The spokesperson of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Ambassador Tariq Bakheet announced the signing of the Organization’s agreement with the Government of Myanmar to create an office for the provision of humanitarian aid. Ambassador Tariq at a press conference held on September 12, 2012 at the Headquarters of the General Secretariat in Jeddah, said the fact-finding mission dispatched by the Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu to Myanmar signed the agreement the day before, noting that “this is a positive development which we appreciate and welcome.”

Ambassador Tariq also announced that there is a planned visit by the Secretary-General being arranged with the Government of Myanmar. He added that these developments come within the continued actions by the Organization to take practical measures in implementing the resolutions of the Summit held in Makkah last August.

The delegation is continuing its mission in Myanmar and has met with several government officials, including the Foreign Minister, the Minister of Border Affairs, Social Welfare Minister and Interior Minister, and has conducted field visits to sites for the displaced.

The delegation will report its findings to the Contact Group on the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, which will hold its first meeting on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly next week in New York, to take the appropriate decisions.

With regard to the situation in Syria, Ambassador Tariq Bakheet said the Summit adopted a resolution to suspend the membership of Syria because it did not commit to the peaceful solution or initiatives and to the decisions of the Executive Committee of the OIC. The resolution was implemented by the OIC and all its organs.

He added that the situation on the ground in Syria is increasingly dangerous with the intensification of fighting and the high proportion of victims and the flow of IDPs and refugees. Tariq stressed that OIC supports the efforts of the joint envoy Lakhdar Brahimi and wishes him success in his mission, which he himself described as difficult and not wait for a miracle.

He noted that the Secretary-General Ihsanoglu would hold consultations on Syria on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York the following week, stating that the regime’s attempt to impose a solution by military force has completely failed and has to realize that Lakhdar Brahimi is the last chance for a peaceful resolution.

For the situation in the Republic of Mali and Sahel, the Ambassador said that one of the most important recommendations of the Makkah Summit is the attention to the situation in Mali and the Sahel region, which faces the risk of partition, terrorism, and a major problem in food security. He stressed that the Secretary-General is holding these days consultations to appoint a special envoy to the region to contribute to the formulation of a peaceful solution to the crisis, and he will also participate on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in the high-level meeting called by Ban Ki-moon on the situation in the Sahel. He added that the Senior Officials Meeting preparatory to the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) to be held in Djibouti, adopted a draft resolution calling on all Member States to provide humanitarian assistance.

As regard the situation in Somalia, the Spokesman said that the Organization welcomed the election of President Hassan Sheikh Mahmoud President of Somalia, and the OIC Secretary-General sent a message to the new Somali President. The Organization was a key partner of Somalia since the signing of the Djibouti agreement for the transition period, and it is an active member of the team of international observers to monitor the transition period. In addition, the Organization is providing humanitarian aid through its office in the capital Mogadishu.

The Ambassador revealed a planned visit by the Secretary General to Somalia being arranged, stressing that what is needed now is to intensify efforts for the reconstruction of Somalia, state and institution building.

For his part, Rizwan Saeed Sheikh, the Spokesman for Cultural Affairs, said that the last meeting of the Human Rights Commission held in Ankara finalized the rules of procedure of the Commission and initiated discussions of topical issues, such as the human rights situation in Syria, Myanmar, and Mali.