Published: 05:27 PM, 02 May 2018
PM to open OIC-CFM Saturday; Rohingya issue on focus
Asian Age Online
The 45th session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers (OIC-CFM) begins here on Saturday with a special focus on Rohingya issue and other challenges facing by the Muslim Ummah.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to open the two-day event at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in the city on Saturday morning. The theme of this year’s council is “Islamic Values for Sustainable Peace, Solidarity and Development.” This is for the second time Bangladesh is hosting a CFM after holding the first one in 1983, an official told UNB. Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali will brief the media about the CFM on Thursday morning.
With the 45th CFM in Dhaka, chairmanship of the CFM will pass from incumbent Cote d’Ivoire to Bangladesh for the next one year until the holding of the next CFM. The 45th session of the CFM will end with a closing session preceded by a sideline event/brainstorming session under the title “The Humanitarian Challenges in the OIC Member States with a Special Focus on the Humanitarian Situation on the Rohingyas” on Sunday.
During the session, the meetings of the Special Committee, various OIC Ministerial Contact Groups, and elections, including those of the Assistant Secretaries General (ASG) of OIC, will be held in parallel at the same venue of the conference – Bangabandhu International Conference Center (BICC).
Foreign Ministry officials said the current Rohingya crisis and the challenges facing the Muslim Ummah – the conflicts, division, tension and instability of the Muslim world – will get focus in the 45th Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) of the OIC. “Protection of their (Rohingyas) rights and fundamental freedoms will, therefore, remain a major preoccupation of this CFM,” State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam said recently.
The problems of terrorism and violent extremism, sectarian tendencies, hatred, prejudice and Islamophobia, massive humanitarian crises with forced displacements seriously – affecting the rights and dignity of Muslim minorities like the Rakhine Muslims of Myanmar, persistent poverty and socio-economic backwardness of Muslim societies are OIC priorities.
The way the CFM is addressing these issues are through resolutions and proposals regarding political, economic, social, cultural and family affairs issues that are now under finalisation, he said.
The meetings of the Permanent Finance Committee, Economic, social, cultural and Family Affairs Commission (ICECS), and the Senior Officials in Jeddah this month have largely discussed these resolutions seeking to find solutions and approaches to the ongoing problems of the Muslim Ummah.
Dhaka sees these issues being approached under four broad ranges of draft resolutions: those relating to peace, conflict resolution, mediation and security; those relating to OIC economic and development agenda; those relating to minorities and humanitarian questions and those relating to OIC reforms.
Though there will be a separate sideline session on the humanitarian challenges of the Muslim world with special focus on the Rohingyas on Sunday, prior to that a visit to the Rohingya makeshift camps in Cox’s Bazar will take place on Friday.
Meanwhile, Canada’s Special Envoy to Myanmar Bob Rae, who is considered as an international expert on Rohingya refugee crisis, will deliver a public lecture on ‘Rohingya Refugee Crisis’ at the Brac Centre Inn auditorium on Thursday morning. He is likely to visit Rohingya camp in Cox’s Bazaron Friday.