Dialogue among Civilisations
Major Activities of Austria on Dialogue of Cultures
Austria’s longstanding commitment to the dialogue of cultures and religions is based on her firm belief that human rights and fundamental freedoms are the common ground on which we stand and that no conflict is too complex to durably resist dialogue.
Austria strongly focuses on women, youth, religious leadership, media and education as the most crucial areas in which innovative and action-oriented dialogue is needed.
Recent examples for Austrian initiatives and engagement are
- 28 and 29 January 2008: Media Training Seminar on - Media Monitoring in Vienna for about 20 women journalists from the Middle East and Austria in order to promote media activities that support dialogue and reconciliation and build confidence. Initiative emanates from the conference "Women Leaders-Networking for Peace and Security" of May 2007.
- 5-6 November 2007: Symposium "Shaping our European Future – Networking of Serbian and Kosovar Women", Vienna, Diplomatic Academy; Participation of important Serbian and Kosovar politicians and experts on education, media and business; inaugurated and chaired (Round Table) by Austrian Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik.
- 12 - 13 August 2007: Trilogue Salzburg, "Paths and Pitfalls of Inter-religious Understanding" (together with Bertelsmann Foundation).
- 30-31 May 2007: International Conference "Women Leaders – Networking for Peace and Security in the Middle East", Vienna; Participants included US-SoS C. Rice, FM of Israel Tzipi Livni and Palestinian representative Hanan Ashrawi, several female participants on ministerial level from Arab countries; expert meetings in the fields of media, business and networking of politics and civil society; inaugurated and chaired (Round Table) by Austrian Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik.
- 19 May 2006: Conference on "The Dialogue of Cultures and Religions", Vienna; organised by the Federal Ministry of Interior.
- 15 - 17 May 2007: Conference „Muslim Youth and Women in the West – Source of Concern or Source of Hope?”, Salzburg Seminar; supported by the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs and inaugurated by Austrian Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik.
- May 2006: Euromed-Seminar "Rassism und Xenophobia in the Media – Respect and Understanding for all Religions and Cultures" in co-operation with the European Commission and the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia; Vienna.
- 22 – 23 March 2007: "Islam in Europe", Vienna, Diplomatic Academy; participants included FM of Bosnia and Herzegovina Sven Alkalaj, Mufti of Sarajevo Mustafa Ceri?, the President of the Islamic Religious Community in Austria Anas Schakfeh, researchers and experts; supported by the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs and inaugurated by Austrian Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik.
- April 2006: Second Conference of European Imams and Heads of Islamic Centres in Vienna; supported by the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs.
- February 2006: During the "cartoon-crisis", Austrian Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik invited then Foreign Minister of Denmark, Per Stig Møller, the Danish Bishop of Lolland-Falster, Steen Skovsgaard and the Grandmuftis of Syria and Bosnia-Herzegovina for a dialogue-meeting to Vienna.
- November 2005: International Conference "Islam in a Pluralistic World", Vienna; participants included heads of states such as President Jalal Talabani of Iraq and President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, former President of Iran Mohammed Khatami, high-ranking representatives of Islam, Christianity and Judaism and many other distinguished participants, such as Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi.
- June 2003: First Conference of European Imams and Heads of Centres in Vienna.
Information provided by the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, Austria