OIC to discuss the plight of Rohingyas today


Saudi Gazette

JEDDAH — Muslim leaders participating in the OIC Summit on Science, Technology and Innovations in Astana, Kazakhstan, will hold a special session to discuss the conditions of the Rohingya minority in Myanmar on Sunday, according to OIC sources.

The session is expected to take a unified Islamic position with regard to the persecution and gross human rights violations being perpetrated against these hapless people amid a surge in influx of displaced Rohingyas to the neighboring Bangladesh. The latest figures showed that nearly 300,000 Rohingyas have fled the restive Myanmar state of Rakhine over the past two weeks.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in his capacity as the current chairman of the 13th OIC Summit Conference, will preside over the session. OIC Secretary-General Dr. Yousef A. Al-Othaimeen, Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid and some heads of delegation will address the session, which will discuss recent developments that have targeted the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar.

The OIC is closely following the cycle of violence and the inhuman treatment of the members of Rohingya community by the Myanmar authorities. The OIC chief made several contacts with officials at the international community to inform them about the blatant injustice to which the Rohingyas are being subjected to.

A ministerial meeting, preparatory to the OIC Summit on Science and Technology, started in Astana, Kazakhstan on Saturday. Ministers of science and technology from the member states discussed and adopted the "OIC Science, Technology and Innovation Agenda 2026" as a prelude to its consideration and adoption by OIC leaders during the First OIC Summit on Science and Technology.

Addressing the opening session of the preparatory meeting, Al-Othaimeen said the summit was a historic event because it was the first ever summit of the OIC heads of state and government dedicated to the promotion and advancement of science and technology as an enabler and driver of socio-economic development. “This summit is unique in its premise as it affirms that Islam is a religion of thought, reason and science that liberates from the slavery of illusions and myths, and calls for a middle stance and for combating radicalization.”

Al-Othaimeen has emphasized that the OIC Science, Technology and Innovation Agenda was drawn up after extensive consultations with 157 scientists and technologists from 20 OIC countries and has been further enriched in light of the recommendations received from the member states. He affirmed that the agenda presents a holistic view of emerging science and technology, and its social and economic spinoffs. “The document sets priorities and specific recommendations to help member states in tackling the challenges of improving education standards, creating employment opportunities for the youth, mitigating the adverse impact of climate change, and the work for improving human health, energy and water resources,” he pointed out.

He highlighted that the document lists some big science programs, which can be jointly undertaken by several countries, stating that these projects will be key enablers for building the knowledge economy and industrializing the economies of member states.

Al-Othaimeen also underlined that the success of the proposed "OIC STI Agenda 2026" depends upon mutual cooperation and collaboration among OIC member states. He called for shifting from national programs to cooperative and complementary activities.

In his welcoming speech, Yerlan Sagadiyev, Kazakhstan's minister of education and science, affirmed that holding the OIC S&T Summit in Astana is a proof of the priority that the OIC member states are giving to science, technology and innovation.