During the meeting the President of Russia stressed the need to discuss the cooperation between religions at the global level, including in the forum provided by UNESCO.
In September 2007 at the 62nd session of the UN General Assembly, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov made a proposal to establish a consultative council of religions under the aegis of the UN. In December 2007 the UN General Assembly adopted the following resolution: Promotion of Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue, Understanding and Cooperation for Peace.
The result of extensive discussion between the Russian Orthodox Church and UNESCO on a mechanism for permanent consultations between the UN system and world’s leading religions is an agreement on the establishment of a high level group for interreligious dialogue under the aegis of UNESCO's Director-General.
Consultations in this format should help to address important issues such as the settlement of interreligious conflicts, combating defamation of religions, and the preservation and protection of sacred places during armed conflicts.
Dmitry Medvedev expressed his hope that the group's work will enhance the credibility of UNESCO and facilitate the development of interreligious dialogue.
Meeting participants also exchanged views on major areas of cooperation between Russia and UNESCO.