New York – The International Dialogue Centre (KAICIID) has been declared as the newest member of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC)’ Group of Friends, a development that will further cement the longstanding cooperation between the two organizations.
The announcement was made on 27 September by the High Representative for UNAOC, H.E. Mr. Miguel Ángel Moratinos, during the annual Group of Friends Ministerial Meeting of UNAOC, which took place at the UN Headquarters in New York on the margins of the high-level segment of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly.
“I am most pleased to welcome KAICIID International Dialogue Centre as a new member of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations Group of Friends,” Mr. Moratinos said. “I very much look forward to a strengthened partnership with KAICIID that could translate into an active participation and joint activities.”
Spain and Turkey, the co-sponsors of UNAOC, welcomed the announcement, as well as the Political Director of the Austrian Foreign Ministry, Dr. Alexander Marschik, who congratulated the two organizations for an “important move [that] will enable UNAOC and KAICIID to strengthen both organizations in the pursuance of their respective mandates.” The headquarters of KAICIID are located in Vienna, Austria.
As a member of the Group of Friends, KAICIID will provide input, advice, and support to UNAOC on key aspects of its activities and mandate. This follows years of collaboration between both organizations and a Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2017 and pledging cooperation on the promotion of interreligious and intercultural dialogue.
“We are witnessing with great concern how hate speech and attacks against religious sites are on the rise,” KAICIID Deputy Secretary General Ambassador Alvaro Albacete said. “Since KAICIID’s establishment, we have been working through interreligious dialogue to counter these challenges, but we can only succeed if we join forces. We are excited to be part of UNAOC’s Group of Friends and are committed to continuing collaborating on joint projects that support sustainable peace through dialogue.”
KAICIID supported the development of the UN Plan of Action to Safeguard Religious Sites, developed by UNAOC and launched by UN Secretary-General H.E. Mr. António Guterres on 12 September 2019.. The Centre will also work with UNAOC on the implementation of the Plan in collaboration with other UN entities and relevant stakeholders.
About the UNAOC Group of Friends
The UN Alliance of Civilizations’ Group of Friends is a community of countries and international organizations that actively promote the work and objectives of UNAOC at the global, regional, and local levels. The Group of Friends is a driving force of UNAOC and plays a vital role in UNAOC’s strategic planning and implementation process. Through a broad dialogue-based and consensus-building approach, the High Representative for UNAOC seeks the input, advice, and support of the Group of Friends’ members on all key aspects of UNAOC’s activities and mandate. The Group of Friends currently includes 148 Members, of which 120 are UN Member States, one non-member state, and 27 are international organizations. They represent all continents, societies, and cultures.