Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and Pakistan’s Diplomatic Accomplishment

Despite unprecedented pandemic challenges, Pakistan all set to attain another massive diplomatic triumph by hosting forthcoming 48th session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) in March 2022. Without any doubt, Pakistan owing to its effective diplomacy has become the hub of world attention whilst its resilient efforts subdued the agenda of its adversaries of isolating Islamabad in the geopolitical realm of the world. Respectively, in a bid to avert a looming humanitarian and economic crisis, Pakistan also hosted extraordinary session” of the 57- nation in December last year. US, Russia, China, France and Britain along with the European Union, the World Bank and representatives of relevant United Nations relief agencies also participated in the summit. The scheduled summit holds immense significance as it also set to embark the Pakistan Day celebrations as well. The OIC CFMs representatives likely to participate in Pakistan Day celebrations that will give a humongous boost to the Pakistan’s prestige and stature.  In retrospect, The OIC, which is also the world’s second-largest multilateral forum, in a communiqué adopted at the end of the extraordinary session set up a Humanitarian Trust Fund and Food Security Programme to deal with the rapidly aggravating crisis in Afghanistan and also called for unfreezing the Afghan assets that pledge recently endorsed by the US to combat looming humanitarian crisis.

One of the notable factor, since its establishment, the OIC has positioned itself as a prestigious and influential international organizations, thus acting as a key platform of dialogue to maintain peace and respond to new challenges and threats across the world.  Pertinent to mention that OIC has always been a landmark in the contemporary history of the Muslim world, standing the test of time as the only unifying voice of the Muslim world, supporting the right, identity, and the moral and institutional framework.

The summit vow to focus on wide range of topics and issues of concern of the Muslim such as the fight against violence, extremism and terrorism, Islamophobia and defamation of religious respectively. Furthermore, the Council will likely discuss the situation of Muslim minorities and communities in non-member states, as well as the promotion of dialogue among civilizations, cultures and religions, and other emerging matters. One of the prime focuses would be evaluation of xenophobic and extremist tendencies.  For reasons the world is witnessing resurgence in multiple regions of the world of racist movements based on intent to Islamphobia, hatred of and hostility against Muslim nations, immigrants and individuals; while over the period of times pledges commitment to prohibit any discourse, attempt or act that tolerates,  and it has discouraged or incites hostility against Muslims or defamation of Islam and Muslims, as well as to protect all individuals and groups against hate and violence based on religion and faith, and to ensure the protection of places of worship.

OIC has always been a landmark in the contemporary history of the Muslim world, standing the test of time as the only unifying voice of the Muslim world, supporting the right, identity, and the moral and institutional framework.

OIC summit will also discuss the continued attacks targeting Muslims and their places of worship in India. The recent trend of anti-Muslim legislations in different States and rising incidents of violence against Muslims on flimsy pretexts by ‘Hindutva’ groups with impunity, are indicative of the growing trend of Islamophobia. The OIC General Secretariat calls upon the international community, especially the UN mechanisms and Special Procedures of th  e Human Rights Council, to take necessary measures in this regard.

In addition to this, the upcoming  OIC-CFMs to apprise  situation in Palestine, Afghanistan, Jammu and Kashmir, Yemen, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Mali, the Sahel Region and Lake Chad Basin, and other African countries, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Muslim communities and minorities in nonmember states. The OIC foreign ministers will also deliberate, over political, humanitarian, economic, social and cultural and other issues related to science and technology, the media and the progress made in the implementation of the “OIC-2025: Plan of Action” document.

Terrorism and security will be one of the key focus of the OIC  summit as it  the forum proactively reaffirm the struggle against terrorism and violent extremism in all their manifestations, illicit drug production and trafficking, illegal trafficking of arms, ammunition and explosive substances, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction  and their means of delivery remain a priority in the framework of the OIC; and it also launched a joint struggle, addressing both the symptoms and the root causes of these problems; and continue to advocate for closer cooperation in the fight against terrorism, the dissemination of the extremist ideology, targeting primarily  the youth.

In addition, the event will also deliberate upon the unprecedented challenge posed by the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) for the OIC Member States and the world at large, which requires urgent and decisive actions and unity at the OIC level as well as at the national, regional and international levels, to protect lives of the masses.

With this event Islamabad would further upscale commitment to the principles and objectives of the OIC Charter, particularly the provisions on promoting and enhancing the bonds of unity and solidarity among the member states in political, economic, social, cultural, scientific and other vital areas. Furthermore, the event will provide an opportunity of enhancing cooperation for sustainable socio-economic development, conducive to a real integration of member states into the global economy, based on the principles of partnership and equality.

As The OIC tend to promote the emerging technological trends, taking into account innovative technologies by creating a favorable investment and business climate and implementing mutually beneficial structural projects in priority areas of cooperation and infrastructure development. Thus, the forum will also assess the recommended measures and will also pledge to seek further cooperation and engagement through the OIC summit happening in Pakistan.

