The XIX session of the Secretariat of the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions took place in Nur-Sultan, where the issues of preparation for the next Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions were discussed.
In his opening speech, Chairman of the Senate of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan/Head of the Secretariat of the Congress Maulen Ashimbayev noted that the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions is a unique phenomenon in the international agenda and an effective instrument for global interreligious dialogue.
The Head of the Secretariat of the Congress underscored that over the years of its Independence Kazakhstan has managed to build its model of peace and national dialogue based on the principles of unity in diversity, and joint responsibility for the future of the country, respect, and enforcement of the rights of citizens irrespective of their ethnic and religious identity.
“This year we celebrate the 30th anniversary of Independence of Kazakhstan. Over this period, we have succeeded in creating our model of peace, national unity, and interfaith dialogue. This model, established by First President of Kazakhstan - Elbasy Nursultan Nazarbayev, has proven its efficiency and viability. Nowadays, the policy of ensuring interethnic and interfaith accord is being continued under the leadership of President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. Therefore, for us, the hosting of the Secretariat and the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions is not an image-building event but an organic and integral part of the model of Kazakhstan’s development,” the Senate Speaker emphasized.
Maulen Ashimbayev stressed that the present Secretariat is held under complicated conditions since other global problems of the modern world have aggravated along with the coronavirus pandemic in recent years. These include the growing international tension caused by geopolitical and geo-economic factors, the collapse of the global security system, as well as the intensification of the armaments race, and the issues of the global environmental agenda.
“Against this background, the key objective of spiritual leaders, to our mind, is to form the right system of values and bring people together around the ideas of peace, moral values, public accord, and mutual support of each other. The Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions aims at this very goal. And I would like to express my deep gratitude for your participation and active support of our forum,” Maulen Ashimbayev said.
The session of the Congress Secretariat has gathered representatives of world religions and confessions from 20 countries, as well as representatives of international organizations. In their addresses, religious leaders recognized the high importance of the work Kazakhstan is carrying out for the establishment of interreligious and inter-confessional dialogue not only within the country but also at the international level.
In particular, High Representative of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations Miguel Angel Moratinos underscored the importance of the Congress from the perspective of discussion of the role of religion in society and interaction at the international level for the creation of a stable and secure world.
“This unique platform offers a good opportunity for politicians, religious leaders, international, regional organizations, and all concerned parties to collectively discuss the problems of interreligious dialogue and sustainable development in a more polarized world. The UN Alliance of Civilizations will be actively engaged in the work of the VII Congress,” he said.
At the end of the Secretariat session, the venue and date of the VII Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions were chosen, which will take place in Nur-Sultan on September 14-15, 2022. It is planned to dedicate this religious forum to the role of leaders of the world and traditional religions in the social and spiritual development of humankind in the post-pandemic period.
In conclusion, Maulen Ashimbayev pointed out that this meeting had once again demonstrated the common striving of representatives of various cultures and religions for cooperation and peaceful coexistence. He expressed the firm confidence that the traditions of the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions will provide a sound basis for its further successful work.
(Press Office of the Senate, 74-72-27. Photo by E. Ukibayev)