Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC)

International Organisation Profile

Also available in the following language: French, Arabic

Objective of the Organisation:

To strengthen cooperation and solidarity among the Member States and to protect the rights and interests of the Islamic World.

http://www.mfa.gov.tr/site_media/images/flags/iit.jpg

Date of Establishment:

25 September 1969

Headquarters:

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Secretary General:

Dr. Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen

Member States: The OIC has 57 members.

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Benin, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Comoros, Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Indonesia, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, Libya, Lebanon, Maldives, Malaysia, Mali Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Palestine, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Suriname, Syria*, Tajikistan, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Yemen.

*Syria’s membership was suspended at the Fourth Extraordinary Islamic Summit held in Makkah on 12-14 August 2012.

Observer Countries: The OIC has five observer members.

The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (by name of Turkish Cypriot State), Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Central African Republic, the Russian Federation and Thailand.

Turkey’s Membership Status: Turkey is one of OIC’s 25 founding members.

Turkey’s Representation within OIC: Turkey decided to establish a Permanent Mission to the OIC by the decree of the Council of Ministers dated 22 May 2014 and it was opened in Jeddah on 24 July 2015.

History of the Organisation:

The Organisation of the Islamic Conference was established by decision of the First Islamic Summit Conference held in Rabat on 22-25 September 1969, upon the reactions of the Islamic world provoked by the arson attack against Al-Aqsa Mosque, which is the third holiest site in Islam and located in Jerusalem under the Israeli occupation, by an Australian extremist Jewish on 21 August 1969.

The name of the Organisation was changed to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) at the 38th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM), which took place in Astana on 28-30 June 2011.

At the 1st Session of the CFM in Jeddah in March 1970, it was agreed to establish the General Secretariat and bring it into operation in Jeddah until the liberation of Jerusalem, furthermore a Secretary General was appointed.

OIC Charter:

The Organisation’s constituent document is the New Charter adopted at the 11th OIC Summit held in Dakar on 13-14 March 2008 to substitute the OIC Charter adopted at the 3rd Session of the CFM in Rabat in 1972. The Charter predicates the Organisation’s objectives and principles and determines the membership, observation, settlement of the disputes amicably, budget and finance as well as the operational rules.

The new Charter, which revised and substituted the prior Charter dated 1972, is the most crucial milestone for the Organisation’s reform. The New Charter forms the legal basis and the organs necessary for the cooperation and activities among the Islamic countries in accordance with the contemporary requirements in the recent environment that have undergone radical changes in the international fora since 1972.

Turkey signed the new Charter at the 35th Session of the CFM (that took place in Kampala/Uganda on 18-20 June 2007) and the Charter entered into force in Turkey on 16 June 2012.

The Charter can be accessed through the following link:

https://www.oic-oci.org/upload/documents/charter/en/oic_charter_2018_en.pdf

OIC Organs:

1. Islamic Summit

2. Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM)

3. Standing Committees

4. Executive Committee

5. International Islamic Court of Justice ( It is planned to be the Organisation’s principal judicial organ following the entry into force of its status )

6. Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission

7. Committee of Permanent Representatives

8. General Secretariat

9. Subsidiary Organs

10. Specialized Organs

11. Affiliated Institutions

Islamic Summit:

The Islamic Summit, which is the highest-level decision-making body of the Organisation, consists of the Kings, Presidents and Prime Ministers of the Member States. It meets once in every three years in one of the Member States, holds consultations to achieve the goals specified in the OIC Charter and adopts resolutions on the policy to be followed to this end.

Member States host the Summit meetings alternatively on the basis of the geographical groups (Arab, Asia and Africa). This rule applies to other OIC meetings as well. Fourteen Summits and seven Extraordinary Summit Meetings have been organized in various member states since its foundation.

By hosting the 13th Summit under the theme of “Unity and Solidarity for Justice” on 14-15 April 2016, in İstanbul, Turkey assumed the Chair of the OIC Summit for three years and handed over this mandate to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at the 14th Islamic Summit which was held in Mecca, on 31 May 2019.

On the other hand, if the circumstances require, Extraordinary Summit meetings are also held in order to discuss the crucial issues for the Islamic world and to determine the policies the Organisation will pursue.

In this regard, upon the call by the President of the Republic of Turkey, both the 6th and 7th Extraordinary Summits were held in Istanbul on 13 December 2017 and on 18 May 2018 respectively, following the developments in Jerusalem and Palestine.

