I am pleased to send greetings to the 40th session of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Council of Foreign Ministers.
Allow me first to commend the recent peaceful legislative elections in Guinea. It is now critical that all members of the National Assembly work together for the good of the country.
Securing peace, sustainable development and human rights for all requires sincere dialogue and cooperation – within countries and among nations, faiths and cultures. I am pleased, therefore, that you have chosen these themes as the focus of your meeting.
The current intergovernmental debate on our future sustainable development path has shown that no culture, political philosophy or way of life has a monopoly on answers to global challenges. The post-2015 development agenda will require a synthesis of the best lessons from all.
Dialogue and compromise are also needed in addressing the numerous peace and security challenges facing our two Organizations. The status quo in the occupied Palestinian territory is not sustainable. The occupation is deeply damaging to Israelis and Palestinians alike. We must help forge a way forward within the agreed timeframe.
Regarding the Syrian crisis, an international conference will be held in Switzerland on 22 January to advance intra-Syrian negotiations. We expect all members of the international community to fully support this effort. The people of Syria desperately need our help.
I welcome the recent OIC ministerial visit to Myanmar. Such efforts can help address international concerns, including the question of citizenship for the Rohingya population and protection against the discrimination and violence they have faced.
In Afghanistan, 2014 will be a critical year of transition. Now more than ever, strengthened regional cooperation is essential for stability, prosperity and development for the country and the region.
In the Sahel, my recent visit allowed me to hear the concerns and priorities of the Governments and people of the region. Along with multilateral partners and national authorities, we have committed to undertake an extraordinary effort, including through an Integrated Strategy that addresses security and counter-terrorism in a broad development framework.
The peace processes in Sudan and the transition in Somalia also need the continuing support of the international community. I count on the OIC’s cooperation.
Recently, the Security Council issued a Presidential Statement recognizing “the importance of strengthening cooperation with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in the maintenance of international peace and security.” Through our coordinated efforts, the United Nations and OIC can help make the world more peaceful, democratic and prosperous.
In that spirit of partnership, I wish you a successful meeting.