1st and 2nd November: Interreligious Dialogue on Diversity, Tolerance and Social Cohesion in the Arab Region
Date: 1st, 2nd of November
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)- Regional Bureau for Arab States (RBAS) in partnership with King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID) are convening a two-day open dialogue with religious leaders (and scholars), thinkers and community mediators to discuss rising intolerance and violent extremism inthe Arab region.
It will address the following questions: How religions and religious institutions in the Arab region could work together towards common goals: well-being of people and sustainable development within the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; How religious leaders can contribute to deflating sectarian, ethnic and cultural conflicts and tension; How can women, working with religious leaders, scholars, etc. ensure that the environment is encouraging to their full engagement at all levels; How can religious institutions and education pioneers teach and strengthen mutual respect and peaceful co-existence on equal grounds through education; and what are the mechanisms and tools to counter extremist narratives.
The aim of the open dialogue and follow-up working group discussion is to initiate an inter-religious discussion on the factors threatening the religious, cultural and ethnic diversity of the Arab region and explore means of countering the rise of violent extremism and enhancing social cohesion through innovative narratives and tools.
This dialogue, bringing together of religious leaders and representatives of religious institutions of different religious faiths,scholars and community mediators will serve as a platform to think of and formalize new ways that religious leaders and institutions can adopt in consolidating societies against the threat that extremism poses, while focusing on the values that the core of every religion upholds in reducing inequalities and reinstating equity and social justice.
The objective of the conference
1) the role of religious leaders, scholars and religious institutions in enhancing tolerance and social cohesion and protecting the pluralistic nature of Arab societies
2) mechanisms and tools to countering extremist narratives at the local, national, regional and global levels, with a special focus on education and media; and
3) development of engaging policies and innovative tools, primarily in education and media.
The main outcome is a series of concrete recommendations in the short and long-term on how religious leaders, scholars and community mediators from different backgrounds can act together in order to challenge extremist narratives and foster social cohesion.