A.B. EREYLI, Dr., Prof., Hacettepe University, Turkey, Ankara. K. MAKASHEVA, Dr., Prof. of Department of International Relations. Z. SHALKEYEVA, PhD student, Al-Farabi KazNU.


«edu.e-history.kz» электрондық ғылыми журналы № 2(18), 2019

Тегтер: Organization of Islamic Cooperation, religion, Islam, international organizations, international conflicts, terrorism
This article discusses the potential of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in resolving international conflicts. Today, international conflicts are a threatening problem of international security. The problem is aggravated by the fact that these conflicts are intractable and their roots lie very deep. They last a very long time since the conflicting countries do not seek a truce. It is important to note that most of these conflicts are within the OIC. Therefore, the resolution of these conflicts has become a key issue that remains at the top of the organization’s agenda. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is the second largest intergovernmental organization after the United Nations, which includes 57 states. The organization is the collective voice of the Muslim world. It seeks to protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony among the various peoples of the world. The organization was created by decision of the historic summit, which was held in Rabat, Kingdom of Morocco, on the 12th Rajab of 1389 (September 25, 1969) after the arson attack on the Al-Aqsa mosque in occupied Jerusalem. One of the important point in the history of the organizations is the renaming of the «Organization of the Islamic Conferences» into the «Organization of the Islamic Cooperation» in the 38th session of the CFM, which was held in Astana, Kazakhstan in June 2011. Today, the OIC is a mini-UN for Muslims. The OIC actively cooperates with the UN, the EU and other international organizations in the fight against international terrorism and conflict. Keywords: terrorism, international conflicts, international organizations, religion, Islam, Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

Introduction. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is the second largest intergovernmental organization after the United Nations, which includes 57 states located on four continents. The organization is the collective voice of the Muslim world. It seeks to protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony among the various peoples of the world (OIC, 2019).

Although the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is intended to promote cooperation between Muslim states in the economic, social and cultural fields, its main goal is to “promote unity among the member states”. Consequently, the resolution of conflicts between the Member States is one of the main functions of the OIC (SESRIC, 2019). Since its creation, the OIC has witnessed a number of conflicts between two or more Member States, including conflicts between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Jordan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, Iran and Iraq, and between Iraq and Kuwait.

In some conflicts the OIC was successful, in others it did not achieve its goal. In the area of ​​conflict resolution, the OIC inherited two traditions: the Islamic tradition of about 14 centuries and the heritage of the League of Nations and the United Nations. These organizations used the methods of negotiation, good offices, investigation, mediation, conciliation and arbitration in conflict resolution, and they are lessons for the OIC (Abdullah, 2004).

Relevance of the topic the role of the Islamic Cooperation Organizations in resolving international conflicts is justified by the fact that the problem of terrorism and international conflicts, having changed its form, remains a threatening problem of international security. It should be noted that 60% of conflicts and terrorist acts are within the OIC. Therefore, the problem of terrorism has become a key problem that remains at the top of the organization’s agenda.

These conflicts last for a very long time, since the conflicting parties have no desire for a truce, which further aggravates the problem.

These conflicts are global in nature and require more than ever active, collective and effective measures by international organizations. Therefore, I think it would be important to reveal the role of the OIC in resolving international conflicts.

The article sets itself the task to show the swift steps taken by the OIC in settling international conflicts.

Theory and Methodology. In this research work liberal institutionalism or institutional liberalism, can be used  as modern international relations theory since this theory states that international institutions and organizations can expand and help cooperation between states. At the 38th ministerial meeting, the Organization of the Islamic Conference was renamed the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, this historic event showed the desire of organizations for closer cooperation, especially in economic areas.

The concept of the Ummah is an integral part of the OIC. Ummah denotes the community of Muslim believers who believe in the unity of Allah and the prophetic mission of Muhammad (peace be upon him). It may consist of different nations and races. The organization has the special honor to transform the Ummah into a single body and actively represents Muslims. It also has consultative and cooperative relations with the United Nations and other intergovernmental organizations in order to protect the vital interests of Muslims and work to resolve conflicts and disputes with the participation of member states.

