Dubai: Islamabad will host the 17th Extraordinary Session of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) on December 19, with the “serious humanitarian situation in Afghanistan” high on the agenda, Pakistan consul general Hassan Afzal Khan announced during a press briefing in Dubai on Thursday.
The OIC is the second largest organisation after the United Nations, with a membership of 57 states spread over four continents. It is regarded as the collective voice of the Muslim world working for the promotion of international peace and harmony among various people of the world. CFM is one of OIC’s key bodies, along with Islamic Summit and the General Secretariat.
Khan told Gulf News “the backdrop of the CFM session is the serious humanitarian situation in Afghanistan”. “Afghanistan is one of the founding members of OIC and there is a binding responsibility on all OIC member states to find a solution to the Afghanistan humanitarian crisis”, he underlined.
He added Saudi Arabia, the OIC Summit Chair, took the important initiative to convene an Extraordinary Session of the CFM, to consider the situation in Afghanistan. Pakistan welcomed the initiative and offered to host the meeting.
Khan said the UAE, as an OIC-member state, has been invited to the meeting. Ministers and representatives of leading industrialised countries, including Australia, Canada, Germany and Japan, the European Union, as well as international and regional organisations and non-OIC members were among other invitees.
Solving a major humanitarian crisis
Consul General Khan shared on Thursday some important facts on the situation in Afghanistan.
According to UN estimates, 60 per cent of Afghanistan’s 38 million people face “crisis levels of hunger” and situation is getting worse every day.
The World Food Programme has also warned that 3.2 million children in Afghanistan are at risk of acute malnutrition. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, meanwhile, reported that 665,000 people have been newly displaced within Afghanistan between January and September 2021 — in addition to the 2.9 million people already internally displaced in the country.
“The advent of winter has further exacerbated the situation. If left unattended, the situation could aggravate into a major humanitarian crisis,” the consulate underlined.
On its part, Pakistan has been engaged in intense diplomatic outreach, said the Consul General
He added: “The international community is concerned over the situation in Afghanistan. Afghanistan’s international partners also want to help. As the collective voice of the Islamic Ummah, the OIC can play its part in addressing the humanitarian needs of our Afghan brethren. OIC’s leadership would also help galvanise other international actors to come forward and extend a helping hand to the Afghan people.”