Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Evolution and objectives

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Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Evolution and objectives

Introduction to Organization of Islamic Cooperation

In 1969, with the collective voice of 57 muslim states and the supported by the muslim world the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) was established. It is the second largest international organization after the United Nations and based in Jeddah. The OIC membership extends to the four continents, Asia, Africa, Europe and South America. It has regional groups, namely the Arab group, the African group, and the Asian group.

The OIC holds in every three years a summit called the summit of kings and heads of State and a meeting called meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers every year, a number of sectoral ministerial meetings, and meetings of the Permanent Representatives to the OIC on a regular basis throughout the year. The meetings discuss any emerging events related to Islamic causes. The OIC also has an executive committee consisting of seven States headed by the Chairman of the Summit, and a number of Ministerial Contact Groups.

Evolution and objectives of Organization of Islamic Cooperation

The Muslim world have tried to bring the Muslim Ummah (the Islamic world) into a single international platform and to give voice to the Muslims in international affairs. A number of landmark events occurred in the past which gave the foundations of its final constitution.

  • The Third Islamic Conference 1931, that mostly gathered Muslim intellectuals
  • First conference of political leaders in August, 1954, in which a bill was approved to that effect.
  • The Islamic Summit Conference1969 held in Rabat, aimed at discussing the Muslim world’s problems and interests.
  • Finally, in 1972, the Third Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers approved and adopted the Charter of the Islamic Conference Organization, giving rise to a new organization that put special emphasis on the notion of Islamic solidarity.

In the wake of the criminal arson in August 1969 which was perpetrated against the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and the reaction came from the Islamic world that the Kings of Arab world and Heads of State and Government of Islamic countries decided to organize the First Islamic Conference in Rabat, Morocco, from September 22 to 25. The summit discussed the international status of the Islamic world and work to raise the voice of Muslims. The outcome of this Summit was the expression of their solidarity with the Palestinian people and their commitment to foster mutual economic, cultural and religious cooperation.

And on the next step were taksen by the King Faisal of Saudi Arabia on March 23 to 25, 1970, convened in Jeddah the First Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers, who decided to take steps for their own mutual international cooperation and create a forum for discussion about the main topics affecting the Muslim world. This forum would bring forth the Organization of the Islamic Conference, whose foundational platform –the Constitution of the Organization– was adopted in Jeddah in March 1972 by the aforesaid Summit of Foreign Ministers and put into effect on February 28, 1973.

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