OIC Secretary General sets off for New York to participate in the proceedings of the UN General Assembly
The defamatory film and cartoons at the heart of OIC’s talks
with the international community
By Azhar Masood Special for All Voices
Jeddah - 20 September 2012.
The Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, left the OIC General Secretariat in Jeddah for the United States to participate in the proceedings of the 67th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) due to take place in New York on 24-29 September 2012. The Secretary General will start his visit with participation in the Annual Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the American Islamic College in Chicago on 21-23 September 2012. He will also hold a special meeting with figures from the Muslim community in the city and a number of press meetings.
The Secretary General will take part in the Annual Coordination Meeting of the OIC Member States’ Foreign Ministers on 28 September 2012 on the sidelines of the UNGA. The Coordination Meeting will address many current dossiers and issues, chief of which are the defamatory film and Charlie Hebdo’s derogatory cartoons on Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), the Palestinian cause, the Syrian file, Somalia, the situation of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and other issues.
It is noteworthy that the Secretary General held a press conference on Tuesday 18 September 2012 at the OIC headquarters in Jeddah to clarify OIC’s position on the reprehensible film targeting the person of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), and the current measures taken by the OIC as well as its planned actions for the future.
He said that the efforts made by the Organisation over the past few days have enabled the General Secretariat to accord the issue of the ‘indecent’ film the highest priority on the agenda of the Annual Meeting of OIC’s Foreign Ministers next week. The meeting will discuss all initiatives with a view to reaching a plan of action and specific mechanisms to address the rising tide of incitement against Muslims.
The Secretary General explained that he had sustained high-level contacts in order to secure a unified international response, and pointed out that he addressed a letter to the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. He also contacted Dr. Nabil Elaraby, Secretary General of the Arab League, and Catherine Ashton, the EU Foreign Policy Chief to explore ways and means of putting an end to a recurrence of such acts of incitement and the ensuing cycles of violence.
For its part, the OIC Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) strongly denounced the release of the anti-Muslim film as a deliberate act of incitement, and considered it a misuse and irresponsible exercise of the right to freedom of expression, which implies duties and responsibilities, especially under the International Law of Human Rights, article (19) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.