JEDDAH: HABIB SHAIKH ARABNEWS
Saudi Arabia strongly supports the establishment of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Human Rights Commission, said Mohammed Tayeb, director-general of Makkah province’s branch of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Addressing the third session of the Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) on Saturday in Jeddah, Tayeb underscored the importance of this commission and the hard work of the commissioners to fulfill their mandates.
Ambassador Mohammed Kawu Ibrahim of Nigeria, who took over from Siti Ruhaini Dzuhayatin as chairperson, stressed that this commission fills a historical gap, being the first-ever human rights expert body for the Muslim world operating in an intergovernmental framework.
Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu explained that the establishment of the IPHRC was a milestone achievement in the four-decades long history of OIC. He added that this advisory mechanism was needed for introspection and helping member states in crafting, devising and implementing appropriate policies in line with fundamental human rights. It would also dispel the growing misperception about the incompatibility between Islam and human rights.
He said that addressing present day problems with Islamic values could be a framework for the commission. He added that Islam called for full equality among human beings regardless of their race, religion, language, ethnic origin or social status.
The commission is to work on highlighting the relevance of Islam in solving modern day problems, said Ihsanoglu. He urged commission members to conduct studies on priority areas and recommended establishing a close working relationship with international and regional organizations in the field of human rights, in particular the United Nations.
Ihsanoglu also called on the commissioners to review and update OIC instruments on human rights.
The IPHRC is expected to discuss issues such as civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights within OIC member states in the next five days. The rights of women and of children will be discussed, in addition to the right to development and human rights education, as well as the human rights situations in occupied Palestinian Territories and those of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.