|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Organization of Islamic Cooperation Can Properly Reflect Such Critical Issues
as Interfaith Harmony in Post-2015 Agenda, Says Secretary-General in Message
Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message to the United Nations-OIC General Meeting on Cooperation, as delivered by Cihan Sultanoğlu, Assistant Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in Istanbul, Turkey, 20 May:
Since the last general meeting held in Geneva two years ago, cooperation between the United Nations and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has further strengthened.
Last October, the United Nations Security Council held a first ever meeting on the role of the OIC in maintaining peace and security. Our joint work encompasses mediation support, electoral assistance, the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the regulation of conventional arms.
The United Nations family is also working with OIC member States to promote sustainable development and poverty eradication, ensure the protection and promotion of human rights, enhance South-South cooperation and advance reproductive, maternal and child health.
As the world shapes a common development agenda for the post-2015 period, the OIC’s attention to the rights of migrants, interfaith harmony and gender equality can help ensure that these issues are properly reflected.
We share a concern in addressing a number of peace and security challenges.
The OIC can play a critical role in supporting peace efforts in the Middle East and in helping create an environment of trust and understanding. The UN position on the illegality of Israel’s settlements is well known. I have reiterated the importance of respecting religious freedom and refraining from provocations. We must also continue to work to ease the plight of the people of Gaza, where deteriorating conditions for the civilian population remain a source of deep concern.
The situation in Syria is devastating. Humanitarian needs are escalating as communities remain under siege. There is no military solution. The rise in sectarian overtones of the conflict is extremely alarming and has created fertile ground for extremists. It is critical to immediately stop the flow of arms and fighters. I urge the Syrian parties and those with influence over them to work together to stop the violence and achieve a political solution.
The situation in the Central African Republic is of serious concern. As I saw on my recent visit to the country, the justice system has crumbled. Atrocity crimes continue. Ethno-religious cleansing is a reality. Whole communities have been dismantled.
The recent establishment of the United Nations peacekeeping operation in the Central African Republic, MINUSCA, is an important step towards addressing the crisis in a more integrated and sustainable manner. But since the Mission will not be deployed until September, stronger support for the Central African Republic in the interim period is essential.
Finally, I know our organizations are also watching the situation in Myanmar closely. I encourage the Government of Myanmar and the OIC to engage constructively on the plight of Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State.
I trust that this meeting will provide an opportunity to exchange views and deepen our collaboration. I offer best wishes for a productive session and thank you for your engagement.
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