Yousef Al Othaimeen, Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, speaking during the High-Level Segment of the 46th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, said that the OIC is keen on monitoring the situation of Muslim communities in non-OIC Members.
In this regard, he said the OIC is concerned with the situation of Muslims in Sri Lanka as they are denied the right to bury the bodies of COVID-19 victims following the Islamic rules while adhering to the guidelines of the World Health Organization.
"The OIC urges the Government of Sri Lanka to take swift action to guarantee and respect the right of burial of the Muslim community,' he said.
Regarding freedom of religion, he said the OIC firmly supports international efforts and the global policies geared towards fighting religious intolerance, stigmatization, discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against persons based on religion or belief, as underlined in the Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18 and 66/167 of the UN General Assembly, both adopted by consensus in 2011.
"These resolutions provide for various substantive actions to address the concerns related to freedom of religion. In line with this conviction, the OIC has launched, in partnership with other stakeholders, many inter-religious dialogues such as the Buddhist-Muslim dialogue, the Muslim-Orthodox dialogue and is engaged in many activities aiming at reinforcing respect for cultural diversity and freedom of belief, exploring avenues of understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims and promoting the precepts of tolerance, coexistence," Al Othaimeen said.
He also said that the OIC supports all international and regional efforts aimed at preventing violent extremism and combating international terrorism in order to safeguard global peace and security.