What We Do

KAICIID and the 2020 G20 Interfaith Forum





As leaders and experts who work at the interface of religion and policy, we are conscious of the ways that religious communities have responded to the challenge and of ways they have learned to adapt. Most of us will never forget this year’s Easter, this year’s Passover, this year’s Ramadan, and the ways that life in every religious community has been affected. Our consciences have also been seared by other pandemics—the all-too-resilient strains of racism—both personal and structural; the burdens of inequality, in all their myriad forms; the suffering of people who 'can't breathe;' the unending flood of refugees and displaced persons; the ongoing degradation of the environment; and countless other ills that bear in upon us as we shelter and social distance in our homes.” 

 - H.E. Metropolitan Emmanuel, Metropolitan of France and Chairman of the KAICIID Board of Directors



What is the G20 Interfaith Forum?

The G20 Interfaith Forum is an annual platform which brings together religious leaders, policymakers, thematic experts, and diverse faith actors to collaborate on global agendas, within the broad framework of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These discussions aim to contribute to the annual G20 Leaders’ Summit, which is the premier forum for international economic cooperation. The G20 presidency rotates between member countries each year. Saudi Arabia assumed the 2020 Presidency on December 1, 2019.


How will KAICIID support the Interfaith Forum?

This year’s Interfaith Forum will be held in partnership by The International Dialogue Centre (KAICIID), the United Nations Alliance of Civilisations (UNAOC), the G20 Interfaith Forum Association, and Saudi Arabia’s National Dialogue Committee. KAICIID has been closely involved with the Interfaith Forum since 2017, providing support for past summits in Germany, Japan and Argentina, and with further plans to support the 2021 summit in Italy. The annual event is closely tied to KAICIID’s mandate, which promotes dialogue and cooperation between religious leaders and policymakers on the world’s most pressing humanitarian and development issues.   


When and where will the G20 Interfaith Forum be held?

The G20 Interfaith Forum is currently scheduled for October 2020 and will be held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Currently Forum organizers are working to adjust the schedule due to the COVID-19 crisis. Please check back for continued updates.


Who participates in the Interfaith Forum?

The Interfaith Forum welcomes some of the most prominent thought leaders and dignitaries as well as key policymakers and religious leaders. It also welcomes young people and grassroots dialogue advocates who are leading the way in creating a more peaceful and sustainable future through interreligious cooperation.


The path to the Interfaith Forum

For the first time since the G20- Interfaith Forum was launched in 2014, regional fora will also be held throughout summer 2020 in Africa, the Americas, the Arab region, Asia and Europe. Beginning in June, each regional forum will invite participants to propose recommendations on issues such as combatting socioeconomic inequalities, safeguarding the planet, ensuring good governance and promoting gender equality. Sessions will be held online.


What will be discussed at the Interfaith Forum?

The United Nations’ 2030 Agenda and the SDGs provide the framework for G20 Interfaith agendas. This year’s agenda will build on the goals of social cohesion, equity and sustainability which have formed the foundation of the Forum’s goals since its inception. Additionally, the host country can also select themes in line with these topics. Themes for 2020 include empowering women and youth, fostering collective efforts to respond to climate change and shaping new technological frontiers.

This year’s agenda will also include a response to COVID-19. Religious leaders and policymakers are at the centre of global action to address the global and national social, economic, and political consequences of the pandemic. The crisis puts in stark relief both the central roles that religious institutions can play in a public health emergency and in ensuring compassionate and effective support to populations. The Interfaith Forum offers the opportunity to ensure that religious voices are integral partners in the global response to humanitarian aid and development.


What does the Interfaith Forum hope to achieve?

The Interfaith Forum’s goal is to draw on the analysis and experience of diverse religious and cultural communities regarding implementation of the global goals, as well as providing a platform for religious communities to contribute to global policy. It also aims to support the process of formalising the G20 Interfaith Forums into a sustainable and lasting framework whereby recommendations and inputs of religious actors are reaching and being considered at the highest levels of policymaking around the world.


The Regional Consultations Process


The G20 Interfaith Forum will be informed by a series of preparatory consultations with groups of religious leaders and policy experts who will discuss regional challenges in the context of the G20I themes. Each of the regional consultations will focus on themes that are of particular relevance to the region. The dates and themes of the consultations are listed below. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the consultations will be held remotely. 


Arab Region: 27 June and 3 July

Europe: 29 June

Latin America: 21 July


Africa: July


Asia: 3 & 4 August

The Asia region consultation will focus on the following topics:

  • Education, youth and women
  • Governance and faith
  • Protecting the planet


North America: TBC


Partnerships and the G20 Interfaith Forum


Established in 2005, the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) is mandated by the UN to improve relations between societies and communities of diverse cultural and religious backgrounds. Through its various programmes and activities around the world, UNAOC works to foster intercultural and interreligious dialogue to bridge divides and overcome prejudice, misconceptions, misperceptions, and polarization.

The G20 Interfaith Forum offers an annual platform where a network of religiously linked institutions and initiatives engage on global agendas (primarily and including the Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs). The annual G20 Summits are a critical time and place where priority global issues are considered. Our goal is to contribute meaningful insight and recommendations that respond to and help shape the G20 and thus global policy agendas. The  G20 Interfaith Forum builds on the vital roles that religious institutions and beliefs play in world affairs, reflecting their rich diversity of institutions, ideas, and values. These include interfaith and intercultural organizations, religious leaders, scholars, development and humanitarian entities, and business and civil society actors. 

The National Committee for Interfaith and Intercultural Dialogue is a government entity in Saudi Arabia that was established in 2016. Its mandate includes planning and designing programmes that aim at enhancing the Kingdom's initiatives for interfaith and intercultural dialogue. Members of the committee include representatives from various government ministries and dialogue institutions based both in Saudi Arabia and around the world.