High Level Religious Leaders and Policy Makers Sign Vienna Declaration in a Pledge to Strengthen Interfaith Cooperation and to Combat Terrorism and Discrimination

19 Jun 2019

Religious leaders and policy makers signed the Vienna Declaration affirming international interreligious cooperation and pledging to combat terrorism and discrimination during an International Conference taking place in Vienna, Austria, titled “From Interfaith and Inter-Civilizational Cooperation to Human Solidarity”.

The Vienna Declaration calls to continue promoting interfaith understanding and cooperation by taking effective measures to prevent terrorism and crimes against humanity, considering any act of terror in the name of religion an act of terror against all religions. It calls for the prevention of the misuse of religious values to justify violent crimes, and it affirms the urgency of interfaith cooperation on a global level.

KAICIID Secretary General Faisal Bin Muaammar described the declaration as a powerful call to arms for governments, NGOs, IGOs, religious leaders, and every individual to take up the cause of peace through dialogue.

Participants at the conference included government officials, academics, public figures and religious leaders representing more than 40 countries around the world, as well as heads of seven international organizations. Among the religious leaders attending the conference were members of the KAICIID Board of Directors, namely Dr. Hamad Al-Majed, Dr. Kezevino Aram, His Eminence Metropolitan Emmanuel, the Reverend Kosho Niwano, His Virtue Allahshukur Pashazade, Chief Rabbi David Rosen, and Dr. Mohammad Sammak.

KAICIID Secretary General Bin Muaammar said: “Religious leaders are often the best informed of the violence and discrimination that people on the ground are facing. They also understand many of the social and economic issues which threaten their communities… This knowledge is often vital for governments and international organizations in order to coordinate an effective response.”

The conference was organized by the Baku International Centre for Interfaith and Inter-Civilizational Cooperation (BCIC), the International Dialogue Centre (KAICIID), the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Austria, and the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue, aiming to improve interfaith dialogue through manifesting it in the form of interreligious cooperation and human solidarity.

The conference is a result of a unanimously adopted proposal at the 2017 International Conference of Interfaith and Intercultural Dialogue, which was held in Baku.