Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Ministry, in cooperation with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, hosted the Fourth OIC Conference on Mediation in Jeddah on Sunday.
The two-day conference is being held in the Kingdom for the first time. The previous three rounds were held in Turkey.
Under the slogan “Experiences and Prospects,” the event was attended by the members of the diplomatic corps, heads of delegations and representatives of OIC member states.
Saudi Deputy Foreign Minister Waleed Al-Khuraiji reviewed aspects of the Kingdom’s leading role in mediation to resolve disputes at all Arab, Islamic and international levels.
He said: “This conference comes at a time full of events that afflict the whole world and that affect international peace and stability. The Kingdom, however, believes that stability, peace and security are the sources of progress, development and prosperity for people.”
Al-Khuraiji added: “Complex and urgent issues within countries of the Islamic states and the world are in urgent need of a successful solution and more effective means which can be adopted through several methods, including the need for concerted efforts of the organization and regional and international partners, to find the best solutions to this matter in order to address all those challenges and risks.
“And this shall occur by investing in a diplomatic approach to resolve various conflicts through peaceful solutions and negotiations.”
OIC Secretary-General Hussein Brahim Taha stressed the importance of mediation to OIC states.
Taha said: “Mediation is of great importance to OIC as the fourth session of the Mediation Conference is being held at a critical juncture, and at a time when the world is in dire need of mediation, dialogue and negotiations to resolve conflicts.
“60 percent of the conflicts in the world occur in the OIC zone, so the OIC member states have a strong commitment to resolving the outstanding conflicts in a peaceful and lasting manner.
“The OIC succeeded in mediating the conflicts in southern Philippines, southern Thailand, Sudan, Chad and Afghanistan. It played an important role in supporting international efforts aimed at establishing peace in Somalia, Guinea and Iraq.
“We have played an important role in addressing the tense situation faced by the Muslim community in Sri Lanka due to some organized activities against Muslims by Buddhist monks in the wake of the brutal suicide attacks on churches and hotels in 2019.
“We have intervened to correct the discriminatory policies and practices adopted by the government of Sri Lanka to cremate the corpses of the victims of the COVID-19 epidemic, which are incompatible with the rights of Muslims in Sri Lanka.”
Taha added: “The relevant ministerial decisions have reaffirmed the commitment to enhance awareness in the OIC region regarding the benefits of mediation as a cost-effective tool to prevent and resolve conflicts peacefully.”
He said: “We need to integrate mediation into the scope of the organization’s work and activities, and build capacity in supporting activities and establishing partnerships between the OIC, the UN and other regional organizations.”
The two-day conference includes five different sessions with more than 20 expert panelists in the field of mediation from around the world.
They will discuss various issues, including the role of OIC and its member states in the field of mediation, partnerships with international and regional organizations, as well as mediation from a humanitarian perspective.
At the end of each session, heads of OIC member states will put forward their interventions, and each panelist will present related suggestions and solutions.