First Presentation of KAICIID in Spain

31 January 2013

Faisal Bin Muaammar, the Secretary General of the King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID), presented the Centre during the commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the Cooperation Agreements between Spain and the religious faiths (FEREDE, FCJE and CIE). The Secretary General honoured Spain’s experience in the field of interreligious and intercultural dialogue. The Secretary General and the Board of Directors of KAICIID were invited by the Ministry of Justice to launch the KAICIID Dialogue Centre in Spain and to share KAICIID’s vision and mission to an audience of almost 200 guests, including ambassadors, government representatives and religious leaders. The ceremony was held during the commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the Cooperation Agreements between Spain and the Religious Faiths (Evangelical, Islamic and Jewish) to promote interreligious dialogue initiatives.  Major achievement of the agreements was a common and mutual understanding of each religion’s unique requirements. Also KAICIID’s mission comprises the knowledge of the followers of different religions and cultures’ needs, concerns, background and faith as the basis for respect and reconciliation. Therefore KAICIID supports the Spanish event with the objective of the promotion of respect amongst the followers of different religions and sharing of lessons learned in the field. In his speech given at the opening session of the conference, KAICIID’s Secretary General stated, “Spain is one of the most active countries in the world promoting interreligious dialogue, with a long history of coexistence amongst different cultures and religions.” KAICIID appreciates Spain’s renowned institutions, which promote interfaith and intercultural dialogue. During the opening speech, Spanish Minister of Justice Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón said, "Our presence in KAICIID reflects the recognition of the work developed by Spain to enhance those values related to diversity and cultural exchange. Our goal is to help religion become a vehicle for peace, and never a matter of discord."   In his presentation of KAICIID in the afternoon of the conference, Secretary General Bin Muaammar introduced the Centre and its organisational structure, the journey from the beginning up to now and details about the Centre’s ambitious projects - the Image of the Other in Interreligious and Intercultural Education, Multireligious Collaboration for the Common Good and its Fellows Programme. Later in the afternoon of the conference the Secretary General and members of the Board of Directors shared an open debate with journalists, religious community leaders, diplomats and government officials. During the day Secretary General Bin Muaammar had the opportunity to meet with the Minister of Justice, Alberto Ruíz-Gallardón, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel García-Margallo y Marfil, for more detailed discussions. As one of three Founding States, Spain has an important role as a member of the KAICIID Council of Parties. Madrid has been chosen as venue for the upcoming KAICIID Board of Directors Meeting on 1 and 2 February. The Secretary General pointed out: “KAICIID is an international organisation free of political or economic influence and we are very proud of that too. The decision-making power is in the Board of Directors.”