Laying out the Islamic world’s point of view on issues that have come to dominate the agenda of many international fora, the Interfaith and Intercultural Dialogue initiative was launched at an especially bleak moment, when the world was in need of international efforts to save itself from threats arising from increasing intolerance, racism and hostility towards its communities, as international relationships were under pressure and tensions rose to new levels.
The initiative grew out of three different conferences. The first was the World Islamic Conference for Interfaith Dialogue, held in Mecca in June 2008. The second was the World Dialogue Conference, held in Madrid in July 2008. The third was the high-level Interfaith, Cultures and Civilizations meeting held at UN HQ, in New York in November 2008. Following this series of meetings, deliberations took place to find a formula for implementing the initiative in practical form.
Established in October 2011, the King Abdul Aziz World Center for Interfaith Dialogue is the incarnation of this formula. An expression of benevolence, the Center seeks to make the most out of the initiative and is a vehicle for sparking genuine dialogue at all levels, amongst the diversity of world cultures and civilizations.
To ensure its ability to effect change at the widest international level and to encourage research on dialogue and outstanding efforts in this area, the Center offers the King Abdullah bin Abul Aziz Award for Inter-civilization Dialogue and helped create a second initiative, the King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz World Program for the Culture of Dialogue and Peace, which has been established under the aegis of UNESCO. This is simultaneously an expansion of the scope of the pioneering initiative and a boosting of the noble objectives it seeks to encourage, and it signals the Kingdom’s contribution to global harmony and the promotion of the values of tolerance, dialogue and the culture of peace.
Last Modified Date: 28/03/2021 - 9:28 AM Saudi Arabia Time