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Saturday, May 25, 2024
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BANJUL SUMMIT DECLARES STRONGER, UNIFIED OIC

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By Lamin Cham

The long-awaited 15th summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation has ended yesterday in Banjul with the leaders of the Islamic world taking a strong position on the Palestinian issue as well as outlining the guiding principles and approach to all the political, humanitarian, legal and economic issues affecting the 57-member organisation.

Under the auspices of new chairman and host President Adama Barrow, the Banjul Summit confirmed the OIC’s principled position in support of the Palestinian people and their cause and demanded an immediate halt to the Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip, as well as facilitating adequate and sustainable delivery of aid to the Strip, and continuing the Islamic actions to support the right of Palestine to obtain full membership in the United Nations, leading to the embodiment of the State of Palestine, with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.

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According to Hissein Brahim Taha, the Secretary General of the OIC, the Banjul Summit also affirmed its support to the UNRWA and the continuation of its vital role, in addition to pursuing legal action to prosecute Israel in the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court, and hold it accountable for its heinous crimes against the Palestinian people.

“The Banjul summit also accorded special attention to promoting the rights of women, children, people with special needs, and youth, enhancing economic cooperation, trade exchanges, and agriculture to support food security, and protecting the environment as well as addressed Islamophobia and religious hatred, and the increase of international efforts and cooperation to counter this phenomenon,” SG Taha said.

He disclosed that the summit also reaffirmed the OIC’s support for the right of the people of Jammu and Kashmir to self-determination, as well as the special attention the OIC attaches to Muslim communities and minorities in member states, especially to the issue of the Rohingya Muslim community.

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“In this regard, the Conference appreciated the pioneering role played by The Gambia in defending the Rohingya issue at the level of the International Court of Justice, as well as the efforts made by Bangladesh and other countries in hosting Rohingya refugees.”

The OIC Secretary General said resolutions adopted by the summit have strengthened the solidarity and unity that bind the OIC member states.

On behalf of the OIC, Mr Taha thanked President Adama Barrow, his government and the people of The Gambia for the warm welcome, generous hospitality and excellent organisation of the event in “The Smiling Coast of Africa”.

He further expressed gratitude to the Gambia for the efforts invested in ensuring the successful organisation and smooth running of the 15th session which he said immensely contributes to the success of the OIC in general.

SG Taha commended the atmosphere of mutual cooperation and understanding in the Banjul Summit that led to consensual outcomes with regard to issues, reflecting the unified positions and solidarity among member states.

Earlier, President Adama Barrow, in his closing remarks asserted Gambia’s resolve and commitment to the principles, programmes and desire of the member states of OIC.

He said he is committed to dedicate his chairmanship to achieve such objectives as set out in the theme of the Banjul Summit and declaration. The Banjul meeting attracted delegates from all 57 member states including several heads of state.

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