Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Iyad Ameen Madani delivered a welcoming speech at an international symposium on promoting multiculturalism and multi-faith coexistence in Bangkok, Thailand on 11 January 2016.
In his welcoming speech, the OIC Secretary General said there are challenges in improving inter-cultural and inter-religious relations and that the symposium and similar initiatives are crucial in creating dialogue and understanding. He also said that the OIC, despite difficulties in this sphere, strives to understand and be understood and also facilitate fruitful discussions.
Prominent scholars and experts from several countries attended the one-day event—“International Symposium on Interfaith Dialogue and Peaceful Coexistence in Multicultural Societies”—held at the Anantara Siam Hotel, Bangkok.
The event was held to promote interfaith cooperation through the sharing of experiences and best practises to generate better understanding among diverse faiths and cultures, and was organised by the Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA), a subsidiary organ of the OIC, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, which is an Observer State of the OIC.
During the day, Madani also met with Tan Sri Dr Surin Pitsuwan, former Secretary-General of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), who also previously served as Thailand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, and H.E. Virasakdi Futrakul, Thailand’s Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, to discuss issues of mutual concern and ways of enhancing better relations
Discussions during the meetings revolved around interfaith and intercultural dialogue, social cohesion and improving relations between people of different backgrounds. The Secretary General is expected to meet with Prime Minister of Thailand H.E. General Prayuth Chan-ocha on Tuesday 12 January 2016.