The Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC)
The Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) was founded under a decision taken during the historic summit of Rabat, Kingdom of Morocco, on September 25, 1969, in response to Al Aqsa Mosque fire in occupied Jerusalem. It is the second largest intergovernmental organization after the United Nations, with 47 member states from four continents. The Organization represents the collective voice of the Muslim world and seeks to protect and express its interests, in support of international peace and harmony and in consolidation of relations among the various peoples of the world.
The Charter of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation was adopted during the third session of the Islamic Summit in a meeting held in Jeddah in 1972 at the level of Foreign Ministers. It sets out the objectives, principles and fundamental objectives of the Organization, with the aim of promoting solidarity and cooperation among member states. After more than four decades since its inception, the number of OIC member states went up from the initial 30 founder states to 57 members at present. The Charter has been amended later to keep pace with global developments.
The OIC programme is anchored in the provisions of its Charter and focuses on 18 priority areas with 107 goals. The priority areas include issues of peace and security, Palestine and Al-Quds, poverty alleviation, counter-terrorism, investment and finance, food security, science and technology, climate change and sustainability, moderation, culture and interfaith harmony, empowerment of women, joint Islamic humanitarian action, human rights and good governance, among others.
OIC Key Bodies
The Islamic Summit, the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM), the General Secretariat, in addition to the Al-Quds Committee and three permanent committees concerned with science and technology, economy and trade and information and culture.
There are also specialized organs operating under OIC including the Islamic Development Bank and the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization as well as subsidiary and affiliate organs that play a vital complementary role in boosting cooperation in various fields.
The Kings and Heads of State and Government Conference which is considered the Organization’s effective supreme authority which meets every three years to develop OIC policies.
The Conference of Foreign Ministers (CFM) meets once a year to study the developments and progress in implementing the resolutions adopted by the Islamic summit meetings.
The Secretariat General, OIC’s Executive body, which is the side that follows up decisions and urges Governments to implement them.
Bahrain and the OIC:
The Kingdom of Bahrain joined the Organization of Islamic Cooperation on 29 July 1972. Ever since, it kept following the Organization’s work, participating in its meetings and activities and interacting with its decisions, based on the Kingdom’s Islamic heritage and its keenness to unite the Islamic nation to speak with one voice.