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Amb. Ufuk Gokcen
Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to the United Nations.

Entries by Amb. Ufuk Gokcen

Rising Religious Hostilities Ring the Bells of Alarm Across the Globe

(1) Comments | Posted December 10, 2013 | 2:41 PM

Religious hostilities, intolerance, radicalization, polarization, marginalization, and discrimination are on the rise. It seems that the situation worsens by the day, while the accompanying violence is particularly alarming in Africa and -- to a lesser degree -- in South East Asia.

Increasing religious identity in these two areas along...

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Cooperative Progress on Disability Rights is Needed

(0) Comments | Posted November 8, 2013 | 9:52 AM

Despite our traditions, as well as moral and religious values, that teach us not to discriminate against people with disabilities and treat them with due respect, dignity and equal opportunities, we have not been able to formalize certain commitments fully yet at the international level.

The revived discussion this...

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Freedoms of Press, Speech and Expression: Lost in Translation

(0) Comments | Posted May 13, 2013 | 4:24 PM

In this age of globalization and technology, traditional and social media has transformed how information is disseminated and processed. It is almost impossible now to hide atrocities, violations of freedoms, acts of violence and hatred. However, popularity of social media has not been without some new challenges and complications.


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The Way Forward in Countering Violence of Radicals

(0) Comments | Posted May 3, 2013 | 11:32 AM

As the statistics of gun violence show, being a member of a modern society does not provide immunity from the horrors of violence. Technology, wealth and globalization are expanding their outreach but poverty, underdevelopment and resentment are not diminishing.

Empathy and compassion toward one another are on retreat in...

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World Health Day: A Collaborative Partnership With Civil Society Is Needed

(0) Comments | Posted April 8, 2013 | 2:20 PM

As we commemorate World Health Day, we must commit to fighting disease and preventable illness. Singularly combating specific diseases will not lead to widespread access to healthcare or eradication of diseases like polio or tuberculosis. This is particularly true in developing countries due to complexities of the challenges involved.


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Reflections on Christian-Muslim Relations and the Legacy of Pope Benedict XVI

(0) Comments | Posted March 11, 2013 | 10:11 PM

Many Muslims share the observation that while Pope John Paul II had a clear-cut positive image in the Muslim world, Pope Benedict XVI unfortunately left mixed sentiments due to the controversy of his 2006 lecture at University of Regensburg. The perception of the Holy See's long silence on the Danish...

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Formation of Buddhist-Muslim Fault Line Should Not Be Allowed

(0) Comments | Posted February 27, 2013 | 1:31 PM

After visiting Myanmar last September, I was of the view that the problems and acts of violence in Rakhine state of Myanmar were the result of resentment and hatred toward the Rohingya minority instead of a religious confrontation between the Buddhist majority and Muslim minority. When I heard about the...

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De-linking Female Genital Mutilation From Religion

(0) Comments | Posted February 8, 2013 | 4:34 PM

Female genital mutilation has long survived, hidden under the cloak of religious, cultural, and tribal practices, but this week, as we commemorate the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), it is time for every leader whether political or religious, whether male or female, to unequivocally stand...

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Freedom of Religion and the Right to Be Respected

(0) Comments | Posted January 24, 2013 | 2:55 PM

As the Organization of Islamic Cooperation's Ambassador to the United Nations in New York, I have recently attended for the second year in a row a special commemoration event at the Park East Synagogue in New York in conjunction with the U.N. International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Every year, Rabbi Arthur...

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Mali: Another Case for a New International Approach

(0) Comments | Posted December 18, 2012 | 5:43 PM

Following the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2071 in October 2012, an international military intervention to retake control of northern Mali seemed imminent. After a coup in Bamako earlier in the year, Northern Mali had been taken by rebel groups who benefited from the resulting vacuum of power. However, in...

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Is It the Advent of a New Era in Somalia?

(0) Comments | Posted November 26, 2012 | 1:38 PM

Last Tuesday, the new cabinet of Somalia was endorsed by the Parliament. The new and lean 10 Minister cabinet includes Somalia's first-ever woman Foreign Minister, Fowsiyo Yusuf Haji Adan. In addition to this novelty, it should be noted that she is from Somaliland. After officially being endorsed, the new Foreign...

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Malala's Lessons for the Muslim World

(0) Comments | Posted November 13, 2012 | 3:25 PM

In 2009, Malala Yousafzai, a seventh grade student in the Swat district of Pakistan, made headlines around the world for exposing the inequities that young girls faced under the Taliban in her hometown of Mingora. She has become a symbol of peace through her continued advocacy for education of girls...

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Rohingyas and the Democratization in Myanmar

(0) Comments | Posted November 2, 2012 | 2:49 PM

We are again bombarded by photographs and news of renewed violence in Myanmar's Arakan region (officially Rakhine state). Meanwhile, at the UN in New York, the delegates listened to the report of UN Human Rights Special Rapporteur for Myanmar Mr. Quintana. While recognizing the democratization efforts in the country, he...

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Advancing Freedoms of Expression and Religion in the Islamic World

(25) Comments | Posted October 25, 2012 | 4:11 PM

Recent articles have criticized the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) for an alleged attempt to encourage international anti-defamation/blasphemy legislation in response to the anti-Islamic film, "Innocence of Muslims." While some voices call for additional international resolutions, it is not accurate to assert that the OIC is one of them. The...

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