On the concluding day of the 44th Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) of the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Bangladesh candidate Ambassador Muhammad Zamir was elected as a new member of the OIC Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC).
Ambassador Zamir will begin his three-year tenure with the OIC-IPHRC, based in Jeddah, from February 2018.
The IPHRC has a total of 18 members split evenly from three geographical regions- Arab, Asia and Africa. Among the members, nine rotate on an election basis.
From the 18 member states in the Asian region of OIC, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Turkey, Uzbekistan and Pakistan had earlier nominated their candidates for the IPHRC, a press release said.
In the subsequent Asian regional OIC-IPHRC elections, held in Abidjan on July 11, 17 of the 18 countries attended, with Turkmenistan not present. After a secret ballot, the candidates from Bangladesh, Turkey and Uzbekistan were elected to the IPHRC. The three year tenure of a member is renewable only once.
The Arab and African regions have also elected their candidates.
Ambassador Muhammad Zamir is a former ambassador as well as former chief information commissioner (ministerial rank), also having served at the OIC General Secretariat in Jeddah.
Member states of the Asian region in the OIC are Afghanistan, Albania, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Brunei, Guyana, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Maldives, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, Suriname, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
The IPHRC is an expert body with advisory capacity established by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) as one of the principal organs working independently in the area of human rights.
The broad contours of an effective and independent human rights mechanism were envisaged in the OIC Ten-Year Programme of Action adopted by the 3rd Extraordinary Islamic Summit held in Makkah Al-Mukarramah, Saudi Arabia, on December 7-8, 2005.
Accordingly, the creation of IPHRC was enunciated in the New OIC Charter adopted by the 11th Islamic Summit held in Dakar, Senegal, on March 13-14, 2008.
The Commission was formally launched with the adoption of its statute by the 38th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) held in Astana, Kazakhstan, on June 28-30, 2011.
Earlier, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, under directives from Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, campaigned for Bangladesh candidate Zamir’s election to the IPHRC.
Due to the concerted efforts of the ministry in activating missions to Riyadh and New York, as well as to the capitals of Asian region member countries, Muhammad Zamir’s election to the independent commission was successful.