Chairman of the Senate of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan, head of the Secretariat of the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions Maulen Ashimbaev took part in the conference «Merging Beliefs: Uniting Spiritual Leaders for Planetary Revival» in Abu Dhabi. He also held a meeting with the Chairman of the UAE Federal National Council.
Welcoming the participants of the conference, Maulen Ashimbaev noted the relevance of its holding against the backdrop of geopolitical instability in the world and the decline in the efficiency of international organizations.
«When violent conflicts occur in the Middle East and other regions, meetings of spiritual leaders make an important contribution to promoting a culture of dialogue based on mutual understanding and respect. The creative role of spiritual leaders today is in great demand. Today's conference promotes the spirit of sincere cooperation for the well-being of all peoples and overcoming common challenges. I am confident that such meetings strengthen interfaith dialogue and contribute to the search for effective ways to solve the problems of the modern world», – the Chairman of the Senate emphasized.
Maulen Ashimbaev noted that in many aspects this Forum echoes the mission of the Kazakhstan Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions. Stressing that Kazakhstan is an active participant in interreligious dialogue, he dwelled in detail on the key points of the Concept for the Development of the Congress until 2033, adopted at the meeting of the Secretariat of the Congress held in October in the capital of Kazakhstan.
«In the coming years, our Congress sets itself the goal of promoting the efforts of religious leaders and realizing the creative potential of spiritual diplomacy to solve the most pressing problems. World spiritual leaders, united, can make a significant contribution to resolving the existential threats facing humanity. Among them are overcoming climate challenges, reducing poverty and inequality, fighting extremism, ending conflicts», – said Maulen Ashimbaev.
It should be noted that the conference is organized by the Muslim Council of Elders in collaboration with the COP28 Presidency, the Holy See, the UN Environment Programme and is being held as part of the upcoming COP28 Climate Conference. Therefore, attracting the potential of religious leaders to solve global environmental problems is one of the main topics of discussion. In this regard, Maulen Ashimbaev spoke about Kazakhstan’s contribution to international efforts to respond to climate change. He emphasized that our country was one of the first to ratify the Paris Agreement, and is also implementing policies to reduce its carbon footprint and ensure carbon neutrality by 2060. The Speaker of the
Senate recalled that the President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev proposed specific initiatives in this area at the 78th session of the UN General Assembly. Among them is the opening of a UN regional office on climate change and green energy in Almaty.
Leaders of various religious denominations, the expert community, scientists, politicians and youth activists also took part in the Conference.
Maulen Ashimbaev discussed the prospects for the development of inter-parliamentary relations between Kazakhstan and the United Arab Emirates with his colleague, Chairman of the Federal National Council of the UAE Saqr Al-Ghobash. The Speaker of the Senate noted the high level of relations between the two countries, based on the principles of good neighborliness and strategic partnership, achieved through regular and effective contacts between the Presidents of the two countries.
During the meeting, Maulen Ashimbayev also introduced his interlocutor to the large-scale political modernization being implemented in Kazakhstan at the initiative of Head of State Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. Particular attention was paid to the formation of a new economic development model. In this regard, the Speaker of the Senate expressed interest in deepening interaction between the Parliaments of the two countries in the field of lawmaking in the coming period.
«An important practical step towards the formation of a new economic model of Kazakhstan is the creation of the necessary legislative framework. We are interested in studying the legislative practice of the United Arab Emirates on the development of such areas as digitalization, innovation, and artificial intelligence. In addition, it would be useful for our country to learn your experience in attracting investments and creating innovative infrastructure», – the Speaker added.
In turn, the Chairman of the Federal National Council of the UAE highly appreciated the socio-political transformations being carried out in Kazakhstan and expressed interest in further expanding cooperation in all areas.
On the sidelines of the Forum, Maulen Ashimbaev discussed the importance of developing spiritual diplomacy with the Secretary of State of the Holy See, Cardinal Pietro Parolin. The head of the Secretariat of the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions expressed gratitude to Pope Francis for his personal participation in the work of the VII Congress, as well as to the Holy See for active support and promotion of the initiatives of the religious forum of Kazakhstan.
«We highly value our relationship with the Holy See. Last year we celebrated the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Kazakhstan and the Vatican. Over the years, we have established a constructive dialogue based on mutual understanding and trust. The apostolic visit of Pope Francis to our country was a great event not only for Kazakhstan, but also for the entire region.
We are open to further cooperation in promoting a culture of peace, trust and dialogue», – said Maulen Ashimbaev, addressing the interlocutor.
In addition, Maulen Ashimbaev also met with the General Secretary of the World Council of Churches, Reverend Jerry Pillay. The interlocutors discussed the Development Concept of the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions for 2023-2033. Maulen Ashimbaev paid special attention to the importance of intensifying joint efforts to develop interreligious dialogue and strengthen moral values. The Speaker of the Senate also held a number of other bilateral meetings with representatives of various international and religious organizations.
The meeting participants highly appreciated the Kazakhstani model of interethnic and interfaith harmony. They thanked the leadership of Kazakhstan for systematic work in this direction.