The organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)

Context: India ‘strongly’ rejected the criticism of its Kashmir policy by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

  • OIC Secretary General in his report pointed to the situation in J&K and said, “The decision of the Indian government on 5 August 2019 towards changing the demographic and geographic composition of the territory, and the continuous blockade and restrictions together with human rights abuses, had awakened renewed efforts of the international community towards a resolution of the conflict.”

Analysis

  • The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation has 57 members, 56 of which are also member states of the United Nations, the exception being Palestine.
  • Some members, especially in West Africa and South America, are – though with large Muslim populations – not necessarily Muslim majority countries.
  • Out of 57 members, 53 countries are Muslim-majority countries, A few countries with significant Muslim populations, such as Russia and Thailand, sit as the Observer States
  • The OIC has permanent delegations to the United Nations and the European Union.
  • The official languages of the OIC are Arabic, English, and French.
  • Note: India despite having a sizable Muslim population is not a member of OIC.

Goals

  • According to its charter, the OIC aims to:
  1. Preserve Islamic social and economic values;
  2. Promote solidarity amongst member states;
  3. Increase cooperation in social, economic, cultural, scientific, and political areas;
  4. Uphold international peace and security; and
  5. Advance education, particularly in the fields of science and technology.
  • In March 2008, the OIC conducted a formal revision of its charter.
  • The revised charter set out to promote human rights, fundamental freedoms, and good governance in all member states.
  • The revisions also removed any mention of the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam.
  • In 1990, the OIC adopted the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam to serve as a guide for the member states in the matters of human rights in as much as they are compatible with the Sharia or Quranic Law.
  • Within the revised charter, the OIC has chosen to support the Charter of the United Nations and international law, without mentioning the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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