Suriname and Guyana, the Western Hemisphere’s only two members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), are taking part in this week’s 13th Summit of the OIC from April 10 to 15 in Istanbul.
Sources say Guyana’s Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge has travelled to Turkey for the event while Suriname’s President Desi Bouterse is being represented at the summit by Foreign Affairs Minister Niermala Badrisingh.
This year’s Islamic Summit is being held under the theme “Unity and Solidarity for Justice and Peace.”
It is expected that practical measures will be taken aimed at developing joint Islamic action and advancing the OIC’s role in the regional and international arenas.
This includes the adoption of the “OIC Programme of Action: 2016-2025,” which constitutes “a strategic vision with specific priorities addressing peace and security, terrorism and extremism, humanitarian work, human rights, development, poverty alleviation, eradication of epidemics, the rights of women, children and the family in the Islamic world, higher education, science and technology, and cultural exchange among OIC member states,” according to an OIC statement.
The Palestinian issue is predicted to dominate the agenda.
Guyana is a member of the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and was the first Caribbean country to recognize a Palestinian state.
The current situations in Syria, Yemen, Libya, Afghanistan, Somalia, Mali, Jammu and Kashmir, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Azerbaijan are also expected to come under discussion.
The summit is also expected to tackle such issues as combating terrorism, sustainable development, promotion of scientific cooperation among OIC states in the areas of health, higher education and environment; promotion of cultural, social and media cooperation, the humanitarian situation, poverty eradication and infrastructure.
The event is slated to be preceded by meetings of senior officials and the foreign ministers of OIC countries starting today.
Meanwhile, the First Ladies of the OIC countries are holding a special session on the sidelines of the Islamic Summit on the theme “First Ladies’ Leadership on Cancer Control in OIC Member States.”
Guyana and Suriname both have significant Muslim populations, and Islamic holidays such as Youman Nabi and Eid-ul-Fitr are celebrated with national holidays in these countries. (Excerpts taken from Caribbean360.com)