The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has stated that it wants to focus on stopping religious intolerance and discrimination at the next “Istanbul Process” that is likely to be held along side the 23rd UN Human Rights Council in June of this year.
The Istanbul Process is a joint international effort between Dr. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary General, OIC and former US Secretary of State Mrs. Hillary Clinton to address UN Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18 sponsored by the OIC.
One of the reasons this particular issue is being addressed is because of bloggers alleging that the OIC is looking to toughen international laws that would prevent the freedom of speech. However, OIC stated that this view is incorrect and that existing international laws will stand and that the focus of event would be how to stop actions that encourage violence, which was part of Resolution 16/18, and not an attempt to stop freedom of expression.
The OIC emphasized that the “Istanbul Process” was gathering more support for its cause and that it was the international voice of the Muslim World, seeking resolutions through consensus and not confrontation to today’s problems.
The GCC’s GDP is $1.56 trillion in 2012, up from $1.44 trillion the previous year, largely due to climbing oil prices and the record output of crude oil, making the GCC the world’s 12th largest economy just behind Canada.
Saudi and UAE are the largest contributors to the gains as well as the recent surpluses, although the GCC GDP growth is expected to be slowing down due to the flattening of hydrocarbon demand. However, the non-oil sectors are expected to grow. Furthermore, the price of oil is expected to continue to climb despite the slowdown in the sector, which will allow GCC GDP growth to continue in 2013.
Under the Development of Programme of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) the Kingdom of Bahrain was promised $ 2.5 billion by the United Arab Emirates. Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, Minister of Finance in the Kingdom of Bahrain, and Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Acting Director General of Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), signed the Memorandum of Understanding on a grant committed by the UAE in Manama, Bahrain. The grant is equivalent to 25 percent of all supports offered to Bahrain.
Under the director of ADFD the grant will be used in number of different sectors in Bahrain, including energy, housing, health and education.