UNESCO and KAICIID discuss joining forces to promote intercultural and interreligious dialogue

In the context of the 5th Global Summit of the Alliance of Civilizations, Irina Bokova, the Director-General of UNESCO, met with Mr. Faisal Bin Abdulrahman Bin Muaammar, Secretary-General of King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID) to discuss future cooperation in areas of common interest to advance respect for cultural and religious diversity, human rights and to promote mutual understanding.

"I commend the Centre's capacity to act as an inclusive platform for interfaith dialogue since its recent establishment", said the Director-General.

Located in Vienna, the King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue was established in November 2011 to encourage dialogue among cultures and religions across the world.

The Director-General welcomed such a bilateral meeting underscoring UNESCO's leadership of the United Nations International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures (2013-2022).

The Secretary-General informed the Director-General of the Centre's
Programmes, notably building capacities of young religious leaders to engage them in interfaith initiatives that aim to promote increased knowledge and sensitivity about the diversity of spiritual traditions.

Mr. Faisal Bin Abdulrahman Bin Muaammar further expressed his wish to formalize cooperation with UNESCO to engage the Centre in joint initiatives to reach out to religious and traditional leaders, educators and youth associations in order to harness respect and mutual understanding of the positive values of diversity.

In concluding, the Director-General welcomed the proposal to explore avenues of cooperation in order to develop and disseminate knowledge on much needed intercultural competencies in particular in areas such as education and the media so as to create new opportunities to address conflict prevention and promote enhanced collaboration amongst diverse communities and respect for differences through dialogue.