Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC): Purpose and Governing Bodies
The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is the second largest inter-governmental organization after the United Nations which has membership of 57 states spread over four continents. It is an organisation of the collective voice of the Muslim world. The main motive of the organisation is to the safeguard and protects the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony among various people of the world. The Organization was established upon a decision of the historical summit which took place in Rabat, Kingdom of Morocco on 12th Rajab 1389 Hijra (25 September 1969) as a result of criminal arson of Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem.
Members of OIC
There are total 57 members from which some were became member before 1990 and some were after 1990.
Members before 1990: Afghanistan; Algeria; Chad; Egypt; Guinea; Indonesia; Iran; Jordan; Kuwait; Lebanon; Libya; Malaysia; Mali; Mauritania; Morocco; Niger; Pakistan; Palestine; Saudi Arabia; Senegal; Sudan; Somalia; Tunisia; Turkey; Yemen; Bahrain; Oman; Qatar; Syria; United Arab Emirates; Sierra Leone; Bangladesh; Gabon; Gambia; Guinea-Bissau; Uganda; Burkina Faso; Cameroon; Comoros; Iraq; Maldives; Djibouti; Benin; Brunei and Nigeria.
Members after 1990: Azerbaijan; Albania; Kyrgyzstan; Tajikistan; Turkmenistan; Mozambique; Kazakhstan; Uzbekistan; Suriname; Togo; Guyana; and Cote d'Ivoire.
In 1993, Zimbabwe withdrew its membership. Bosnia and Herzegovina (1994); Central African Republic (1997); North Cyprus (1979); Thailand (1998) and Russia (2005) are the observer states.
Purpose of OIC
- To enhance and consolidate the bonds of fraternity and solidarity among the Member States;
- To safeguard and protect the common interests and support the legitimate causes of the Member States and coordinate and unify the efforts of the Member States in view of the challenges faced by the Islamic world in particular and the international community in general.
- Respect the right of self-determination and non-interference in the domestic affairs and to respect sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of each Member State;
- Ensure active participation of the Member States in the global political, economic and social decision-making processes to secure their common interests;
- Reaffirm its support for the rights of peoples as stipulated in the UN Charter and international law;
- To strengthen intra-Islamic economic and trade cooperation; in order to achieve economic integration leading to the establishment of an Islamic Common Market;
- To exert efforts to achieve sustainable and comprehensive human development and economic well-being in Member States;
- To protect and defend the true image of Islam, to combat defamation of Islam and encourage dialogue among civilizations and religions;
- To enhance and develop science and technology and encourage research and cooperation among Member States.
Governing Bodies of OIC
The Islamic Summit, composed of Kings and Heads of State and Government of Member States, is the supreme authority of the Organization. It convenes once every three years to take policy decisions and provide guidance on all issues pertaining to the realization of the objectives and consider other issues of concern to the Member States and the Ummah.
The Council of Foreign Ministers, which meets once a year, considers the means for the implementation of the general policy of the Organization by, inter alia:
- Adopting decisions and resolutions on matters of common interest in the implementation of the objectives and the general policy of the Organization;
- Reviewing progress of the implementation of the decisions and resolutions adopted at the previous Summits and Councils of Foreign Ministers;
The General Secretariat, which is the executive organ of the Organization, entrusted with the implementation of the decisions of the two preceding bodies.
In order to coordinate and boost its action, align its view points and stands, and be credited with concrete results in various fields of cooperation -political, economic, cultural, social, spiritual and scientific- among Member States, the Organization has created different committees, nearly all, at ministerial level, a number of which are chaired by Heads of State. The Al-Quds Committee, the Standing Committee for Information and Cultural Affairs (COMIAC), the Standing Committee for Economic and Trade Cooperation (COMCEC), and the Standing Committee for Scientific and Technological Cooperation (COMSTECH) are the ones Chaired by Heads of State.
The number and types of secondary organs and institutions, working toward the achievement of the OIC objectives, have been steadily increasing, and cover various areas of cultural, scientific, economic, legal, financial, sports, technological, educational, media, as well as vocational, social and humanitarian. Depending on their degree of autonomy vis-à-vis the parent organization, they are classified as subsidiary organs and specialized or affiliated institutions.