Through the platform of 48th CFMs summit the nations would tend to affirm the special importance of the development of tourism, as one of the sectors of economy, which contributes to achieving long-term sustainable growth, socioeconomic development, and enhancement.

Likewise, the forum will also have an inclusive insight into the earlier initiated “Program of Capitals of Islamic Culture”, developed by the Islamic Countries Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO) as an important factor in preserving and restoring cultural heritage and exchanging best practices in learning and teaching languages, history and culture of Islamic countries. The Member States will also encourage for higher education and research institutions, in the public and private sectors, to collaborate actively with the OIC to reinforce and further promote this Programme.

OIC has always been a landmark in the contemporary history of the Muslim world, standing the test of time as the only unifying voice of the Muslim world, supporting the right, identity, and the moral and institutional framework.

The Summit to address the issues of economic situation, taking into account innovative technologies by creating a favorable investment and business climate and implementing mutually beneficial structural projects in priority areas of cooperation and infrastructure development as pledged in the previously held OIC- CFMs The transnational nature of the contemporary challenges of poverty, disease, environmental degradation, climate change, water and food security necessitate collective responses at the global level. All these problems have scientific dimensions and provide for a new role of science in international policy-making and diplomacy therefore OIC likely to discuss core strategies to overcome this issue.

The OIC-CFMs will also review Scientific and technological collaboration between the OIC Member States, as it offers an immense scope for direct socio-economic benefits to its people in terms of sharing of expertise and pooling of resources.  Furthermore, prospects will be explored through OIC activities and Programme in the domain of Science and Technology focus on strengthening of research and development as part of institutional framework for science, technology and innovation, national strategies for science and technology, conducting STI Foresight Studies, encouraging private sector participation in research and development, and promoting emerging technologies such as nanotechnology and biotechnology.

Apart from this the forum will also appraise progress of OIC Ministerial Standing Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation (COMSTECH). Pertinent to mention that its mission is to help strengthen the individual and collective capacity of OIC member states in science and technology through mutual cooperation, collaboration, and networking of resources.

The domain of health is an important sector amongst the various areas identified for joint Islamic action in the Ten Year Programme of Action (TYPOA). The TYPOA, Islamic Summit Conferences, Islamic Conferences of Health Ministers and the Council of Foreign Ministers, place special emphasis on programmes and activities, with the involvement of WHO and relevant international organizations, for combating diseases and epidemics, strengthening child health and eradication of polio and summit will provide an opportunity to further devise strategies for combating  healthcare challenges.

The forum will likely to discuss, growing tensions and instability in various regions of the world, the intensifying protracted conflicts, and deceitful deliberate attempts to tarnish the sacred image of Islam and to undermine the Muslim world’s peaceful coexistence with other cultures and religions, it is more imperative than ever to project to the international community the true humanistic nature and tolerance of Islam.

On humanitarian grounds, The discussions between the representatives to critically examine main humanitarian policy and operational priorities for 2022 focused on humanitarian activities in Afghanistan, the Sahel, the Horn of Africa, Rohingyas of Myanmar and the Middle East .

The challenges of environmental degradation and climate change are assuming increasing significance for OIC countries. The OIC General Secretariat and the OIC institutions have accordingly stepped up their activities and programmes in these areas.

Likewise OIC Water Vision will also be another key agenda of discussion.  The OIC Water Vision was adopted by the Conference of Ministers Responsible for Water held in Istanbul in March 2012. The OIC Water Vision gives a brief overview of the diverse water environments across the OIC countries and the different dimensions of water related challenges being faced by them. It recognizes the critical role of the OIC in promoting cooperation among Member States on water-related issues and its ability to bring together expertise from diverse countries with unique water characteristics.

The body will further look into the major developments of OIC Green technology Blue Print: The OIC General Secretariat is coordinating closely with COMSTECH for the preparation of the OIC Blue Print on Green Technologies.

Moving ahead, peaceful applications of nuclear energy: In collaboration with the IDB and IAEA, the OIC General Secretariat is pursuing projects for the strengthening and establishment of cancer radiotherapy facilities in the OIC member States from Africa, where cancer has become one of the major causes of death. Similar projects are being considered for Asia.

Likewise, projects on isotope hydrology and mosquito sterilization are being pursued in earnest in collaboration with the IDB and IAEA. These projects highlight the potential of regional cooperation in tackling the challenges of disease, access to safe drinking water and other developmental issues.

To conclude, the OIC-CFMs will further boost Pakistan’s posture in the global geopolitical and geostrategic affairs. It will also assist to closely engage with the member states to further establish its inter-state level relations. One of the key advantages is global outreach of Pakistan. The event to an extent may also serve as precursor to address the domestic constraints of the country. For Pakistan the summit may prove a hallmark of its policy/ goals attainment vis-à-vis Pakistan.

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About Mushahid Hussain Naqvi 22 Articles
The author is the Digital Editor at The Asian Telegraph and sub-Editor at Melange International Magazine and Research Associate at COPAIR with academic expertise in International Relations.