In March this year the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation
opened its specialized Peace, Security and Mediation Unit (PMSU) at the General Secretariat in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, hoping to strengthen its role in mediation and diplomacy towards conflict prevention and resolution. Initially focusing on capacity building, the PMSU is expected to function principally through monitoring ongoing and potential conflict situations before taking apt diplomatic response.
By identifying and analyzing the main sources and reasons of conflict, the PMSU will also look to determine ways of tackling them, collaborating and interacting with OIC member states and other organizations in the process. Ever since the inception of the OIC in 1969, the organization has achieved much progress and success in the issue of conflict involving its member countries.
Today however, many Muslim countries still suffer from the effects of conflict every day, and the OIC continues to work for peace and successful solutions to the problems that they face. The ongoing conflict between Palestinians and Israelis is a key concern in particular. The OIC supports the Arab Peace Initative for a two-states solution whereby the Palestinians and Israelis live side by side in peace, welfare and security.
Consistent with its duty, the OIC endeavors to exert sustained efforts to expand international recognition of Palestine as an independent state, continuing to forward diplomatic and financial support to the plight of the Palestinians. Meanwhile, having repeatedly emphasized the need for a commitment to protect civilians in Syria, due to the Government’s intransigence and persistent pursuit of a military solution to the crisis, the OIC last year decided to suspend the membership of Syria from the organization.
OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu described the decision as “a message to the international community… that the Islamic community stands with a politically peaceful solution and does not want any more bloodshed.” Other conflicts where the OIC has demonstrated solidarity and successful pushes for peace in recent years are throughout Myanmar (Burma), Somalia, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Sudan, Turkish Republic of Cyprus, Jammu and Kashmir, Côte d’Ivoire, Niger, Guinea, Yemen, Comoros Islands, Djibouti and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
With such a long list, it is an unfortunate fact that most of the world’s political hotspots fall within the purview of the OIC, and so since 2005, the organization has taken a proactive stance in dealing with peace and security issues faced by the Islamic world, making a lasting and meaningful impact. This strategy has been recognized by the United Nations, who recently stated that the OIC had now become a strategic partner in dealing with global security issues.