• Sunday, Jan 17, 2021
  • Last Update : 07:08 pm

Rohingya among top agendas at OIC FMs meeting

  • Published at 07:14 pm November 26th, 2020
rohingya camp
File photo of a Rohingya camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

The delegates will discuss on how to raise funds for the Rohingya case at ICJ

Foreign ministers of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) countries are set to meet together on Friday while the Rohingya genocide case with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) is expected to come up among the top agendas.

OIC Secretary General Dr Yousef Al-Othaimeen said in a statement that the CMF would discuss how to raise funds for the Rohingya case at the ICJ in addition to other issues concerning the Muslim world like Palestinian cause, fight against violence, extremism and terrorism, Islamophobia and religious defamation.

OIC General Secretariat set the stage for the two day 47th session of 57-member OIC’s Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) meeting in Niger’s capital Niamey here from Nov 27-28.

The OIC foreign ministers will also discuss, over two days, political, humanitarian, economic, socio-cultural and other issues related to science and technology, the media and the implementation progress of the OIC plan of action 2025.

The situation of Muslim minorities and communities in non-member states as well as civilization, cultural and religious dialogue promotion, and other matters may come before the council, OIC secretariat said.

 “The OIC took the Rohingya issue seriously… all the OIC members have been supporting us strongly over the issue in the United Nations,” Bangladesh foreign minister told BSS on Tuesday.

Momen expected the Rohingya crisis to largely dominate CMF agenda to add fresh pressure on Myanmar in the “accountability and justice front” and to take back their nationals from Bangladesh.

The foreign minister was scheduled to attend the CMF in person, but he got positive for coronavirus while undergoing the COVID test in Dhaka one day before flying to Niger.

However, in absence of the foreign minister, Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Dr. Mohammad Javed Patwary, who is also Bangladesh Permanent Representative to OIC will lead the Bangladesh delegation at CMF here tomorrow.

The Bangladesh delegation also includes Director General of International Organization (IO) of the foreign ministry Wahida Ahmed.

Bangladesh is set to initiate a fund mobilization campaign at the CMF to support Gambia’s legal battle against Myanmar at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over the Rohingya genocide.

Dr Momen said Gambia, an OIC member as well, volunteered to move to ICJ with the Rohingya issue and needed the financial support to fight the case.

Dhaka itself planned to offer an amount to help Gambia fight the case and ask the OIC countries to stand by the West African nation with financial assistance.

“We will disburse our fund to OIC for supporting Gambia to run the case in ICJ as they need financial support after appointing lawyer for the case,” Momen told BSS on Tuesday.

“Dhaka will make a strong plea” in the regard, he said.

Officials familiar with Bangladesh initiatives said Dhaka by now disburse a fund to the OIC for supporting the Gambia’s case but declined to disclose the amount saying it would be befitting to announce it during the CFM meeting with its theme being “United against Terrorism for Peace .”

Bangladesh is hosting over 1.1 million forcefully displaced Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar district and most of them arrived there since August 25, 2017 after the military crackdown at their homeland.

In November last year, Gambia had brought the case against Myanmar to the ICJ with the backing of OIC, Canada and the Netherlands while ICJ held its first hearing on December 10-12.

On January 23 last, the ICJ made the historic unanimous decision ordering provisional measures to prevent further acts of genocide against the Rohingyas in Myanmar.

During the CFM, Bangladesh would also present the country’s so far success, under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in containing the coronavirus while advocate for equal distribution of potential COVID vaccine to all countries irrespective of rich and poor.

Saying that Bangladesh is in a leadership role in promoting equal access of potential COVID vaccine to the global platforms, Momen added, “Vaccine should be distributed among all countries without discrimination … We do believe in principle that unless all are COVID free, no one can be COVID free.”

Rights of migrant workers would be another important agenda for Bangladesh at the CFM as rich Middle Eastern OIC member states host huge numbers of expatriate Bangladeshi workers.

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