Protecting the true values ​​of Islam and Muslims, the organization has taken various steps to eliminate misconceptions and strongly advocated the elimination of discrimination against Muslims in all forms and manifestations (OIC, 2019).

The historical method has been used to identify the causes of failures and successes in conflict resolution mechanisms in various cases in the past, which is of great importance, in predicting the Organization’s next mediation efforts.

The comparative method allows us to compare OIC with other international organizations like the EU and the UN in the fight against international terrorism. Through comparison, it is possible to identify similarities and differences in strategies and mechanisms in resolving international OIC conflicts and with these organizations.

Result. After studying above-mentioned problem, we can draw the following conclusions: 1). Despite it`s various weaknesses, the OIC remain as dominant, unique and exceptional Organization, which has no any alternatives by nowadays. 

  2). OIC is open to  innovations and international cooperation (in order to resolve international conflict and combat terrorism)

  3). OIC is the easy mobilizing Organization. In order to maintain the stability in the World, OIC demonstrated it's readiness to revision of the approaches.

  Discussion. While doing research on Organization's potential in resolving international conflicts, we can notice that this phenomenon  has been extensively studied by many authors, but is still insufficiently studied by the Western researchers.

The OIC's nature of the mediation attempts  and conflict resolving mechanisms were analyzed in the studies of  Abdullah al-Ahsan, who's  deep research of this phenomenon can be as  the notable contribution to the theoretical base of  the Organization, since it give us the historical review of failure and successes in conflict resolving mechanisms in various crisis among member states (Abdullah, 2004 ).

As an addition to this study, Turkish author Ibrahim Sharqieh tries to describe mediation endeavors and practical implementations made by Secretary General of the OIC  and representatives of the Organization in the context of these four conflicts: Philippines, Thailand, Iraq and Somalia. The identification of the reasons of failure and successes in conflict resolving mechanism in various cases in the past is significant, since it can be essential  in doing the right analysis of the next mediation efforts of the Organization. (Sharqieh, 2012 )

The protection of the Muslim rights in non-Muslim countries  has always been as one of the priority objectives of the organization.  Aliyeva S. and Ibrahim Kalin's research devoted to a impact of the organization in protecting Muslim right`s in all over the World.  Ibrahim Kalin`s article titled: «OIC: A voice for a Muslim World?» devoted to the utility of the organization in supporting Muslim World (Kalin, 2006).  Aliyeva S. tries to show the organizations support of Republic of Azerbaijan in the conflict with Republic of Armenia by the resolutions adopted by the Tehran OIC summit in which the aggression of the Republic of Armenia against the Republic of Azerbaijan was considered and indicated that the OIC member states should have categorically refused to sell weapons and ammunition to Armenia (Aliyeva, 2016).

The optimistic views on the Organization`s structure can be found in articles of Sheryazdanova K., Smagulova D. They considers OIC as a kind of mini-UN for the Islamic world and believe that  current Organization of Islamic Cooperation is a modern, forward-looking international association with a huge and still far from unused potential. The General Secretariat and the OIC structures themselves operate at a high professional level and in accordance with international standards (Sheryazdanova, Smagulova,  2013)

 OIC showed it`s readiness to change it`s approaches and reforms in order to maintain peace. Ishtiaq Ahmad, who is interested in Muslim World, describes the some changes in  OIC`s  approach  toward to humanitarian intervention which has a key importance in protecting Muslim civilians. Until Libyan crisis which took place in 2011, the Organization's charters core principle was «non-interference in domestic affairs» and respect for «sovereignty, independence and territory integrity of each member state» which limited it from undertaking or supporting humanitarian intervention in a Muslim country, situation in Libya required the Organization to be more proactive in protecting civil rights, as well as it confirmed  it`s willingness to support international intervention for the sake of preventing civil tragedy. (Ishtiaq,  2012)

Emphasizing on some reformations made by the OIC, the Turkish researches Muhittin Ataman and Ayse Nur Gokcen describes the role of the OIC in international relations in the new era. Muslim problems are not only problem, as it was before the reformations, but also global problems are stands as leading position in OIC`s agenda. An important steps which has taken by the OIC to correct its international image and to open up to the international community, also interactions with the organizations such as the Arab League, African Union and the Union of Southeast Asian Countries, opening an OIC Representation in the EU, establishment of the OIC Humanitarian Offices are the main endeavors of the organization  ( Ataman, Gokcen,  2014 ).

