Islamic States, UN should continue addressing common concerns, Annan says
The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and the United Nations should strengthen their partnership to address common concerns, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today in a message to an OIC meeting in Khartoum.
Outlining key situations which are high on the agendas of both international organizations, Mr. Annan said he was "deeply disturbed" by the continuing spiral of violence in the Middle East.
"At this difficult juncture, the international community - including the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) - must not be discouraged," the Secretary-General said, in a message delivered on his behalf by Assistant Secretary-General Ibrahima Fall. Now more than ever, he added, the two sides must be guided towards the path of political negotiations to reach a just, comprehensive and lasting solution based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1962), 338 (1973) and 1397 (2002).
Calling attention to the situation in Iraq, Mr. Annan said, "Like many of you, I hope that the sanctions imposed on the country can be lifted in the near future." The Secretary-General also voiced hope that his meetings with the Iraqi authorities, which are scheduled to resume in early July, would lead Baghdad to reconsider its non-compliance with relevant Security Council resolutions and concur with the deployment of the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC).
Both the UN and the OIC should work to encourage the warring parties in Somalia and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to complete the peace and reconciliation process through dialogue, he said.
With regard to Afghanistan, he paid tribute to the valuable political support of OIC member States in bringing about the Loya Jirga grand council - a "highly significant step towards peace and development." He commended the OIC's "considerable contribution" in terms of providing funding for the reconstruction of Afghanistan.
The Secretary-General also lauded the OIC for its "crucial role" in disassociating Islam from terrorism. "Sadly, many Muslims around the world still face suspicion and hostility," he said. "Islam's message of peace and tolerance needs to be heard ever more clearly around the world, and your organization can contribute greatly in getting it across."