King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID)
The King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue was officially inaugurated in Vienna on the 26 November in the presence of UN Secretary General as well as the foreign ministers of Austria, Saudi Arabia and Spain. Representatives of religious communities and ideologies now have a constant platform for dialogue.
The founding contract of the Centre was ratified by the foreign ministers of Austria, Saudi Arabia and Spain on 13 October 2011 and entered into force on 21October 2012. The first meeting of the Founding Sates, the “Council of Parties”, took place in Vienna on 31 October 2012.
The founding agreement refers to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations and thus highlights the necessity to promote fundamental rights and liberties. The Board of Directors comprises representatives of the major world religions - Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism. Other faiths and religions, however, are also invited to participate. The Centre is headed by the Secretary General, Faisal Abdulrahman Bin Muaammar. Claudia Bandion Ortner is vice Secretray General. The Board of Directors counts nine religious leaders and the Holy See is admitted as a Founding Observer to the Centre.
Conferences, seminars and training projects should help establish and strengthen communication, understanding but also tangible cooperation between people with different cultural and religious backgrounds. With the goal to foster interfaith and intercultural dialogue, respect and “understanding, to enhance cooperation, justice, peace and reconciliation” take the centre stage. The Centre wants to fight actively against the abuse of religion to justify suppression, violence and conflict. Objectives are implemented by:
(a) Providing a forum for representatives of world religions as well as institutions and experts with cultural and religious backgrounds in order to improve communication and the exchange of information and facilitate cooperation,
(b) cooperating with relevant interfaith, intercultural and other facilities and initiatives with similar goals as well as states and international organisations,
(c) organising conferences, workshops, discussions and other events and
(d) realising other activities in accordance with its goals.
The Dialogue Centre, located in Vienna since autumn 2012, serves as a multilateral platform for representatives of religions, the civil society, university, governmental and non-governmental institutions and experts in the area of interfaith and intercultural dialogue.