Jeddah, 30 October 2023 (TDI): In a significant development, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) held its third open-ended Intergovernmental Group of Experts Meeting at its headquarters in Jeddah to discuss and finalize the draft OIC Convention on the Rights of the Child.

This momentous discussion occurred amidst a backdrop of escalating security and humanitarian crises, marked by the brutal aggression carried out by the Israeli occupation army against innocent civilians in the Gaza Strip.

Ambassador Tariq Ali Bakhit, the OIC Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian, Cultural, and Social Affairs, underscored the challenges of conducting the meeting under extraordinarily difficult circumstances due to the unprecedented Israeli aggression in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The devastating consequences of this aggression have led to the loss of thousands of innocent lives, with the majority being children, women, and the elderly.

In light of these dire circumstances, Ambassador Bakhit emphasized the urgent need to complete the review of the document and its implementation mechanisms.

This step is crucial to present the draft OIC Convention on the Rights of the Child to the next session of the Council of Foreign Ministers for approval before commencing its implementation.

Ambassador Bakhit also highlighted the central role of the Islamic religion in promoting and protecting the rights of children.

He emphasized that children are considered the future of the Ummah and the youth of tomorrow, and as a result, Islam has established comprehensive rights for children across various stages of their lives.

Also read: OIC strongly condemns Israeli aggression in Gaza

OIC Member States share a common commitment to upholding these rights and eagerly anticipate the adoption of the OIC Convention on the Rights of the Child as an international charter that aligns with other global human rights instruments, all in harmony with the teachings of Islam.

Additionally, Ambassador Bakhit extended his gratitude to the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, the Chair of the 49th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers, and the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Chair of the Second Session of the Ministerial Conference on Social Development, for their unwavering support and efforts to assist the General Secretariat in implementing OIC resolutions in this vital domain.

The OIC’s dedication to advancing children’s rights and well-being remains steadfast, even in the face of challenging circumstances, further reinforcing its commitment to protecting the most vulnerable members of society.