The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), in cooperation with the United Nations, has the potential to deal with the decades-old Kashmir and the Middle East disputes, a top Pakistani diplomat has told the Security Council.
The OIC can also contribute to the promotion of global peace and prosperity, Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistan’s permanent representative to the U.N., said on Tuesday, while pointing out the fact that the membership of 57-nation organization spans four continents that face security challenges bedeviling the Middle East, Africa and beyond.
Collectively, and in cooperation with the UN, it has the capabilities to address and overcome these challenges including Palestine and other Middle East conflicts as well as the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, she told the 15-member Council during an open debate on the subject of regional organizations and contemporary global security challenges.
The UN should actively promote cooperation with the OIC in areas such as: mediation and conciliation of disputes; peacekeeping and peace building; humanitarian assistance, especially to refugees and displaced people; and in addressing the root causes of conflicts and extremism.
Dr. Lodhi’s addressed the Security Council a few hours after US Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued a statement expressing serious concern’ over the recent escalation of violence along the Line of Control in the disputed Kashmir region, and called on India and Pakistan to address their differences through dialogue.
In her speech, the Pakistani envoy referred to the growing threats to global threats to peace and world order stemming from diverse sources — climate change, poverty, unemployment, especially among youth, water scarcity, record number of refugees and forced migrants, and the gross violations of human rights-and said regional organizations can contribute to addressing many of these challenges.
Ambassador Lodhi called for political will among global and regional Powers to use financial, scientific and organizational capabilities cooperatively and to rise above their own narrow interests. Regional organizations could help address challenges especially the economic and social dimensions as well as promote closer political consultations required for addressing security dimensions.
While they could promote mediation, arbitration and other peaceful means to resolve conflict, the United Nations had primacy, as any enforcement action could only be authorized by the Council, she said. Each regional organization was unique: some had proven their worth, such as the European Union, African Union and Arab League, while others, such as the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), had yet to fulfill that promise.