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OIC To Hold Conference On Refugees In Muslim World

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is organizing an international conference on "Refugees in the Muslim World" in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, in cooperation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

The conference, to be held on May 10-11, is aimed at highlighting OIC support for member-states as they assist large-scale refugee populations, as well as the mandate and responsibility of the UNHCR toward refugees.

"The conference also aims to promote awareness of the scope and nature of the refugee problem in OIC member-states, as well as the broader refugee situation globally, particularly encourage the international community, including OIC member-states, in promoting and creating conditions for sustainable voluntary repatriation and reintegration in their country of origin," said an OIC statement quoted in media reports on Tuesday.

OIC is the largest international Muslim organization representing 57 Muslim countries with a combined population of about 1.2 billion people.

According to UNHCR statistics, the 57 member-states of the OIC were hosting approximately 18 million people of concern to the refugee agency as at the end of 2010.

Representatives of 40 international and regional organizations, as well as observers from 21 countries, are expected to attend the conference. Delegations from the U.S., Russia, China, Australia and EU countries are among the observers.

A plan of action to manage the refugee situation in OIC countries is expected to be adopted in the form of a final declaration on the conclusion of the conference, the reports added.

by RTT Staff Writer

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