It must be appreciated that there is mounting public pressure on OIC Member States to take concrete action. Alarming increase in Islamophobic incidents like the Utoya massacre in Norway, the burning of copies of Quran by the Florida Pastor and release the reprehensible trailer on You tube continue to hurt the religious sentiments of over 1.5 billion Muslims. The political leadership of OIC Member States has been calling for immediate remedial action. It was in this situation that OIC as a responsible International Organization constituted a panel of eminent lawyers and human rights practitioners to examine the issue from the international law perspective. The panel endorsed the 16/18 approach and the Istanbul Process as the avenues for engagement. It was agreed that there is no need to move towards an entirely new legal instrument. The provisions of existing instruments, including articles 19 and 20 of ICCPR, suffice in covering OIC’s concerns. It is the voids or gaps in interpretation, implementation and information that need to be plugged. There are differences that must be ironed out to develop a common understanding. Concerns of all parties must be understood and addressed in evolving a consensual solution. I believe according equal weight to the concerns on both sides could form a good point of departure. The Istanbul Process carries the necessary resilience in this regard. I am confident deliberations at this meeting will make an important contribution.

Distinguished colleagues,

The Third substantive Session at this important meeting would focus on the need to recognize that the open, constructive and respectful debate of ideas, as well as interfaith and intercultural dialogue at the local, national and international levels can play a positive role in combating religious hatred, incitement and violence. This is a very important aspect of the larger discourse that requires careful consideration. I would like to emphasize here, at the outset, that religions are part of international heritage and have all along accommodated critical thinking as an important pillar of human evolution and progress. For instance in Islam, the concept ‘Ijtihad’ forms a dynamic tool of jurisprudence that accommodates dissent and critical thinking. It is duly reflected in the admissibility of the different interpretations. Such dynamism, I believe, is a precondition to the progressive development of all legal systems.

Let us now focus on the word respectful. An open and constructive debate of ideas is indeed useful. It must be upheld as a matter of freedom of opinion and expression. It, however, transforms into a case of incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence when the freedom is abused to denigrate symbols and personalities sacred to one or the other religion. It needs to be understood as a matter of identity. It needs to be acknowledged that people in some parts of the world tend to identify themselves more with a particular religion than elsewhere. It is, therefore, essential to draw a line between free speech and hate speech – Hence the importance of interfaith and intercultural dialogue. OIC was the first to call for such a dialogue in 1998. We have seen that the dialogue has continued for a considerable time without much to show for result. What we need is a movement beyond event based calls towards a serious, structured and result oriented dialogue. Similarly, we could benefit from an integrated approach with regard to international efforts geared towards combating intolerance, discrimination and incitement to hatred. The Istanbul Process, I believe can serve as an avenue for such an integrated approach drawing on and lending a concrete shape to the understandings reached elsewhere.

Excellencies,
Distinguished Guests,

In a world faced with the menace of terrorism, incitement to hatred, discrimination, and violence, cannot and must not be ignored. We would, otherwise, be faced with the unaffordable risk of the agenda hijacked and set by radicals and non-state actors. We need to act to wrest the initiative away from the street to the table of meaningful and result oriented multilateral discourse. Events like this meeting are increasingly important. Our deliberations here must aim at squarely addressing interrelated issues with particular reference to the grey areas. We need to evolve approaches that can remove the gaps in interpretation, implementation or information on a consensual basis. I personally believe and propose that we may look into the prospect of developing soft law that could reflect the common understanding of international community on this important issue. It could be in the form of some principles, guidelines or a declaration. I would like to leave it for the collective wisdom and common understanding of the experts to enlighten us to that end. The Istanbul Process based on the shared objectives reflected in the consensual approach signified by the resolution 16/18 lends me with reason for optimism in this regard.

I thank you all and wish you success in the important deliberations over the next three days.

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OIC To Host 3rd Meeting On “Religious Hatred” In Geneva

Posted by Human Rights in Islamic Countries on June 19, 2013


KUALA LUMPUR, June 18 (Bernama) — The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) will host the third meeting of international experts on the implementation of the UN Human Rights Council resolution on combating intolerance and incitement to hatred on religious ground from June 19-21.

The meeting, to be held in Geneva, Swtitzerland, is expected to focus on concrete steps in implementing some of the measures under the UN Resolution 16/18, which focuses on “combating intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatisation of, and discrimination, incitement to violence, and violence against persons based on religion and belief.”

The experts will discuss issues like ‘Speaking out against intolerance, including advocacy of religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence’ and ‘Adopting measures to criminalise incitement to imminent violence based on religion or belief as stated under the UN Resolution, the OIC said in a statement.

One other point for discussion is ‘Recognising that the open, constructive and respectful debate of ideas, as well as interfaith and intercultural dialogue at the local, national and international levels, can play a positive role in combating religious hatred, incitement and violence,’ it added.

OIC secretary-general, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, who will be attending the three-day meeting, said that developing a better understanding among the international community on the issues and devising a suitable plan was significant.

The first meeting was held in Washington D.C. in December 2011 while the second one was held at Wilton Park in London a year later, the statement said.

The UN HRC Resolution 16/18 is within the framework of the Istanbul Process launched by the OIC secretary-general and former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in July 2011.

Source: Bernama News

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OIC Secretary General traveling today to Geneva for meeting on combating religious intolerance

Posted by Human Rights in Islamic Countries on June 19, 2013


Date: 18/06/2013

The Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has left today, 18 June 2013 to Geneva, Switzerland to participate tomorrow, 19 June, in the third meeting of international experts on the implementation of UN Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18 on combating intolerance and incitement to hatred on religious grounds.
The OIC is hosting this three-day meeting, which is being held in the framework of the Istanbul Process launched by the OIC Secretary General and former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in July 2011.
The two expert events in the framework of the Istanbul Process were held earlier in Washington D.C., in December 2011 and in London in December 2012. The third meeting in Geneva will discuss concrete steps in implementing point 5, 6 and 8 of Resolution 16/18, namely, “Speaking out against intolerance, including advocacy of religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence”; “Adopting measures to criminalize incitement to imminent violence based on religion or belief”; and “Recognizing that the open, constructive and respectful debate of ideas, as well as interfaith and intercultural dialogue at the local, national and international levels, can play a positive role in combating religious hatred, incitement and violence”.

Source: http://www.oic-oci.org/topic_detail.asp?t_id=8187

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Ihsanoglu calls for an international warning system against instances of religious intolerance

Posted by Human Rights in Islamic Countries on February 4, 2013


Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), called for an effective international mechanism that could act as an early warning system against instances of discrimination and intolerance on religious grounds. He proposed an international Observatory, perhaps at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), with a broad mandate to monitor and document all instances of discrimination and intolerance on religious grounds.

The Secretary General was speaking at the high-level international meeting on 22 January 2013, in London, UK, upon the invitation of Baroness Saiyda Warsi, Senior Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, to develop a common understanding on the way forward on the issue of intolerance on religious grounds.

The Secretary General pointed out that the OIC has an Observatory monitoring Islamophobia and the OSCE has a mechanism to monitor hate crimes, but what is needed is an international observatory with global coverage that would monitor intolerance and discrimination against all religions and their respective followers. He said that this would help develop an empirical basis to understand the extent of the problem, which in turn would figure into evolving an effective and concerted international response.

Ihsanoglu also called for building on the consensus that went into the UN Human Rights Council resolution 16/18 on combating intolerance on religious grounds and the Istanbul Process for implementing the resolution. He also pointed out that the recent meeting of eminent lawyers and human rights practitioners in Istanbul agreed that the provisions of existing legal instruments, including articles 19 and 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), suffice in covering OIC’s concerns, and that according equal weight to the concerns on both sides could form a good point of departure for developing a common understanding.

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 Secretary General announced that the OIC will host the fourth meeting during the first half of this year.

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OIC Secretary General sends letter to President Obama on his re-election

Posted by Human Rights in Islamic Countries on February 4, 2013


OIC Secretary General sends letter to President Obama on his re-election: Peace in the Middle East, socio-economic development and combating religious intolerance are priority for US-OIC collaboration 

The Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, sent a letter to the President of the United States, Barack Obama, on the occasion of his re-election. In it, Ihsanoglu recalls the great strides of US-OIC collaboration on a range of issues during the past four years of Obama’s administration including health, humanitarian aid and women’s empowerment in the Muslim world and that he looks forward to furthering the cooperation in key areas of mutual interest and concern in the upcoming four years. He underlined that peace in the Middle East, socio-economic development and combating religious intolerance are priority areas for the OIC.

The letter was handed to President Obama’s Special Envoy to the OIC, Rashad Hussein, during the visit of Hussein to OIC General Secretariat in Jeddah today, 23 January 2013. The Secretary General stated in his letter to President Obama that his reelection is testimony to the trust placed in his dynamic leadership by the American people and could be viewed as a vote of confidence in his policies signifying ‘change’ with particular reference to the policy of engagement with the Muslim world. He pointed out that OIC, being essentially a political organization operating along the principles of moderation and modernization, aims at sustaining a policy of engagement and not confrontation.

Ihsanoglu stressed that the Palestinian issue remains at the heart of the most pressing concerns to the OIC and the international community, which requires firm commitment by the US, and that the status quo of political stalemate and continuation of Israeli occupation and settlement policies in the occupied Palestinian territory including East Jerusalem are neither acceptable nor viable. Ihsanoglu stated that upgrading the status of Palestine to non-member observer state at the UN General Assembly last November is a golden opportunity that should not be lost and urged Obama to accelerate the realization of peace and stability.

Ihsanoglu referred to Obama’s speech to the Muslim world in Cairo in 2009, which he attended, calling it visionary and a positive statement with far reaching implications that raised expectations for a common future anchored in mutual respect and understanding. In this context, Ihsanoglu mentioned that OIC will continue to combat extremism, terrorism, intolerance and incitement to hatred and violence on religious grounds. The consensual passage of UN Human Rights Council resolution 16/18 on combating religious intolerance, which codified the eight points identified in his address to the 15th Session of the Human Rights Council, has been widely acknowledged as a positive development and a triumph of multilateralism, Ihsanoglu added. It must also be seen as a poster child of OIC-US cooperation, he said, pointing out to the Istanbul Process that he initiated with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to build on the consensus achieved.

The Secretary General also highlighted the issue of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar in his letter. While he acknowledged Obama’s efforts to bring the issue of the Rohingya Muslim community to the attention of the national authorities during his recent visit to the country, he urged Obama to support protect the human rights of the Rohingya ethnic minority and to restore their citizenship.

OIC Newsletter Issue Number 4
23/01/2013

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Egypt: Preparations Finalized for Hosting OIC Summit

Posted by Human Rights in Islamic Countries on February 1, 2013


All Africa, 31 JANUARY 2013 | Egypt has finalized preparations to host the 12th Islamic Summit, due to be held on February 6-7, announced Deputy Assistant Foreign Minister for Non-Aligned Affairs and Islamic Cooperation Ambassador Amr Ramadan.

During his meeting with reporters on Wednesday 31/1/2013, Ramadan said 26 Heads of State, who are members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), have confirmed that they would attend the summit.

About 46 OIC member States said they will attend the summit, he stressed, brushing aside allegations about the possibility of putting off the summit or changing its venue.

The summit and its preparatory ministerial meeting will be held in Cairo’s hotels, Ramadan said.

Source: http://allafrica.com/stories/201301311280.html?aa_source=nwsltr-religion-en

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The Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission of the OIC holds second session in Ankara

Posted by Human Rights in Islamic Countries on January 28, 2013


OIC Newsletter Issue Number 35

The Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission of the OIC holds second session in Ankara
The Second Session of the OIC Independent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) is being held in Ankara, the capital of the Republic of Turkey, from August 27-31, 2012.

The inaugural Session was addressed by the Foreign Minister of Turkey Mr. Ahmet Davutoglu and the Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation, Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu who, in their remarks, paid rich tribute to the Commission Members for their high degree of commitment, devotion and professionalism that has contributed to the remarkable progress made in the work of Commission in a short time since establishment. They expressed the confidence that the Second Session in Ankara would contribute significantly towards institutionalizing IPHRC as an important pillar of restructuring and reform at the OIC. The OIC Secretary General underscored the importance of the IPHRC and stated that its establishment was a fulfillment of one of the major goal and objective laid out in the OIC Ten-Year Programme of Action. He said that the Commission would serve as a reference point in profiling the importance accorded to human rights in Islam, at the global level. He added that the Commission was a major focus of international attention contributing to the visibility and credibility of OIC as an Organization propelled by the vision of ‘moderation and modernization’.

The Ankara Session of the is expected to adopt the draft rules of procedure and take up human rights situation of Muslims in OIC and non-OIC countries including those in Syria, Mali and Rohingya Muslim in Myanmar.

The Secretary General and the Commission members also called on the Speaker of the Turkish Parliament, H.E. Mr. Cemil Cicek. The Speaker welcomed the Secretary General and the Commissioners for the holding the Session in Turkey. He stressed on the significance and importance of IPHRC towards the cause of human rights and in Muslim countries and raising the profile of the OIC in the international community.

OIC opens its representative office at Yemen for coordination of humanitarian purposes
Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) signed in Sanaa, Yemen on 28 August an agreement to open its representative office at Yemen for coordination of humanitarian and development purposes.

The agreement was signed by Dr. Mutahar Al-Abbasi, Yemeni Deputy Minister of International Planning and Cooperation and Fouad Ali Al-Maznai, Adviser to OIC Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs.

Under the agreement, OIC will follow up and coordinate humanitarian and development assistance to Yemen as well as mobilize resources for funding developmental and humanitarian programs.

Source: OIC Newsletter 

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OIC Secretary General sends letter to President Obama on his re-election: Peace in the Middle East, socio-economic development and combating religious intolerance are priority for US-OIC collaboration

Posted by Human Rights in Islamic Countries on January 28, 2013


OIC Newsletter Issue Number 4

The Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, sent a letter to the President of the United States, Barack Obama, on the occasion of his re-election. In it, Ihsanoglu recalls the great strides of US-OIC collaboration on a range of issues during the past four years of Obama’s administration including health, humanitarian aid and women’s empowerment in the Muslim world and that he looks forward to furthering the cooperation in key areas of mutual interest and concern in the upcoming four years. He underlined that peace in the Middle East, socio-economic development and combating religious intolerance are priority areas for the OIC.

The letter was handed to President Obama’s Special Envoy to the OIC, Rashad Hussein, during the visit of Hussein to OIC General Secretariat in Jeddah today, 23 January 2013. The Secretary General stated in his letter to President Obama that his reelection is testimony to the trust placed in his dynamic leadership by the American people and could be viewed as a vote of confidence in his policies signifying ‘change’ with particular reference to the policy of engagement with the Muslim world. He pointed out that OIC, being essentially a political organization operating along the principles of moderation and modernization, aims at sustaining a policy of engagement and not confrontation.

Ihsanoglu stressed that the Palestinian issue remains at the heart of the most pressing concerns to the OIC and the international community, which requires firm commitment by the US, and that the status quo of political stalemate and continuation of Israeli occupation and settlement policies in the occupied Palestinian territory including East Jerusalem are neither acceptable nor viable. Ihsanoglu stated that upgrading the status of Palestine to non-member observer state at the UN General Assembly last November is a golden opportunity that should not be lost and urged Obama to accelerate the realization of peace and stability.

Ihsanoglu referred to Obama’s speech to the Muslim world in Cairo in 2009, which he attended, calling it visionary and a positive statement with far reaching implications that raised expectations for a common future anchored in mutual respect and understanding. In this context, Ihsanoglu mentioned that OIC will continue to combat extremism, terrorism, intolerance and incitement to hatred and violence on religious grounds. The consensual passage of UN Human Rights Council resolution 16/18 on combating religious intolerance, which codified the eight points identified in his address to the 15th Session of the Human Rights Council, has been widely acknowledged as a positive development and a triumph of multilateralism, Ihsanoglu added. It must also be seen as a poster child of OIC-US cooperation, he said, pointing out to the Istanbul Process that he initiated with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to build on the consensus achieved.

The Secretary General also highlighted the issue of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar in his letter. While he acknowledged Obama’s efforts to bring the issue of the Rohingya Muslim community to the attention of the national authorities during his recent visit to the country, he urged Obama to support protect the human rights of the Rohingya ethnic minority and to restore their citizenship.

Ihsanoglu calls for an international warning system against instances of religious intolerance
Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), called for an effective international mechanism that could act as an early warning system against instances of discrimination and intolerance on religious grounds. He proposed an international Observatory, perhaps at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), with a broad mandate to monitor and document all instances of discrimination and intolerance on religious grounds.

The Secretary General was speaking at the high-level international meeting on 22 January 2013, in London, UK, upon the invitation of Baroness Saiyda Warsi, Senior Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, to develop a common understanding on the way forward on the issue of intolerance on religious grounds.

The Secretary General pointed out that the OIC has an Observatory monitoring Islamophobia and the OSCE has a mechanism to monitor hate crimes, but what is needed is an international observatory with global coverage that would monitor intolerance and discrimination against all religions and their respective followers. He said that this would help develop an empirical basis to understand the extent of the problem, which in turn would figure into evolving an effective and concerted international response.

Ihsanoglu also called for building on the consensus that went into the UN Human Rights Council resolution 16/18 on combating intolerance on religious grounds and the Istanbul Process for implementing the resolution. He also pointed out that the recent meeting of eminent lawyers and human rights practitioners in Istanbul agreed that the provisions of existing legal instruments, including articles 19 and 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), suffice in covering OIC’s concerns, and that according equal weight to the concerns on both sides could form a good point of departure for developing a common understanding.

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 Secretary General announced that the OIC will host the fourth meeting during the first half of this year.

Source:http://www.oic-oci.org/newsletter.asp

Posted in For Your Information, OIC Human Rights News | Leave a Comment »

OIC Secretary General sends letter to President Obama on his re-election: Peace in the Middle East, socio-economic development and combating religious intolerance are priority for US-OIC collaboration

Posted by Human Rights in Islamic Countries on January 28, 2013


23/01/2013 | The Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, sent a letter to the President of the United States, Barack Obama, on the occasion of his re-election. In it, Ihsanoglu recalls the great strides of US-OIC collaboration on a range of issues during the past four years of Obama’s administration including health, humanitarian aid and women’s empowerment in the Muslim world and that he looks forward to furthering the cooperation in key areas of mutual interest and concern in the upcoming four years. He underlined that peace in the Middle East, socio-economic development and combating religious intolerance are priority areas for the OIC. 

The letter was handed to President Obama’s Special Envoy to the OIC, Rashad Hussein, during the visit of Hussein to OIC General Secretariat in Jeddah today, 23 January 2013. The Secretary General stated in his letter to President Obama that his reelection is testimony to the trust placed in his dynamic leadership by the American people and could be viewed as a vote of confidence in his policies signifying ‘change’ with particular reference to the policy of engagement with the Muslim world. He pointed out that OIC, being essentially a political organization operating along the principles of moderation and modernization, aims at sustaining a policy of engagement and not confrontation. 

Ihsanoglu stressed that the Palestinian issue remains at the heart of the most pressing concerns to the OIC and the international community, which requires firm commitment by the US, and that the status quo of political stalemate and continuation of Israeli occupation and settlement policies in the occupied Palestinian territory including East Jerusalem are neither acceptable nor viable. Ihsanoglu stated that upgrading the status of Palestine to non-member observer state at the UN General Assembly last November is a golden opportunity that should not be lost and urged Obama to accelerate the realization of peace and stability. 

Ihsanoglu referred to Obama’s speech to the Muslim world in Cairo in 2009, which he attended, calling it visionary and a positive statement with far reaching implications that raised expectations for a common future anchored in mutual respect and understanding. In this context, Ihsanoglu mentioned that OIC will continue to combat extremism, terrorism, intolerance and incitement to hatred and violence on religious grounds. The consensual passage of UN Human Rights Council resolution 16/18 on combating religious intolerance, which codified the eight points identified in his address to the 15th Session of the Human Rights Council, has been widely acknowledged as a positive development and a triumph of multilateralism, Ihsanoglu added. It must also be seen as a poster child of OIC-US cooperation, he said, pointing out to the Istanbul Process that he initiated with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to build on the consensus achieved. 

The Secretary General also highlighted the issue of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar in his letter. While he acknowledged Obama’s efforts to bring the issue of the Rohingya Muslim community to the attention of the national authorities during his recent visit to the country, he urged Obama to support protect the human rights of the Rohingya ethnic minority and to restore their citizenship.

Source: http://www.oic-oci.org/topic_detail.asp?t_id=7658

Posted in For Your Information, News about OIC Human Rights, OIC Human Rights News | Leave a Comment »

Panel of legal experts prepares the groundwork for a political OIC strategy on religious intolerance against Muslims

Posted by Human Rights in Islamic Countries on January 23, 2013


OIC Newsletter Issue Number 2 | 10/01/2013

A panel of legal and human rights experts prepared the groundwork for the political strategy of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to tackle religious intolerance against Muslims and the growing incidents of Islam bashing. The two-day meeting held in Istanbul of the Panel of Eminent Persons on Combating Intolerance and Discrimination against Muslims expanded on a working paper drafted by the OIC General Secretariat for a politically tenable strategy that is anchored firmly in international law.

With the increasing trend of Islamophobia, such as the reprehensible episodes of burning of copies of the Holy Qur’an by a Pastor, the Utoya massacre in Norway, and most recently the release of the trailer of ‘The Innocence of Muslims’ on YouTube, in addition to indications of institutionalization and constitutionalization of Islamophobia, there is mounting public pressure on OIC Member States to draw a line and take concrete action, according to OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu.

“The OIC strategy must be proportionate to expectations of the Muslim World – being their political voice. It must be substantive and credible to shift the initiative away from the street to the table of meaningful and result oriented multilateral discourse,” said Ihsanoglu in his opening remarks to the meeting on January 7, 2013. “We must emphasize that there is no hierarchy of human rights whereby a single right can trump others. OIC believes that the relevant provisions of international law on freedom of opinion and expression support our position. If so, it must clearly be brought out with cogent legal arguments. Or we should look for other legally tenable options to engage the negotiating partners in a result-oriented fashion,” he added.

As mandated by the 39th Council of Foreign Ministers held in Djibouti last November, the significance of the Panel lies in furnishing a set of available options, in terms of legal merits and demerits, on combating discrimination and intolerance against Muslims. A legal opinion is formed based on purely technical analysis. The output of the Panel’s work will be presented to the OIC leadership at the forthcoming 12th OIC Summit in Cairo on 2-7 February 2013, which is expected to take a political decision on an OIC approach to dealing with this issue.

The deliberations of the Panel will also be useful during the high-level meeting at Wilton Park in the UK on 22 January 2013, which is part of the Istanbul Process launched by the Secretary General to implement UN Human Rights Council resolution 16/18 on combating religious intolerance. In that context, the Panel addressed the issue of criminalization of incitement to imminent violence and accorded it a special focus. Furthermore, the work of the Panel could contribute significantly towards the ongoing international discourse on combating intolerance and discrimination on religious grounds.

Source: http://www.oic-oci.org/newsletter.asp

Posted in Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Religion, News of the OIC Countries, OIC Journal | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Report of Istanbul Process: Implementation of UN HRC Relustion 16/18

Posted by Human Rights in Islamic Countries on January 23, 2013


Report of the United States on the First Meeting of Experts to Promote Implementation of United Nations Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18

December 2011

Executive Summary

At the invitation of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, representatives of 26 governments and  four international organizations met in Washington, D.C. on December 12-14, 2011 to discuss the implementation of United Nations Human Rights Council Resolution (UNHRC) 16/18 on  “Combating Intolerance, Negative Stereotyping and Stigmatization of, and Discrimination,  Incitement to Violence and Violence Against, Persons Based on Religion or Belief.”  In her  closing remarks, Secretary Clinton stressed, ―The United States is hosting this conference because religious freedom and freedom of expression are among our highest values.  They are enshrined in our Constitution.  For people everywhere, faith and religious practice is a central  source of our identity.  It provides our lives with meaning and context.  It is fundamental to who we are.‖

The implementation meeting focused on two elements of the steps set forth in Resolution 16/18:  1) prohibiting discrimination based on religion or belief and 2) training government officials, including on how to implement effective outreach to religious communities.  Participants agreed that their task was to keep the discussion focused on implementing the specific steps called for in  Resolution 16/18, rather than broadening the dialogue to other possible measures not included in the resolution.

Presenters and participants in the interactive sessions were law enforcement and antidiscrimination experts.  

Presenters included experts from invited countries and international organizations,  as well as personnel from the United States Departments of Homeland Security and Justice.

Discussions were held under ―Chatham House Rule‖ in order to promote a free and candid exchange of views.  Accordingly, while this report reflects accurately the points made and best practices described by all participants, approval was sought before attributing specific remarks to  particular participants.

The sessions produced a rich exchange of best practices, which are set forth in the body of this report.  Key conclusions for policy makers include the following:

 

  1. Participating countries already have in place legal prohibitions of discrimination and violence based on religion or belief.  While the nature of these prohibitions vary – some  are contained in national constitutions, others in domestic laws, and still others in international instruments that have the same importance in the relevant countries as domestic law – there does not appear to be a fundamental gap in the domestic legal framework of the majority of participant countries.
  2. Many countries have specialized units in their justice ministries or prosecutor general’s offices which have proven effective in imposing civil, and at times criminal, penalties against those found to have engaged in violence or discrimination on the basis of religion or belief in employment, the provision of public services, or in access to public accommodations such as hotels and restaurants.  Others rely on regular pr osecutors to enforce these laws.  Civil enforcement of anti-discrimination laws has proven to be the most effective and is most widely used.  Strong public outreach is a key factor in all systems.  Effective outreach not only ensures that the population knows authorities are  willing and able to take on religious discrimination cases, but also teaches citizens how to call such cases to the attention of authorities.
  3. There is a wide variation in training for government officials.  Some countries have specialized programs focused on training officials to consider religious sensitivities when formulating and implementing policies and practices; others have no specific training in  this area.
  4. The disparity in training is reflected in wide variations in the systematization of outreach  to religious communities.  Some countries have highly structured outreach systems.  These systems ensure that communities are aware of potential or actual changes in policy that may affect them, the rationale behind such policies, and the opportunity that communities have to shape such policies through their input.  Other countries do not have a systematic way of conducting such outreach, but many have developed creative and effective ad hoc methods for such engagement.
  5. Effective national security policy and protection of human rights are mutually reinforcing.  Law enforcement needs the cooperation of religious and other communities to fight violent extremism.  Communities will not cooperate if they perceive that their members are being discriminated against or that their members’ beliefs are not being respected by the authorities.  Extremists can use such perceptions to further their own ends.  Profiling based on religion or ethnicity not only violates human rights, but also provides a false sense of security and allows actual terrorists to proceed undetected. 

Please click HERE to complete report.

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Istanbul Process: OIC “Workshops” Speech Crime

Posted by Human Rights in Islamic Countries on January 23, 2013


Edward Cline (2012.02.27 ) 

Stealth and violent jihadists have discovered the alchemist’s secret of turning gold into lead – that is, of turning freedom of speech into a risky and unwanted liability. It’s really quite simple, obvious for all to see. The formula is similar to the “good cop/bad cop” routine of detective movies.

Start with a cartoon of Mohammad, or a dozen of them, or with public remarks that directly or indirectly hold Islam and Muslims responsible for terrorism, or publish a scholarly, cogent paper on the totalitarian and brutal natures of Islam, or give a mooning “arse-lifter” on a public street the literal boot in a heart-felt moment of disrespect for a manqué bowing to meteorite and who’s in your way.

Of course, the remarks, the charges, the papers, and even the disrespect are responses to about thirty years of irrational Muslim behavior.

Any one of those actions will precipitate riots, calls for death to apostates and insulters of Islam, noisy, ugly demonstrations, chants of “Islam will dominate,” the waving of black jihad flags, and general pandemonium across the globe. And a few dozen or few score deaths at the hands of the insulted. All incidents starring Muslims. Not to mention the self-censorship of newspapers and book publishers, who abandon the issue for safety reasons; who, to borrow a line from “Seinfeld,” draw their heads into their shells like frightened turtles.

When the fires have been put out and the streets cleared of debris and the signs stashed away until the next defamation or insult, things will be quiet for a while.

Then will come calls to tone down the anger and the rhetoric – addressed, not to the rioters, murderers, and Muslim clerics – but to those whose words, cartoons, or actions “offended” the congenitally offendable. The calls will be made by those responsible for keeping law and order and establishing policy. In order to maintain civil order and manageable budgets, it is decreed that anyone criticizing Islam or making fun of Islam and Muslims, will be charged with hate speech, or exhibiting disrespect for one of the world’s oldest religions, or some such, in order to prevent more destructive and costly demonstrations. It’s a matter of cause and effect, you see. If Muslim feelings weren’t hurt, if their beliefs weren’t examined or satirized or opened to the cruel sunlight of rational scrutiny, Muslims wouldn’t resort to mayhem, rape, murder, and car-burning.

It’s quite simple. Almost scientific. Just like global warming.

The calls come basically from two sets of liberals: those who are outraged that Islam has been insulted or defamed, because they are so tolerant and non-judgmental and it makes them feel good and virtuous to be so tolerant and non-judgmental; and from those who are intimidated by brute force and ugly chants and irrational behavior of any kind, and they’d just rather people shut up in the name of “community cohesion” so they won’t need to hear or see the brute force and ugly chants of those less “cohesed” than they might want to imagine.

The pattern has been repeated numerous times over the last few decades. It works. It gets results. Why? Because our political and intellectual establishments are governed by egalitarianism, multiculturalism, and moral relativism. That is, by the irrational. And irrational policies benefit only the irrational, and punish the rational. There are two classes of irrationalists: those who areirrational on principle – otherwise known as nihilists – and those whose minds have been enfeebled by egalitarianism, multiculturalism, and moral relativism. Both classes can be identified by their political correctness.

But it takes some shoulder-rubbing and much intensive study to distinguish between the nihilists and the white-tailed deer, between those who want to just shut you up and reduce you to rags, and those who flee at the first sign of a wolf.

Having proven that their mumbo-jumbo works on the cowardly and credulous infidels, the irrationalists are taking their alchemy to a new level: a ban – by hook or by crook, by shame or by sedition, by ostracism or by force – of any and all criticism of Islam and Muslims, by way of the United Nations and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). The OIC is a gang that works within that club of tyrannies, dictatorships, religious régimes, and clueless, compliant, and wimpy “democracies.”

On February 13th, Bernama, the Malaysian state news agency, announced:

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is to hold a media workshop in Brussels on Feb. 15 to 16 pertaining to the smear campaigns against Islam in newspapers and media institutions in the West. […]

Muslim, and non-Muslim leading civil society organisations, journalists, intellectuals and academicians are among the participants of the workshop, which will consist of brainstorming sessions to develop mechanisms for cooperation with external partners, and to develop an action plan to address the phenomenon of Islamophobia.

On February 15th, the OIC announced the “workshop.”

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation is holding a workshop in Brussels as of 15th February 2012, on the subject of Islamophobia, the first workshop of its kind aimed at establishing information mechanisms to face up to the slanderous campaigns against Islam in the media.

This workshop, held under the title of “Smearing Islam and Muslims in the Media”, is being attended by major civil society institutions in the Islamic world along with the press community from the Islamic and Western worlds, in addition to many intellectuals and academics. It constitutes a watershed event in terms of effecting a real shift away from mere theorizing towards a more pragmatic action aimed at countering the phenomenon of Islamophobia.

It is now late February, and search as one might, one will not find a press release about what had been “work-shopped” and resolved. Who were the attendees? What Western academics, intellectuals and journalists were on the session rosters? What “mechanisms” were suggested and discussed? We Islamophobes, whose mouths may be gagged and our hands crippled by Muslims or by our own government, rendering our pens and keyboards useless, would like to know.

And we would also like to know which newspapers have been conducting smear campaigns against Islam. Which other media institutions? But for a pitiful handful of newspapers, such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post and Britain’s Daily Mail, I do not know of any other publication that is guilty of that charge, that is, of having written objectively about Islam. Perhaps, occasionally, Canada’s National Post. And the Daily Mail has actually identified Muslim culprits, and called them Muslims. I know of no other mainstream print magazines that have waged an information war on Islam. The rest, including The New York Times and The Washington Post, are either frightened turtles, or Gila monsters for Islam.

The only other realm of information that can be charged with waging a “smear campaign” against Islam and Muslims is the blogosphere. It, and not the mainstream media, is the prime media institution in which real information about Islam and Muslims can be found. So, the whole “workshop” idea is merely an means to come up with ideas to shut down whatever blog sites have bad-mouthed or “defamed” Islam.

Robert McDowell, in his Wall Street Journal article of February 21st, “The U.N. Threat to Internet Freedom,” wrote:

On Feb. 27, a diplomatic process will begin in Geneva that could result in a new treaty giving the United Nations unprecedented powers over the Internet. Dozens of countries, including Russia and China, are pushing hard to reach this goal by year’s end. As Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said last June, his goal and that of his allies is to establish “international control over the Internet” through the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a treaty-based organization under U.N. auspices.

Of the 193 members of the ITU, 57 of them are OIC members, meaning that the ITU cannot help but be influenced by OIC’s clout, aside from that of Russia and China, both of them established dictatorships. One can guess what the new “treaty” will advocate or accomplish: the suppression of freedom of speech across the globe.

The OIC announcement does not mention the role of the United Nations in this “brainstorming” for “social justice,” but Bernama does:

The organisation noted that the workshop is of particular importance as it will be held only weeks before the convening of the United Nations Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva in March, at which Resolution 16/18 will come to a vote for the second time after its unanimous endorsement in the previous session.

Resolution 16/18 aims to combat intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatisation of discrimination, incitement to violence, and violence against persons based on religion or belief….The resolution was an outcome of bilateral talks between the OIC and a number of Western countries, including the U.S. Two meetings were held in Istanbul and Washington, respectively, to develop operational mechanisms to implement the resolution at the level of the United Nations.

Resolution 16/18…was backed by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the most recent Istanbul Process Conference in Washington in December.

“Operational mechanisms”? What a subtle term for blackmail, extortion, harassment, political and economic pressure, the enforcement of politically correct speech codes, tire-slashing, anonymous phone call threats, envelopes filled with white powder, perhaps a little creative road-rage, house trashing, and strange men loitering beneath the street lamp or in the shadows outside your home. What else could the euphemism mean? Other than direct, brute force?

And Lady Macbeth reappears for an encore audition. Doubtless she will be a star witness and co-conspirator in Geneva next month. It will be all cocktails, canapés and censorship chatter before the vote. This subject has been discussed before, last August, in “Hillary Clinton Auditions for Lady Macbeth.” And because of the paucity of information about the Washington Conference last December, and about the Brussels “workshop,” all we can do is repeat what was reported before. We plead ignorance of what transpired during those conferences – which is how the OIC would have it.