Council of Foreign Ministers:

The Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM), which is the second decision making organ following the Summit, is held once a year in one of the Member States. As is the case with the Summit Meetings, Extraordinary Sessions of the CFM may convene, when necessary, for critical issues concerning the Islamic world.

The CFM makes decisions on issues about fulfilling purposes and implementing general policies of the Organisation, tracks the progress in implementing the resolutions adopted at previous Islamic Summits and CFM Meetings, evaluates and approves the budgets of the General Secretariat and subsidiary organs and elects the Secretary General.

Turkey hosted CFM Meetings three times in total, in 1976 (7th CFM), in 1991 (12th CFM) and in 2004 (31st CFM).

45th CFM was held in Dhaka, on 5-6 May 2018. A delegation led by Mr. Bekir Bozdağ, the Deputy Prime Minister, attended the Meeting in which significant decisions were taken about the Islamic world and Turkey.

During the meeting, elections were held for the OIC Office of Assistant Secretary General. Ambassador Musa Kulaklıkaya, former Director General of SESRIC who was nominated as a candidate by Turkey, has been elected to the post of Assistant Secretary General for Administration and Finance.

A delegation headed by Ambassador Sedat Önal, Deputy Foreign Minister, attended the 46th CFM which was held in Abu Dhabi, on 1-2 March 2019. At the meeting, Bangladesh handed over the CFM Chairmanship to the UAE.

47th Session of the CFM is expected to be hosted by Niger in 2020.

Standing Committees:

The OIC established the following Standing Committees so as to further address the critical issues for the Organisation and the Member States. Kings, Presidents and Prime Ministers chair the Standing Committees. These Committees are established in accordance with the Summit’s resolutions and upon suggestions made by the Council of Foreign Ministers and Committee Members.

1. Al Quds Committee

(chaired by the King of Morocco)

2. Standing Committee for Information and Cultural Affairs (COMIAC)

(chaired by the President of the Republic of Senegal)

3. Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation (COMCEC)

(chaired by the President of the Republic of Turkey)

4. Standing Committee for Scientific and Technological Cooperation (COMSTECH)

(chaired by the President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan)

Executive Committee:

The Executive Committee consists of eight members, including the Summit and CFM Troikas (previous, current and incoming Chairs), Saudi Arabia as the Host Country of the Secretariat and the Secretary General of the OIC and it convenes when necessary.

As a result of Israel’s increasing violent attacks against Palestinian territory, mass punishment of the Palestinian people and the burning of a Palestinian teenager named Mohamed Abu Khdair, the Executive Committee held Extraordinary Meetings in Jeddah on 10 July and on 12 August 2014 in order to review the steps to be taken by the OIC against Israel’s ongoing attacks targeting the Palestinian people, its institutions, Al-Aqsa Mosque as well as the sanctuaries of the Muslims and Christians. Also, it convened an open-ended Extraordinary Meeting at the level of the Foreign Ministers to discuss the incidents in Haram Al-Sharif, upon the call of Turkey, in Istanbul on 1 August 2017.

Finally, upon Turkey’s call as the Chair of the Summit, an open-ended Emergency Meeting of the Executive Committee at the level of the Foreign Ministers was held in Istanbul on 22 March 2019 in order to deal with the increasing Islamophobia as well as racist and xenophobic violence actions, particularly the terrorist attack perpetrated against two mosques in New Zealand on 15 March 2019. Nineteen countries attended the aforementioned meeting at the Ministerial level, which was chaired by Foreign Minister of Turkey and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also attended one part of it and delivered a speech.

Secretary General:

The Secretary General, who is the chief administrative officer of the Organisation, is elected from among nationals of the Member States for a period of five years, renewable only once, by the CFM in accordance with the principles of equitable geographical rotation and equal opportunity.

The Secretary General is responsible for bringing to the attention of the competent organs of the Organisation matters which concern the Organisation; following-up the implementation of resolutions and recommendations of the Islamic Summits and CFM; coordinating the work of the relevant Organs of the Organisation; preparing the programme and the budget of the General Secretariat and submitting annual reports to the CFM on the work of the Organisation.

Personalities whom have been elected as OIC Secretaries General since the establishment of the Organisation are as follows:

1- Tunku Abdul Rahman (Malaysia) 1971-1973

2- Hassan Al-Touhami (Egypt) 1974-1975

3- Amadou Karim Gaye (Senegal) 1975-1979

4- Habib Chatty (Tunisia) 1979-1984

5- Syed Sharifuddin Pirzada (Pakistan) 1985-1988

6- Dr. Hamid Algabid (Niger) 1989-1996

7- Dr. Azeddine Laraki (Morocco) 1997-2000

8- Dr. Abdelouahed Belkeziz (Morocco) 2001-2004

9- Prof. Dr. Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu (Turkey) 2005-2013

10- İyad Ameen Madani (Saudi Arabia) 2014-2016

11- Dr. Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen (Saudi Arabia) 2016-present.

