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OIC forms committee on Rohingya crisis

WT24 Desk

Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali as the chair of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers announced that the ‘OIC Ad-hoc Ministerial Committee on Accountability’ would work in collaboration with international actors such as relevant UN bodies.

He said the delegations “unanimously” expressed their grave concern on the Rohingya crisis as the number of Rohingyas in Bangladesh have crossed one million.

They expressed their appreciation to Bangladesh for providing shelter to the Rohingya people and urged strong action against the Myanmar

government, he said at the concluding statement of the 45th council of the OIC foreign ministers in Dhaka on Sunday.

The council adopted a Dhaka declaration where the Rohingya crisis was also highlighted.

He said this was perhaps one of the largest of any OIC council of foreign ministers with a total of almost 600 delegates of 110 delegations participating in the Dhaka meeting.

The OIC secretary general, Yousef A Othaimeen, said the ad-hoc committee was “important” and will mobilise and coordinate international support and ensure accountability for the human rights violation against Rohingya Muslims.

“This is important. This is one of the concrete steps that are being taken to alleviate the problems of our brothers and sisters of Rohingya,” he said adding that it is “important” to keep pressure on Myanmar on this issue.

“This is important not only for Muslims but also for the world because this is not a religious conflict, this is a humanitarian, human rights issue. This is something everybody of the planet must be concerned about,” he said.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam later told journalists that Gambia would chair this ministerial level committee.

During the OIC meeting Bangladesh assumed the chairmanship of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers and will act in this capacity for the next year, until the 46th meet in the United Arab Emirates.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the meeting on Saturday, where she highlighted the Rohingya crisis.

She urged the OIC to maintain international pressure on Myanmar authorities and make Myanmar implement its agreement with Bangladesh to facilitate the safe and sustainable return of the forcibly displaced Rohingyas.

More than 120 resolutions were adopted on issues related to political, economic, social and cultural aspects of OIC member countries at the meeting.

Four of these resolutions were put forward by Bangladesh. They are agreements on regional integration through enhanced connectivity, cooperation in the media sector for sharing best practices on SDG implementation, on comprehensive OIC reforms (jointly with Turkey) and establishment of a Special Chair at Dhaka University.

Bangladesh proposed the reform of the OIC to reach the benefits of the Islamic group to all Muslims across the world. Currently only Muslim-majority countries are the members of this grouping.

But the state minister said that Bangladesh argued that there are non-majority countries where Muslims number more than the entire populations of many OIC member states, and they should not be left out of the benefits from the grouping.

“OIC means an organisation of Islamic cooperation, not countries, and that’s why we proposed the reform”.

This year the meeting was themed on “Islamic Values for Sustainable Peace, Solidarity and Development”.

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