Briefing: Presidential Statement on the OIC
On Monday (28 October) the Security Council will receive a briefing from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, along with the Secretary-General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu. The briefing will be chaired by the Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan, Elmar Mammadyarov. Council members will also make statements and OIC Secretary General-elect, Iyad Madani, will also be in attendance. A presidential statement, the first ever specifically on the OIC, will be adopted at the briefing.
Council members have been negotiating the statement over the past week. It seems that the negotiations on the draft were not particularly difficult. There were two rounds of negotiations and some additional bilateral exchanges before the draft statement was put into silence on Wednesday (23 October) until the following day at 10:00 am. No member broke silence.
The statement builds largely on previously agreed language. It reiterates how cooperation between the UN and regional and subregional organisations in matters regarding the maintenance of international peace and security can improve collective security. For the first time, the Council recognises the active contribution of the OIC towards the realisation of the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and acknowledges the continuing dialogue with the OIC in the fields of preventive diplomacy, peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding.
It seems disagreements arose in the negotiations regarding how to refer to the efforts to achieve peace in the Arab-Israeli conflict. A reference specifically to the “Middle East peace process” was dropped. As a compromise, Council members agreed to include language calling for a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The original draft made no mention of the situation in Syria. However, at the suggestion of a Council member, a reference of support for a political solution to the Syrian conflict in accordance with the 2012 Geneva Communiqué was also added and was apparently accepted by all Council members.
There was some discussion in the negotiations about whether to create another reporting mechanism for the Secretary-General on ways to enhance cooperation between the UN and OIC. Nonetheless, some members were wary of creating this additional reporting requirement. Council members ultimately agreed to incorporate in the presidential statement a request to the Secretariat to include recommendations on this particular topic in the wider biannual report of the Secretary-General to the Council and the General Assembly on cooperation with regional and other organisations.