Intercultural Dialogue and Prevention of Violence

The Institute of International Relations hosted this year’s "Intercultural Dialogue and Prevention of Violence" conference. Many interesting speakers and insightful debates are to be expected. This year’s conference was held on the 7th of November, 2019.


Date: 07.11.2019
Time: 08:45
Venue: Czernin Palace, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, Loretánské nám. 5, Prague 1
In cooperation: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic
Organized by: Jan Daniel

Intercultural and interfaith dialogues have become an integral part of political and diplomatic efforts in various parts of the contemporary world. They offer means to enhance understanding and prevent escalation of extremism and potential conflicts among different communities, nations, and diverse religious or cultural groups. By their nature, they explore fundamental questions of identity and values, as well as other issues often overlooked by official diplomatic processes. They also foster respect for diversity, in particular with regard to the rights of minority communities.

This conference aspired to feed into the international debate with a perspective from Prague, at this point in time. It aimed to provide a platform for sharing specific national, institutional, and personal experience and expertise related to intercultural and interfaith dialogue, protection of human rights and freedoms, prevention of extremism, stereotypes, hatred and violence. The panels thus explored the use of intercultural dialogue as a policy tool or its potential impact on prevention of violent extremism.

The conference was explicitly welcoming and open to representatives of different religions and faiths and committed to freedom and plurality of opinion and belief. Being united in diversity, sharing the same human objectives, and demonstrating that we have common goals: that was the right message for the conference to pass on.

Preliminary Program

8:45 - 10:00 Opening Remarks

Chair: Matúš Halás (Institute of International Relations)

  • Tomáš Petříček (Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic)
  • Faisal Bin Abdulrahman Bin Muaammar (Secretary General, KAICIID Dialogue Centre)
  • J.E. Mons. Charles Daniel Balvo (Apostolic Nuncio to the Czech Republic)
  • Sundus Omar Ali Albayraqdar (Ambassador of the Republic of Iraq)

10:15-11:45 Panel I: Intercultural Dialogue as a policy tool

Religious actors undoubtedly play many important roles in both domestic and international politics. Fostering mutual understanding, tolerance, preventing radicalization and contributing to protection of minorities through intercultural and interfaith dialogue could represent one of them. However, do policy actors know how to productively reach out to religious actors and do they understand this potential? What factors can increase likelihood of positive cooperation between international organizations, national governments and religious actors? What conditions need to be fulfilled for these initiatives to lead to tangible positive results and what might be the potential hindrances and unintended consequences that are to be avoided? What are the successful examples of mutual collaboration between the states or international organizations and religious actors that we can learn from?

Chair: Petr Kratochvíl (Institute of International Relations)

11:45-13:00 Buffet Lunch

13:00-14:30  Panel II: Perspectives on Intercultural Dialogue from International Organizations and National Governments

The value of intercultural dialogue has been acknowledged by many national governments and international organizations. The panel seeked to highlight some of the experiences and lessons learned in diverse contexts and by different actors. As such, it aims to answer two interrelated questions: how to make intercultural dialogue work and can we identify most important similarities and differences among various cases and sites as a basis for developing transferable lessons?

Chair: Eva Orossová (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Czech Republic)

  • Sayavush Heydarov (State Committee on Religious Associations, Republic of Azerbaijan)
  • Hussein Gharibi (Institute for Political and International Studies)
  • El Habib Bourane (Director, Muslim Communities and Minorities, Organization of Islamic Cooperation)
  • Susan Hayward (Senior Advisor, United States Institute of Peace)

14:45-16:15  Panel III: Intercultural Dialogue and Prevention of Radicalism and Violence

The relevance of intercultural dialogue for the prevention of violence and conflict is widely assumed, yet the specific mechanisms of its impact among diverse groups, whether determined by faith, age, or gender, remain elusive. The panel will discuss diverse roles that intercultural dialogue and prevention of violent extremism initiatives can play under different conditions, while focusing on their actual impact based on experiences of the panellists. Are the dialogue initiatives capable of involving members of the most vulnerable communities as well as those who are the most prone to radicalisation and engagement in violence? How can we improve mechanisms of reaching out to them in the most effective fashion? Finally, is there something which we can learn from other cases or are all prevention efforts unavoidably context-specific?

Chair: Nikola Strachová (Anna Lindh Foundation)

16:15 – 16: 45 Closing Remarks

  • Tomáš Holub (Bishop of Pilsen)
  • Petr Hladík (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Czech Republic)
  • Jan Daniel (Institute of International Relations)

16:45 Reception (Intercultural Buffet)



All the video recordings from the last year's conference as well as additional short interviews with some of the guest speakers can be found here.