The 45th session of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) will begin in Dhaka on Saturday with a special focus on the Rohingya crisis and other challenges facing by the Muslim Ummah.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to open the two-day event at the city’s Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) morning.
The theme of this year's council is "Islamic Values for Sustainable Peace, Solidarity and Development."
This is the second time Bangladesh is hosting a CFM. The first one in Dhaka was held in 1983, an official told UNB.
Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali will brief the media about the CFM Thursday morning.
With the 45th CFM in Dhaka, the council’s chairmanship will pass from incumbent Cote d'Ivoire to Bangladesh for the next one year until the next CFM.
The 45th session will end with a closing session preceded by a sideline event/brainstorming session under the title "The Humanitarian Challenges in the OIC Member States with a Special Focus on the Humanitarian Situation on the Rohingyas" on Sunday.
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During the session, the meetings of the Special Committee, various OIC Ministerial Contact Groups, and elections, including those of the assistant secretaries general of OIC, will be held in parallel at the same venue.
Foreign Ministry officials said the current Rohingya crisis and the challenges facing the Muslim Ummah - the conflicts, division, tension and instability of the Muslim world - will get focus at the CFM.
"Protection of their (Rohingyas) rights and fundamental freedoms will, therefore, remain a major preoccupation of this CFM," State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam said recently.
The problems of terrorism and violent extremism, sectarian tendencies, hatred, prejudice and Islamophobia, massive humanitarian crises with forced displacements seriously - affecting the rights and dignity of Muslim minorities like the Rakhine Muslims of Myanmar, persistent poverty and socio-economic backwardness of Muslim societies are OIC priorities.
The way the CFM is addressing these issues are through resolutions and proposals regarding political, economic, social, cultural and family affairs issues that are now under finalization, Shahriar said.
The meetings of the Permanent Finance Committee, Economic, social, cultural and Family Affairs Commission, and the Senior Officials in Jeddah this month have largely discussed these resolutions seeking to find solutions and approaches to the ongoing problems of the Muslim Ummah.
Dhaka sees these issues being approached under four broad ranges of draft resolutions: those relating to peace, conflict resolution, mediation and security; those relating to OIC economic and development agenda; those relating to minorities and humanitarian questions and those relating to OIC reforms.
Though there will be a separate sideline session on the humanitarian challenges of the Muslim world with special focus on the Rohingyas on Sunday, prior to that a visit to the Rohingya refugee camps in Cox's Bazar will take place on Friday.
Meanwhile, Canada's Special Envoy to Myanmar Bob Rae, who is considered as an international expert on Rohingya refugee crisis, will deliver a public lecture on the crisis at the Brac Centre Inn auditorium on Thursday.
He is also likely to visit Rohingya camps on Friday.