The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) comprises 57 countries in which more than 1 billion Muslims live, and aims to promote Islamic solidarity.
The members of the conference represent many differing opinions in matters of international politics and the interpretation of Islam.
The organization was established in the Moroccan city of Rabat on September 25, 1969. It operated under the name Organization of the Islamic Conference until it decided to change its title to the current one in 2011.
The member states "decided to pool their resources together, combine their efforts and speak with one voice to safeguard the interests and ensure the progress and well-being of their peoples and those of other Muslims the world over," the OIC says on its website.
The group aims to strengthen the community of Islamic believers, known as the "umma," in the fight for security and to increase its cooperation with non-member countries.
The organization is based in the Saudi city of Jeddah and normally meets every three years in a summit.