ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has sought ‘proportional representation’ of Muslim countries in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), urging the 53-member Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to play a greater role in discussions over reforms in the main decision-making body.
The proposal was put forward by Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua during a two-day meeting of the OIC foreign ministers which concluded in Dhaka, Bangladesh on Sunday.
Former foreign minister Khawaja Asif was supposed to lead the Pakistani delegation but Janjua had to take his place after he was disqualified by a high court for hiding his employment in a foreign country.
Speaking at the meeting, the foreign secretary said the OIC should play a significant role in discussions over the reform of the Security Council.
“Our countries constitute more than one-fourth of the UN membership; we should, therefore, have proportional representation on an expanded Security Council, especially since the council’s agenda contains many items of direct concern to Islamic countries,” she suggested to the participants.
She further said as the world’s second largest inter-governmental organisation, the OIC should play a pro-active role in the reform process and seek adequate representation in the reformed Security Council as laid down in numerous OIC resolutions.
In recent years there have been discussions and specific proposals to expand the Security Council. One of the contenders is India. However, there has been no breakthrough so far given lack of consensus on the issue.
The Security Council has currently five permanent members — the US, China, Russia, Britain and France.
Meanwhile, a statement issued by the Foreign Office on Sunday said one of the main highlights of the OIC meeting in Dhaka was the strong support demonstrated by the member states to the just cause of the Kashmiri people through adoption of resolutions and endorsement of the report of the recently held OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir.
Both the resolutions and the report of the Contact Group reaffirmed OIC’s support for the realisation of the right of Kashmiri people to self-determination in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolutions, it said.
The Contact Group report drew attention to the rise in gross and systematic human rights violations in Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, terming them crimes against humanity.
The report also rejected attempts to equate the peaceful indigenous struggle for self-determination with terrorism.
The Memorandum presented by the True Representatives of the Kashmiri people to the OIC Secretary General was annexed to the report.
The foreign secretary, in her statement at the conference, as well as during a brainstorming session on humanitarian challenges and in her meetings inter alia, focused on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir. She also thanked the OIC member states for their consistent support to the cause.
The foreign secretary also spoke at length about the tragic plight of the Rohingya Muslims and Palestinians and expressed Pakistan’s full solidarity with them.
Just before the conclusion of the conference, the host country circulated the text of the Dhaka Declaration. It only reflected the views of the host country, and therefore, issued under its own responsibility, signifying that the text was neither discussed nor negotiated by the participating states.
“The declaration is without prejudice to the well-established positions of OIC member states and the organisation, as enshrined in the CFM and summit documents,” the Foreign Office said.
On the sidelines of the conference, the foreign secretary met the OIC secretary general, foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Minister of State of Uganda, her counterparts from Morocco, Malaysia, Tunis, Indonesia and heads of delegation of several other OIC countries.