UNESCO’s Interreligious Dialogue programme, an essential component of Intercultural Dialogue, aims to promote dialogue among different religions, spiritual and humanistic traditions in a world where conflicts are increasingly associated with religious belonging.
It stresses the reciprocal interactions and influences between, on the one hand, religions, spiritual and humanistic traditions, and on the other, the need to promote understanding between them in order to challenge ignorance and prejudices and foster mutual respect.
Learning the art of dialogue is both a personal and social process. Developing one’s skills and capacity for dialogue implies a willingness to be open while retaining one’s critical judgment. Dialogue concerns us all: from decision-makers and leaders to individuals within each community. Alongside relevant international conferences to raise awareness, UNESCO strives to promote grass-root activities, particularly in sensitive geo-strategical areas that reach target-populations such as women, youth and marginalized populations.
In this framework, it is worthwhile to note the signature (March 31, 2006) of an Agreement launching the network, "UNESCO Chairs of Interreligious Dialogue for Intercultural Understanding". The network is a partnership between international academic centres recognized for their expertise in this field and brings together professors, researchers and specialists of the history of religions who are personally committed to the achievement of Interreligious Dialogue. This network allows students, researchers and professors to benefit from a broad range of teaching which is at once secular, multireligious and intercultural.
To learn about UNESCO's action in this field: