The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, and the Secretary General of the King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID), H.E. Dr. Faisal Bin Abdulrahman Bin Muaammar, signed a Memorandum of Understanding today, reaffirming their commitment to promoting dialogue among people of different cultures and religions.
The Director-General underscored UNESCO’s leadership of the United Nations Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures (2013-2022) and welcomed the opportunity provided by the Decade to advance new forms of global citizenship based on the sharing of knowledge, respect for human rights, and the promotion of cultural and religious diversity as fundamental principles, to foster social inclusion, the prevention of conflicts and build lasting peace.
“This agreement is an opportunity for us to challenge the idea that diversity is a problem today, to promote it as a dynamic force and an enriching factor that renews humanity and enlarges opportunities,” declared the Director-General.
The agreement aims at developing joint programmes and outreach initiatives to strengthen mutual understanding, tolerance, peaceful coexistence, cooperation across and between societies, contributing to a culture of peace respectful of the principles enshrined in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity.
“UNESCO and KAICID are working together to strengthen a culture of dialogue that enables diverse cultures and religions to contribute towards a more peaceful and harmonious interreligious relationships. This will, in turn, resolve conflict”, stated KAICIID Secretary General Bin Muaammar.
The agreement engages both parties to join forces for four years in order to promote the importance of dialogue in formal and non-formal education, to advance knowledge on intercultural and interreligious dialogue for peace, to support institutional cooperation through youth-targeted initiatives and to use the media as a tool for fostering dialogue and mutual understanding.