Since 1975 the OIC and UN have been cooperating in most areas of the international life. There is a report titled «Follow-up to the cooperation between OIC and the United Nations» The UN has been recognized the impact of the OIC. An endless Arab-Israel conflict the OIC reached UN to approve Palestine as a observer member and has pressing appeals to the international community to support establishment of an independent Palestinian State.

OIC actively cooperates  with EU and UN on combating international terrorism and other areas of the international life.  The OIC and UN have been cooperating since 1975, and from this moment the joint efforts from two organization have been realized in order to resolve international conflicts. Also OIC reached from UN to approve Palestine as a observer member.

Majid Bozorgmehri in his work tries to analyze EU and OIC`s approaches on combating international terrorism by comparing differences and similarities of strategies and mechanisms. If some points such as:  confronting Islam phobia, showing that Islamic World is itself victim of the terrorist activities are relevant for the OIC in its policies on combating the international terrorism, for EU the following aspects are very important: Terrorism is considered as a significant threat to the security of Europe, freedoms of European citizens should be respected. The author describes the common points like this: Both are very sensitive to the issue, both emphasize on respecting the UN Conventions concerning the issue, both expect from the Member States to play an active role in the issue (Bozorgmehri, 2012 ).

Besides the researchers which were mentioned above, there are also researchers who judge the organization in being non-effective in conflict resolving. Arhama Siddiqa criticizes the Organization in being ineffective toward resolving conflicts by pointing out some reasons such as: mistrust among the member states, and placing of own goals by leading members, engagement of the organization with influential local leaders (Siddiqa, 2016). M.Ihsan Qadir and M. Saifur Rehman  points out five reasons for organization`s unsuccessful role in conflict resolution. These are :  Lack of clear framework for dealing with issues of compatibility between other organizations, the conservative brand of Islam professed by its leading member states, organization`s over emphasis on national sovereignty has precluded having authority as an effective supranational body, duplication of mediation efforts with other regional and international organizations having similar mediatory role leads to conflict of interest and completion for loyalties (Ihsan Qadir, Saifur Rehman, 2015).

 Akimbekov  S.M. says that there is no Islamic Unity in this organization, as well as it is unlikely to appear once (Akimbekov, 2011).

One of the leading researchers of the OIC is the Russian orientalist N.V. Zhdanov. The history, causes of the creation and  «International legal personality» of  this organization were analyzed in his studies  titled «Islam on the Threshold of the 21st Century», «The Islamic Concept of the World Order»  where the author tried to describe the position of the OIC in resolving the existing world problems, and, finally, to assess the significance and prospects of the Islamic Conference (Zhdanov,  1991).

It`s necessary to emphasize on the role of the member-states in conflict settlement. The conflict resolution attempts of the such states as: Turkey, Malaysia and Pakistan within the OIC are considered in the works of V.F. Urlyapova, V.N. Moskalenko, N.V. Melekhina, G.M. Ziganshina. In V.F. Urlyapova`s studies the position of Malaysia toward Iraq problem has shown by  suggestion of  resolving  problem without using of force and all actions toward Iraq should get UN`s approval (Urlyapova, 2003). V.N. Moskalenko, N.V. Melekhina in their article shows  the initiative of Pakistan in convening of an emergency session of the UN General to discuss the «situation in Afghanistan» (Moskalenko, Melekhina, 2003). Also  Turkish representatives in recent years regularly  defends Muslim minorities, including in Bosnia, Chechnya, Azerbaijan (for the return of Nagorno-Karabakh to Baku) G.M. Ziganshina (Ziganshina, 2003).

Many works of Kazakhstan authors devoted to the OIC on the eve of Kazakhstan’s chairmanship in the OIC.