“Resolution 16/18 aims to combat intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatisation of discrimination, incitement to violence, and violence against persons based on religion or belief”?

But what creed and what group are notorious for all those things? Because the OIC is behind Resolution 16/18, the “combat” will not be launched against Islam and Muslims. But it is precisely Islam and its consistent practitioners that are perpetrators of rabid and violent intolerance, and of stereotyping and stigmatizing themselves through their actions and agenda and sensitivity to the least criticism.

The resolution’s stated intention is an instance of Grand Taqiyya, or, the Big Lie, of saying one thing to the public (or to dhimmi Western diplomats) but meaning something else entirely. The Koranpermits it. The Hadith permits it. And Reliance of the Traveler, that mammoth Islamic handbook on the methodology of conquest, permits it. To wit:

“Speaking is a means to achieve objectives. If a praiseworthy aim is attainable through both telling the truth and lying, it is unlawful to accomplish through lying because there is no need for it. When it is possible to achieve such an aim by lying but not by telling the truth, it is permissible to lie if attaining the goal is permissible (N:i.e. when the purpose of lying is to circumvent someone who is preventing one from doing something permissible), and obligatory to lie if the goal is obligatory… it is religiously precautionary in all cases to employ words that give a misleading impression…Reliance of the Traveler, p. 746 – 8.2 (Shaffi Fiqh)

In May of 2006, in my Rule of Reason commentary, “Moving towards freedomless speech,” I noted that:

The Mohammedan enforcer of politically correct speech is ready with his scimitar, watching your every movement and listening to your every word, eager to behead unrepentant infidels of the First Amendment. “Slay them wherever you find them.” Or take them to court.

The enforcer no longer need be a Muslim. He can be a Presbyterian, or a Catholic, or a Baptist, or an agnostic, working for the government at the behest of the United Nations, authorized by Resolution 16/18 to silence you. It can be Hillary Clinton, whose State Department hosted the December 2011 OIC conference on what to do about the First Amendment. To accomplish the “praiseworthy” goal of silencing all criticism of Islam, the OIC can depend on the DHS, which now monitors all Internet traffic, looking for those “red flags” of “hate speech,” “bigotry,” and “Islamophobia.”

Hillary Clinton is up to her neck in complicity to subvert freedom of speech in America, and in aiding and abetting the OIC’s methods and ends. Nina Shea and Paul Marshall reported in The Wall Street Journal last December, before the Washington conference:

Last July in Istanbul, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton co-chaired a “High-Level Meeting on Combating Religious Intolerance” with the Saudi-based Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Mrs. Clinton invited the OIC to Washington for a conference to build “muscles of respect and empathy and tolerance.” That conference is scheduled for Dec. 12 through Dec. 14.

For more than 20 years, the OIC has pressed Western governments to restrict speech about Islam. Its charter commits it “to combat defamation of Islam,” and its current action plan calls for “deterrent punishments” by all states to counter purported Islamophobia. […]

OIC pressure on European countries to ban “negative stereotyping of Islam” has increased since the 2004 murder of Theo Van Gogh for his film “Submission” and the Danish Muhammad cartoon imbroglio in 2005. Many countries (such as France, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Finland, Italy and Sweden), hoping to ensure social peace, now prosecute people for “vilifying” Islam or insulting Muslims’ religious feelings.

Shea and Marshall conclude, not quite believing then that the march of events could overcome their optimism:

Encouraging a more civil discourse is commendable, and First Amendment freedoms mean the U.S. won’t veer down Europe’s path any time soon.

It has been veering down that path since at least 9/11. The First Amendment is no longer sacrosanct, no longer a guarantee of freedom of speech – not if our own government is seeking to regulate it for its own statist ends in an unholy alliance with this nation’s dedicated enemies.

Those who value that particular liberty should initiate “workshops” of their own, to combat the frightened turtles and Gila monsters at large in America and abroad.

Source: http://capitalismmagazine.com/2012/02/oic-workshops-speech-crime/

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The 12th Session Of The Islamic Summit Conference

Posted by Human Rights in Islamic Countries on January 23, 2013


The 12th Session Of The Islamic Summit Conference
21 – 26 Rabea Awal 1434 H | 2 – 7 February 2013
Cairo – Arab Republic of Egypt

“The Muslim World: New Challenges and Expanding Opportunities”

Welcome Note by H.E. The President of the Arab Republic of Egypt

Dr.Mohamed Morsy 
The President of the Arab Republic of Egypt

It is a great pleasure to welcome the visitors of the official website of the Twelfth Session of the Islamic Summit Conference being held in Cairo Egypt from the 2nd till the 7th of February 2013. Convening the Islamic Summit in Cairo entails a great significance as it is the first time for Egypt to host a summit of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC); the second largest intergovernmental organization (57 States from 4 continents) after the United Nations, in addition to the fact that it will be the first summit to be held in Egypt after the 25th of January Revolution. Egypt is a founding member of the OIC, which was established upon a decision by the historical Rabat summit (September 1969) in the aftermath of the criminal arson of the Holy Aqsa Mosque during the summer of that year. Egypt’s role was not limited to that important historical dimension; but rather remained persistent through its continuous efforts to intensify political coordination and economic cooperation among member countries. Egypt is committed to contribute positively to OIC committees and organs. 

The consecutive international and regional crises in the last few years have led the OIC member countries to face a variety of fundamental challenges. This situation entails the necessity for orchestrating coordinative and joint efforts with the aim of submitting creative perspectives dealing with the consequences arising from those crises. It is our conviction that common visions and stances should be developed as a necessary prerequisite for enabling OIC member states to adapt to the current international situation, which differs than that prevailing when the OIC was established 44 years ago. On the other hand, we realize the importance of consolidating the OIC principles and noble objectives, which are crucial nowadays more than anytime else. 

I will be glad to welcome Their Majesties and Excellencies Kings, Heads of State and Government of the OIC member countries in Egypt, as well as all Delegates to our Twelfth Summit in February 2013. I am confident that this Summit will be important, successful, and will pave the way towards a new horizon of joint Islamic cooperation and coordination that complies with the aspirations of our peoples for a better future.

