OIC Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) delegation led by its Chairperson, Ambassador Abdul Wahab, participated in the 13th Islamic Summit held in Istanbul from 14-15, April, 2016. The Heads of State and Government, Foreign Ministers and high-level representatives of OIC Member States attended the Summit.
In his address to the Summit, Amb Abdul Wahab welcomed the apt theme of the Summit “Unity and Solidarity for Justice and Peace”, and expressed hope that the outcome of the Summit would be instrumental in steering the Ummah towards achieving the ideals of justice and peace. He also highlighted that the Islamic concept of human rights is a collective system, which establishes a just and ethical social order in which dignity and honor of the individual is ensured without any distinction. Amb Abdul Wahab also called upon all Member States to earnestly coordinate efforts to promote human rights respecting and protecting societies to foster a social order based on equity and justice which is the sustainable and guaranteed means to achieving lasting peace and progress.
Describing the acheivements of the Commission, Amb Abdul Wahab conveyed that within a short span of its establishement since 2011, the Commision had performed extraordinarily well and has established itself as a serious international human rights organization with objective views on all human rights issues of concern to the OIC. He reaffirmed that, despite resource constraints, the Commission is willing to shoulder the onerous responsibility to play its due role in shaping OIC’s human rights focus in advancement of fundamental rights and freedoms of all segments of society. In this regards, he solicited continuous moral support and understanding of the Member States in fullfilment of its mandates. Amb Abdul Wahab also expressed profound gratitude to the OIC Secretary General and all Member States, in particular, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which hosts the Commission’s Headquarters, for their steadfast logistical and moral support in smooth and effective functioning of the Commission during its crucial formative years.
The OIC Summit appreciated commendable progress made by the IPHRC in advancement of OIC’s human rights objectives delineated in its Ten Year Program of Action and revised Charter. It hailed the approval of the first independent budget of the Commission by the 44th Permanent Finance Committee as a positive step forward. Also, it urged all Member States to continue to extend their full moral and material support to the Commission for its effective functioning as an independent institution. As a gesture of their strong support, H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of Republic of Turkey also made a generous voluntary contribution of US$100000 to the budget of IPHRC.
Earlier during the Senior Officials Meeting of the Summit, elections of 09 Members of the Commission from different geographical groups took place. The Summit endorsed the election of nine members of the Commission for a period of three years; with effect from August 2016. The elected members are Ms. Asila Wardak (Afghanistan), Dr. Oumar Abou Abba (Cameroon), Mr. Mahmood Afifi (Egypt), Amb. Mostafa Alaei (Iran), Dr. Raihana Binti Abdullah (Malaysia), Amb. Cheikh Tidiane Thiam (Senegal), Amb. Ilham Ibrahim Mohamed Ahmed (Sudan), Mr. Mohamed Hamdi Al Taher (Tunisia) and Mr. S. K. Kaggwa (Uganda). A seperate press release on the subject was issued earlier.
On the sidelines of the Summit, Mr. Marghoob Butt, the Executive Director of the IPHRC Secretariat, briefed the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir about finalization of the modalties of the ‘IPHRC Standing Mechanism on monitoring the human rights situation in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IoK)’ by the Commission as well as details of its work on the subject. The meeting was chaired by the OIC Secretary General's Special Envoy on Jammu and Kashmir, Ambassador Abdullah Al-Alem and attended by the Adviser to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on Foreign Affairs, Foreign Ministers of Azerbaijan and Turkey and Senior Representatives of Saudi Arabia and Niger. Mr.Butt reaffimed that the Commission, pursuant to the specific mandates given by the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers, will continue to closely collaborate with the Special Envoy of the OIC Secretary General on Jammu and Kashmir and relevant fora of OIC, including the Contact Group. He welcomed the prospect of Amb. Alem’s proposed mission to Pakistan and hoped that it would also include observance of the evidences of human rights abuses and atrocities in IoK. The Contact Group also welcomed the suggestion of the Amb. Mohammad Ahmed Tayeb, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to OIC, to hold meeting of the Contact Group in Pakistan to assess the ground realities and further highlight the criticality of the long standing issue.