On 17 November 2016 Ambassador Hameed Opeloyeru, OIC Assistant Secretary General for Economic Affairs, paid a courtesy call to the UN Secretary General Designate António Guterres. Mr. Guterres highlighted the excellent cooperation that has developed between UNHCR, when he was its Commissioner General, and the OIC in a number of initiatives. He also expressed his hope to keep and further the cooperation between the OIC and the UN under his leadership. He also asked Ambassador Opeloyeru to convey his congratulations to H.E. Dr. Yousef Al Othaimeen for his election as OIC Secretary General.
Ambassador Opeloyeru briefed the SG-Designate on the Security Council’s Meeting on UN-OIC cooperation. He also expressed his hope to have regular biennial Security Council briefings on UN-OIC cooperation, noting that the two organizations also hold coordination meetings every two years.
Mr. Guterres said that unfortunately some of the world’s serious crises are happening in the Muslim world, which necessitates closer cooperation between the UN and the OIC. He also stressed that with close cooperation we can also stand up Islamophobia, terrorism and all forms of discrimination. Moreover, he highlighted the need to build a wide international alliance from all religious groups to face extremism, religious-based hate and discrimination.
Commenting on a briefing by Ambassador Opeloyeru on the establishment of the Messaging Centre, Mr. Guterres praised the initiative and suggested that the Centre should include as many languages as possible including Farsi, Urdu, Pashto and Dari. He also reaffirmed that the OIC can count on his support and cooperation.