Source: http://oicegypt.org/English/pages/default.aspx

Posted in Egypt, OIC Meeting | 1 Comment »

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.

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Opening remarks by His Excellency the Secretary General during the High Level meeting on intolerance

Posted by Human Rights in Islamic Countries on January 23, 2013


 

(London – January 22, 2013) 

Baroness Warsi, 
Hon’ble Ministers, 
Excellencies, 
Dear colleagues, 

Let me begin by thanking you Madam for taking the commendable initiative to organize this high level meeting. I also acknowledge the presence of Ministers and other colleagues who responded to your kind invitation. In addition to making the most of the traditional British hospitality, we are all gathered here to address an issue of utmost contemporary significance. We must aim at developing a common understanding on the way forward. I will briefly share some ideas in this regard. 

Combating discrimination and intolerance forms a most daunting challenge of our times. It constitutes a matter of vital concern at the OIC. The increasing trend of Islamophobia is indeed ominous in a globalized world. There has been an alarming increase in intolerance and discrimination against Muslims. The fifth report of OIC Islamophobia Observatory reveals an alarming upsurge. It has been a period punctuated by utterly reprehensible episodes including – burning of the holy Quran – the Utoya massacre in Norway – and most recently the release of the trailer of ‘innocence of Muslims’. In confirming our worst fears, increasing frequency of such events and their aftermath vindicated OIC’s warnings of serious repercussions. The long term implications go beyond these repercussions. 

During the last five years, a succession of unfortunate steps taken even by some governments in the West – indicating institutionalization and constitutionalization of Islamophobia – are disturbing. Most disconcerting is the emerging pattern of its abuse as an instrument of local, regional and international politics – documented by our Observatory over the last five years. Religion has come to play an increasingly important role in the calculus of international relations. The situation is likely to exacerbate in the wake of the current economic recession. It must accordingly figure in our strategic calculations. Tensions must not be allowed to simmer but addressed through concerted action. They could jeopardize peaceful coexistence in an interdependent and interconnected world. 

Gatherings like the one today are, therefore, increasingly important. In a world faced with the menace of terrorism, incitement to hatred, discrimination, and violence, cannot and must not be ignored. We would, otherwise, be faced with the unaffordable risk of the agenda hijacked and set by radicals and non-state actors. We need to act to wrest the initiative away from the street to the table of meaningful and result oriented multilateral discourse. 

Excellencies, 
Dear colleagues, 

The consensual passage of HRC resolution 16/18 has been widely acknowledged as a positive development. The Resolution forms a triumph of multilateralism must also be seen as a poster child of OIC-US-EU cooperation. It demonstrated OIC’s ability to forge consensus on a most sensitive of issues in contemporary international relations. The resolution codified the eight points identified in my address to the 15th Session of the Human Rights Council. These points constitute areas of action at the national and the international levels. I am gratified that they could form the basis of consensus. It afforded the opportunity to focus on the real issues away from the politicization and polarization of a decade. 

We did not stop at mere passage of a resolution. The Istanbul Process initiated with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to build further on the consensus building that went into resolution 16/18 must be carried forward. Our meeting today is a part of this Process. I appreciate that it has come to be recognized as the way forward by all stakeholders. Its merit lies in acceptance as the least common denominator. This approach carries a lot of potential in terms of evolving an international consensus to deal with the matter while addressing genuine concerns of all parties. The real test, however, lies in implementation. The consensus would, otherwise, be fragile. The approach signified by the resolution 16/18 is not an end in itself. It is a means to an end. We need to build on it. 
It must be appreciated that there is mounting public pressure on OIC Member States to take concrete action. A recently held panel of eminent lawyers and human rights practitioners – at the OIC – endorsed the 16/18 approach and the Istanbul Process as the avenues for engagement. It was agreed that there is no need to move towards an entirely new instrument. The provisions of existing instruments, including articles 19 and 20 of ICCPR, suffice in covering OIC’s concerns. It is the voids or gaps in interpretation, implementation and information that need to be plugged. There are differences that must be ironed out to develop a common understanding. I believe according equal weight to the concerns on both sides could form a good point of departure. 
Within the framework of the Istanbul Process, we must continue to address interrelated issues. Grey areas need to be squarely addressed in search of durable and consensual solutions. The two Istanbul Process events in Washington and London have addressed important areas with regard to the eight points. The Process must be carried forward. I take this opportunity to inform that OIC will be hosting the next event in the Istanbul Process. We look forward to sustaining a candid and frank exchange of views on each of the eight areas of action. This engagement would help us build on the consensus signified by the Resolution 16/18.The text has evolved as reflected by the latest UNGA resolution 67/178.It must continue to evolve on a consensual basis. 

Let me conclude by drawing attention to the need for an effective international mechanism that could act as an early warning system. I understand that the idea of an international observatory at the OHCHR in Geneva enjoyed support at the Winton Park event last month. OIC has its own Observatory with a mandate limited to monitoring Islamophobia. I understand that another mechanism to monitor hate crimes is in place at the OSCE. It also has a limited mandate. We need an Observatory at the international level with the broad mandate to monitor and document all instances of discrimination and intolerance on religious grounds. It must have a global coverage. It would monitor intolerance and discrimination against all religions and their respective followers. This would help us develop an empirical basis to understand the extent of the problem. That, in turn, would figure into evolving an effective and concerted international response to this matter of vital concern. OIC has been supportive of such an Observatory. In fact I indicated this support in the same statement at the Human Rights Council in September 2010 where the eight points were mentioned. I am reiterating this idea hoping that an agreement, in principle, can be reached at this meeting. It would form at least one concrete outcome of this important gathering. 

I conclude my remarks and would be listening carefully to all the interventions. 

I thank you Baroness. 
I thank you all.

 Source: http://www.oic-oci.org/topic_detail.asp?t_id=7655

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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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