OIC Statement at the 59th Session of the Commission on Human Rights on Agenda Item 9 – Question of Violations of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in any Part of the World

Madame Chairperson,

I have the honour to make this statement on behalf of the Member States of the Organization of Islamic Conference to voice our deep concern on situations where human rights of Muslim people have been subjected to gross and systematic abuse. These have also been addressed by the OIC in resolutions adopted by consensus at its Ministerial and Summit level meetings.

The negative fallout of the terrorist attacks of September 11 on the Muslim and Arab people has been a major preoccupation of the OIC. We remain deeply perturbed over the frantic assaults against Islam, its articles of faith, its tenets and followers. Despite the firm support of Islamic countries to the war against terrorism, certain forces are bent upon equating Islam with terrorism and promoting the ill conceived notion of clash of civilization.

The Economist of 8th February 2003, reported that some right wing Christians seem to be spoiling for a clash of civilizations. Well known public figures have openly blasphemed our Prophet. Our religion has been described as evil.

Islam is a religion of peace, it spurns aggression, calls for peaceful co-existence, tolerance and respect among people, underscores the dignity of human life and prohibits the killing of innocent people. The OIC finds the defamation of Islam and Muslims in some countries as utterly reprehensible.

The OIC is deeply concerned that the phenomenon of state terrorism and the exploitation of September 11 events to intensify repression of occupied Muslim people has been deliberately disregarded, while law abiding Muslims in many parts of the world are being subjected to the worst forms of racial, ethnic and religious profiling. The OIC completely rejects attempts at creating linkages between Islam and terrorism and targeting of Muslims under the pretext of fighting this scourge.

Madame Chairperson,

The full-scale invasion and reoccupation of Palestinian territories by the Israeli defense forces over the past 30 months, with countless deaths have been a source of deep anguish for the Islamic world. The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Occupied Palestinian territory in his report to the 59th Session of the Commission has observed that ” the Special Rapporteur remains convinced that Israel’s military occupation of Palestinian territory is a major cause of terrorism and that the ending of the occupation is achievable. Israel’s response to terror is so disproportionate, so remote from the interests of security that it assumes the character of reprisal, punishment and humiliation. ” The OIC strongly condemns Israel’s use of force and its attempts to undermine Palestinian national institutions and elected leadership. The OIC calls upon the international community to put an end to Israeli aggression.

The OIC calls for the full implementation of resolution 425 and the withdrawal of Israel from all occupied Lebanese territories including the Shebaa farms. The continued detention of Lebanese civilians in Israeli prisons remains a source of concern for the OIC. The OIC also calls upon Israel to release the Lebanese civilian detainees and to provide all the maps of land mines left behind by the Israeli occupation forces in Southern Lebanon which continue to take a toll of human lives.

Madame Chairperson,

The OIC welcomes the installation of the Afghan Interim Authority and urges the international community to support the Afghan government’s efforts for the reconstruction of the country and the restoration of all national institutions. In this context, it requests the international community to release the financial assistance they pledged at the donor conference in Tokyo last year.

OIC resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir condemn the continuing massive violations of human rights of the Kashmiri people, uphold their right to self-determination and call for a peaceful settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir issue in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions. The OIC has appreciated the efforts of the Government of Pakistan to seek a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute and has called for an early resumption of result-oriented talks between Pakistan and India.

OIC remains concerned about the occupation of Azerbaijani territories, the suffering of Azerbaijani displaced persons and refugees. It calls for a just and peaceful settlement of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan while respecting the principles of territorial integrity of states and inviolability of internationally recognized borders.

The OIC affirms respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of Iraq. It expresses sympathy for the suffering of the Iraqi people. It welcomes paragraph C of Security Council Resolution 1284 pertaining to humanitarian initiatives aimed at meeting the humanitarian needs of the Iraqi people and alleviating their suffering.

In compliance with international human rights and humanitarian law and the relevant resolutions of the Security Council, the OIC calls for an early solution to the problem of prisoners and missing persons from Kuwait and other countries.

The OIC also expresses its firm support for the right cause of the Turkish Muslim people of Cyprus and reaffirms its resolutions and declarations on Cyprus.

The OIC calls upon the Commission on Human Rights to play its mandated role in alleviating the suffering and plight of the Muslim people and minorities who are under physical attack and victims of organized pogroms in some parts of the world. Their protection falls within the noble mandate of this Commission. The political might of the States where such violations are taking place should not impede its action.

I thank you, Madame Chairperson,