25 September 2009
Secretary-General
SG/SM/12490

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

In Message, Secretary-General Praises Partnership between United Nations, Islamic

 

Conference, Says Organizations Share Goals – Peace, Security, Global Harmony

 


Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message to the annual coordination meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), delivered by Shaaban Shaaban, Under-Secretary-General for General Assembly Affairs and Conference Management, in New York, 25 September:


Assalam Alaykum.


It is a pleasure to send greetings to the distinguished ministers and others participating in this annual coordination meeting.  I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the OIC on its forty anniversary.  Your Organization, the collective voice of the Muslim world, is the second largest intergovernmental organization after the United Nations, with goals that echo those of the United Nations ‑‑ peace, security and global harmony.


Our partnership includes collaboration on preventive diplomacy and peacebuilding in Asia and Africa.


In Iraq, I was pleased by our cooperation during the January 2009 provincial elections.  Despite notable progress, however, the security situation remains fragile.  Dialogue, reconciliation and regional cooperation are vital.


In Lebanon, I regret that no breakthrough has so far been possible on the formation of a new government.  All parties need to approach negotiations with a spirit of compromise.


And of course, the creation at the earliest opportunity of an independent Palestinian State living side by side in peace with Israel is in the fundamental interests of both people, the region and the international community.  I continue to urge the parties to implement their Road Map commitments, and especially for Israel to freeze all settlement activity as part of efforts to create the conditions for the early resumption of substantive negotiations on all core issues.


In Afghanistan, a country in conflict, with weak institutions and infrastructure and a high illiteracy rate, the fact that last month’s elections took place is an achievement in itself.  Irregularities took place but measures to detect them have worked.  The Afghan electoral institutions are working in accordance with the law to address them and this process should be allowed to take its course.  Once election results are clear, the international community should help the new government set the post-election agenda.  A political solution must be among the top of the agenda.


In Sudan, whatever the outcome of the 2011 referendum, the sooner the parties to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement begin to address issues of mutual interest and build the mechanisms necessary to live together, the more secure the post-referendum period will be.  In Darfur, the United Nations is pressing ahead with the deployment of UNAMID [African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur], but a peacekeeping operation cannot be a substitute for a political process.  Joint Chief Mediator [Djibril] Bassolé is working closely with the Government of Qatar to bring the parties to the conflict together in Doha for peace talks.


In Somalia, I look forward to further collaboration with both the OIC and the African Union.  The Transitional Federal Government is the best opportunity for peace and political stability since 1991.  I urge the OIC to contribute the much-needed financial support that will enable the TFG to expand its territorial control, maintain law and order, build institutions and deliver peace dividends, including basic services in the areas it controls.


Human security is not restricted to resolving political disputes such as these.  We must promote human rights and good governance.  We must fight discrimination of any sort, including Islamophobia.  We must fight faith-based violence, and foster tolerance, dialogue and mutual respect, as the UN Alliance of Civilizations initiative is doing.


We should do more to create opportunities for young people ‑‑ and equal opportunities for women through access to education, health initiatives, and ensuring their right to participate in the civic and political life of their countries.


And to ensure the well-being of future generations, we must address the threat of climate change.  I thank you for your engagement at this week’s Summit and will look to you to do your part in sealing a deal in Copenhagen in December.


One fifth of the world’s population is given a voice through the OIC.  I deeply appreciate your collaboration with the United Nations and look forward to working more closely together in addressing the threats and challenges of our times.  Please accept my best wishes for a successful meeting.


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For information media • not an official record