The upcoming foreign minister-level meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) will be held in Dhaka from May 5 to 6.
The event will feature the foreign ministers of 28 countries, the state ministers for foreign affairs of 10, the minister of justice of one, and the foreign secretaries of seven countries.
Canadian Foreign Minister Christia Freeland will be present as special guest in the event, despite Canada not being a member of the OIC, which has 57 countries as members. She will be present at the inauguration ceremony.
When asked about the focal points of this year’s event, an official said: “Internal reforms of the OIC will be discussed, and a decision will quite possibly be taken regarding setting up a Conflict Management Centre.
“After Turkey proposed that we have a centre for conflict and mediation capacity, the matter was discussed at a meeting between OIC’s senior officials, and we are hoping that it will be sanctioned at the ministers’ meeting,” he added.
“There are many countries in the Muslim world that have tension or conflicts between each other, and such a centre would allow the mediation of such undesirable issues,” the official added.
Another official said they are hoping that reforms within the OIC will be discussed and finalized this year. “In the past, it was impossible to even bring this topic up, but now the situation of the world and conflicts within the Muslim community has compelled the organization to consider it. This includes the past actions of the OIC, and what could have been done better,” he said.
“Everyone is now willing to discuss the current and future plans of the OIC,” he added.
Sources said at this year’s meeting, a three-page resolution will be adopted regarding the Rohingya issue which will contain detailed descriptions of the OIC’s plans regarding the matter in the immediate future.
Officials said at the last three meetings and the previous top-level meeting of the organization – which was held in Cairo – Bangladesh had to work hard to even include the Rohingya issue into the agenda, with many countries strongly opposing even the use of the term “Rohingya.”
However, now the body is ready to adopt a firm resolution regarding the matter, and it is hoped that the ministers of many countries will visit the Rohingya camps at Cox’s Bazar on May 4 to see the plight of the community first-hand, sources said.
This article was first published on banglatribune.com