Reform should be relevant to Muslim Ummah plagued by fratricidal conflicts, says Dr Momen
A two-day long brainstorming session on comprehensive reform to the Organisation of Islamic Conference, often describes as an ineffective entity failed to serve the purposes of its establishment, has began in Dhaka.
The session, co-chaired by Bangladesh, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, for re-engineering legal, political and administrative architecture of the OIC is expected to come up with stronger policy recommendations.
The recommendations will be discussed at the next council of the foreign ministers to be held in April, 2020 in Niamey, Niger.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen inaugurated the second edition of this session at a local hotel on Wednesday.
The first session was held in Jeddah on October 23-25 in 2018.
Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen conducted the inaugural session of the event being participated by the delegates from 57 member states.
Inaugurating the session, Foreign Minister Dr Momen said that the reform should be relevant to Muslim Ummah and should enable the organisation to meet the challenges of 21st century.
“We are here today (Wednesday) to offer views and visions to identify areas, issues and possible solutions towards a comprehensive reform of the OIC. This reform is not cosmetic or administrative in nature. Rather, this reform is for making the organisation more relevant to the Ummah that it serves,” he said.
"We must put the Ummah’s interest first. The visions of Islam was always synchretic and inclusive. The OIC must also adhere to similar principles,” he added.
Dr Momen said that Bangladesh always wants to ensure that mechanisms and initiatives created for dispute and conflict resolution, and diffusion of tension through peaceful means like mediation, arbitration, joint diplomatic moves and peace-making or peace-building missions are activated, harmonised and put into operation.
He called for stopping the fratricidal conflicts plaguing the Muslim world, saying, “We must stop infighting among the Muslim Ummah.”
“We wish to enable this historic conference of the Islamic civilisation with a discernible global voice and a stronger network of both ideas and actors – so that it may exert a superior strategic leverage in the affairs of the globe,” he said.
“I would urge upon the distinguished delegates to devise their interventions which do not fail to answer questions like: why the organisation was created in the first place; or why many of its founding ambitions still remain unfulfilled; or for that matter, if the organisation is still relevant to live up to the challenges that the Ummah faces today,” Dr Momen said.
“We must understand that the onerous responsibility of upholding the image, trust and honour of the House of Islam rests on the OIC and we must not fail to suitably equip the organisation and direct its resources for thwarting the designs and onslaughts of Islam’s enemies and secure and safeguard a dignified and prosperous future for the Ummah,” he said.
“Our task today is to ensure that the OIC become a benchmark in transparency, accountability, independence and equity,” he added.
The foreign minister urged the delegates to identify ways and means to engage the private sector and civil society in new partnership models.
He called to harness the energy of the youth and the women to encourage various professional associations and networks such as the STI (Science, Technology and Innovation) community in furthering OIC objectives and advancing its collective agenda.