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Interreligious Dialogue Contributes to Sustainable and Inclusive Societies

05 May 2017

At the first 1st High Level Meeting of International Organisations convened by the government of the Republic of Azerbaijan and partners in Baku on 5 May 2017, KAICIID Secretary General Faisal Bin Muaammar participated in the round table with representatives of UNESCO, UNAOC, UNWTO, FAO, Council of Europe, ISESCO and the North-South Center in dialogue on “How to build sustainable and inclusive societies: sharing responsibilities for human security: focusing on SDG 2030[i]

In his remarks the Secretary General described KAICIID’s mandate as bringing together religious leaders and policymakers to find their own solutions that benefit all. To achieve that outcome, KAICIID invests in promoting interreligious dialogue to unite different religions in securing social cohesion. “We enable religious leaders to help policymakers confront both religious and ideological extremism, as well as terrorism”, the Secretary General said.

Since about 80% of the global population are associated with a religion, “inclusive solutions clearly need to reflect the common values of these 5.5 billion people with a religious identity”, the Secretary General noted. This fact is pertinent in developing sustainable solutions for global challenges such as integration, violent extremism, climate change and economic inequality, since “religion and policymakers cannot afford to work in isolation any longer”, said the Secretary General.

In the discussion, the Secretary General explained that linking religious leaders with policymakers can lead to concrete outcomes that strengthen human security and he related the example of the KAICIID-supported Nigerian interreligious platforms’ work to draft legislation to criminalize hate speech by preachers.

The investment in interreligious dialogue achieves notable returns: 60 interreligious initiatives were undertaken by KAICIID Fellows in 28 countries including projects in conflict zones. The projects are supported through micro-grants and had already engaged over 3,000 people. “If the practice of interreligious dialogue can spread quickly using just micro-grants, imagine the benefits if we all invest in dialogue”, the Secretary General detailed for the international organizations representatives.

The full text of the Secretary General’s presentation is available here.

[i] SDG 2030: Transforming our world: the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set for development goals for 2020. For more information, visit the dedicated UN website