Political and Religious Leaders Meet at KAICIID - Call for Inclusion of Common Values in Policy and Decision-Making

28 March 2014

At the conclusion of the InterAction Council's (IAC) two-day meeting in Vienna on 'Ethics in Decision Making', the IAC members and prominent religious leaders from several different faiths met at the King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID) to honor the Honorary Chairman of the IAC, former German Chancellor, Helmut Schmidt, and learn of KAICIID's progress in its mission. 

 KAICIID Secretary General Faisal Bin Muaammar welcomed the IAC members to the Dialogue Centre: "As a Centre for interreligious and intercultural dialogue, we believe, most importantly, in peace. And that is why we are so pleased to have the Interaction Council here. We depend on you to carry the message of peace through dialogue, the message of KAICIID, out to the world."

The KAICIID InterAction Council event was attended by former heads of state or government, and leading religious and theological figures from the world's major religions.

During their meeting, IAC and KAICIID agreed:

  • Dialogue between the leaders of different faiths is essential as the long-term basis for peace, and for a more just and humane world. Both religious and political leaders must counteract any abuse of religion to justify oppression, violence and conflict.
  • The wisdom that arises from dialogue among cultures and religions is vital in preserving the dignity of human life, preserving the environment, ensuring the sustainable use of natural resources, ethical and religious education and poverty alleviation. 
  • The world’s different faiths all share a common values of peace and respect for others. 

The IAC and KAICIID affirmed their mutual commitment to encouraging political leaders to include these values in their decision-making.

Dr. Franz Vranitzky, co-Chair of the IAC's meeting and Chancellor of Austria from 1986-1997, said: "Perceived differences between religions, and the abuse of these perceptions, has been a cause of unrest and conflict. Since the first interfaith dialogue convened by the InterAction Council, in 1987, the group has held many deliberations with leaders from all faiths, and through its work, advanced the importance of shared values and dialogue as a means to peace. We support KAICIID’s mission to build a culture of peace through dialogue, and will follow its progress with interest."

About IAC

Established in 1983, the InterAction Council of Former Heads of State and Government is an international organization whose objective is to address long-term, global issues facing humankind. Co-Chaired by the Right Honourable Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister of Canada, 1993-2003) and Dr. Franz Vranitzky (Chancellor of Austria, 1986-1997), the Council’s membership is comprised of more than forty former heads of state who volunteer their time to develop proposals for action and submit them directly to national and international decision-makers.


KAICIID was established as an international organization in November 2012 to facilitate dialogue among followers of different religions and cultures. KAICIID organizes training, workshops, conferences and educational programmes, and support the mediation of conflict. KAICIID carries out activities under the oversight of a multireligious Board of Directors and its Council of Parties, comprised of the governments of Austria, Saudi Arabia and Spain, as well as the Holy See, the Founding Observer.