We may notice a discrepancy in the views of Kazakhstani authors about the involvement of Kazakhstan in conflicts resolution processes during it`s chairmanship in the OIC. If some authors believe that Kazakhstan should not take an active part in the political life of the  organizations, the others are not. Thus, Kazakh researcher Laumulin M.T. notes that the task of the presidency of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the OIC Ministerial Council in 2011 is to avoid involvement in conflict-based political processes and decisions. At the same time, Astana, as the chairman of the Ministerial Meeting, could focus on activating such areas as economic, cultural and humanitarian cooperation, healthcare, interfaith and intercivilizational interaction (Laumulin, 2011). 

 Zhalilov Z.G. specifies that Kazakhstan cannot but be one of the interested participants in the process of eliminating these conflicts and confrontations but it should implement a set of measures aimed at strengthening the stability, security and socio-economic reconstruction of Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tunisia, Somalia, Sudan and other OIC member countries, preventing them from escalating civil war, inter-ethnic and inter-religious conflicts (Zhalilov, 2011).

 Abuov A.P states Kazakhstan's chairmanship plan in the OIC reflects such important problems as the statement of the values ​​of moderation and tolerance, the rejection of extremism and violence, the fight against terrorism, opposition to Islamophobia, and the prevention of conflicts. And Kazakhstan should play a special role in the interaction of European and Islamic international organizations (Abuov, 2011). 

The complete confidence of most of them that the problems experienced in the Islamic world are geographically distant and do not affect the strategic interests of Kazakhstan are worrying. This is one-sidedness, a narrow understanding of what is happening (Mazhitov, 2011).

At the 13 th Islamic Summit held in Istanbul in 2006,the President of Turkey, H.E. Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President of Kazakhstan, H.E. Mr. Nursultan Nazarbayev, introduced the Initiative of Islamic Rapprochement. The Initiative would serve as a new paradigm in relations of OIC fraternity and is based on the principles of goodwill and constructive approach for peaceful resolution of disputes; respect of territorial integrity and sovereignty, building friendly relations between the Member States. The Islamic Summit requested the OIC Secretary General to present a comprehensive plan of action on the process of Islamic Rapprochement.

In this context, the seminar on «Islamic Rapprochement Initiative: Prospects of Peace and Conflict Resolution in OIC Member States», held an intellectual discourse on practical implementation of the Islamic Rapprochement Initiative, in complementation of OIC`s Peace Architecture and other institutional mechanisms and supporting Contact Groups. 

The International Experts made their speech on the topics like: Islamic Rapprochement Initiative: Role of OIC in conflict resolution and mediation, the significance of contact groups on peace and conflict resolution, Joint Kazakh-Turkish Islamic rapprochement initiative for peaceful resolution of disputes among OIC member states. Landscape of conflicts in OIC member states: root causes of conflicts and dynamics of sectarianism, terrorism, long-standing conflicts, the nature of the conflicts in Palestine, Kashmir, Afghanistan, Confidence building measures.

The panelists offered their recommendations and ways on how to resolve the conflicts effectively.  Baghdad Amreyev recommends that Secretary General should have the precise mandate. Kairat Lama Sharif says that using of power shouldn`t be allowed, only such a methods like «Contact Groups» and «Negotiating Table» methods should be used in conflict resolution.

Emphasizing on the significance of the «Contact Groups» and «Council of Sages» in conflict resolving,  Mr. Burak Akcapar explained the real costs of conflicts, including economic and demographic, adding that these resources could have been spent on other spheres.

Mr. Fadi Farasin specified the main causes of conflicts such as economic and social weaknesses of countries: inequality and poverty, lagging human development, social instability. He proposes to activate the mediatory actions of the OIC and to prevent conflict at the very beginning, to exchange information with organizations such as the UN and the OSCE.

Mr. Saleh Mutlu Sen pointed out the absence of some institutions in the OIC, such as the Security Council and Peace Settlement (Blue Helmets), which has in UN.

Mr. Samir Bakr Diab recommended  that conflict settlement process OIC should use a wide range of diplomacy and holistic approach.

Mr. Bahyt Batyrshayev recommended to restore the work of the «Council of Stages». He pointed out the significance of the using of Turkey`s experience and experiences of the other countries in conflict resolving. Also he noted the importance of strengthening the relationships of the OIC with the UN, SCO and other organizations.

Mr. Bulat Sultanov  noticed the  necessity of the Islamic unity, free thought and revision of old traditions in Muslim World.

