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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - RIYADH: The fifth European Policy Dialogue Forum in the Netherlands is promoting interreligious and intercultural dialogue through the voice of the youth.
The forum will take place in Rotterdam from Nov. 13-5 under the theme “Inspire, Connect, Engage.”
Diverse participants from seven different religions, including leaders, policymakers and civil society organizations, are set to take part.
In a bid to promote the voice of the youth and foster social inclusion in Europe, more than 30 percent of attendees will be aged 18 to 30.
Organized by the International Dialogue Centre — KAICIID, the EPDF recognizes the pressing challenges faced by young people, including conflict, the climate crisis and economic instability.
Global incidents of hate speech have surged, exacerbating societal divisions. This year’s EPDF aims to emphasize the critical role of cities and engagement with community members to provide balanced solutions, a statement said.
The forum will highlight the contributions of young refugees and migrants in strengthening relationships between communities in Europe.
Dr. Zuhair Al-Harthi, KAICIID secretary general, said: “The EPDF is a testament to our commitment to fostering dialogue and understanding among diverse groups. In today’s world, addressing social inclusion is more crucial than ever. This forum is a platform for building bridges, creating meaningful conversations and finding actionable solutions.”
Antonio de Almeida Ribeiro, deputy secretary-general of KAICIID, said: “I am particularly proud to see the EPDF taking place in Rotterdam, and seeing the themes we discussed earlier this year translated into input papers that ignite the spark and fuel the conversation. This gathering of diverse voices, cultures and especially the younger attendees we have, demonstrates the power of collective efforts in shaping more inclusive and cohesive societies.”
The forum is structured around three key themes, each aligned with a thought-provoking input paper.
“Words that heal” explores the potential of interreligious and intercultural dialogue to counter hate speech.
“Cities fostering belonging” delves into how interfaith and intercultural dialogue can create inclusive urban spaces, and “Leadership in action” seeks to amplify the role of young people in decision-making and change.
The papers aim to lay the foundations for change in European cities and communities.
The EPDF’s three-day program aims to promote the three thought-provoking input papers and spark conversation.
The forum is a collaboration with European Council of Religious Leaders/Religions for Peace Europe and the KAICIID-supported Network for Dialogue, as well as Multicoloured Religions Rotterdam as a local partner.
The Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europ, and the International Organization for Migration in the Netherlands, are also supporting the event.
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