Statement of H.E. Mr. Mansour Al Otaibi
Permanent Representative of the State of Kuwait to the UN
on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Group
I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, in my capacity as the chair of the OIC Group. At the outset, allow me to express to the delegation of Nigeria, a fellow OIC Member State, both congratulations for presiding over the Security Council, and gratitude to holding an open debate on such a timely and important topic as the role of the regional organization in countering the evolving challenges of global security. In my statement, I will focus on the challenges posed by the continuously evolving threat posed by terrorism and violent extremism, and highlight the critical role played by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation towards countering it.
As our world has become more interconnected and interdependent, so too have the challenges we face; requiring us to enhance our collective efforts to tackle these global threats. Having said that, it is not enough that these security challenges be tackled on a country-to-country level, but more importantly on a regional and sub-regional organizations level whereby such organizations coordinate and cooperate in a concerted effort in order to ensure the collective peace and security of our peoples. The Security Council is to encourage the aforementioned as it is clearly stipulated in chapter VIII (8), article 52, of the UN Charter.
Terrorism and violent extremism remain two of the most serious threats to every society, as well as to the international peace and security as a whole. Regardless of its ethno-religious identity, geographical location, socio-economic conditions, or political stance at the world stage, every nation is more or less susceptible to the growing threat of terrorism. Therefore, never in history, a comprehensive and concerted response to terrorism was needed as much as it is today. However, there seems to be fundamental differences within the international community on how to handle the issue of terrorism.
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation is committed to fighting terrorism and countering violent extremism. To that effect, the OIC works toward delegitimizing violent extremist ideology, developing counter narratives to such extremism ideologies and propaganda, providing appropriate pathways to vulnerable groups, especially youth and women, elevating credible and authentic religious voices that support tolerance and non-violence, as well as countering use of cyberspace including social media by extremist groups.
As part of its ongoing efforts, the OIC’s Ministerial Executive Committee held an emergency session on 15 February 2015 to review and invigorate its actions against terrorism and violent extremism. Similarly, the General Secretariat organized on 5 May 2015 an expert level workshop on countering threats of terrorism and extremism on cyberspace implementing one of its deliverables.
Moreover, on 27 May 2015 in Kuwait, the 42nd Council of OIC Foreign Ministers had a special brainstorming session on developing an “Effective Strategy to Combat Terrorism, Violent Extremism and Islamophobia”, thus strengthening the OIC’s commitment in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism. The OIC member states will deliberate on and consider a proposal for establishing an OIC Fund to combat terrorism. Additionally, the OIC General Secretariat will organize an Intergovernmental Expert Group Meeting to finalize the strategy to combat terrorism and violent extremism at the cyber space.
The UN and the OIC continue to work together in order to counter incitement to terrorism and violent extremism. In this regard, within the framework of the ongoing UN-OIC cooperation, the OIC held a workshop in Jeddah in May 2013, on countering incitement to terrorism and enhancing cultural dialogue pursuant to the Security Council resolution 1624 (2005). Similarly, after the forthcoming UN General Assembly, the OIC is looking forward to, again in close consultation with the Counter Terrorism Executive Directorate, to hold a meeting of the OIC Member States on “National practices in countering incitement to terrorism and violent extremism pursuant to the Security Council resolutions 1624 (2005) and 2178 (2014)”.
The OIC remains an important partner of the United Nations in peace, security and the fostering of a culture of peace at the global level. The OIC stands ready to make meaningful contributions to the aforementioned initiatives, and reiterates its cooperation to working with the United Nations in conflict prevention and resolution, mediation, peacekeeping and peacebuilding, promotion of good governance at the national and international levels, combating international terrorism, fighting extremism, countering religious intolerance, including Islamophobia, promoting and protecting all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, humanitarian assistance and capacity-building.
Regional organizations have a greater role to prevent, manage and resolve crises and to ensure the maintenance of international peace and security.
It is imperative and incumbent upon us – states and regional organizations – to work more closely, more collectively, in order to contribute to the promotion of the purposes and principles of the United Nations.