New Memorandum of Understanding Strengthens Partnership between UNITAR and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation

Geneva, Switzerland, 28 February 2013 – On Thursday, 28 February 2013, the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) formalized their continued partnership with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary-General of OIC and Ms. Sally Fegan-Wyles, Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations, Director ad interim of UNITAR, officialised the MoU at Thursday’s ceremony.
The objective of the MoU is to provide a cooperative framework within which UNITAR and OIC can create and implement capacity development and research activities in line with their common priorities in the areas of international peace and security; economy, science and technology; and cultural and social issues.
The MoU is an outcome of discussions between the OIC and the United Nations (UN) and its agencies which took place in May 2012, regarding key themes for further enhanced cooperation between the two organizations.
These discussions indicated the following areas to be enhanced by the overall partnership between the UN and OIC: collaborate more closely on promoting peace and security in different contexts (from conflict prevention to peacebuilding, from peacekeeping to peacemaking processes in OIC countries); address urgent humanitarian needs in OIC countries affected by man-made or natural disasters or by violent conflict; more concerted efforts to mobilize resources for priority activities of both organizations; foster economic and social reforms; and promote intercultural dialogue.
Since the initial discussions, OIC has funded a joint seminar (between UNITAR and OIC) on sustainable development which took place in May 2012 in New York, and two workshops on sustainable cities which took place in June 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, in the framework of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20).
In accordance with the MoU, UNITAR’s scope of involvement moving forward will include, among other activities, developing joint capacity building and training programs to assist OIC Member States in promoting education for sustainable development, and developing training programs and capacity building projects for youth.