Achieving peace and security in a world of turmoil: An Arduous Challenge for the OIC

Middle East North Africa,

After a yearlong research study that was conducted in close collaboration with the Peace, Security and Conflict Resolution Unit at the OIC, SESRIC has published the outputs of this research study in a report titled “Achieving peace and security in a world of turmoil: An Arduous Challenge for the OIC.” The report probes the required ingredients for conflict prevention and management in OIC countries, enhancing the OIC peace and security architecture, developing institutional mechanisms for sustainable peace and security in OIC countries, and exploring alternative paths for achieving sustainable peace.

The OIC, since its inception in 1969, has been working assiduously to promote global peace, stability, harmony, security, and development. The OIC stature and influence rest heavily on the fundamental principle of Islamic solidarity and fraternity, which bring together the Ummah to strive for the common good. Promoting the welfare of Muslim communities also remain high on the OIC’s agenda for promotion of peace, harmony and stability. Nonetheless, achieving peace and security stands as the most daunting challenge facing the OIC.

As the report points out, currently more than 60% of all conflict in the world occur in OIC countries, of which the overall majority are internal conflicts. The consequences of the raging violence in OIC countries has been devastating. It is human tragedy that has taken its toll on people’s lives. More than 80% of global conflict fatalities have taken place in OIC countries. Millions of people have been forced to leave their homes. The economic consequences of conflicts in OIC countries are running in the hundreds of billions of dollars; money that could have been well spent on economic and social development.

Prevention of conflicts is the least costly way to avoid their consequences. To prevent conflicts there is a need to understand their drivers and eliminate them. The report investigated the drivers of conflict using a multidimensional approach spanning: inequality; human development levels; political and social exclusion; and stateness problems. The report then went on to provide different paths OIC countries can take to eliminate the drivers of conflict.

The report studied the OIC mediation and conflict resolution efforts over the last five decades. From the success and failure stories the report complied the lessons learned. These lessons are valuable in strengthening and enhancing the OIC efforts in mediation and conflict resolution. Furthermore, the report conducted a throughout evaluation of the OIC Peace and Security Architecture and identified its weakness and the areas that need improvement. The report concluded that for architecture to fulfil its promise, it has to be fully functionalized and the components of the architecture have to work with each other in an integrated and synchronized manner.

Finally, as part of its policy recommendations on developing institutional mechanisms for sustainable peace and security, the report advised the OIC to consider developing a security strategy that will set expectations that the OIC can deliver upon, and guide the OIC’s conflict resolution and peace-building efforts in the years to come. The strategy should lend general support to more intensive security cooperation in the OIC area, which is not only needed for improving security, but also necessary for the wellbeing of member states and their citizens.

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