What is the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)? [EXPLAINED]

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation formerly the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, is an intergovernmental organization founded in 1969, consisting of 57 member states. The organisation states that it is “the collective voice of the Muslim world” and works to “safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony”

Why In News?

  • India Has Rejected Comments By A Grouping Of Muslim Nations As “Unwarranted” And “Narrow-minded” Over The Huge Controversy Linked To Two Spokespersons Of The Ruling BJP, Who Were Sacked By The Party For Their Remarks On Prophet Muhammad On News Channels.

What Is The Organisation Of Islamic Cooperation?

  • Well Known As The ‘Collective Voice Of The Muslim World’. The OIC Is The Second-Largest Intergovernmental Organization After The United Nations With A Membership Of 57 States.

What Does It Do?

  • It Endeavors To Safeguard And Protect The Interests Of The Muslim World In The Spirit Of Promoting International Peace And Harmony Among Various People Of The World.

Tracing The Journey Of OIC:

  • OIC Was Established By The First Islamic Summit Conference Held In Rabat, Morocco, In September 1969, To Marshal The Islamic World After An Act Of Arson At The Al-Aqsa Mosque In Jerusalem That Year. The Incident Had Plunged The Middle East Into Its Worst Crisis After The 1967 Arab-Israeli War.
  • In 1970 The First Meeting Of The Islamic Conference Of Foreign Ministers (ICFM) Was Held In Jeddah, Which Decided To Establish A Permanent Secretariat In That City, Headed By The Secretary-General Of The Organisation.
  • The First OIC Charter Was Adopted By The 3rd Islamic Conference Of Foreign Ministers (ICFM) Session Held In 1972. The Charter Laid Down The Objectives And Principles Of The Organization And Fundamental Purposes To Strengthen The Solidarity And Cooperation Among The Member States.
  • Over The Last 40 Years, The Membership Has Grown From Its Founding Members Of 30 To 57 States.
  • The Present Charter Of The OIC Was Adopted By The 11th Islamic Summit Held In Dakar On 13-14 March 2008 To Become The Pillar Of The OIC Future Islamic Action In Line With The Requirements Of The 21st Century.
  • The Member States Of The OIC Face Many Challenges In The 21st Century And To Address Those Challenges, The 3rd Extraordinary Session Of The Islamic Summit Held In Makkah In December 2005.
  • It Laid Down The Blueprint Called The Ten-year Program Of Action. It Successfully Concluded With The Close Of 2015. A Successor Programme For The Next Decade (2016-2025) Has Since Then Been Adopted.
  • The New Programme OIC-2025 Is Anchored In The Provisions Of The OIC Charter And Focuses On 18 Priority Areas With 107 Goals.
  • The Priority Areas Include Issues Of Peace And Security, Palestine And Al-Quds, Poverty Alleviation, Counter-terrorism, Investment And Finance, Food Security, Science And Technology, Climate Change And Sustainability, Moderation, Culture And Interfaith Harmony, Empowerment Of Women Etc.

OIC Members & Observers:

  • Members: There Are 56 Members In The OIC Today. 56 Of Them Are In The UN As Well. Pakistan Is A Founding Member. Palestine Is Also A Member Of The OIC (It Is Not A Member Of The UN).
  • Observer States: Bosnia And Herzegovina, Central African Republic, Northern Cyprus (Turkish Cypriot State), Thailand & Russia. Observer International Organisations: NAM, UN League Of Arab States, African Union, Economic Cooperation Organisation.

Islamic Summit:

  • The Largest Meeting, Attended By The Kings And The Heads Of State And Government Of The Member States, Convenes Every Three Years. The Islamic Summit Takes Policy Decisions And Provides Guidance On All Issues Pertaining To The Realization Of The Objectives As Provided For In The Charter.

Islamic Conference Of Foreign Ministers:

  • Islamic Conference Of Foreign Ministers Meets Once A Year To Examine A Progress Report On The Implementation Of Its Decisions Taken Within The Framework Of The Policy Defined By The Islamic Summit.

Permanent Secretariat:

  • The Permanent Secretariat Is The Executive Organ Of The Organisation, Entrusted With The Implementation Of The Decisions Of The Two Preceding Bodies, And Is Located In Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.


