MD. Nasir, USA Correspondent: The two day 47th session of 57-member Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC’s) Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) meeting began here today emphasizing on unity of Muslim world in addressing Islamophobia for peace and development.
Niger President Mahamadou Issouifou inaugurated the OIC’s foreign ministers meet while OIC Secretary General Dr Yousef Al-Othaimeen addressed the opening ceremony held at Mahatma Gandhi International conference centre in the Niger capital here.
In two days, the Foreign ministers of OIC countries will discuss wide range of issues specially the situation of Muslim minorities and communities in non-member states that includes crisis of Myanmar origin Rohingya minority Muslims, who have been forcibly displaced to Bangladesh following a military crackdown in Rakhine three years back.
During the inaugural session, on behalf of UAE’s foreign minister, UAE’s Minister of State for International Cooperation Reem Bint Ebrahim handed over the CMF presidency to Niger foreign minister Ibrahim Yacoubou.
After the inaugural ceremony, the head of delegations of OIC member states are scheduled to deliver their speeches on various multilateral issues related to the Muslim world while it is expected that the foreign ministers will elect the next OIC secretary general later today or tomorrow.
During the technical sessions, the OIC foreign ministers will also discuss how to assist Gambia with its the Rohingya genocide case filed with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) along with other issues concerning the Muslim world like Palestinian cause, fight against violence, extremism and terrorism, Islamophobia and religious defamation.
Bangladesh foreign minister Dr AK Abdul Momen was scheduled to attend the CMF in person, but he got positive for coronavirus while undergoing the Covid-19 test in Dhaka one day before flying to Niger.
However, in absence of the foreign minister, Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Dr Mohammad Javed Patwary, who is also Bangladesh Permanent Representative to OIC, is leading the Bangladesh delegation also comprised with Director General of International Organization (IO) of the foreign ministry Wahida Ahmed.
Bangladesh is set to initiate a fund mobilization campaign utilizing the platform of CMF to support Gambia’s legal battle against Myanmar at the ICJ over the Rohingya genocide.
Bangladesh is hosting over 1.1 million forcefully displaced Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar district and most of them arrived there since August 25, 2017 after the military crackdown at their homeland.
In November last year, Gambia brought the case against Myanmar to the ICJ with the backing of OIC, Canada and the Netherlands while ICJ held its first hearing on December 10-12.
On January 23 last the ICJ made the historic unanimous decision ordering provisional measures to prevent further acts of genocide against the Rohingyas in Myanmar.
Apart from Rohingya issue, Bangladesh delegation will advocate for equal distribution of potential COVID vaccine to all countries irrespective of rich and poor as well as raise the issue of migrant workers’ rights while oil-rich Middle Eastern OIC member states host a huge numbers of expatriate Bangladeshi workers.
On Saturday, the OIC foreign ministers will adopt resolutions and proclamation of the ‘Niamey Declaration’ while OIC Secretary General and president of 47th session of CFM are scheduled to hold a joint press conference after conclusion of the two-day meeting.