Islamabad, 22 March 2022 (TDI): The Foreign Minister of Pakistan, Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi addressed the 48th Session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM), today.
The 48th Session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) is being held in Islamabad and will last for two days from 22-23 March. Various dignitaries are participating in the session. Following is the text of his address:
Remarks by the Foreign Minister of Pakistan at the 48th Session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM)
Honorable Prime Minister Imran Khan,
Secretary-General H.E. Hissein Brahim Taha,
Honorable Foreign Ministers,
I welcome you all to the 48th Session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers.
It is a matter of pride for us to host this meeting in 2022 which marks the 75th Anniversary of Pakistan’s independence.
We commend the leadership role of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as the OIC Summit Chair.
We also express profound gratitude to the OIC General Secretariat for facilitating this important meeting.
Let me also express our highest appreciation to the Government of Niger for hosting the last CFM and leading the organization during the past year.
I am confident that our work during the next two days will be guided by the eternal Islamic values of amity and brotherhood, as embodied in the Quran and the teachings of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him).
The OIC is the collective voice of nearly 2 billion Muslims. It is a bridge between Muslim nations and between the Muslim world and the international community.
Promoting solidarity and cooperation within the Muslim Ummah is one of the central pillars of Pakistan’s foreign policy. As Chair of the OIC-CFM during 2022-23, Pakistan’s overarching goal shall be to solidify this bridging role further.
We are witnessing unprecedented turbulence at the global level. Conflict in Ukraine which has rekindled East-West tensions threatens international peace and security. A new and destabilizing global arms race is underway. Conflicts, among and within nations, have proliferated.
Political and military blocs are vying for more power at the cost of global equilibrium. World trade and growth are declining under the weight of technology wars.
Inequality has become a defining feature of our times. The Covid-19 pandemic has increased inequalities through greater debt burdens, fiscal deficits, and liquidity crunch.
Rising commodity prices will further accentuate inequalities, erode development gains, and hinder progress toward Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Climate Change is accelerating and making parts of our earth inhospitable and warmer than ever.
The Muslim world is faced with conflicts in the Middle East, prolonged foreign occupation, and the denial of the right to self-determination, most notably to the people of Palestine and Kashmir.
The Muslim world’s resentment is increasing due to frequent external interventions in Muslim countries.
Left unaddressed, these conflicts and disputes undermine our unity and solidarity, expose our countries to foreign interference and intervention, fuel terrorism and extremism, and deflect attention from our development goals and the welfare of our people.
To help forge a collective response, and under the theme of “Partnering for Unity, Justice, and Development,” I would like to focus on three specific challenges:
a. First, partnering for unity by jointly addressing the challenges and conflicts within the Ummah.
b. Second, uniting for justice for the rights of Muslims under occupation and conflicts with countries beyond our Ummah. This should also include the urgency of addressing the pervasive Islamophobia facing Muslims in non-Muslim majority countries.
c. Third, partnering for development by effectively addressing the triple global crises of COVID-19, development, and climate change.
The Holy Quran, says to the believers: “Hold fast all of you, to the cord of Allah and be not divided”
In this era of global turmoil, the situation of Muslims in many parts of the world is heart-wrenching. Currently, more than 60 percent of all conflicts in the world exist in Muslim countries.
From Yemen to Syria to the Sahel, the range of conflicts in the Muslim world and their intensity is palpable. These are festering wounds on the body politic of Islam.
More than two-thirds of all refugees worldwide come from just five countries: Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Myanmar, and Somalia. Above all, the Muslim countries are hosting the largest number of refugees.
While we must work to prevent outside interference in the Muslim World, we alone can find solutions to internal fissures and challenges. The key to ending these conflicts and disputes is comprehensive engagement and cooperation among Islamic countries.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Islamic world is endowed with both natural and human resources that are unmatchable. We are home to over a quarter of the world’s entire youth.
This unparalleled youth bulge is yearning for opportunities and progress. It is a harbinger of innovation, industry, and growth. Prime Minister Imran Khan has declared the year 2022 as an investment in the youth.
Building on this potential, it is time for the Ummah to forge a collective response to the current turmoil inside its borders and the ongoing global transition.
