The Highly Anticipated OIC Summit Commences in Banjul

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By Alieu Ceesay 

The 15th edition of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) finally commenced in The Gambia, with heads of state and representatives from 57 Islamic countries across the globe coming together for this prestigious event themed on enhancing unity and solidarity for Sustainable development. 

The theme for the 15th edition, “Enhancing Unity and Solidarity Through Dialogue for Sustainable Development,” highlights existing challenges facing the Islamic world and the importance of collaboration and dialogue in addressing pressing issues, particularly the Palestine-Israel conflict, which has had devastating effects on Muslim communities worldwide, especially women and children in Palestine. 

President Adama Barrow, the summit host, emphasized the need to address challenges Muslim communities face, advocating for diplomacy over military operations to resolve conflicts.

 “Amid this unrest, we must reaffirm our commitment to mediation and dialogue as indispensable mechanisms to resolve conflict and foster lasting peace,” President Barrow stated. 

As Gambia assumes the role of Chairman of the OIC for the next three years, President Barrow pledged to promote unity, solidarity, and sustainable development within the Islamic world. He highlighted initiatives to enhance economic cooperation, foster cultural exchange, and address pressing issues such as poverty, education, and healthcare access. 

The OIC’s secretary-general, Hissein Brahim Taha, reiterated the organization’s commitment to addressing humanitarian challenges, particularly in Afghanistan, urging member states to contribute generously to support regional efforts. 

His Highness Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, emphasized the kingdom’s efforts in advocating for a ceasefire and safe passage for the Palestinian people. He also highlighted Saudi Arabia’s role in supporting peace initiatives in Yemen, Syria, Sudan, Libya, and Somalia, emphasizing the need for international cooperation to ensure peace and security worldwide. 

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia reaffirmed its commitment to restructuring and reforming the OIC to enhance its effectiveness on the global stage as the second-largest international organization.

The 15th OIC summit commences in Banjul at a critical period of global conflicts and uncertainties. The resolution of these will top discussions as Islamic leaders converge to find amicable and lasting solutions to enhance world peace and unity.

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