First International Meeting on Interreligious Dialogue and Citizen Coexistence held in Buenos Aires

05 Oct 2017
KAICIID DSG at the International Meeting on Interreligious Dialogue and Coexistence. Photo: LAJC

Buenos Aires, 3 October 2017: With the participation of religious leaders from 10 countries, Government authorities and high school students from different faiths, the meeting, held last Tuesday in San Martin Cultural Center, Buenos Aires, served as a space for reflection and debate on how to promote interreligious coexistence in the region and in the world. The meeting was organized by Vienna-based KAICIID, an intergovernmental organization.

Ambassador Álvaro Albacete, Deputy Secretary General of the International Dialogue Centre (KAICIID) said that the meeting, organized by KAICIID in conjunction with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship of Argentina, the General Directorate of Worship the City of Buenos Aires, and diverse religious organizations, "is an example of the cooperation that must lead political and religious leaders to strengthen the coexistence between different religions.”

 "This is the first time that a workshop of this nature has been carried out with the involvement of school students, which makes the young participants spokespeople of an optimistic message," said Executive Director of the Latin American Jewish Congress Claudio Epelman.

"How different would the world be if in each city young people from different religions could meet to discuss how to build coexistence together," said Epelman.

The meeting consisted of two parts: the first one, held in the morning, brought 4th and 5th grade students from different faiths to discuss diverse topics related to "Interreligious Dialogue and Coexistence". At the end of this activity, these students presented their conclusions to representatives of the Government of Buenos Aires, and to the foreign religious leaders that came especially for this occasion.

The second part of the meeting brought together a roundtable of religious leaders and policy makers in order to look for ways to consolidate interreligious coexistence in the region.

Participants at the meeting included Ambassador Alvaro Albacete, KAICIID's Deputy Secretary General, the Secretary for Human Rights and Cultural Pluralism, Claudio Avruj; Deputy Waldo Wolff, Legislator Omar Abboud, Minister of Education of the City of Buenos Aires, Soledad Acuña, Ambassadors Santiago de Estrada and Alfredo Abriani, Secretary and Undersecretary of Worship of the Nation, respectively; Professor Federico Pugliese, Director of Religious Affairs of the City of Buenos Aires, and Auxiliary Archbishop of Cordoba, Msgr. Pedrros Tores, as well as leaders of the Jewish, Christian and Islamic communities, among others.

Based in Vienna, KAICIID is the world’s only intergovernmental organization governed by a multireligious Board of Directors, founded by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Republic of Austria and the Kingdom of Spain, with the Holy See as a founding observer. The Advisory Forum is composed by governmental and non-governmental religious leaders from more than twenty countries.