Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali on Saturday urged member states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to reinforce their efforts to convince Myanmar to take back its Rohingya people from Bangladesh.
“At the OIC, we should take strong actions manifesting solidarity with one another and strengthen our efforts in persuading the Myanmar government to take urgent measures for the sustainable return of Rohingyas to their homeland in Rakhine,” he said.
The minister made the call while addressing the inaugural session of the 45th Session of Council of Foreign Ministers of OIC (OIC-CFM) at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka.
He said hundreds of thousands of Rohingya people are fleeing a vicious purge in Rakhine state of Myanmar, while more than 1.1 million of them have already been displaced from their country.
“The exodus of Rohingya is the world’s most rapid and intense crisis...since the 1994 Rwandan genocide. They’re often described as the world’s most persecuted minorities,” Mahmood said.
Mentioning that a number of countries, which are not members of the OIC, have a large number of Muslims as their citizens, the minister stressed the need for building bridges with those non-OIC countries so that the Muslims living in those countries do not remain isolated from the OIC.
‘Islamophobia a big challenge’
“Today we’re facing formidable challenges of Islamophobia, terrorism, extremism, conflict and inequality within and among states,” Mahmood said.
“Terrorism and extremism in all forms and manifestations have become pervasive. Islamophobia is real and rampant. Anti-Muslim prejudice has grown considerably in recent years in every corner of the world.”
Rapid technological transformation
About technological transformation, the minister said: “We’re witnessing a rapid technological advancement in the fourth industrial revolution... This is bringing about dramatic socio-economic changes within societies and economies. Our future will depend on how we harness the advantages and address challenges of the fast technological transformation. Our efforts have to be innovative, flexible and inclusive.”
Development can be ensured only through the attainment of peace and prosperity of and by upholding justice as well as the rule of law.
Mahmood expressed his heartfelt thanks to Foreign Minister of Ivory Coast Marcel Amon Tanoh for his stewardship of the 44th CFM.