Guyana’s Minister of Housing and Water, Mr. Irfan Ali, arrived in the Kazakh capital yesterday to participate in the 38th Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) Foreign Minister’s Meeting. Irfan Ali was a member of Guyana’s President Jagdeo delegation to Kuwait, Iran and the UAE in 2010.

The OIC, of which Guyana and Suriname are members of, is expected to adopt the new OIC Charter of which Mr. Ali will sign on behalf of Guyana. The meeting will also adopt the recommendation of the Senior Officials who recently met in Jeddah to finalize the criteria for new observer-membership.  As well, the Astana meeting will discuss changing of the name and emblem of the organization which was endorsed recently in Jeddah by Senior Officials of the OIC.

Informed source also pointed out that the new rules will allow numerous countries from around the globe, which has lodged applications for membership and Observer Member status to do so, the latest of which was an official request by the Brazilian government to be an Observer Member.

The issue of Palestinian statehood being brought to the United Nations General Assembly this September will also dominate the Astana meeting.  Guyana since 1975 has been a member of the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, and the Palestinian leadership in East Jerusalem is banking on Guyana and Suriname to lobby CARICOM members to solidly support their bid for statehood.

High on the agenda of the 38th OIC CFM meeting is the establishment of an OIC human rights commission.

Kazakhstan will take over the presidency of the OIC, a 57-member grouping of nations from Asia, Africa, the Middle East and South America.