Ban says OIC could help to bring an end to Syrian conflict

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Monday that the Organization of Islamic Cooperation could work with the U.N. and others to end the Syrian conflict.

Ban made the remarks during a U.N. Security Council high-level meeting on U.N.-OIC cooperation in New York. Ban said that the U.N. and the OIC are working on various issues, including humanitarian and political efforts in Syria. Currently, the U.N. and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons are making progress on the dismantling and destroying of Syria's chemical weapons program.

Ban said the U.N. and the OIC must work to reach a comprehensive political agreement that reflects the will of Syria's people. He said the war is heightening tension between Shia and Sunni communities and the OIC could play a part in ending the Syrian conflict.

"I believe the OIC could be uniquely placed to launch a major initiative working with the United Nations and others to help bring an end to this upheaval that has caused the loss of so many civilian lives and represents such a threat to wider security," Ban said. "I urge the OIC and all leaders to do everything possible to repair rifts and rebuild confidence between Muslim communities as well as to stem the influence of radical armed groups and violent extremists."

Ban said the U.N. and the OIC must deepen their strategic dialogue to make future progress against terrorism and toward a more peaceful world.