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Muslim World’s Foreign Ministers assemble in Islamabad

Islamabad hosted the 48th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers on 22-23 March 2022, themed "Partnering for Unity, Justice and Development." The gathering for the first time saw the attendance of China's foreign minister, Wang Yi, as a special guest.

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Islamabad hosted the 48th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers on 22-23 March 2022, themed “Partnering for Unity, Justice and Development.” The gathering for the first time saw the attendance of China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, as a special guest. Speaking at the start of the gathering, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan urged the 57-member Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to help end Russia’s war in Ukraine. He urged the ministers to “mediate, try to bring about a ceasefire and an end to the conflict.”

Khan warned that the war in Ukraine “could have great consequences for the world, adding that the rest of the planet is “already suffering” with surging oil, gas, and wheat prices. The OIC meeting has an ambitious agenda that seeks approval for more than 100 declarations, including aid for financially strapped Afghanistan and support for the Palestinians and the people living in the disputed region of Kashmir. “We have failed both the Palestinians and the people of Kashmir. I am sad to say that we have been able to make no impact at all. We (Muslims) are 1.5 billion people, yet our voice to stop this blatant injustice is insignificant.” Khan said. Khan has long campaigned against growing anti-Muslim sentiment and takes credit for the United Nations’ move to adopt March 15 as International Day to Combat Islamophobia.

Read more: How Pakistan has played an important role for OIC?

Earlier, OIC Foreign Ministers had held an extraordinary session in Islamabad on December 19, 2021 on the humanitarian situation created after the Taliban take-over of August, and US-led international sanctions. Ministers then underlined the need for the OIC to play a leading role in delivering humanitarian and development assistance to the people of Afghanistan. The meeting also decided to establish a trust fund for humanitarian affairs under the auspices of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), to serve as means to direct humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, through partnership with other international actors.

OIC maintains that since August 2021, Afghanistan continues to witness a difficult humanitarian challenge with uncertainty about its future. This has prompted the OIC to take several steps towards containing the situation and playing its role in mobilizing support from the international community to the Afghan people, given the specificity of the Organization, which highlights its responsibility in addressing the issues of the Islamic world. December meeting was attended by representative of UK, US and other European countries and helped break some ice. However, no Muslim country has so far recognized the Taliban government and this challenge continues to this day.