Despite the many attempts which has done by CBM, its not particularly distinguished by its effectiveness in resolving problems in conflict regions. By comparing results of CBM`s in the Europe and in the Middle East, in his speech Mr. Ahmet Sareer emphasizes on the significance of the  political willingness of conflicting sides, as well as finding out the root causes as one of the reason of CBM`s being as effective method of conflict resolving.

Indeed, since root causes are identified, it would be more easier to analyze and take particular measures according the conflict. Therefore, I think that the identification of the root causes of the problem is too crucial in Confidence Building Measures.

This workshop is very important since it contribute the OIC`s practical  implementation of the Rapprochement initiatives.

Conclusion. Nowadays the  problem of the effectiveness of the Organization of the Islamic Conference became  the most debatable topic. There are a huge number of critics towards the potential and role of the Organization in the settlement of international conflicts. There are many weaknesses of the organization like the lack of Islamic unity within the Organization (the hostility between some Muslim member-states  interferes to unanimously solution of a certain problem), mistrust among them and dictation of the own goals by the prominent states, lack of some security and other institutes, non-stable social, political and economic situations in it`s member-states and absence of political willing of conflicting sides, too complicated nature of the conflicts, and the problems with the finding of  root causes of the problems which negatively influences to Confidence Building Measures of the OIC. Despite all these weaknesses the OIC remains the only dominant organization of the Muslim countries which is aimed to protect rights Muslim minorities. Along with the failures in the settlement of some international conflicts, the results of successful mediation attempts of the organization in cases Philippines, Thailand, Iraq and Somalia shouldn`t be ignored. Unlike other international organizations, the OIC does not force the conflict parties to reconciliation, OIC mediation takes soft stick approach. Instead of physical force, organization uses moral power which helps to achieve positive results. When there is no legality and physical force, organization obtains a better response from the conflict parties. The result gained on this basis way will likely be more sustainable. (Ibrahim Sharqieh)

In the new epoch the OIC does not go beyond only problems of Muslims but also problems of global character. Today OIC works on creation of the positive international image and to open up to the international community and interact with the other international organizations. OIC also demonstrated that it`s open to change it`s approach and reforms if there is a necessity to maintain peace. If before «non-interference in domestic affairs» was a key principle of the Organization, but now it understand that it must be more proactive in protecting civil rights and preventing civil tragedy.

OIC actively cooperates with EU and UN on combating international terrorism and other areas of the international life.  The OIC and UN have been cooperating since 1975, and from this moment the joint efforts from two organization have been realized in order to resolve international conflicts. Also OIC reached from UN to approve Palestine as a observer member.

At least, it`s renaming from «Organization of the Islamic Conference» to «Organization of Islamic Cooperation» in it`s 38th ministerial meeting which took place in Astana, Kazakhstan in July 2011 was a significant milestone in the history of the organization.  Since it restores the international image and functions of the organization and gives more credibility. Since its establishment in 1969, the OIC has been meeting regularly, these meetings, conferences avoided the internal political, economic and social issues haunting the Muslim world. There was a lack of cooperation among Muslim states, many problems remained unsettled. This changes shows that the cooperation is necessary in the credibility of the organization and is the  key way to be more integrated to the global world (Prasanta K.P., 2011).

Today OIC is a mini-UN for Muslims in the World with an unused potentials but  it needs in the precise mandate, some security institutions  such as the Security Council and Peace Settlement, holistic approach and restoration of the Council of Stages.


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1доктор, проф., Университет Хаджеттепе, Турция, Анкара

e-mail : ahmetburcin@gmail.com

2 д.и.н, проф. факультета Международных отношений, КазНУ имени Аль-Фараби, Казахстан, Алматы

e-mail: klara.makasheva55@gmail.com

3Докторант, PhD, КазНУ имениАль-Фараби,Казахстан, Алматы

e-mail: zada.shalkeyeva@gmail.com



В данной статье рассматривается потенциал Организаций Исламского Сотрудничества в разрешений международных конфликтов. На сегодняшний день международные конфликты являются угрожающей проблемой международной безопасности. Проблема усугублена тем, что эти конфликты являются трудно решаемыми и их корни лежат очень глубоко. Они длятся очень долго так как, конфликтующие страны не стремятся к перемирию. Важно отметить, что большинство этих конфликтов находятся в пределах ОИС. Поэтому решение этих конфликтов стала ключевой проблемой, которая остается главной в повестке дня организации.

