Meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan for the 1st High Level Meeting of International Organizations and the 4th World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue on 5 May 2017, the Secretary General H.E. Faisal Bin Muaammar of the International Dialogue Centre (KAICIID), and the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) High-Representative H.E. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to underscore their organizations’ commitment to collaborate in promoting interreligious and intercultural dialogue to ensure peaceful coexistence among peoples of different cultural and religious identities.
“Complementarity between organisations is vital in any collaboration that seeks to reduce conflict in the world. In conjunction with our other UN MOU partners, UNESCO and UNDP, the strategic partnership with UNAoC amplifies our mutual capacity to encourage and help organizations, religious organizations and NGOs utilize interreligious dialogue effectively as a means to sustain peace and to attain reconciliation”, said Bin Muaammar.
“The United Nations would not be able to fully advance their agenda without the crucial cooperation of sub-regional arrangements and regional actors. To that end, UNAOC sought to expand its outreach and engagement with other like-minded organizations that share the same common goals and missions. With KAICIID we can work together to advance our shared mission” stated Al-Nasser
KAICIID and UNAoC both promote interreligious and intercultural dialogue and create platforms for such dialogue to address cross-community issues to build peace and foster mutual understanding and respect. As partners, KAICIID and UNAoC will jointly coordinate and pursue initiatives that improve relations among peoples of different cultures and religions to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their work in fostering a culture of peace and contributing towards sustainable development.
By combining their respective international networks of stakeholders and their international initiatives they will strengthen their advocacy for dialogue and the initiatives with their key international stakeholders. Collaboration will also facilitate sharing best practices, in particular by bringing together religious community leaders, policy makers and civil society representatives to foster social cohesion in vulnerable countries and contribute to peace.
Their individual and joint activities will promote the significant potential of faith-based organizations, youth, women and media to employ interreligious and intercultural dialogue, particularly in societies affected by conflict. Through regional and global meetings, their strategic cooperation will address current challenges that practitioners of interreligious and intercultural dialogue face. Expert advice and engagement in interreligious and intercultural dialogue programmes will support efforts towards peace, reconciliation and countering the misuse of cultural and religious identities.
The collaboration will serve to further develop existing training curricula that promote values of peace, acceptance and equality, such as training advocates of interreligious and intercultural dialogue who can inculcate these values through dialogue in their social, cultural and religious contexts.
These efforts will take particular advantage of existing international frameworks for cooperation, such as the Implementation of the UN Fez Plan of Action, the International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures (2013-2022), the UN Sustainable Development Goals, among others.
The International Dialogue Centre (KAICIID) is an intergovernmental organization founded in 2012 by Austria, Saudi Arabia, and Spain. The Holy See is the Founding Observer. The Centre facilitates intercultural dialogue and understanding to enhance cooperation, respect for diversity, justice and peace at individual, institutional, national and international levels.
The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) is an initiative of the United Nations and aims to build bridges between societies, promote dialogue and understanding, forge collective political will to address growing divisions between societies and restore mutual respect between peoples of differing cultures, traditions and regions, inspiring them to mobilize behind concrete measures to achieve these goals.
Peter KAISER; Director of Communication & Spokesperson for the International Dialogue Centre (KAICIID): email@example.com; Office: +43 1 313 22-411; Cell: +43 664 231 0593
Nihal SAAD; Chief of Cabinet & Spokesperson for the High-Representative of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations: firstname.lastname@example.org; Office: +1 929-274-6205; Cell: +1 646-255-4664