Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday sought support from the OIC member states to launch the Rohingya case at the International Court of Justice with voluntary funding and technical help to ensure legal rights of the Rohingyas and address the question of accountability and justice.
Mentioning that the Abu Dhabi Conference of OIC Foreign Ministers, held in March, created a pathway to move the court, she thanked Gambia for steering the process this far.
Hasina was speaking on behalf of the Asia Group at the 14th OIC Makkah Al-Mukarramah Summit titled “Hand in Hand Towards the Future” at the Safa Palace in Makkah.
The PM said Bangladesh has given shelter to more than 1.1 million forcibly displaced Rohingya Muslims of Myanmar despite having resource constraints. “But their dignified return is still uncertain as Myanmar consistently fails to honour its promises to create a conducive environment for their return to Northern Rakhine.”
She also called upon the OIC to devise a comprehensive strategy to meet the challenges of adverse changes in world economy, ecology and security.
“We have more than a third of the world’s strategic resources and majority of its youths. We, ourselves, should be able to solve our own problems.”
Hasina urged all to pursue a course of “zero tolerance” for terror, deny territories for use by any individual or group for launching any terror and extremist agenda and fight it together.
To this end, she recalled her four-point formula for the Muslim world -- stopping supply of arms, stopping financing for terrorism, removing divisions within the Ummah, and pursuing peaceful settlement of conflicts through dialogue.
Hasina said it is heartwarming to see that the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is taking the much-needed path of reforms and renovations to adapt itself to the 21st century.
“While we change and adapt, we must aim for the values of Islam -- fraternity, equality, and justice -- as demonstrated by Rasul-E-Kareem [SA].”
Regarding the recent terror attacks in New Zealand and Sri Lanka, Hasina extended sympathies and expressed solidarity with the bereaved families of the Christchurch attacks. She also condemned the terror attacks in Sri Lanka which saw the death of one of her grandchildren -- eight-year-old Sheikh Zayan.
“We share the pain and agony of helpless people of Palestine, Syria, and elsewhere getting mercilessly murdered every day. Let this Summit set the course under your Majesty’s stewardship to turn the tide. Let there be a beginning of an end to the Muslim indignity and misery,” she said.
Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud hosted the conference of the OIC, comprising 57 member states, with a view to developing a unified stance of Muslim leaders on rising tensions in the Gulf.
Mentioning that the OIC was conceived to get back the land and sovereign rights of the Palestinian brothers and sisters, safeguard dignity and rights of the Muslim Ummah, and strengthen solidarity and cooperation amongst the peoples of the Muslim world, Hasina said the Palestine question still persists, and the Muslim nations and communities still stand divided.
“We should make the best use of OIC institutions like the Islamic Development Bank by synchronising their policies and practices with OIC agenda under a programme.”
She said the Islamic world needs to turn incubation of ideas and innovations into marketable products and services. She invited all to participate in turning the Islamic University of Technology (IUT), which Bangladesh is hosting, into a centre of excellence.
The PM sought support of the OIC members for Bangladesh candidate Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque for the post of deputy director general of the International Organisation for Migration.
The OIC first met a month after an arson attack on Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem on August 21, 1969.