February 15th 2018
Religious leaders meet in Vienna to discuss implementation of the Plan of Action for religious leaders and actors to prevent incitement to violence that could lead to atrocity crimes
Read KAICIID’s full article here.
An important step forward was taken on 13-15 February, when more than one hundred and fifty religious leaders and actors from around the world as well as Member States and United Nations officials gathered in Vienna to discuss the implementation of the Plan of Action. (To read more on the Plan of Action and the process leading up to it, please click here.)
The meeting started with a warm welcome from Ambassador Christine Stix-Hackl, the Austrian Ambassador to the United Nations in Vienna, and opening remarks by senior officials from the organizing bodies – the United Nations, the World Council of Churches, the Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers and the KAICIID International Dialogue Centre.
The Plan of Action is a pioneering document. It is the first to engage with religious leaders and actors to develop context specific strategies to prevent incitement that could lead to atrocity crimes. Adama Dieng, Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide
The meeting focused on concrete measures to implement the Plan of Action at national and local levels. There was widespread agreement among participants that engaging youth and women must be a key focus if we are to prevent violence and promote peaceful, just and inclusive societies everywhere. Among the main points agreed during the meeting were the need to map existing initiatives that can contribute to the implementation of the Plan of Action. Participants agreed to collaborate on the development of a covenant for faith actors for the realization of the Plan of Action and to develop capacity-building activities for religious leaders and actors as well as share curricula for interreligious coexistence. One concrete outcome of the meeting is the establishment of a steering committee to oversee and review implementation of the Plan of Action.
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February 26th 2018
Muslim and Christian religious leaders launch the first interreligious cooperation and dialogue platform in the Arab World
Read KAICIID’s full article including a list of the platform’s founding members here.
Twenty-three of the highest religious authorities from Muslim and Christian institutions across the Arab region launched the first interreligious platform for dialogue and cooperation in the Arab World, to work on promoting interreligious dialogue in religious education, social media, and respond to challenges facing Arab societies.
The platform will focus on rebuilding and protecting communities from the effects of violent extremist rhetoric and actions. Furthermore, the need to advocate for the rights and inclusion of all communities in the Arab World, to combat ideologies exploiting anxiety as well as instigating hatred, and to jointly address the toughest challenges communities face was emphasized.
The world is in dire need of dialogue platforms based on firmly established principles. We need a dialogue that respects our contexts and does not seek to stir animosity, hatred or impose hegemony over one another. Sheikh Dr. Shawki Allam, Grand Mufti of Egypt
KAICIID Secretary General Faisal Bin Muaammar elaborated on the founding of the dialogue platform: “Religion, especially in the Arab world, is a powerful motivating force and a source of shared identity for millions of people. For too long, we have allowed religion to be hijacked and used as justification for causing pain and suffering. With the launch of this platform, the leaders of religious communities say “enough” to this manipulation and misuse. There has been enough talk, and not enough action. Through this platform, we will set a visible, tangible example of interreligious cooperation. People need to see that religious communities, working together, are much stronger than any extremists, and that cooperation brings concrete benefits to everyone.”
The members of the platform will work to promote social cohesion and common citizenship in their communities. Some of the planned activities of the platform include training for clergy on how to empower young people to resist violent extremism, and the development of religious education curricula to promote respect for all religions. The Platform will also focus on constructively engaging with all forms of media in the region to deepen respect for diversity and a culture of dialogue. The members of the platform will also regularly meet with national and regional policymakers to advocate for policies and laws that uphold social cohesion.
27 February 2018
Religious leaders affirm values of social cohesion and peaceful coexistence
Read KAICIID’s full article including a list of religious leaders attending and other prominent participants here.
On February 27th 2018 leading representatives of Muslim, Christian, Jewish and other religious communities worldwide spoke up in one voice for social cohesion, peaceful coexistence and respect for religious diversity at the conference titled “Interreligious Dialogue for Peace: Promoting Peaceful Coexistence and Common Citizenship” organized by KAICIID.
The unity of purpose between Christians and Muslims on vital issues, such as common citizenship cannot be ignored. Unity among religious leaders is the strongest message of hope the region has seen in many years. Faisal Bin Muaammar, KAICIID Secretary General
The conference coincided with the Centre’s fifth year in operation. Participants were informed about the programmes and initiatives that the Centre has completed since its foundation, including the Fellows programme, a training programme for mid-career religious educators, and the Centre’s youth initiatives, which include an ambitious programme to train religious leaders on the promotion of dialogue on social media. The Centre works with representatives of five major world religions, and has implemented programmes in Nigeria, the Central African Republic, the Arab region, Myanmar, and Europe, working with a wide range of international partners which include religious institutions, intergovernmental organizations such as the European Commission and the United Nations, and civil society.
The particular focus of the conference was on the work the Centre is carrying out to promote peaceful coexistence in focus areas, especially in the Arab region. Over the conference’s two days, the gathered religious leaders, policymakers and experts participated in a series of dialogues on topics such as the role of religious leaders & policymakers in promoting social cohesion & common citizenship, global partnerships for dialogue and promoting social cohesion, interreligious education & common citizenship values, and social media as a space for dialogue. The participants included leading figures in interreligious dialogue, experts and policymakers.
At the conclusion of the conference, participants presented their recommendations for the Centre and its partners. These recommendations were grouped thematically under the topics of social media, social cohesion and interreligious education.
Further information on PaRD
If you would like to learn more about PaRD, please access How PaRD Works, read our mission statement, partnership principles, and visit our World Map. You can also find out about our members and partners, or download our introductory presentation.