The inaugural Regional Interfaith Dialogue was held in Yogyakarta from 6-7 December 2004 and hosted jointly by Australia and Indonesia
- The meeting was an initiative of the then Foreign Ministers of Australia and Indonesia, Mr Downer and Dr Wirajuda, which they announced in July 2004.
- The inaugural Regional Interfaith Dialogue was established with the aim of promoting understanding and tolerance between the faith groups of South-East Asia and encouraging religious leaders’ roles in strengthening mainstream voices within their respective communities.
Following the inaugural Regional Interfaith Dialogue, New Zealand and the Philippines joined Australia and Indonesia as co-sponsors.
Subsequent Regional Interfaith Dialogues (RID) were held as follows
- the 2nd RID was hosted by the Philippines in Cebu in March 2006
- the 3rd RID was hosted by New Zealand in Waitangi in May 2007
- the 4th RID was hosted by Cambodia, with Australia’s support, in Phnom Penh in April 2008
- the 5th RID was hosted by Australia in Perth in October 2009.
- the 6th RID was hosted by Indonesia in Semerang in March, 2012.
Each RID results in the development of a ‘Declaration’ by delegates, setting out agreed outcomes and recommendations for action.
RID participants are drawn from the major faith groups of the co-sponsoring countries, the remaining eight ASEANs, East Timor, Fiji and Papua New Guinea.
The 5th RID had the theme ‘Future Faith Leaders: Regional Challenges and Cooperation’.
One of the Perth Declaration’s key recommendations was to establish an interfaith website.