OSCE and OIC Intensify Cooperation: High Commissioner on National Minorities Visits Jeddah

PeopleDiplomats ♦ Published: July 1, 2024; 10:29 ♦ (Vindobona)

The High Commissioner on National Minorities of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Kairat Abdrakhmanov, met with the Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Hissein Brahim Taha, and members of his cabinet in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The meeting aimed to discuss concrete ways to strengthen cooperation in areas of common interest.

The Head-office Building of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons / Tahir mq/ CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

The talks focused on conflict prevention, peaceful conflict resolution, mediation, and strengthening the role of youth and women. Abdrakhmanov emphasized the importance of multilateral organizations working together to create opportunities to achieve goals that are important to both organizations. A particular focus was on dealing with diversity in the OSCE and OIC regions, with education, Muslim minorities, and building social cohesion through respect for diversity being key topics.

Abdrakhmanov welcomed the establishment of the OIC's Women Development Organization, a specialized intergovernmental body based in Cairo, as well as the establishment of the Department of Youth and Sports. He emphasized the importance of intensifying joint measures to strengthen interfaith dialogue. In particular, he emphasized the role of existing platforms for dialogue between religious and political leaders aimed at promoting respect and non-discrimination and combating Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, and all forms of intolerance, including against Christians and other faith communities.

Recommendations for inclusive policies

The High Commissioner presented to the OIC leadership ten sets of recommendations and guidelines published by his office. These include the latest recommendations on the effective participation of national minorities in social and economic life. These recommendations are designed to help policymakers develop inclusive policies that promote resilient and cohesive societies, which are crucial for peace and security in the OSCE region and beyond.

Gratitude and future cooperation

During the meeting, Mr. Abdrakhmanov expressed his sincere gratitude and appreciation to the OIC and its high-level representatives in Geneva, New York, and Jeddah for their continuous support and active participation in the activities of his mandate. He welcomed the established practice of regular consultations between the OIC the United Nations and other international and regional organizations. The High Commissioner also recognized the role of OSCE participating States, including Partners for Co-operation, as well as OIC Member and Observer States in strengthening cooperation between the two organizations.

Common goals for sustainable peace

Abdrakhmanov emphasized that now, more than ever, it is crucial that all multilateral organizations work together to achieve sustainable peace and security worldwide. OIC Secretary General Hissein Brahim Taha also expressed his appreciation for the process of enhanced cooperation between the OIC and the Office of the High Commissioner on issues of mutual interest, including Muslim minorities, interfaith dialog, peaceful coexistence in diverse societies, conflict prevention and combating Islamophobia.

Both sides reaffirmed their willingness to deepen the dialog and broaden the scope of cooperation. The meeting in Jeddah marks an important step in the development and strengthening of relations between the OSCE and the OIC to address common challenges and promote a more inclusive and peaceful world.