CAIRO - The world's largest Muslim group is seeking to have a seat in the UN Security Council to represent more than a billion Muslims around the globe, Arab News reported Tuesday, February 5.
"One of the important objectives for which I have been exerting a lot of efforts was to have a seat for OIC in the Security Council to represent 1.5 billion Muslims in the world," Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), told reporters.
One of the UN six organs, the Security Council is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security.
Its powers include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of international sanctions and the authorization of military action
It is consisted of 15 members, including five veto-wielding permanent members - the United States, Russia, France, Britain and China.
There are also 10 non-permanent members, with five elected each year to serve two-year terms.
The OIC chief's statements came as leaders of the OIC's 57 member-states began to arrive in Cairo for summit talks.
The Cairo summit is expected to be distinct from previous ones in the sense that Muslim leaders will make major decisions to face up to the current challenges and pave the way for a better future for the Ummah, Ihsanoglu told Arab News.
The summit will be chaired by Egypt's president Mohamed Morsi.
Egypt is a leading country in the Islamic world. It has a long history of defending Muslim causes, he said.
Established in September 1969, the OIC is the second largest international organization after the UN.
The 57-member organization aims at promoting solidarity among Muslim countries.
The OIC chief said anti-Islam sentiments in the West will figure high on the agenda of the Islamic summit in Cairo.
Islamophobia is a contemporary form of racism and discrimination and it will be high on the agenda of the Cairo summit, Ihsanoglu told Arab News.
We remain steadfast in our determination to combat Islamophobia until the phenomenon is addressed effectively.
He accused extremist groups in the West of fuelling fears of Muslims to serve their agenda.
They have a motivated agenda of hatred and racial discrimination, stereotyping and stigmatization of Islam and Muslims.
Their attacks on Muslims and acts to defame the sacred image of the Prophet (peace be upon him) are intended to provoke and incite hatred and violence and to create divisions and destabilize inter-communal peace and harmony.
Protests swept the Muslim world in September over a US-made film defaming Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him).
The offensive material has sparked calls from Muslim countries for UN legislation banning blasphemy.
Ihsanoglu said the OIC has exerted strenuous efforts to highlight the impact of practices by Islamophobes on relations between the Muslim world and the West.I believe that our efforts have already made a positive impact when world leaders and other stakeholders came out strongly in their condemnation of those involved in anti-Islam acts as has been in the case of an attempt to burn copies of the Holy Qur'an by a Florida pastor and on the release of the trailer of the reprehensible film Innocence of Muslims.