On World Refugee Day officially designated on June 20 of each year by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2000, Dr. Yousef A. Al-Othaimeen, the Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), expressed solidarity and support for this group of people forced to leave their homes due to difficult humanitarian and social conditions caused by wars, conflicts, and natural disasters.
Al-Othaimeen indicated that the celebration of this year’s World Refugee Day comes more than a year after the COVID-19 outbreak adversely affected the economic and social situation of the whole world.
Still, the bleak repercussions of the pandemic further exacerbated the fragile conditions of the refugees in overcrowded camps, which calls for intensifying, continuing, and coordinating efforts to mitigate these effects and provide the refugees with the necessary vaccinations without discrimination and exclusion.
Al-Othaimeen praised the contribution of the OIC’s Member States in hosting refugees and the continued commitment to protecting them as an Islamic and humanitarian duty dictated by the tolerant teachings of Islam and relevant national and international laws.
He called on the international community to provide the necessary assistance to the Member States hosting them per the principles of just partnership, stressing the need for concerted efforts to address the roots of the refugee crisis in the Islamic world in all its political, social, and humanitarian dimensions, especially its impact on women and children, pointing to the OIC’s commitment to coordination and cooperation with relevant international and regional organizations, especially the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
On the other hand, the Secretary-General highly valued the critical role of the UNRWA in alleviating the suffering of Palestinian refugees and called on the international community and the Member States to continue their support to the agency to continue its essential services to Palestinian refugees until they return to their occupied land per international legitimacy resolutions.— PR