Ambassador Hussein Ibrahim Taha from Chad has also been elected as the new secretary general of the 57-member bloc
The meet of the foreign ministers of 57 member states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has concluded in Niamey, Niger, seeking fund for legal battle over the Rohingya genocide, urging Muslim solidarity to fight Islamophobia and terrorism, and retreating support to the principle of Arab initiative of two state solution over the Palestine cause.
“We emphasized importance of solidarity, not the division... we are looking for respect to each other… freedom of speech doesn’t mean you can say something about religion,” said OIC Secretary General Dr Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen at a press briefing, after the 47th Council of Foreign Minister (CFM) ended on Saturday afternoon.
Urging every quarter to tolerate each other’s opinions, he said extremism is not part of Islam. “Islam has no problem with other cultures, Islam respects women empowerment and Islam fights terrorism.”
“But, if some bad guys or bad boys do something it doesn’t represent Islam, they only represent themselves,” he said, as the OIC member states expressed their concerns over recent rise of Islamophobia in different parts of Europe.
The OIC secretary general thanked the countries, including Bangladesh, which have already supported Gambia for bearing its legal cost to run the Rohingya genocide case filed with the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
Mentioning that the OIC has already opened a special account for resource mobilization to Gambia for its case with ICJ, he said other member states have been urged to donate more fund.
At the CMF, Bangladesh officially announced that it has already disbursed $500,000 to the OIC to support the West African nation’s legal battle against Myanmar.
“Bangladesh with its limited capacity has already contributed half million US dollars to OIC for Gambia,” Bangladesh Permanent Representative to OIC Mohammad Javed Patwary said while addressing the CFM as the head of Bangladesh delegation.
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 a brutal 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. The ICJ held its first hearing on December 10-12.
On January 23, the ICJ made the historic unanimous decision, ordering provisional measures to prevent further acts of genocide against the Rohingyas in Myanmar.
The Palestine cause
Regarding the Palestine issue, the OIC secretary general said the CFM has emphasized on the same principle of Arab initiative and the United Nations Resolution regarding the Palestine cause.
“We has emphasized on two state solution [of Palestine crisis], it is very important,” he added.
He said the OIC also welcomes any initiative that leads a peaceful resolution of Palestine problem that has been continuing in last 72 years. “A peaceful solution through dialogue is very important,” he said.
New secretary general
Dr Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen also extended his congratulations to the new OIC secretary general-elect and wished for his success to continue promoting joint Islamic action in the interest of peoples and countries of the Islamic world.
During the CFM, Ambassador Hussein Ibrahim Taha from Chad was elected as the new OIC secretary general for a five-year term, starting from November 17, 2021.
The OIC’s 57 member states elected the new secretary general by consensus. Ambassador Taha took the oath of office after announcing his election before the concluding session of the CFM.