Meeting of Religious Leaders with UNESCO Director

Koichiro Matsuura
Koichiro Matsuura

Communiqué of religious leaders on their meeting with the Director General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura – Moscow, 22 July 2009

On July 22, Koïchiro Matsuura, General Director of UNESCO, met in Moscow several representatives of main world religions: Christianity (Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant), Islam and Judaism. Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Russia took part in the meeting. This is the final communiqué.

We, representatives of Christianity, Islam and Judaism, participants of the meeting with the Director-General of UNESCO Koïchiro Matsuura, in Moscow on 22 July 2009, to reflect on how to intensify and institutionalize dialogue between religious leaders and UNESCO.

Taking into account the call of the world Summits of religious leaders (Moscow, 3 – 5 July 2006, Cologne, 5-6 June 2007, Sapporo, 2-3 July 2008, Rome, 16 – 17 June 2009) for the setting up of dialogue of religious groups within the UN system as well as numerous analogous appeals on behalf of representatives of world religious communities,

Being convinced of the benefits that interactions between UNESCO and religious communities in the spheres of education and culture may bring,

Emphasizing the importance of UNESCO’s longstanding efforts in support of intercultural and interreligious dialogue,

Condemning extremism and terrorism, which maliciously exploit the religious feelings of believers to attain ends incompatible with any religion,

Bearing in mind cultural and religious diversity and relying upon the single unshakeable moral foundations of humankind,

Fully resolved to contribute to the building of a just and stable world, in particular in the framework of the 2010 International Year for Rapprochement of Cultures,

Support the endeavours of the Director-General of UNESCO in the intensification and institutionalization of UNESCO’s dialogue with the world religious communities aimed at strengthening inter-religious peace and encouraging religious leaders to discuss the relevant problems of the global agenda.

Positively evaluate the ongoing process of creating dialogue mechanism between world religious communities and UNESCO and intends to establish, in consultation with the Director-General of UNESCO, a high-level consultative group in cooperative partnership with UNESCO.

(Source: Europaica Bulletin No. 173, 12 August 2009)

Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

One thought on “Meeting of Religious Leaders with UNESCO Director”

  1. Making interreligious dialogue perhaps more difficult than it need be, those of us interested in the religious domain tend to miss the obvious: that we share an interest in the same domain. Our intra-domain differences, I submit, are dwarfed by the distance from our planet to others…such as the planet of the stock market enthusists. For more, if you are interested, pls see my post.


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