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KAICIID and United Nations Leaders Discuss Interreligious Dialogue for Peacebuilding

11 Jun 2014

9 June 2014, New York: The Secretary General of the KAICIID Dialogue Centre, Faisal Bin Muaammar, today met the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, at UN Headquarters in New York.

The two leaders agreed that dialogue involving religious leaders, governments and civil society is an essential success factor in defusing conflicts and building peace.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said: “In this time of instability, there has been a lack of tolerance of the cultures, civilisations and religions of others. There should be no `us’ and no `them’.”

The UN Secretary-General praised the important role of KAICIID in promoting interreligious dialogue to resolve conflict, including in its initiatives related to the Central African Republic. “I really appreciate your initiative in the Central African Republic,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, “Your Centre has a very important role to play.”

Following a process that began early in 2014, KAICIID is preparing peacebuilding activities based on consultations with organisations and religious representatives in the country.

KAICIID Secretary General Faisal Bin Muaammar drew attention to the 2008 initiative for interreligious dialogue of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz, and to the recent prayer for peace convened by His Holiness Pope Francis I with leaders from the Middle East. These initiatives “clearly show the importance of dialogue: there is no way to arrive at peace without engaging religious leaders, without bringing people to the dialogue table through religion,” said Bin Muaammar.

The KAICIID Secretary General shared KAICIID’s unique offerings in the field of interreligious dialogue: interreligious dialogue training, as well as capacity building and communication training for interreligious dialogue leaders.

Bin Muaammar also offered the UN Secretary-General KAICIID’s support and expertise to UN agencies working in conflict areas where religion is a factor.

The two leaders agreed to continued cooperation in these key areas, and agreed to move forward and support each other’s work. Ban Ki-moon encouraged KAICIID to further collaborate with various UN initiatives, including the Alliance of Civilizations. Secretary General Bin Muaammar highlighted the complementarity of KAICIID’s work as an intergovernmental institution.

During his visit to New York, the KAICIID Secretary General will also meet with representatives of the UN Peacebuilding Commission, the UN Department of Political Affairs, and other UN organisations.