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Policy brief: The Organisation of Islamic Co-operation’s position on the protection of civilians in armed conflicts
Ishtiaq Ahmad
Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
11 December 2012
 
The protection of civilian Muslim populations in armed conflicts has been a consistent concern of the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation (OIC). However, until the eruption of the recent Libyan conflict, it was reluctant to support international action to this end in a member state.
 
In recent years the organisation has reshaped its approach towards humanitarian intervention in line with the UN’s adoption of the Responsibility to Protect principle, which is why it partnered with the international community to protect the Libyan people from the Qaddafi regime’s violent onslaught. The OIC has adopted a similar stance on the Syrian crisis by calling for urgent UN Security Council intervention.
 
Under an assertive secretary-general, the OIC justifies its newfound proactive approach by referring to member states’ legal and moral/Islamic obligations under the OIC Charter and recently adopted summit documents like the Ten-year Programme of Action. However, the OIC opposes the funding and arming of the Free Syrian Army, because it fears that this may only cause even greater loss of civilian lives in Syria.
 
In addition to the brief above, the Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre has released a series of publications on Emerging powers and the protection of civilians. See the full series.

 

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