OIC Council of Foreign Ministers: Muslims from 4 Continents gathered in Islamabad

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The 48th OIC Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) meeting was held in Pakistan on March 22-23, 2022; 30 Foreign Ministers, 16 Deputy Foreign Ministers, more than 600 diplomats and more than 800 observers around the globe witnessed the event. The Chinese Foreign Minister was especially invited to grace the event. Muslims from 57 countries and 4 continents took-part in the event.

The two-day annual meeting of the OIC 57-member Council of Foreign Ministers was held in Islamabad under the theme “Building Partnership for Unity, Justice and Development.

Addressing to the inaugural session of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on March 22, 2022, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan said that “we have failed on Palestine and Kashmir issue, we all have our own foreign policies, but I want to say that the way human rights violations are taking place in Palestine, if we do not unite and take a unanimous stand, we couldn’t make an impact. We (The Muslims) are divided and international powers know it. We are one and a half billion Muslims in the world but still we have failed. We are not talking about occupying any country but at the same time we are not able to help our fellow Muslims who are living miserable lives in the world.

Talking about Afghanistan, Imran Khan said, “a stable Afghanistan is the key to end terrorism in the region and in the world. Afghans do not like outside interference. International community has to include Afghanistan in mainstream politics. There is a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, 40 years have passed and no nation has been affected like Afghanistan”. PM Imran Khan said Muslims have been linked to terrorism, religion has nothing to do with terrorism, Islamophobia is a reality. The Prime Minister suggested joint efforts of OIC and China for a ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine. He advised the Islamic countries to remain neutral in this conflict. Imran Khan said that instead of going to a bloc and being a part of the war, stay united and become partners in peace.

Foreign Minister of Pakistan Shah Mehmood Qurashi while addressing the meeting of the OIC Contact Group on Kashmir said, “Pakistan is committed to a speedy and peaceful resolution on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions and the aspirations of the Kashmiri people”. Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that we demand from India to immediately withdraw its unilateral and illegal measures from August 05, 2019 in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

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The OIC Secretary General Hussain Ibrahim Taha also addressed the conference. He said “Kashmiri people should be given the right to self-determination in accordance with the UN resolutions. OIC urges resolution on Kashmir dispute in accordance with UN resolutions. Talking about Afghanistan, the OIC Secretary-General said that Afghans are in touch with the international community for peace. “Afghan peace efforts need to be sped up in partnership with Afghan authorities and international partners”.

The President of the Islamic Development Bank Group, Dr. Muhammad Al-Jassir also shared his thoughts with conference. He said that the OIC, the donor countries, institutions, and international community, needs connected efforts to help the people of Afghanistan. He stressed the need to promote trade, economic cooperation and trade corridors between OIC countries. Welcoming the establishment of the Humanitarian Trust Fund for Afghanistan, Dr. Muhammad Al-Jassir said that it was an expression of solidarity of the OIC with the people of Afghanistan and the provision of humanitarian aid to Afghanistan.

Addressing the conference, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that friendly relations with Pakistan are the basis of China’s tradition and China cannot forget the support of the Islamic world in the United Nations. He said that China’s support for Palestinian Muslims has always been unwavering. He said that history has proved that China is the sincerest friend of the Muslim world. He said 54 Muslim countries have signed the One Belt One Road project and China is investing $ 400 billion in 600 projects in the Muslim world. The Chinese Foreign Minister said “there is a need to move forward to dialogues and to avoid conflicts between civilizations; China is in favor of dialogue between civilizations”.

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UN Secretary-General António Guterres also addressed the OIC conference via video link, he said that the relationship between the United Nations and the OIC is decades-old, based on a shared belief in the values of multilateral cooperation, dialogue and solidarity. He said “these two organizations have worked together to foster a culture of peace and understanding. In recent years, we have cooperated in key areas, including mediation, counter-terrorism, preventing violent extremism, fighting anti-Muslim hatred and promoting religious tolerance”.

Islamabad Declaration 2022

The joint communiqué of OIC CFM was titled ‘Islamabad Declaration 2022’. A wide-ranging Islamabad Declaration containing 70 points which includes:

It is proposed to convene a ministerial meeting to work out ways to prevent conflicts and promote peace

Supporting goals to address Palestine, Kashmir and other common challenges

Welcoming the decision to observe March 15 as International Day for Combating Islamophobia and Appointing Special Envoys

The central theme of partnership for unity, justice and development has been included in joint communiqué

Protecting the rights and interests of Muslim minorities in non-OIC countries

To follow the shared vision for social, economic, scientific and technological development

Integration within and outside the Muslim world

Promoting harmony, tolerance, peaceful coexistence, better quality of life, human dignity and understanding among all people

Welcoming the activation of the Afghan Humanitarian Trust Fund (AHTF)

Rejection of all aspects/ angles of terrorism

Condemnation of the use of terrorism against any country, religion, nationality, race or civilization

OIC’s strong position against any attempt to harmonize the legitimate struggle of the people for self-determination with terrorism

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The Declaration clarifies the devastating social and economic effects of COVID-19, as well as perspective on climate change in developing countries.

The participants of the OIC Meeting were specially invited to witness the Pakistan Day (23 March) Military Parade. This time on this occasion OIC float was specially included in the Pakistan Day parade. In addition, the Chinese Foreign Minister also participated in the Pakistan Day Parade, which is a testament to the friendship between the two countries.

Troops from Bahrain’s National Guard, Azerbaijan’s Armed Forces, Turkish Armed Forces and Royal Saudi Army also marched in the special parade. For the first time, a contingent of Uzbek Armed Forces too participated in this parade.

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Muhammad Farhan Niazi is a correspondent for Eat News in Pakistan and is an experienced senior producer with a demonstrated history of working in the media production industry. Skilled in feature and news writing, non-linear editing, radio, multimedia journalism, Online journalism, film production, and sound. Strong media and communication professional graduated from University of Peshawar.

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