OIC and UN Secretary-General hold Virtual Ramadan Gathering

New York, 22 April 2022

As the Chair of the OIC Group, Pakistan convened a virtual Ramadan meeting of the OIC Ambassadors with H.E. Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General, reviving the tradition of the annual meeting of the Secretary-General with OIC Ambassadors during the holy month of Ramadan. Ambassador Munir Akram, the Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the UN, chaired and moderated this traditional gathering.

During the event, Secretary-General Guterres emphasized that the "spirit of Ramadan was linked to peace and reflection" and our broader work at the United Nations to protect and do better for vulnerable communities. In this regard, he expressed complete solidarity with Muslim causes particularly Palestine, and countering rising Islamophobia.

The Secretary-General expressed deep concern at the deteriorating security situation in Jerusalem and briefed the OIC group on his efforts to reach out to all sides to help calm the situation. He called for maintaining the "status quo" at the holy sites in Jerusalem to be upheld and respected. The Secretary-General also reiterated his commitment to a two-state solution and resolving the conflict on the basis of relevant United Nations resolutions and international law.

"The Secretary-General stated that Islamophobia was "completely unacceptable" and expressed "total commitment" to actively challenge Islamophobia, xenophobia, negative stereotyping, and all forms of irrational hate, and intolerance. He called for solidarity in efforts to counter the global rise in Islamophobia, xenophobia, neo-Nazism, white supremacist, stigma, and hate speech targeting vulnerable communities including Muslims.

The OIC Ambassadors expressed great appreciation for the Secretary-General's firm commitment to and solidarity with the global Muslim causes and commended his leadership during the times of Covid-19 pandemic and conflicts in many parts of the world. The meeting agreed to maintain a regular dialogue between the OIC and the Secretary-General on all issues of mutual concern.