I have the honor to make this statement on behalf of the Member States of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. At the outset, allow me to congratulate the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela on its presidency of the Security Council this month, as well as for preparing the concept note for today’s topic of deliberation; that being: Respect for the principles and purposes of the United Nations Charter as a key element for the maintenance of international peace and security.
I speak to you today as Chair of the second largest intergovernmental organization after the United Nations. The Member States are bound by the Charter of the OIC whose preamble reaffirms the commitment of its Member States to the Charter of the United Nations and stresses the determination of those Member States to contribute to international peace and security, understanding and dialogue among civilizations, cultures and religions and promote and encourage friendly relations and good neighbourliness, mutual respect and cooperation. These are all principles that are harmonious with those enshrined in the Charter of the UN. Thus, today’s topic of discussion is of significance to the Member States of the OIC as it forms a core pillar to their membership and work within our organization.
Within the Charter of the United Nations lays a framework of modern international relations, that if applied and adhered to will no doubt lead to the ultimate goal of the United Nations and that of this esteemed council; that being the maintenance of peace and security. Sovereignty, settlement of disputes by peaceful means, refraining from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, non-interference in the domestic affairs of other states, are all lofty principles enshrined in both the UN and OIC Charter.
However, we have witnessed over the years, and as we currently speak, that such principles and purposes have not been respected and adhered to, consequently leading to the conflicts and human suffering the world is witnessing today. We refer to the Council's recent record in addressing the many issues facing us, such as the Palestinian issue as evidence of the paralysis in the Council. In this matter, I cannot but refer to the continuing plight of the Palestinian people and condemn the illegal policies and practices of Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. The Member States of the OIC call for urgent measures, particularly by the Security Council, aimed at bringing an end without delay to the Israeli occupation and achieving a peaceful settlement that will guarantee the fulfillment of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.
Most notable evidence of the Council’s paralysis is the continuing Syrian crisis. In this regard, we are appalled by the humanitarian situation in Syria and the great suffering there. We call on all parties to implement relevant UN resolutions, in particular resolution 2254, that call for safe and unhindered humanitarian access to those in need, and we stress the need for a political solution to the crisis.
This leads me to indulge in a matter of importance to the OIC and that is encouragement of regional and sub-regional organizations to take an active role in the settlement of conflicts, as rightly mentioned in the concept note prepared by the Presidency, in line with what is stipulated in the UN Charter.
The security challenges that we face today are far more complex, multifaceted and unconventional than ever before. No longer are the security challenges restricted within borders, rather they have become transnational. No longer can we say that a security threat or challenge on the other side of the world won’t reach us; that we are immune from it. No longer can we say that we are protected from such threats by geography, topography, oceans and distance. Those days are all but gone.
As our world has become more interconnected and interdependent, so too have the challenges we face; requiring us to enhance our collective efforts to tackle these global threats. Having said that, it is not enough that these security challenges be tackled on a country-to-country level, but more importantly on a regional and sub-regional organizations level whereby such organizations coordinate and cooperate in a concerted effort in order to ensure the collective peace and security of our peoples. The OIC would like to underline this fundamental aspect of the UN Charter that ought to be utilized in a more effective manner; that being resorting to regional agencies or arrangements in order to settle disputes, as stipulated in Chapter 8 on Regional Arrangements and Article 33 of the Charter.
The OIC is an important partner of the United Nations in peace, security and the fostering of a culture of peace at the global level. The OIC stands ready to make meaningful contributions and reiterates its cooperation to working with the United Nations in conflict prevention and resolution, mediation, peacekeeping and peacebuilding, promotion of good governance at the national and international levels, combating international terrorism, fighting extremism, countering religious intolerance, including Islamophobia, promoting and protecting all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, humanitarian assistance and capacity-building.
Regional organizations, as stipulated within the Charter, have a greater role to play in order to prevent, manage and resolve crises and to ensure the maintenance of international peace and security. It is imperative and incumbent upon us – states and regional organizations – to work more closely, more collectively, in order to contribute to the promotion of those principles and purposes of the charter of the United Nations.
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