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Posted on on March 14th, 2008
by Pincas Jawetz (

 The intenational press was made to believe that the Dakar Summit was called in order to talk down Israel and to talk about the state of Muslim Immigrants to Europe. But see – there are other real problems that have to be looked at.

IOM –   International Organization for Migration –   Press Briefing Notes from:  unobserver at                                                               Friday 14 March 2008,   Spokesperson: Jemini Pandya
SENEGAL – IOM Director General At OIC Summit – At the invitation of the government of Senegal and the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), IOM Director General Brunson McKinley is attending the OIC summit in Dakar, where he has also held talks with Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade and other heads of governments and ministers.

Migration and its consequences are top policy issues for the Islamic world and IOM in recent years has made a broad and concerted effort at close cooperation with OIC member states and its Secretariat. IOM has operational agreements with the OIC and with several of its constituent bodies such as the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO).

In his statement to the OIC summit, McKinley expressed his concern that migrants from Muslim countries are often at the receiving end of anti-Islamic sentiments in destination countries where stereotyping can lead to social exclusion.

McKinley also expressed support for an initiative of President Wade to organize a global conference promoting inter-religious dialogue to enhance greater understanding among different faiths and communities as a way of helping migrant integration.

The two-day summit, which began yesterday and which is attended by heads of state and representatives   from the 57-member organization is looking at how to combat ‘Islamaphobia’ in the West as one of the key issues to be addressed.

McKinley who has participated in many previous meetings of the OIC, both at the summit and ministerial level, witnessed the signing late last night of a peace agreement between Sudan and Chad.

OIC countries represent a significant number of IOM’s 122 member states, having increased over the past decade from 11 to 40 with another three currently holding Observer status.

“The increase in representation of OIC countries within IOM membership during the past few years from all parts of the world is a reflection of the successful relations and cooperation that have been established with this important group,” said McKinley.

IOM has been active in assisting the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to improve the system of overseas contract work that is of great importance to many developing countries, OIC member states among them.

“The OIC and its member states can count on IOM for continued support in the many tasks they must accomplish to make migration and overseas work an engine for prosperity and better international relations,” McKinley added.

An important new area of cooperation between IOM and the OIC is climate change and environmental degradation. Many Islamic states face strong migration pressures because of desertification, rising sea levels, loss of agricultural capacity and other environmental problems.

For further information, please contact Abye Makkonnen, IOM Dakar, Tel: +221 33 8696200, email:  amakkonnen at

For more information please contact Public Information Officer Angela Sherwood at  asherwood at   or +670 723 1576, or Counter-Trafficking Project Manager Heather Komenda at  hkomenda at   or +670.723.0810.
For additional information:

Office of the Permanent Observer to the United Nations Ÿ 122 East 42nd Street, Suite 1610, New York, NY 10168
Tel: 1(212) 681 7000 – Fax: 1(212) 867-5887 – E-mail:  unobserver at – Internet: or
Jean-Philippe Chauzy ŸTel: 41 22 717 9361 – Mobile: 41 79 285 4366 Ÿ E-mail:  pchauzy at
Jemini Pandya Ÿ Tel 41 22 717 9486 – Mobile : 41 79 217 3374 Ÿ E-mail :  jpandya at style=”text-align: center”>

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