63rd Session of UN General Assembly
Date: 16 September 2008
Venue: New York - USA -

The UN General Assembly opened its 63rd Session at the UN Headquarters in New York, United States of America, on Sept. 16, 2008 with its new president Mr. Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann saying that the issues of global food crisis, UN reform and climate change are among the key themes of its one-year work.

He said that, as the root of the problem of world hunger is the unequal distribution of purchasing power within and between countries, the central focus of the UN efforts should be on the reduction of the inequalities in the world's food production system rather than concentrate on increasing food production as a single solution.

On this occasion, the OIC Secretary General, Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, met with the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, on September 19, 2008 in New York. The two secretaries-general discussed the means of furthering cooperation and coordination between the two major organizations. Ban Ki-moon expressed his satisfaction concerning the scope of cooperation between the UN and the OIC and stressed the importance of institutionalizing the relationship between the two organizations. He also highlighted the importance of cooperation and coordination between the UN and the OIC with regard to issues related to the Middle East, including the issues of Darfur, Somalia, Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan. With regard to Iraq, Ban Ki-moon stressed that the OIC could play a larger role to help Iraqis overcome the dilemma facing their country.

For his part, Prof. Ihsanoglu commended the closer cooperation between the OIC and the UN, and asked the UN Secretary General to use his good offices to fight religious hatred against Muslims around the world. He suggested that the UN can reinforce its efforts to fight religious defamation and build more powerful bridges of understanding between the different religions.