  • Elected By The Council Of Foreign Ministers For A Period Of Five Years, Renewable Once. Elected From Among Nationals Of The Member States In Accordance With The Principles Of Equitable Geographical Distribution, Rotation, And Equal Opportunity For All Member States.
  • The Current Secretary-General Of The OIC Is The Chadian Diplomat And Politician Hissein Brahim Taha, Who Took Over From The Saudi Arabian Dr. Yousef Ahmed Al Othaimeen In November 2020.

The OIC And India:

  • As The Country With The World’s Second Largest Muslim Community, India Had Been Invited To The Founding Conference At Rabat In 1969 But Was Humiliatingly Ejected At Pakistan’s Behest. Then Agriculture Minister Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed Was Dis-invited Upon Arrival In Morocco.
  • 37 Years Later, In 2006, With Post-reforms Saudi Arabia Invited New Delhi To Join As An Observer. But India Stayed Away Because Of A Multiplicity Of Reasons, Not Least Because As A Secular Country, It Did Not Want To Join An Organisation That Was Founded On The Religious Identity Of Nations.
  • Again, At The 45th Session Of The Foreign Ministers’ Summit In May 2018, Bangladesh, The Host Country, Suggested That India, Where More Than 10% Of The World’s Muslims Live, Should Be Given Observer Status.
  • But Pakistan Opposed The Proposal. While The OIC Is Mainly Controlled By Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, As The Only Islamic Country With Nuclear Weapons, Has Had A Powerful Say In The Organisation From The Beginning.
  • In 2019, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, The Foreign Minister Of The United Arab Emirates (UAE), Invited Then Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj To Address The Inaugural Plenary Of The 46th Session Of The OIC Council Of Foreign Ministers In Abu Dhabi As The “Guest Of Honour”.

OIC’s Position On Kashmir:

  • The OIC Has Been Generally Supportive Of Pakistan’s Stand On Kashmir And Has Issued Statements Criticizing The Alleged Indian “Atrocities” In The State. However, New Delhi Has Long Been Used To Combating These Statements And Has Consistently And Forcefully Put Forward Its Position.
  • Importantly, Pakistan’s Position In The OIC Aside, New Delhi Is Hardly Friendless In The Organisation. India Has Excellent Relations Individually With Almost All Member Nations – And This Is A Reason Why It Can Mostly Afford To Not to Take The Statements Issued By The Group As A Whole Seriously.

Criticism Against OIC:

  • OIC Has Been Criticised By Many Muslims For Its Lack Of Real Engagement And Solutions For Muslim Countries In Crisis. It Is Said To Have Made Progress In Social And Academic Terms But Not Politically.


  • ___ Known As The Collective Voice Of The Muslim World
  • Organisation Of Islamic Republics
  • Organisation Of Islamic Cooperation
  • Organisation For Cooperation Of Ummah
  • International Muslims Organization


  • Organisation Of Islamic Cooperation Was Established In
  • 1969
  • 1972
  • 1975
  • 1979


  • HQ Of Organisation Of Islamic Cooperation
  • Mecca
  • Medina
  • Jeddah
  • Riyadh


  • OIC Charter Was Adapted In
  • 1969
  • 1972
  • 1975
  • 1979


  • Current Members Of OIC
  • 55
  • 56
  • 57
  • 58


  • Not A Member Of OIC
  • Pakistan
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Bangladesh
  • India


  • 1st Islamic Summit In 1969 Was Held At
  • Jeddah
  • Rabat
  • Dakar
  • Dhaka


  • 1st Islamic Conference Of Foreign Ministers (ICFM) Was Held In
  • 1969
  • 1970
  • 1971
  • 1972


  • 1st Islamic Conference Of Foreign Ministers (ICFM) Was Held At
  • Jeddah
  • Rabat
  • Dakar
  • Dhaka


  • Current Secretary-General Of OIC
  • Hissein Brahim Taha
  • Yousef Ahmed Al Othaimeen
  • T Abdul Rehman
  • Hassan Al Touhami


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Zaheer Hussain

    Senior Lecturer General Studies, SSBCrackExams, Passionate Teacher, Masters in Public Administration, Expertise in Polity, History and Current Affairs. Loves Food and traveling Solo.

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