Организация Исламского Сотрудничества (ОИС) является второй по величине межправительственной организацией после Организации Объединенных Наций, в которую входят 57 государств. Организация является коллективным голосом мусульманского мира. Он стремится защищать интересы мусульманского мира в духе содействия международному миру и гармонии между различными народами мира. Организация была создана по решению исторического саммита, который состоялся в Рабате, Королевство Марокко, 12-го Раджаба 1389 года (25 сентября 1969 года) после уголовного поджога мечети Аль-Акса в оккупированном Иерусалиме.

Одним из важных моментов в историй организаций можно назвать переименование «Организаций Исламской Конференций на «Организацию Исламского Сотрудничества» в 38-ой сессии СМИД, которая проходила в Астане, Казахстан, в июне 2011 гг. На сегодняшний день ОИС является мини-ООН для мусульман. ОИС активно сотрудничает с ООН, ЕС и другими международными организациями в борьбе с международным терроризмом и конфликтом.

Ключевые слова: терроризм, международные конфликты, международные организаций, религия, ислам, Организация Исламского Сотрудничества


1доктор, проф., Хаджеттепе Университеті, Түркия, Анкара

e-mail : ahmetburcin@gmail.com

2т.ғ.д., проф., Әл-Фараби атындағы ҚазҰУ, Халықаралық қатынастар факультеті, Казақстан, Алматы

e-mail: klara.makasheva55@gmail.com

3PhD докторант, Әл-Фараби атындағы ҚазҰУ, Қазақстан, Алматы

e-mail: zada.shalkeyeva@gmail.com



Мақалада халықаралық дау-жанжалдарды шешудегі Ислам Ынтымақтастық Ұйымының әлеуеті талқыланады. Қазіргі таңда халықаралық қақтығыстар - бұл халықаралық қауіпсіздікке қауіп төндіріп отырған маңызды мәселе. Аталмыш мәселе тамырының терең жатқандығымен және шешілуінің қиындығымен ерекшеленеді.

Бұл жанжалдар қақтығысқа қатысушы тараптардың келісімг келуден бас тарту себептерімен ұзаққа созылуда. Айта кететін жайт, осы жанжалдардың көпшілігі Ислам Ынтымақтастық Ұйымының шеңберінде орын алып жатыр. Сондықтан, осы қақтығыстардың шешімі ұйымның күн тәртібінде тұрған басты мәселе болып табылады. Ислам Ынтымақтастық Ұйымы (ИЫҰ) - 57 мемлекетті құрайтын, Біріккен Ұлттар Ұйымынан кейінгі екінші ірі үкіметаралық ұйым. Ұйым мұсылман әлемінің ұжымдық дауысы болып табылады. Ол мұсылман мүддесін әлемнің түрлі халықтарының арасында бейбітшілік пен келісімнің орнығуы рухында қорғауға тырысады.Бұл ұйым басып алынған Иерусалимдегі Әл-Ақса мешітіндегі өрттен кейін, 1389 жылдың 12-ші Раджабында (1969 жылдың 25 қыркүйегі), Марокко Корольдігінің Рабат қаласында өткен тарихи саммит шешімімен құрылды. 2011 жылдың маусымында Астана қаласында өткен Министрлер Кеңесінің 38-ші сессиясында "Ислам Конференциясы Ұйымы" атауының "Ислам Ынтымақтастық Ұйымы" ретінде өзгертілуін ұйым тарихының маңызды кезеңі десек болады. Қазіргі таңда ИЫҰ - мұсылмандар үшін шағын БҰҰ болып табылады. ИЫҰ - ы халықаралық лаңкестік пен қақтығыспен күресуде БҰҰ, ЕО және басқа да халықаралық ұйымдармен ынтымақтастығын белсенді түрде арттыруда. 

Түйін сөздер: терроризм, халықаралық қақтығыстар, халықаралық ұйымдар, дін, ислам, Ислам Ынтымақтастық Ұйымы.

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