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13th Organization of Islamic Cooperation Throws Support Behind Caribbean and African Countries in Push for Reparations

instanbulISTANBUL, Turkey — The 13th Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit, which ended on Friday in Istanbul, Turkey, in its communiqué threw its full support behind the Caribbean community and the African Diaspora in their quest to convene an international conference to address the issue of the slave trade, slavery, colonialism, restitution and reparations.

Guyana and Suriname are both members of the OIC and they have each pushed to have this commitment inserted in the final communiqué of the OIC summit.

Suriname’s foreign minister, Niermala Badrising attended the preparatory meeting of OIC foreign ministers and the summit as head of delegation representing President Desi Bouterse. She was instrumental in seeing the statement inserted in the communiqué.

Guyana, for the first time, did not participate in an OIC heads of government summit. Guyana decided to skip the summit and gave no public explanation of this unexpected change. President David Granger remained home and the foreign minister of Guyana, Carl Greenidge was meeting a delegation from Georgia on April 14.

The OIC committed itself and its relevant organs and its groups in New York and Geneva to support the convening an international conference to comprehensively discuss measures and strategies to address the lasting negative impact of these historic wrongs.

The Islamic bloc urged all stakeholders including other member states of the United Nations, the Caribbean Community, the African Diaspora and relevant civil society organisations (CSOs) “to advance this agenda from where it was left at the Durban Conference of 2001 and its follow-up review meetings”.

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