The OIC Secretary Generals have been appointed by the mutual agreements among the Member States in the CFM Meetings. Moreover, a democratic election was held for the first time in the 31st Session of the CFM convened in Istanbul in June 2004 and Prof. Dr. Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu was elected as the Secretary General. The first Turkish citizen to be assigned to this position, Mr. İhsanoğlu began working as Secretary General on 1 January 2005 and his term of duty was extended for another period of five year, to be valid as of 1 January 2009 in the 35th Session of the CFM held in Kampala/Uganda on 18-20 June 2008.

Former Saudi Arabian Minister Dr. Iyad Madani was elected as the new Secretary General in the 12th OIC Summit held in Cairo on 6-7 February 2013 and took over the position at the beginning of 2014; however, Dr. Madani submitted his resignation on 31 October 2016. To substitute Dr. Madani, Saudi Arabia’s candidate Dr. Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen was elected unanimously as the Secretary General of the OIC in the Extraordinary Session of the CFM held in Mecca on 17 November 2016.

Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission:

The Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC), established within the OIC Ten-Year-Programme of Action which was adopted by the 3 rd Extraordinary Islamic Summit in Makkah on 7-8 December 2005, was officially launched with the adoption of its Statute by the 38 th Session of the CFM in Astana on 28-30 June 2011.

According to the new OIC Charter, IPHRC started to function temporarily with its headquarters in Jeddah in 2012 and convenes twice a year on a regular basis. It was decided at the 41st Session of the CFM that Saudi Arabia shall host permanently the Commission.

IPHRC consists of eighteen members including six members each from Asia, Africa and Arab groups. Dr. Hacı Ali Açıkgül, Head of Department of Human Rights of the Turkish Ministry of Justice, is a member of this Commission.

Turkey’s Relations with the OIC:

Turkey has been a member of the OIC since its establishment and has actively contributed to its activities. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) has had observer status in the OIC since 1979 and the TRNC has regularly participated in OIC Summits and CFM meetings. The TRNC, formerly represented under the name “Turkish Cypriot Muslim Community” in the OIC, is agreed to be represented by the name “Turkish Cypriot State”, as mentioned in the Annan Plan, at the 31st Session of the CFM held in Istanbul on 14-16 June 2004. With the resolution adopted under the title of “State of Play in Cyprus” in the Summit and the CFM, the OIC confirms the cooperation and solidarity with the TRNC and supports the resolution of the Cyprus issue.

The OIC also supports the protection of the rights and interests of the Muslim Turkish Minority and the resolution of their problems through its resolutions adopted annually about the Turkish Minority in Greece, Western Thrace and the Dodecanese.

The OIC Organs in Turkey:

Turkey hosts the following organs of the Organisation:

One Standing Committee,

· Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (COMCEC)

One representation of a specialized institution

  • The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Office in Turkey

Two subsidiary organs

· Statistical, Economic and Social Research and Training Centre for Islamic Countries (SESRIC)

· Research Centre For Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA)

And five affiliated institutions

  • Islamic Cooperation Youth Forum (ICYF)

· Federation of Consultants from Islamic Countries (FCIC)

· Standards and Metrology Institute for the Islamic Countries (SMIIC)

· Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Broadcasting Regulatory Authorities Forum (IBRAF)

· Inter-Islamic Science and Technology Network on Oceanography (INOC)

The said institutions and the Committee conceive projects to increase cooperation among the member states under their task directives and support the existing projects.

The Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (COMCEC):

COMCEC is chaired by H.E. Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of the Republic of Turkey, and Follow-Up Committee meeting is held in Turkey every year once at the Ministerial level and once at the technical level.

COMCEC’s new Strategy and revised Statute were adopted at the 4 th Extraordinary Islamic Summit held in Mecca in 2012. The new COMCEC Strategy was confirmed by the Final Communique at the 13 th Islamic Summit in Istanbul.

The Working Groups and the COMCEC Project Funding instruments, formed through the Strategy, are becoming even more important. Establishing an OIC Arbitration Centre and bringing the OIC Preferential Trade System into force as soon as possible are among the priorities of Turkey with regards to COMCEC. The 34th Ministerial Meeting of the COMCEC was held in Istanbul on 26-29 November 2018, and the 35th Ministerial Meeting of COMCEC will be held in Turkey on 25-28 November 2019.

Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA):

IRCICA, the headquarters of which is located in Istanbul, acts as a focal point and meeting place for scholars, researchers, artists, institutions, organisations working on Islamic history, culture, civilization and art; endeavours to eliminate the prejudices against the Islamic culture and civilization, to project their correct image, to inform the world opinion on their role and place in world civilisation and to promote a better understanding and a dialogue between Muslims and other peoples of the world; undertakes research, publish books, bibliographies, catalogues, albums and other reference works to reinforce awareness of these subjects in public opinion.

Prof. Dr. Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu had been the Director General of IRCICA since 1980 when IRCICA started its activities; since 2005 Associated Prof. Dr. Halit Eren has held the office.

Statistical, Economic and Social Research and Training Centre for Islamic Countries (SESRIC):

Located in Ankara, SESRIC is liable for collecting, collating and disseminating socio-economic statistics regarding the Member States for the utilisation of the Member States; researching, evaluating and reporting the economic and social development in the Member States to help generate proposals that will enhance co-operation among them; organize training programmes in selected fields geared to the expressed needs of the Member States, as well as to the general objectives of the OIC.

As the former General Director, Ambassador Musa Kulaklıkaya, was elected to the post of Assistant Secretary General for Administration and Finance of the OIC at the 45th Session of the CFM in May 2018, the candidature of Turkish citizen Nebil Dabur was proposed and following his appointment as General Director of SESRIC and he took office in March 2019.

Islamic Cooperation Youth Forum (ICYF):

ICYF was established at its Founding General Assembly in Baku, Azerbaijan on 1-3 December 2004 in accordance with the resolution adopted by the 31st Session of the CFM held in Istanbul on 14-16 June 2004 with the participation of representatives from the youth institutions of the OIC member states and international youth institutions. It was granted with the status of institution affiliated to the OIC by the virtue of the resolution adopted by the 32nd Session of the CFM held in Sana’a, Yemen in 2005.

Turkey has been hosting ICYF in Istanbul pursuant to the agreement signed in 2009.

The candidate of Turkey, Taha Ayhan, was elected as the President of ICYF at the 3rd General Assembly held in Istanbul on 22-24 October 2018.

The Standards and Metrology Institute for Islamic Countries (SMIIC):

The idea of ​​establishing a mechanism for harmonization of standards among Islamic countries was first brought to the agenda in the COMCEC Meeting held in 1984.

The Statute of SMIIC, prepared in this scope, was adopted at the 14 th COMCEC Meeting held in 1998 and submitted for signature of member states for the first time at the 15thCOMCEC Meeting held in İstanbul one year later.

The Statute entered into force in August 2010 after the fulfilment the ratification requirement of ten OIC member states and SMIIC started its activities in Istanbul as an affiliated organ of the OIC.

The Secretary General of SMIIC is İhsan Övüt. Mr. Övüt was first elected to this post at the 7th SMIIC General Assembly Meeting in Istanbul on 20 November 2014 and re-elected at the 12th General Assembly Meeting held in Istanbul on 26 November 2017.

OIC Ten-Year-Programme of Action:

The OIC Ten-Year-Programme of Action, prepared by also asking the views of scholars and specialists, was adopted by the 3rd OIC Extraordinary Summit Conference held in Mecca in 2005 in order to strengthen the Islamic solidarity, project the noble values and true image of Islam and address the challenges facing the Muslim world in an objective and realistic way.

The next Ten-Year-Programme of Action covering the years 2016-2025 was finalized by the 13th Islamic Summit Conference held in Istanbul on 14-15 April 2016.

The said Programme is a comprehensive and elaborated road map composed of political will, solidarity and joint Islamic action, Islam as a religion of moderation and tolerance, Islamic Law, Islamic Fiqh Academy, fight against terrorism, fight against Islamophobia, human rights and good governance, Palestine and the occupied Arab territories, prevention and settlement of the conflicts, peace settlement, economic cooperation, supporting the Islamic Development Bank, social solidarity in the face of natural disasters, poverty alleviation in Africa, higher education, science and technology, rights of women, youth, and family in the Islamic world, and cultural exchange among member states.

The Brainstorming Session on the Comprehensive Reform of the OIC:

The OIC reform was first addressed by H.E. Mr. Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, in the meeting with Al-Othaimeen, Secretary General of the OIC, on 1 August 2017. In this regard, the draft resolution prepared and led by Turkey, bearing the title of “Organisation of the Brainstorming Session on the Comprehensive Reform of the OIC” was adopted at the 45th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers held in Dhaka on 5-6 May 2018.

