Sunday 8 September 2013

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has established a new unit called Peace, Security and Mediation Unit. “It was established in March this year and is beginning to function,” Dina Madani, a member of the unit, said.

Speaking to Arab News, she said that in light of the cooperation between the United Nations and the OIC, a three-member UN team from the Political Affairs Department — Alice Chow, team leader for the Mediation Support Unit; Kyoko Ono, team leader for Guidance and Learning Unit, and Jeffrey Mapendere, an expert on process design and a member of the UN standby team of mediation experts, visited the OIC.

They held talks with the unit, and shared perspectives, experiences, and consultation regarding mediation, best practices and process design.

It was attended by members of the unit, including Madani, a professional from the Legal Department, a professional from the Political Affairs Department with the director and advisers.

At one point, it was also open for political, minorities and legal departments in the OIC. “We all interacted, exchanged ideas, shared experiences and perspectives with the UN,” she added.

Asked about the first issue to be taken up, she said: “First, as an OIC mediation unit, we have to start functioning. They shared with us their best practices and we will set our objectives and concentrate on capacity building of the unit during the initial period.”

Regarding whether the Palestinian issue would be a part of the political mediation, Madani replied, “Palestine is at the core of cases with the OIC, yet it is premature to decide at this point.”

She explained further saying, “The idea of this unit is that it will support the OIC departments and organs involved in peace, security and mediation issues. It will help and assist the mediators within the OIC to be able to better mediate with both member states as well as non-member states. The unit once fully functional will be available for the member states to utilize its services.”

Source: Arab News.