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Religious Leaders and Others Come Together in the Name of Dialogue

NEW YORK, NY and VIENNA, AUSTRIA -- (Marketwire) -- 11/23/12 -- The UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, Ministers of Foreign Affairs for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Rabbi David Rosen, International Director of Interreligious Affairs at the American Jewish Committee, His Eminence Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue at the Vatican, are attending launch of the King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID) in Vienna on Monday, November 26, 2012.

Meeting of eminent religious, civic and political leaders from around the world marks the launch of KAICIID. The Centre seeks to enable, empower and encourage dialogue among different religions and cultures around the world.

KAICIID is an independent, international organization, free of political and economic influence. Located in the cultural and religious bridgehead of Vienna, the Centre will aim to foster mutual understanding between faiths and cultures. The Inauguration Ceremony of the Centre will take place on Monday, November 26, at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna.

The Inauguration will include the formal signature of the KAICIID Affirmation by the organization's Board of Directors, enshrining the Centre as a hub for interreligious and intercultural dialogue. His All Holiness Bartholomew I, Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, will deliver the inaugural keynote speech.

The founding states of the Centre (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Republic of Austria and Kingdom of Spain) constitute the "Council of Parties" responsible for overseeing the establishment of KAICIID. The Holy See also plays an important role as a Founding Observer.

The Secretary General of KAICIID H.E. Faisal Bin Abdulrahman Bin Muaammar stated: "It is my profound belief that this Centre can become a place of leadership and applied learning; a place where candid dialogue among followers of different religions and cultures can flourish, so that we can value and cherish the richness of our diversity and live together as good neighbours. And I am convinced that KAICIID will, within a short period of time, build a bridge for better mutual understanding, facilitating interreligious and intercultural dialogue to enhance cooperation, respect for diversity, justice and peace."

Rabbi David Rosen from Israel, a Member of KAICIID's multi-faith Board of Directors and the International Director of Interreligious Affairs of the American Jewish Committee (AJC), commented, "This organization has the potential to be a truly great initiative for all world religions and cultures."

As part of its mission to foster interfaith and intercultural understanding, KAICIID is launching three major programs starting in January 2013:

1. Multi-religious Collaboration for the Survival and Wellbeing of Children: a major initiative aimed at empowering religious leaders, congregations, faith-based institutions and individuals across diverse faiths and traditions to promote the survival and wellbeing of children in priority countries;
2. The Image of the Other: a conference series themed around critical issues in education, media and the internet; aimed at exploring ways to improve perceptions of "the Other";
3. KAICIID Fellows Program: establishment of a KAICIID Fellowship program for future teachers of religion and future religious leaders with a deep commitment to interreligious or intercultural dialogue.

Notes for Editors
Below outlines the core purpose and objectives of KAICIID, its structure, and a full list of those who are expected to attend the launch.

Vision
Religion as an enabler of respect and reconciliation.

Mission
Acting as a hub, facilitating interreligious and intercultural dialogue and understanding, and to enhance cooperation, respect for diversity, justice and peace.

Role
The Centre will act as a hub among followers of different religions and cultures, empowering others already working in the field of dialogue and promoting harmony and cooperation.

Strategic Objectives

  • Generate, develop and disseminate knowledge in the area of interreligious and intercultural dialogue;
  • Cultivation and promotion of respect for differences through dialogue;
  • Create bridges, address conflict and promote collaboration amongst diverse groups.

Team
The Board of Directors of KAICIID comprises high-level representatives of the major world religions (Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism).

A KAICIID Advisory Forum of up to 100 members of other religions, cultural institutions and international organizations will provide a further resource of interreligious and intercultural perspectives.

The KAICIID Secretariat is headed by Secretary-General, H.E. Faisal Bin Abdulrahman Bin Muaammar and Deputy Secretary-General Mrs. Claudia Bandion-Ortner.

KAICIID Headquarters - After its refurbishment is completed in early 2013, KAICIID will be located at the Palais Sturany at the Schottenring in Vienna's 1st district and will act as a place for dialogue among followers of different religions and cultures, a place for conferences, for information, meetings and discussion.

Launch
Among 500+ confirmed guests, the launch will also be attended by:

  • UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon;
  • the Ministers of Foreign Affairs for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia;
  • the Republic of Austria and the Kingdom of Spain;
  • His Eminence Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue at the Vatican;
  • Rabbi David Rosen, Member of KAICIID's multifaith Board of Directors and International Director of Interreligious Affairs of the American Jewish Committee (AJC)
  • Dr Abdullah Al Turki, President of the Islamic League;
  • Bartholomew 1, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople;
  • Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, Archbishop of Madrid;
  • Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, Chief Rabbi of Moscow and President of Conference of European Rabbis;
  • Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary-General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

Further information, please visit: www.kaiciid.org

Contact:

Michael Draznin, Partner
The Fearless Group
T: +1 (917) 921 1039
E: Email Contact

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