General Assembly adopts resolution on strengthening UN-OIC ties; India abstains


UNITED NATIONS, Dec 7 (APP):The General Assembly has adopted a resolution, by a recorded vote, on strengthening cooperation between the U.N. and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in efforts to promote a just Middle East settlement and also to advance peaceful solutions to “other conflicts”.
The resolution, “Cooperation between the United Nations and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation”, was adopted with 92 votes in favour to zero against, with four abstentions (India, Israel, Syria and Armenia).
By its terms, the 193-member Assembly affirmed that the United Nations and OIC shared a common goal of promoting and facilitating the Middle East peace process with the goal to establish a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East. It also affirmed that it shared a common objective of fostering peaceful and political solutions to other conflicts in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and Security Council resolutions.
By other terms, the Assembly requested the United Nations and OIC to continue to cooperate in their common search for solutions to global problems, such as questions relating to international peace and security, disarmament, self-determination, promotion of a culture of peace, decolonization, human rights and fundamental freedoms. The Assembly also welcomed OIC’s engagement in the fight against violent extremism and terrorism “another goal shared by both organization ” and invited OIC to participate in all its sessions and those of its subsidiary bodies as an observer body.
Introducing the draft resolution on behalf of OIC members, the representative of Ivory Coast, Bernard Tanoh-Boutchoue, said he hoped the text would be adopted by consensus. However, a recorded vote was requested, with speakers around the room voicing concerns or support for the text.
In abstaining on the resolution, India did not take the floor to explain its vote. But previously, with obviously the Kashmir dispute in mind, India objected to the resolution component that OIC would foster solutions to “ther conflicts”, saying that the organization has “no locus standi” to resolve disputes affecting non-member states.
Discussing the resolution, the representative of the European, Pierre Christophe Chatzisavas, said that some of the language in the text was without any endorsement of declarations, decisions and resolutions adopted by OIC fora. He also added that the provisions of that body’s 2025 Programme of Action regarding Cyprus were not consistent with General Assembly and Security Council resolutions. OIC should refrain from adopting positions that would undermine international law, he said.
Taking the floor, Saudi Arabia’s representative Faisal Nasser Alhakbani, said OIC represented the common voice of the Muslim world and worked to protect human rights in the region. The organization settled and prevented conflicts and defended the Palestinian’s people right to their land. He also underscored the need to ensure a fair and decent life to the Rohingya Muslims.
OIC, Alhakbani said, supported alleviating poverty, combating terrorism, sustainable development, harmony between religions, empowering women, and good governance. In that context, cooperation with the United Nations was essential.
However, Syria’s delegate Ammar al Arsan said that it was an open secret that some OIC members had been voicing their discontent over that body’s increasingly undemocratic methods, as well as the fact that its host nation ” Saudi Arabia ” was attempting to impose its own will on other member States.
That country bore the chief responsibility for the terrorism violence being perpetrated around the world, including in Syria, the Syrian representative alleged, adding that Saudi Arabia had fueled and financed the spread of extremist Wahabi ideology.
“We are at a historical turning point,” the Syrian representative said, noting that the United States Government had made the unilateral and illegal decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem. Strongly rejecting that decision, he asked: “What is the OIC doing today on behalf of Jerusalem?” Indeed, that decision by United States President Donald Trump demonstrated that it was possible today to ignore the collective voice of Muslims around the world.
Regarding the text before the Assembly on Wednesday, he urged all countries to ensure that OIC remained transparent, equitable and never be linked to terrorism. Therefore, Syria had called for a vote on the text, he said.
Reacting to the Syrian statement, the Saudi representative expressed regrets about the illegitimate and unsubstantiated allegations made against Saudi Arabia. It was the Syrian regime that was committing crimes against its own people, the Saudi representative stressed, thanking those Member States that had voted in favour of the resolution.
Following the vote, several delegates also took the floor, with Israel’s representative stating that the text was yet another attack on her country. Israel had not voted against the resolution but did disassociate itself from preambular paragraph four which noted the adoption of OIC’s 2025 Programme of Action. But for that reason, her delegation could not vote in favour of the resolution and had abstained, she said.
Echoing a similar sentiment, the United States representative said, while he had voted in favour of the text, he too had to disassociate himself with preambular paragraph four due to references to unacceptable statements on Israel.