We must be a reliable partner in forging unity, justice, and development across the globe, but not anyone’s accomplice in aggression or domination.
To this end, I propose convening an OIC Ministerial Conference during 2022-2023. This Conference, among others, could assess the need for establishing a peace and security architecture akin to all other regional organizations.
This Conference should also discuss how the OIC can and must strengthen itself by developing and deploying tools for conflict prevention, mediation, reconciliation, and peacebuilding.
Excellencies, Ladies, and Gentlemen,
Partnering for justice is an injunction from the Holy Quran. Allah enjoins Muslims to “be upholders of justice – witnesses for Allah”.
The vision behind the OIC’s creation was to raise the united voice of the Islamic Ummah against the injustices perpetrated against Palestinian Muslims under occupation. But even after 50 years of the OIC’s establishment, we are far from seeing justice for Muslims in many parts of the world.
The Muslims of Palestine and the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) are still reeling under abominable subjugation. For the last seven decades, they have struggled to achieve their inalienable right to self-determination.
Under the relevant United Nations resolutions, a permanent solution to the Palestinian question with the pre-1967 borders and Al-Quds Al-Sharif as the capital of a viable, independent, and contiguous Palestinian State, is essential.
Similarly, Kashmir continues to bleed. The threat of genocide is most imminent in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).
The RSS-BJP Hindutva-inspired government in India has unleashed a reign of terror by an occupation force of 900,000 in IIOJK since 5 August 2019.
Akin to the situation in Palestine, this is accompanied by illegal efforts to change the demographic structure of the occupied territory and transform it into a Muslim minority region. This is a clear violation of international law, particularly the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Indian actions violate the resolutions of the UN Security Council and the OIC on Jammu and Kashmir. These illegal acts increased the threat of a conflict between India and Pakistan. Kashmiris are looking to their Muslim brothers and sisters for support.
India’s violence against Muslims is not limited to IIOJK. Civil Society organizations and independent observers have warned that Muslims in Hindutva-controlled India are also living under the threat of genocide.
Our Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) said that believers are “just like one body. When one of the limbs suffers, the whole body responds to it with wakefulness and fever”.
It is incumbent to resolve these challenges by partnering with the international community as well. Beyond adopting resolutions, we must take concrete and tangible steps.
48th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)
The 48th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is being held in Islamabad, Pakistan.
The theme of the 48th CFM is Building Partnerships for Unity, Justice, and Development. The Summit will last for two days from March 22 to 23, 2022.
The Session will address multifarious topics as well as the activities of the OIC General Secretariat. The agenda of the 48th OIC CFM is to evaluate the implementation of the resolutions adopted on various matters in the Islamic world.
These include the issue of Palestine as well as Al-Quds Ash-Sharif, the developments in Afghanistan and their humanitarian consequences for the Afghan people, and the situation in Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).
Likewise, several African issues, including the situation in the Republic of Mali, the Sahel region, and Lake Chad, the fragility of that region, and the situation in Central Africa and the Republic of Guinea will also be discussed.
The Foreign Ministers will discuss the developments in Yemen, Libya, the Republic of Sudan and Somalia, Syria, and other regions as well, at the Arab level.
Additionally, collaboration issues with global partners; the United Nations, the Russian Federation, and the European Union will also be discussed. Moreover, the OIC, on the sidelines, will hold a session of the Open-ended Contact Group on Muslims in Europe.
Issues pertaining to global terrorism and conflict resolution will also be on the CFM’s agenda. Furthermore, the affairs of Muslim groups and communities in non-Member States will be examined.
Also, the OIC will hold the consultations of the Ad Hoc Ministerial Committee on Accountability for Human Rights Violations of the Rohingya. The Session will also cover economic, social, cultural, humanitarian, and scientific issues, including Islamophobia.
It is expected that the periodical report of the Islamophobia Observatory will be presented to the meeting for review. A session under the title; The Role of the Islamic World in Promoting Peace, Justice, and Harmony.
This would include many emerging issues and topics on the global scene and it will be held on the sidelines of the 48th session of the OIC CFM.