The first meeting about this Session was held in Jeddah on 23-25 October 2018. The second meeting is envisaged to be held in Bangladesh within 2019.

The OIC Centre for Police Cooperation and Coordination:

The 13th Islamic Summit in Turkey accepted the proposal to establish a centre under the name of the “OIC Centre for Police Cooperation and Coordination” to be located in Istanbul and granted the status of specialized institutions with the voluntary based membership in order to strengthen cooperation between the Organisations of member states within the OIC and to carry out capacity building activities.

The Statute of the Centre was submitted to and adopted at the 45 th Session of the CFM in Dhaka on 5-6 May 2019. The said Statute was signed by Turkey at the 46th Session of the CFM held in Abu Dhabi on 1-2 March 2019; the Statute should be ratified by nineteen countries so that the Centre could begin to function.

The OIC Media Forum:

The resolution to establish the OIC Media Forum was adopted at the 9th Session of the Islamic Conference of Information Ministers (Libreville, Gabon, 19-20 April 2012) in consideration of the fact that the forum would contribute to carrying out concrete projects, organizing training programs and developing anti-Islamophobia programs. It was established with its headquarters in Istanbul by the resolution of the 40th CFM held in Conakry, the capital of Guinea, on 9-11 December 2013 and given the status of an OIC affiliated institution.

Turkey has taken the necessary steps to organize the OIC Media Forum, the inauguration of which will take place at the OIC 12th Session of the Islamic Conference of Information Ministers to be hosted by Turkey. The efforts to establish the Forum have been conducted by the Directorate of Communications within the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey.

13 th Islamic Summit and Turkey’s OIC Summit Chair

By assuming the Summit Chairmanship at the 13th Islamic Summit, Turkey has focused in particular on the reform of the Organisation, settlement of conflicts, mediation, humanitarian aid and women’s issues. The Final Communique, OIC-2025 Program of Action, The Cause of Palestine, the Resolution on Jerusalem and Istanbul Declaration were adopted at the end of the Summit.

The Final Communique presents the significant political, economic, cultural and social developments and humanitarian cases in OIC member states, the rights of Muslim communities in non-OIC member states and joint position and decisions of member states regarding the administrative issues of the Organisation. Istanbul Declaration prepared by Turkey as the host country reflects the general approach regarding the fundamental problems in the agenda of the Islamic world; the OIC-2025 Program of Action, which is the second ten-year-Program of Action of the OIC, sets the goals to be achieved on various fields between 2016 and 2025; the Cause of Palestine and the Resolution on Jerusalem aims at maintaining the support for the Palestinian cause which is the founding purpose of the OIC.

Some of the significant meetings hosted by Turkey during its Summit Chairmanship are presented below:

i) 13th Islamic Summit (14-15 April, Istanbul)

ii) 3rd Session of the Islamic Conference of Ministers Responsible for Water (17-19 May 2016, Istanbul)

iii) 3rd Session of the Islamic Conference of Youth and Sport Ministers (4-8 October 2016, Istanbul)

iv) 6th Ministerial Conference on Women’s Role in the Development of OIC Member States (1-3 November 2016, Istanbul)

v) Open-ended Extraordinary Meeting of OIC Executive Committee at the level of Foreign Ministers (1 August 2017, Istanbul)

vi) 6th Extraordinary Islamic Summit Conference (13 December 2017, Istanbul)

vii) 7th Extraordinary Islamic Summit Conference (18 May 2018, Istanbul)

viii) Open-ended Emergency Meeting of OIC Executive Committee at the level of Foreign Ministers (22 March 2019, Istanbul)

14th Islamic Summit

14th Summit Conference was held under the theme of “Makkah Al-Mukarramah Summit: Hand in Hand toward the Future” in Makkah on 31 May 2019. H.E. Mr. Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Minister of Foreign Affairs represented Turkey at the Summit as well as at the Meeting of Council of Foreign Ministers which was organized in Jeddah on 29 May.

During the Summit, the leaders addressed the common matters of concern for the Islamic World, such as the Cause of Palestine, Islamophobia, extremism, mounting discourse of hatred against Muslims, problems of Muslim communities and minorities; a Final Communique, Mecca Declaration (i.e. host country declaration) and a Resolution on Palestine were adopted at the Summit. With this Summit, Turkey handed over the Chairmanship to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.