OIC Organization of Islamic Cooperation

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OIC Organization of Islamic Cooperation

Introduction

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is the second largest inter-governmental organisation after the United Nations, with the membership of 57 states, covering four continents.

The organization states that it is “the collective voice of the Muslim world” and works to “safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony”.

The OIC has Institutions, which implement its programmes.

OIC was founded in 1969 and its Headquarters is in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The official languages of the OIC are Arabic, English, and French.

Dr. Yousef Ahmed Al-Othaimeen is the 11th Secretary General who assumed the office in November 2016.

The OIC holds an Islamic Summit once every three years. At the summit, heads of state discuss ways to achieve the charter’s objectives and make policy decisions that concern its member states.

The council of foreign ministers convenes annually to evaluate the implementation of the organisation’s policies and objectives.

The general secretariat, the OIC’s executive body, is responsible for implementing those decisions.
On 28 June 2011 during Council of foreign Ministers meeting in Astana, Kazakhstan, name from “organization of
Islamic conference” was changed to “ organization of Islamic cooperation”.

Aims of OIC

To safeguard people of the member states and Muslims.

Strengthen Islamic solidarity.

Consolidate Cooperation among the member states in social, cultural and scientific fields

Safeguard the Holy places.

Support the struggle of the Palestinian people.

Eliminate racial discrimination and all forms of colonialism.

History

Al-Aqsa fire – On 21 August 1969 a fire was started in the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem which destroyed part of the old wooden roof and a 800-year-old pulpit. Fire was blamed on the mental illness of the perpetrator — Australian Christian fundamentalist Denis Michael Rohan — by Israel, and on Zionists and Zionism in general by the Islamic conference. Amin al-Husseini, the former Mufti of Jerusalem, called the arson a Jewish crime and called for all Muslim heads of state to convene a summit.

Rabat Conference – On 25 September 1969, an Islamic Conference, a summit of representatives of 24 Muslim majority countries was held in Rabat, Morocco. A resolution was passed stating, “Muslim government would consult with a view to promoting among themselves close cooperation and mutual assistance in the economic, scientific, cultural and spiritual fields, inspired by the immortal teachings of Islam.”

OIC Founded – Six months later in March 1970, the First Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers was held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia In 1972, the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC, now the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation) was founded.

First OIC Charter – The first OIC Charter was adopted by the 3rd ICFM Session held in 1972. The Charter laid down the objectives and principles of the organization and fundamental purposes to strengthen the solidarity and cooperation among the Member States.

Present Charter – The present Charter of the OIC was adopted by the Eleventh Islamic Summit held in Dakar on 13-14 March 2008 to become the pillar of the OIC future Islamic action in line with the requirements of the 21st century.

Organization

Islamic summit – The Islamic Summit is composed of heads of states and is convened every three years in one of the member states.

Council of Foreign Ministers: The Council of Foreign Ministers shall be convened once a year in one of the Member States. They Should be Considering Reviewing progress of the implementation of the decisions and resolutions adopted at the previous Summits and Councils of Foreign Ministers. Considering and approving the programme, budget and other financial and administrative reports of the General Secretariat and Subsidiary Organs. Recommending to establish any new organ or committee; Electing the Secretary General and appointing the Assistant Secretaries General Accordance Article.

Standing Committees: In order to advance issues of critical importance to the Organization and its Member States, the Organization has formed the following Standing Committees.

i. Al Quds Committee
ii. Standing Committee for Information and Cultural Affairs (COMIAC)
iii. Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation (COMCEC)
iv. Standing Committee for Scientific and Technological Cooperation (COMSTECH).

The Standing Committees are chaired by Kings and Heads of State and Government and are established in accordance with decisions of the Summit or upon the recommendation of the Council of Foreign Ministers and the membership of such Committees.

General Secretariat The General Secretariat who shall be the Chief Administrative Officer of the Organization. The Secretary-General shall be elected by the Council of Foreign Ministers for a period of five years. The Secretary-General shall be elected from among nationals of the Member States. The secretary renewable once time. The secretary general elected accordance with the principles of equitable geographical distribution. “Secretaries general of the organization of the Islamic cooperation.

