The Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Dr. Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen stated that “the General Secretariat has harnessed it available capabilities to overcome the current obstacles caused by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), while observing the principle of social distancing”.
The Secretary General said that the OIC continues to work remotely following the outbreak of the pandemic, taking advantage of the preparedness of infrastructure and electronic facilities. The officials and staff members of the General Secretariat are now connected with each other through links between the headquarters and their homes on the one hand, and with the OIC Offices in New York, Geneva and Brussels and other offices on the other.
The Secretary General confirmed that the OIC would hold a virtual meeting for the OIC Steering Committee on Health, to be chaired by the United Arab Emirates, Chair of the Seventh Session of the Islamic Conference of Health Ministers, on Thursday, April 9, 2020.
Furthermore, the Secretary General added that the upcoming meeting would provide an opportunity to consult and exchange experiences and information, and to enhance the capabilities of Member States in dealing with this novel pandemic
Al-Othaimeen indicated that this meeting would demonstrate the readiness of the OIC to resume its meetings and work online, in order to coordinate efforts of Member States to confront COVID-19.
In this regard, the Secretary General urged Islamic World’s researchers specialized in the production of medicines and vaccines, and specialized research centers, to intensify their efforts and research to reach a vaccine that would save humanity from the dangerous Coronavirus.
On the other hand, since the first day of the crisis, the OIC has launched awareness campaigns through its various platforms on social media, inviting peoples of Member States to abide by the necessary preventive measures to prevent the spread of the disease. It also highlights the efforts of OIC Member States through video footages and infographics to promote awareness of the seriousness of the pandemic.
In the context of leveraging all OIC capabilities, the Secretary General stressed that the OIC Organs have geared their work toward a single joint mission namely fighting the pandemic. He commended once again the Islamic Development Bank’s initiative to respond rapidly to COVID-19 by allocating financial resources to support Member States to contain the negative effects of the Coronavirus pandemic.
In the same context, the OIC Secretary General approved the initiative of the OIC Islamic Solidarity Fund, to launch an account to assist Member States, especially the least developed countries, with the aim of strengthening their capabilities in the face of CORVID-19, especially in the health sector.