Jeddah 08th May 2018: OIC Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) delegation led by its Chairperson, Dr. Rashid Al Balushi, participated in the 45th Session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) held in Dhaka, Peoples’ Republic of Bangladesh from 5-6 May 2017. The meeting was attended by the Foreign Ministers and high-level representatives of OIC Member and Observer States as well as all heads of OIC organs and institutions.
Earlier on 4th May, the OIC-IPHRC delegation visited the Rohingya Refugees’ Camp in Cox’s Bazar along with other delegates participating in the 45th CFM to express solidarity with the persecuted Rohingya Muslims and to ascertain the human rights and humanitarian situation faced by them. IPHRC Chairperson, while addressing a large press gathering at the refugee camp, made a passionate appeal to the OIC Member States and the international community to come forward to shoulder the joint responsibility in providing adequate humanitarian assistance to protect them from the imminent monsoon weather. He further urged the need to scale up the international pressure on the Myanmar government to implement the rehabilitation agreement enabling the Rohingya refugees to voluntarily return to their ancestral land in safety, security and with dignity.
On 06th May, 2018, Dr. Balushi made a detailed statement at the ‘Special Brainstorming Session of the CFM on Humanitarian Challenges of the Rohingya crisis’. He shared the findings of the comprehensive OIC-IPHRC report of the fact-finding field visit to Rohingya Refugee Camps in Cox’s Bazar in January 2018 and provided details of the human rights violations committed by the Myanmar authorities. He also called upon Myanmar to: a) put an immediate end to violence, discrimination and human rights violations against Rohingya Muslims; b) fully implement the recommendations of the Kofi Annan Commission and IPHRC fact finding report; c) repeal all discriminatory policies and practices against Rohingya Muslims including the settlement of the longstanding issue of citizenship and access to equal opportunities to socio economic development; and d) allow free and unfettered access to human rights organizations and humanitarian aid agencies to provide immediate life sustaining support to the refugees.
Besides, Dr. Al Balushi in his interaction with the high-level dignitaries and delegates of CFM reiterated the importance of creating and sustaining human rights respecting and protecting societies where the rights and duties of human beings are defined in the context of social responsibility. To this end, he apprised them about the work being done by the Commission, which includes updating and refining the OIC human rights instruments i.e. the monumental task of reviewing the ‘Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam’ and also work in progress to review the OIC Covenant on the Rights of Child in Islam. While welcoming, the theme of the 45th Session of the CFM “Islamic Values for Sustainable Peace, Solidarity & Development” he urged all the Member States and other stakeholders to uphold policy coherence and follow a human rights-based approach in all development processes ensuring participation, accountability, non-discrimination, equality and equity in consistency with international human rights standards at national, regional and international levels.
A detailed report was presented to the OIC- CFM, which enlists various activities and thematic reports prepared by the IPHRC which included (a) Report of the OIC-IPHRC fact finding visit to the Rohingya Refugees’ Camps in Bangladesh to assess human rights situation faced by them in Myanmar from 02-06 January 2018 and (b) OIC-IPHRC thematic study on ‘Islamophobia and Counter terrorism’. The CFM took note of the reports presented and appreciated the commendable progress made by the IPHRC in advancement of OIC’s human rights objectives. The Meeting also urged all Member States to continue to extend their full moral, diplomatic and material support to the Commission for its effective functioning as an independent organ of the OIC.