The Secretary General responsibilities. a. follow-up the implementation of decisions, resolutions and recommendations of the Islamic Summits, and Councils of Foreign Ministers and other Ministerial meetings. b. provide the Member States with working papers and memoranda, in implementation of the decisions, resolutions and recommendations of the Islamic Summits and the Councils of Foreign Ministers; c. coordinate and harmonize, the work of the relevant Organs of the Organization.

Specialized institutions The number and types of secondary organs and institutions, working toward the achievement of the OIC objectives, and cover various areas. Islamic Development Bank Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Islamic States Broadcasting Organization International Islamic News Agency Islamic Committee of the International Crescent The Science, Technology and Innovation Organization

Subsidiary organisations

The Islamic University of Technology was set up by the OIC in Bangladesh

The Statistical, Economic and Social Research and Training Centre for

Islamic Countries, in Ankara, Turkey.

The Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA), located in Istanbul, Turkey.

The Islamic University of Technology, located in Gazipur, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

The Islamic Centre for the Development of Trade, located in Casablanca, Morocco.

The Islamic Fiqh Academy, located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

The Islamsate Islamic network, located at Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

The Executive Bureau of the Islamic Solidarity Fund and its Waqf, located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

The Islamic University in Niger, located in Say, Niger.

The Islamic University in Uganda, located in Mbale, Uganda.

The Tabriz Islamic Arts University, located in Tabriz, Iran.

Specialised institutions

The Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (ISESCO), located in Rabat, Morocco.

The Islamic States Broadcasting Organisation (ISBO) and the International Islamic News Agency (IINA), located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Affiliated institutions

Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), located in Karachi, Pakistan.

World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF), located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The organization of Islamic Capitals and Cities (OICC), located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Sports Federation of Islamic Solidarity Games, located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Islamic Committee of the International Crescent (ICIC), located in Benghazi, Libya.

Islamic Shipowners Association (ISA), located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

World Federation of International Arab-Islamic Schools, located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

International Association of Islamic Banks (IAIB), located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Islamic Conference Youth Forum for Dialogue and Cooperation (ICYF-DC), located in Istanbul, Turkey.

General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions (CIBAFI), located in Manama, Bahrain.

Standards and Metrology Institute for Islamic Countries (SMIIC), located in Istanbul, Turkey.

Secretary Generals

#NameCountry of originFromTo
1Tunku Abdul RahmanMalaysia19701974
2Hassan Al-TouhamiEgypt19741975
3Amadou Karim GayeSenegal19751979
4Habib ChattyTunisia19791984
5Syed Sharifuddin PirzadaPakistan19841988
6Hamid AlgabidNiger19881996
7Azeddine LarakiMorocco19962000
8Abdelouahed BelkezizMorocco20002004
9Ekmeleddin İhsanoğluTurkey20042014
10Iyad bin Amin MadaniSaudi Arabia20142016
11Yousef Al-OthaimeenSaudi Arabia2016current

Member States

Africa 27 – Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda

Asia 27 – Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Maldives, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Yemen
Europe 01 – Albania

South America 02 – Guyana, Suriname

Palestine is the only member of OIC, who is not a member of UNO.

Observers

States – Bosnia and Herzegovina (1994), Central African Republic (1996), Kingdom of Thailand (1998), The Russian Federation (2005), Turkish Cypriot State (1979)

Muslim Communities / Organization – Moro National Liberation Front (1977)

Islamic Institutions – Parliamentary Union of the OIC Member States – PUOICM (2000)

International Organizations – United Nations (UN) (1976), Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) (1977), League of Arab States (LAS) (1975), African Union (AU) (1977), Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) (1995)

