Saturday, May 5, 2018 11:12:05 PM
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday appealed to the Muslim countries under the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to firmly stand beside the forcibly deported Rohingyas to protect their dignity and security as there is no scope for the organisation to overlook this crisis.
"My appeal to the OIC is to stand solidly beside the forcibly deported Rohingyas in safeguarding their dignity and security. The Holy Prophet's (SAW) message for us was to stand beside the distressed humanity. When the Rohingya community of Myanmar is being subjected to 'ethnic cleansing', the OIC fraternity cannot overlook it," she said.
The Prime Minister was speaking at the inaugural session of the 45th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) of OIC that began with a special focus on Rohingya issue and other challenges facing the Muslim Ummah at Bangabandhu International Conference Center (BICC) in the city.
The theme of the year's meeting is "Islamic Values for Sustainable Peace, Solidarity and Development."
This is the second time that Bangladesh is hosting a CFM after holding the first in 1983.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh has opened its heart and border to the suffering people purely on humanitarian grounds as over a million Rohingyas have taken shelter in Bangladesh.
She said the OIC must maintain international pressure on Myanmar authorities and make Myanmar deliver
on the ground as it agreed with Bangladesh for Rohingyas to safely return from Bangladesh. "Rohingyas deserve the right to life, dignity and existence like us!" she said.
The Prime Minister said having one-fifth of the world's population, more than a third of the world's strategic resources and a number of rising economies with immense prospects, the Muslim world has no reason to fall behind.
"Development is our right, economic prosperity is within our reach, and social progress is within our means. We must redesign our strategy of joint Islamic action," she said.
In this context, she focused on five points before the OIC Foreign Ministers. Firstly, to have trust in the basic Islamic faith and remove sectarian mindset and stop the use of religion as a tool for divisive purposes or narrow political ends.
Secondly, the OIC members should politically resolve their issues without giving any of its detractors any scope for interference and intervention. Thirdly, to live an enlightened life of self-awareness. Fourthly, to pursue a fast-track development course with bold OIC programmes to eliminate poverty and hunger and address humanitarian exigencies. The OIC members should pursue collective actions to implement the OIC-2025 Programme of Action. Finally, it should constantly seek inspiration and strength from the eternal values of Islam- peace, moderation, fraternity, equality, justice and compassion.
"Let's make a resolve to put our strength and courage together and protect our values, wealth and civilisation. Let's spread a message of understanding and peace," she said.
Hasina also said she believes that all the differences of opinion and views that exist in the Islamic world can be resolved by open-minded discussions and dialogue. "Bloodshed is unnecessary and indeed counter-productive."
She mentioned that the vision of the Islamic world should be one to be master of its own resources and capable of resolving all of our conflicts and problems by ourselves.
"For lasting solutions to come from within, we require a comprehensively reformed OIC with new mechanisms, and ways and means to deliver in a result-oriented manner."
Sheikh Hasina said, the Dhaka CFM has come at a very critical time of history. With the accelerating influx of technology, with a rising number of youth - and inequality, intolerance and social injustice, with adverse climate change- there has also never been a time more profound when our Islamic beliefs have so fundamentally been challenged.
The Prime Minister said the Muslim identity, wrongly though, is being equated with that of extremism and violence.
"These cannot go on. Time has come for a 'paradigm shift' in our consciousness; for a fresh approach to start shaping our future of sustainable peace, solidarity and prosperity," she added.
About Bangladesh development, she said, the country has made high marks in empowering women, progressing admirably in education and health, containing terrorism and keeping global peace through UN peacekeeping missions.
Hasina also mentioned that women are an equal partner with men in the march into the future. "Our planning horizon has rightly a gender-mainstreamed vision," she added.
Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey and representative of OIC Summit chair Bekir Bozdag also addressed the function while Vice Minister of Indonesia on foreign affairs Abdurrahman Mohammad Fachir, Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir and Foreign Minister of Senegal Sidiki Kaba spoke on the occasion respectively from Asia, Arab and Africa groups.
OIC Secretary General presented a Gilaf of Holy Kaaba to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Sheikh Hasina also inaugurated a commemorative postal stamp marking the 45th Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of OIC countries.
A number of 57 -seven countries, including 52 members of the OIC (out of 56), are participating in the OIC CMF.
Some 600 delegates, including 27 foreign ministers and 12 state ministers, joined the meeting where Canada is attending the event as a special guest country. Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland is leading the Canadian delegation.
With the 45th CFM in Dhaka, its chairmanship will pass from incumbent Cote d'Ivoire to Bangladesh for the next one year until 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 dpecial focus on the humanitarian situation on 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.
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