I am pleased to convey my greetings to the 42nd Session of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Council of Foreign Ministers.
It is timely and important that this gathering focuses on a common vision to strengthen mutual understanding and reject terrorism. Fuelled by destructive ideologies, a rising wave of intolerance and hatred in many parts of the world represents a serious threat to international peace and security. Deeply troubling sectarian tensions are growing, often exploited and spurred by extremist movements.
In order to support the efforts of Member States, I will present a United Nations Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism to the 70th Session of the General Assembly later this year. This Plan will address the underlying conditions that allow violent extremism to take root, including political, economic and social marginalization; weak institutions and a lack of good governance; and a culture of intolerance and injustice. Seeking to tackle terrorism at the cost of human rights has proven to be self-defeating and will merely serve to perpetuate the problem or make it even worse.
In Syria, after 4 years of war and appalling human suffering and destruction, the international community must act to protect civilians and advance regional security and stability.
In Iraq, Da’esh and associated armed groups continue to wreak havoc in the lives of millions of Iraqis - while also seeking to systematically erase their cultural heritage. I hope OIC Member States will continue to provide political, security, and humanitarian support for the government of Iraq’s courageous efforts to address this threat, while also expanding economic and trade cooperation.
With respect to the unfolding tragedy in Yemen, we must strive to engage a broad range of Yemeni actors to restore momentum towards a Yemeni-led political transition. I call on the OIC and its members to support the UN-led process.
On the Palestinian question, the two-State solution is in grave jeopardy. The Arab Peace Initiative remains a solid framework for a negotiated solution. Israeli settlement activity continues to be a major obstacle to peace and violates international law. Actions aiming at changing the status quo on the Holy Sites in Jerusalem are unacceptable.
Gaza remains a tinderbox. I strongly urge those who made pledges for Gaza's reconstruction at the Cairo conference last October to honour their commitments without further delay. All the crossings into Gaza must be opened to enable the legitimate movement of people and goods.
I commend OIC member states for playing an increasingly significant role in responding to humanitarian crises. I also call for strengthened cooperation between our two organizations on a number of other issues of mutual interest, including Afghanistan, the Central African Republic Myanmar, the Sahel region, Somalia and Sudan.
Finally, this year can and must be the time for global action to ensure a better future for us all. Member States are deliberating on a new universal and transformative post-2015 development agenda with a set of sustainable development goals at its core. I count on your continuing support. I look forward to participation at the highest level by many OIC countries in the Summit that I will convene in September to endorse the post-2015 agenda.