State Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmed Khaleel attended and delivered a statement at the OIC Annual Coordination Meeting of Foreign Ministers on the sidelines of the 77th Session of the United Nation General Assembly (UNGA) on Thursday, 22 September 2022. This meeting is in continuation of Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) periodic meetings, which aim to further coordinate positions of the member states of the OIC on issues on the agenda of the UNGA and to defend the Ummah in accordance with the OIC Charter.

In his statement, State Minister Khaleel addressed the challenges the Muslim Ummah face. He called on the Islamic community to come together in collective defense of the Palestinian people, their rights, and their aspirations for sovereign statehood. Further, State Minister Khaleel called on all member states of the OIC to condemn the displacement and inhumane treatment of Rohingya Muslims and to call on the international community to end the conflict in Yemen. State Minister Khaleel also stated that it is vital to step up political mediation efforts and humanitarian assistance on behalf of the people of Syria.

State Minister Khaleel called for a cessation of violence and for dedicated pursuit of dialogue and national reconciliation through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process.

State Minister Khaleel also highlighted the rise of extremists and terrorism by malicious actors that claim to speak in the name of Islam. He stated that it is imperative to educate on the authentic and peaceful message of Islam. In the same spirit, State Minister noted that it is vital to speak out against Islamophobia and the marginalization of Muslim communities. State Minister Khaleel commended the efforts by the OIC in countering misperceptions against Islam as well.

In terms of gender equality, State Minister Khaleel highlighted the many ways in which the Maldives have given equal recognition and voice to men and women. He noted that the Maldives have appointed women justice to the Supreme Court for the first time and have allocated quotas so that one third of the local councils are composed of women. State Minister Khaleel urged members states of the OIC to pursue similar initiatives.

Concluding his statement, State Minister advocated for OIC member states to come together to support each other for the progress and prosperity of the Islamic Ummah.