UN, OIC chiefs agree to enhance cooperation


New York : The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu held talks with the Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon at UN headquarters here on Friday. During the meeting, the chiefs of world’s largest organizations discussed the ways to further enhance cooperation and coordination between the OIC and the UN, according to an OIC statement. Ban Ki-moon expressed satisfaction over the scope of cooperation between the UN and the OIC and stressed the importance of institutionalizing the relationship between the two organizations.

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He also highlighted the importance of cooperation and coordination between the UN and the OIC with regard to issues related to the Middle East, including the issues of Darfur, Somalia, Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan. With regard to Iraq, Ban Ki-moon stressed that the OIC could play a larger role to help Iraqis overcome the dilemma facing their country. He also stressed that the UN and the OIC should capitalize on the momentum of the Annapolis Peace Conference to achieve peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis.

For his part, Prof. Ihsanoglu commended the closer cooperation between the OIC and the UN, and asked the UN Secretary General to use his good offices to fight religious hatred against Muslims around the world. He suggested that the UN can reinforce its efforts to fight religious defamation and build more powerful bridges of understanding between different religions. He lauded the role of the UN Human Rights Council in combating religious hatred. Later in the day, Prof. Ihsanoglu met with Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki and discussed with him the upcoming OIC meeting of foreign ministers, due to be held on the sideline of the UNGA Sessions on September 26 in New York.