Briefing on Cooperation between the UN and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation
On Thursday (17 November), the Security Council will have a briefing on cooperation between the UN and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), focused on enhancing the existing strategic partnership in the area of countering extremist ideology. Mankeur Ndiaye, Senegal’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Senegalese Abroad, will chair the meeting. Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Miroslav Jenca, Assistant Secretary General of OIC Hameed Opeleyeru, and Souleymane Bachir Diagne, Professor of French and Romance Philology and of Philosophy at Columbia University, will brief.
Senegal circulated a concept note on the meeting to Council members on 11 November (S/2016/965). It highlights how the UN and OIC have worked together closely to restore peace and security in several countries on the Council’s agenda, including Somalia, Afghanistan, the Darfur/Sudan, Mali, Libya, Yemen and CAR, and notes that the OIC has opened offices in Kabul and Mogadishu. The concept note further states that the two organisations worked together in reconstruction and development in several countries, and share common objectives in promoting and facilitating the Middle East peace process. It also notes the 10th session of the OIC Standing Committee for Information and Cultural Affairs (COMIAC), held in Dakar in April 2015 on the theme of “Youth and Media for Peace and Stability in the Muslim World”, the conclusions of which were consolidated in the framework of the Plan of Action of COMIAC presented to the 13th OIC Summit in Istanbul.
Senegal sees the meeting as an important opportunity for Council members and other stakeholders to reflect on the best ways to enhance the strategic partnership in preventing and countering extremist ideology. The concept note outlines how the OIC has taken several initiatives to contribute to the fight against extremist ideology, which can lead to terrorism, and states that the OIC is mindful that fighting terrorism requires a comprehensive and inclusive approach that takes into account the realities on the ground. Thus, the meeting will provide greater impetus for cooperation between the OIC and the UN’s Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) as well as the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF).
The meeting is expected to focus on opportunities for enhancing the existing interaction and strategic partnership between the UN – in particular the Security Council – and the OIC, and on how to develop a comprehensive partnership that can effectively enhance he efforts of the UN in tackling extremist ideology. In this regard, the need for improved coordination at the institutional level between the two organisations may be addressed, including the importance of increased technical and other forms of assistance to the OIC and its related organs and institutions to strengthen their capacities for cooperation. How the UN and the OIC could achieve extended cooperation on the implementation of the Plan of Action on countering violent extremism at various institutional levels may also be discussed, as well as how cooperation between the OIC and relevant UN departments could enhance the ability of each organisation to fulfill its objectives.