Summits

14th Islamic Summit Conference – Makkah, Saudi Arabia (31 May 2019)
13th Islamic Summit Conference (Unity and Solidarity For Justice and Peace) – Istanbul, Republic of Turkey (14-15 April 2016)
12th Islamic Summit Conference (The Muslim World: New Challenges & Expanding Opportunities) – Cairo, Egypt (6-7 February 2013)
11th Session of The Islamic Summit Conference (Session of The Muslim Ummah in The 21St Century) – Dakar, Senegal (13-14 March 2008)
10th Session of The Islamic Summit Conference – Putrajaya, Malaysia (16-17 October 2003)
9th Session of The Islamic Summit Conference – Doha, State of Qatar (12-13 November 2000)
8th Session of The Islamic Summit Conference – Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran (9-11 December 1997)
7th Session of The Islamic Summit Conference – Casablanca, Kingdom of Morocco (13-15 December 1994)
6th Session of The Islamic Summit Conference – Dakar, Republic of Senegal (9 – 11 December 1991)
5th Session of The Islamic Summit Conference – Kuwait, State of Kuwait (26-29 January 1987)
4th Session of The Islamic Summit Conference – Casablanca, Kingdom of Morocco (16-19 January 1984)
3rd Session of The Islamic Summit Conference – Makkah Al-Mukarramah, Saudi Arabia (25-28 January 1981)
2nd Session of The Islamic Summit Conference – Lahore, Islamic Republic of Pakistan (22 – 24 February 1974)
1st Session of The Islamic Summit Conference – Rabat, Kingdom of Morocco (September 1969)

Performance

The Member States of the OIC face many challenges in the 21st century and to address those challenges, the Third Extraordinary Session of the Islamic Summit held in Makkah in December 2005, laid down the blue print called the Ten-Year Program of Action.

A successor programme for the next decade (2016-2025) has since then been adopted. The new programme OIC-2025 is anchored in the provisions of the OIC Charter and focuses on 18 priority areas with 107 goals.

The priority areas include issues of Peace and Security, Palestine and Al-Quds, Poverty Alleviation, Counter-terrorism, Investment and Finance, Food Security, Science and Technology, Climate Change and Sustainability, Moderation, Culture, and Interfaith Harmony, Empowerment of Women, Joint Islamic Humanitarian Action, Human Rights and Good Governance, among others.

OIC, International Law and Religion Freedom

The OIC Charter is categorical about the organization’s core mission of activating the Ummah as a unified body and promoting the interests of the Ummah. The OIC Charter is equally clear that member-states of the OIC are committed to “the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.”

There are questions about the compatibility between the OIC’s commitment to universal human rights under international law, in general, and to international religious freedom, in particular, when considered within the context of the OIC’s 1990 Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam, because “all rights and freedoms identified in the Declaration “are subject to the Islamic Sharia;” because all member-states affirm human rights “in accordance with the Islamic Sharia;” and because states are empowered with the determination of human right, which are thereby diminished as inherent and inalienable to the individual.

Two OIC organs and bodies raise serious questions about the organization’s full support for international law and the universal human right of international religious freedom: the Observatory of Islamophobia spearheads the effort to combat “defamation of religions,” the equivalent of a global blasphemy law, by actively engaging in bilateral relations with non-OIC governments and in international bodies, such as the UN General Assembly and UN Human Rights Council; the Permanent Commission on Human Rights qualifies its promotion of civil, political, economic, and social rights stipulated in international human rights law according to “conformity with Islamic values” and in service to “the interests of the Islamic Ummah.”

Impact of OIC

Promotion of Culture and Education – OIC has been effective in promoting cultural and educational projects across the Muslim world.

Limited Political Influence – OIC aims to preserve Islamic values, safeguard and defend the national sovereignty and independence of member states and to contribute to international peace and security. While the organisation has been known for its cultural and social projects, its political influence has been relatively limited.
Lack of consensus – Because of broader and diverse membership, there is a lack of consensus among the member states.

Conflicts on the rise – The number of conflicts in the countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is on the rise and so is their intensity. Currently, more than 60 percent of all conflicts in the world occur in OIC countries. More than 80 percent of global conflict fatalities and almost 90 percent of global terrorism fatalities have taken place in OIC countries.

Poverty and low HDI – A larger share of OIC countries remains low on the human development index compared to other regions. The majority of OIC countries with low human development levels have suffered or have been suffering from major conflicts.