The Istanbul Declaration

The Istanbul Declaration

The Istanbul declaration of the 16th Session of the PUIC Conference Istanbul – Republic of Turkey 6 Jamad ul Awwal, 1443h 10 December, 2021

We, the Speakers of Parliaments and Heads and Members of Delegations of the Parliaments of the OIC Member States, assembled at the 16th session of the Conference of the Parliamentary Union of the OIC Member States (PUIC), held in İstanbul, Turkey, on 09-10 December 2021, under the theme of “Sharing, Conscience and Islam: Palestine, Migration and Afghanistan”;

Expressing our deep thanks and gratitude to His Excellency Mr. Mustafa Şentop, Speaker of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, for having kindly placed this Conference under his High Patronage; thereby ensuring all conditions for the success of its proceedings which have been marked by a fruitful and high-quality debate on current global issues of concern to the Islamic world;

Reiterating our adherence to the founding principles of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), particularly the principles of non-interference in the internal affairs of other States, respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of States, and the peaceful settlement of conflicts by means of dialogue;

Reaffirming our determination to pursue our positive and efficient contribution to the development of the work of the United Nations and its specialized agencies, particularly for the establishment of world peace, regional security, and respect for human rights and state sovereignty;

Reaffirming the pivotal role of the respect for human rights and the strengthening of democracy in the development, harmony and prosperity of our societies;

Recalling the important role and responsibility of our Parliaments in promoting the respect for human rights, tolerance and non-discrimination at national and international level;

Convinced of the advisability and necessity of efforts to resolve regional and global issues and crises, with an Islamic understanding that prioritizes conscience and sharing.

Recalling the responsibility of the international community in settling the Arab-Israeli conflict, mainly by enabling the Palestinian people to enjoy all their legitimate rights and establish their independent State with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital, thereby providing the conditions for the return of the Palestinian refugees to their homeland in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations;

Deeply concerned by the critical humanitarian situation as well as the remaining terrorism threat and high risk of instability in Afghanistan.

Cognizant of the severe consequences of the ongoing regional and global refugee crisis and keeping in mind that providing humanitarian aid to the refugees is a great burden which cannot be left to just host countries and the countries in the region;

Alarmed by the disturbing rise of racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia and hate speech throughout the world and the major threat they constitute against the peace and harmony of our societies;

Aware of the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic which has exacerbated the rise in these dangerous threats, giving way to increased stigmatization and violence against persons that were already vulnerable;

Taking note of the fact that misinformation, disinformation and fake news have proliferated at an alarming rate; and noting with great concern that disinformation and fake news which are disseminated especially on the social media platforms, are used to mislead populations, create social tensions, foment hate crimes and discrimination, and contribute to rising of Islamophobia, populism, racism, and, xenophobia and incite violence against Muslim minorities in non-PUIC member countries;

Gravely concerned by the fact that Islamophobia is among the most common forms of racism;

Underscoring the need for greater inclusion in the PUIC agenda and institutional monitoring of the human rights violations suffered by Muslim minority communities in non-PUIC member countries;

Recalling the risks stemming from the scourge of terrorism towards our collective security, stability and prosperity as well as its unjust impact on the image of the Islamic World, and restating the need to combat terrorism through a comprehensive strategy without making any discrimination among terrorist organizations;

Noting with deep concern the unprecedented climate and environment-related challenges and their risk multiplier nature;

Aware of the fact that the Covid-19 pandemic is one of the most vital and urgent threats for humanity and that no one will be safe against the coronavirus until everyone is safe;

Reiterating the importance of ensuring equitable, affordable, timely and universal access for all countries to vaccines in response to the coronavirus disease;

  1. Reaffirm the central place of the Palestinian Cause in the concerns and advocacy action of our Union and of our countries and peoples; as well as our solidarity with the people of Palestine in their quest for their legitimate rights to establish an independent State with the city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital, in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations;
  2. Condemn the settlement activities and the violations carried out by the occupation power in the Islamic and Christian sites and against the inhabitants of Al-Quds Al-Sharif, with the aim of altering the character and identity of this City, and all forms of Israeli aggression;
  3. Urge the United Nations and its specialized agencies to provide the necessary protection for the Palestinian people as well as for the monuments and the architectural and cultural sites in the occupied territories; and also to force the Israeli occupation power to lift the unjust blockade imposed on the Palestinian people;
  4. Emphasize our support for an inclusive and representative political system that protects fundamental human rights of all components of the Afghan people;
  5. Call on international community to increase the efforts to provide urgent humanitarian aid to Afghanistan through effective, transparent and accountable mechanisms, and take measures to protect the livelihoods of the Afghan people;
  6. Call for equitable burden and responsibility sharing to relieve the plight of chronic refugee situations;
  7. Emphasize the need to develop common policies to reduce migratory pressure on member states and to support their efforts for the safe, voluntary and dignified return of the displaced people;
  8. Encourage international community to take joint actions to address the root causes of refugee crisis in the source countries and to develop policies to ensure minimum economic, political, and social conditions of living in the countries of origin for the sake of a sustainable prevention of irregular migration flows;
  9. Acknowledging the ongoing humanitarian suffering of the Rohingyas in and outside of Myanmar, call upon Myanmar to provide without delay the right conditions for the voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable return of all Rohingya refugees to their homeland, reaffirm that for ensuring global and regional peace and stability, all outstanding issues in the region, including the Jammu & Kashmir dispute, need to be resolved in accordance with the relevant UNSC resolutions;
  10. Underscore the necessity to enhance operational cooperation in the fight against human trafficking and migrant smuggling, as well as efforts for the return of people who are not in need of international protection;
  11. Emphasize the importance of addressing misinformation, disinformation and fake news at international level, call on the actors of the international community to work on international standards and mechanisms to tackle these challenges;
  12. Call on the international community to take joint concrete action to counter dangerous trends, especially in non-Muslim countries where Muslims are more and more subject to violent acts of discrimination, racism, Islamophobia and hate speech;
  13. Welcome the decision taken by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation designating 15 March as an “International Day to Combat Islamophobia”; and call on the international community to recognize and commemorate the mentioned day accordingly;
  14. Authorizes the Committee on Political Affairs and Foreign Relations to constitute a special committee to monitor the human rights violations and challenges faced by Muslim minority communities in non-PUIC member countries.
  15. Call for strengthened international efforts to foster a global dialogue for the promotion of a culture of tolerance and peace at all levels, based on respect for human rights, religions and beliefs;
  16. Stress the importance of joint efforts at regional and global level in the fight against terrorism which remains a major threat to the current and future security, stability and prosperity of our nations and other international partners;
  17. Acknowledge the need to embrace a comprehensive strategy against terrorism so that terrorist propaganda, financing of terrorist groups and recruitment activities are tackled adequately;
  18. Urge the prevention of exploitation of rights and freedoms by the terrorist organizations to achieve their malign ends;
  19. Reiterate the need to avoid double standards while dealing with terrorist organizations;
  20. Call for close cooperation among our countries in order to scale up efforts to tackle the destructive effects of climate change and contribute in an active manner to global climate action;
  21. Reiterate our support for strengthened global climate action and declare our commitment to enhance our cooperation and joint actions for climate change adaptation and resilience;
  22. Call the international community for more coordinated efforts in solidarity, especially in the context of ensuring timely access to COVID-19 vaccines and medical supplies for all humanity;
  23. Express our deep feelings of gratitude to the Grand National Assembly of Turkey for the excellent working conditions, warm hospitality, and great attention extended to the guest delegations.

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