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Islamic bloc wants a permanent seat at U.N. Security Council: report

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Muslim world deserves a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) suggested at the Russian Foreign Ministry's international relations institute this week.

OIC Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu said the 57-member organization already made up the biggest voting bloc at the U.N., and it was time it acquired "a new position," CNS News reported today.

"During the first reconsideration of the reform in the U.N., I think there should be a seat for OIC in the Security Council," Mr. Ihsanoglu said. "If you look to the structure of the Security Council of today, you have the P5 [permanent five] and there are representatives of different civilizations, different cultures, political powers ... but you won't find representative of more than 1.6 billion people of Muslim world."

The U.N. Security Council currently has five permanent, veto-wielding members — China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. The nations most often viewed as contenders for any new permanent seats — India, Japan, Brazil, Germany and South Africa — exclude Muslim countries, the report said.

Mr. Ihsanoglu argued that the European Union, though structured differently from the OIC, has enjoyed an elevated status at the U.N. since 2011.

"I think the status acquired by the EU in 2011 in U.N. should also be acquired by the OIC," he said, according to the report.

Mr. Ihsanoglu became secretary-general of the OIC in January 2005 and is due to retire at the end of this year, CNS News reported. Since taking his position, the Islamic bloc has become a more of an activist organization, accusing the West of "Islamophobia," the report added.

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