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OIC meeting Communiqué, member states hosted over 7 million Syrians

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( Jeddah-AlummahWorld, Dhu-AlQa'dah 30, 1436, September 14, 2015 )

An Emergency Open-ended Meeting of the Executive Committee at the level of Permanent Representatives on the humanitarian crisis in Syria was convened on 13th September 2015 at the General Secretariat in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, to discuss the dramatic escalation of the tragedy of the Syrian refugees in the region and beyond. H.E. the OIC Secretary General delivered a statement on the grave situation in Syria and the humanitarian conditions plaguing the Syrian refugees and IDPs, after which the Chairs of the OIC Summit and CFM made a statements followed by interventions by representatives of the Member States.

Proceeding from the principles and objectives of the Charter of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Ten-Year Program of Action, and pursuant to the various OIC and UN resolutions on the situation in Syria;

The meeting reiterated that the root causes of the humanitarian crises facing the Syrian people is the war crimes committed by the regime in Syria.

The meeting voiced its grave concern over the continuing political instability and chaos in Syria and its resultant humanitarian disaster which lies at the root of the increasing current mass exodus of the huge number of Syrians out of their crisis-ridden nation in search for refugee status in countries of the region and beyond. In this context, it called on the international community, particularly the UNSC, to renew, as a matter of urgency, the pursuit of rapid political solutions to the Syrian conflict. It also urged all the parties in Syria to rededicate themselves to this goal as a way of mitigating the impact of the escalating humanitarian catastrophe.

The meeting called for an immediate need to fully implement the Geneva Communiqué and establish a transitional government with full executive power that would allow building a new Syrian State based on a pluralistic, democratic, and civilian system grounded in the rule of law, equality before the law, and respect for human rights. It noted that the implication of the mass displacement of Syrians both internally and internationally has become a factor of instability in the region and beyond. In this context, the meeting called upon the UNSC to act urgently by considering the creation of a multi-dimensional UN peace- keeping operation in Syria as a prelude to restoring security and stability in the country.

The meeting condemned in the strongest terms the sustained massacres and violence by the Assad regime against its own people, and by other extremist groups, especially Daesh, which continue to unleash brutality against helpless people leading to the murder of thousands of innocent civilians, including women and children, the displacement of hundreds of thousands, the forced departure of tens of thousands from the country, and the extensive destruction of property including historical monuments and cultural heritage sites.

The meeting expressed grave concern at the insufficient international response to protect civilians, the grievous violations of their human rights, mass killings and bombings and atrocities committed against them by the Assad regime and by Daesh and other violent extremist groups. The meeting stressed the need to respect the universally accepted human rights, norms, and principles of international humanitarian law:

The meeting stressed the common responsibility of all nations, particularly OIC Member States, to open their doors to the Syrian refugees as a mark of Islamic compassion and solidarity. In this connection, the meeting commended the generosity of those neighboring countries, Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, and Egypt for hosting Syrian refugees in spite of their limited resources and capacity.

The meeting noted that the numbers of Syrians hosted by OIC Member States have exceeded 7 million persons.

The meeting also noted that over half of OIC Member States are not signatories to the 1951 UN Convention on Refugees, yet many of them are hosting millions of refugees. The Meeting called on OIC non-signatory countries to join the Convention. It also called upon Member States to consider adopting an OIC framework on refugees to address issues pertaining to refugees as well as cooperation between Member States regarding refugees in order to contribute to the alleviation of the refugee crisis in the Muslim World.

The meeting called on the international community and the regime in Syria to assume their full responsibility for the protection of the life and livelihood of all civilians, stem the continuing mass flight of innocent citizens, and end the tragic bloodshed.

The meeting called for the adoption of a new political paradigm in the region to address the challenges posed by discords and seditions that constitute a serious threat to the peace and security of the states of the region. It emphasized the need for the OIC to continue to serve as a platform for this approach.

The meeting welcomed UN Security Council Resolution No. 2191, which again calls for unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance to Syrian civilians and strongly condemns the failure of the Syrian regime to implement the resolution. It urged the international community to act swiftly to deliver much needed humanitarian assistance to the affected Syrians in their home country and in neighboring countries.

The meeting further welcomed UNSC 2165 which ensures that humanitarian assistance reaches people in need across Syria through the most direct routes, only with notification of the Syrian authorities.

The meeting stressed the importance of creating conditions inside Syria that are safe and secure as a priority that will help the displaced Syrians to return to their homes voluntarily.

The meeting urged all countries to refrain from extending military support to the Assad regime that is responsible for crimes against humanity and the current humanitarian crisis.

The meeting further appealed to all Member States, the international community, international organizations and international humanitarian actors to enhance their contributions to the neighbouring countries based on the equitable burden-sharing principle as they have been bearing a huge portion of this burden. The meeting commended the State of Kuwait for hosting the first, second and third international humanitarian pledging conferences for Syria. The meeting also recognized that the humanitarian needs in Syria are still tremendous and much more should be done, especially in terms of cross-border and cross-line humanitarian assistance.

The meeting called for the need to provide financial resources to the Emergency Fund that was approved by the CFM in Kuwait.

The meeting appealed to the Member States to channel some of their humanitarian aid through the OIC to strengthen joint Islamic action.

The meeting requested Member States to provide the OIC General Secretariat with details of their humanitarian assistance to the Syrian refugees, as well as to the Palestinian refugees that were in Syria as a large number of around half a million Palestinian refugees who were there had to leave Syria, and their assistance plans for the foreseeable future.

The meeting recommended convening, as a matter of urgency, a ministerial meeting to discuss and adopt a plan of action or a strategy on refugee issues in OIC Member States.

The meeting decided to remain seized with the issue of the Syrian refugee crisis; and requested the Secretary General of the OIC to develop a report on the matter to be circulated to the Member States.