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This spring we will welcome the next IV World and Traditional Religions Leaders’ Congress. Spiritual and political leaders, world public leaders and experts will come to the ancient Kazakh land to discuss the most important issues of modern life that are concern hearts and minds of young people.

We are about 7 billion people sharing the same planet.  Each of them sincerely believes in positive changes in his life and life of surrounding persons.  Sense of belief unites people in different parts of the world despite the fact that we are very different due to coloring and confessions.  Today’s world is totally different from what it used to be.  We all live “in one big world village” with no limits and distances.

A challenging task is set for the mankind today – to develop concrete actions to solve the most acute problems and issues of modern life: peacekeeping and concord, preventing wars and conflicts, fighting poverty and famine, environmental problems, countering human traffic, decreasing spread of AIDS and many others. These issues do not belong to one isolated country; they have become vital for the whole mankind.    That is why it is so essential for people and states of the planet to have a dialogue in various formats for the sake of future generations.

The world history has specific examples and mistakes that teach us that mutual dialogue and cooperation magnify countries and peoples while lack of trust and hate destroy fragile peace.  Last wars and conflicts opposed separate countries but we have a very serious argument that serves peace and unity of the warring parties. Nowadays in the times of scientific and technical progress it is time for achieving the goals not only by force but via constructive dialogue.  The World and Traditional Religions Leaders Congress in Astana, the young capital of Kazakhstan, is one of few world arenas to discuss hot topics and to find its solutions.


The initiative of Nursultan Nazarbayev, the President of Kazakhstan, on holding the religious forum that will contribute to finding ways to solve the modern life problems in practical terms resonates with the world community.  Increasing number of the event members proves this as well as expanding discussion perspectives and follow-up actions.  For instance holding III World and Traditional Religions Leaders Congress was supported by the United Nations Organizations.  This is an acknowledgement of international event organization level which is specially controlled by the Parliament Senate of the Republic of Kazakhstan, which is key political institute of the state.  

Spiritual leaders’ dialogue format is both a way to solve modern life problems that eventually concern young people, the most active and dynamic part of the world population. According to UNO’s data people under 30 will constitute almost 60% of the whole world population by the end of next century and under 25 – about 50%.  Consideration of young people role in the modern world in the section meeting of the forthcoming IV Congress is a very positive aspect. And there are a lot of questions to be answered.  Young people around the world are deeply concerned by the absence of employment opportunities and request expanding possibilities to find job.

By the end of 2010 the world unemployment rate for young people was 12,6%. Today about 152 million of working young people live in families below income poverty line (USD1.25 per day), that is 24% of the total number of poor working people.  At the moment young people constitute 18% of the world population and 85% of youth live in the developing countries.  About 10 million of young people have AIDS/HIV.  Educational progress has not reached 113 million of children who not attend schools; this number can be easily matched by 130 million of illiterate young people in today’s world.

The situation with children is even more regrettable – army of homeless children around the world constitutes about 40 million.  More than 26 000 children under 5 die every day from sensitive diseases that can be prevented including diarrhea, malaria and malnutrition.  Almost 2.3 million have HIV/AIDS and another 1.5 million have become orphans because of this virus.  Despite of the certain achievements in the way of providing 1.2 billion of children with access to pure water, another 425 million children under 18 regularly consume water from unsafe sources, while 980 million do not have access to basic sanitary services.  According to UN data, the countries like Liberia, Iraq and Afghanistan have more 250 000 children-soldiers.  That is why it is necessary to cooperate not only for the states but also representatives of the religious community.

It is generally known that religious communities have rich experience of working with young people which can be very useful in terms of spiritual and moral up-bringing of the coming generation.  The current crisis in today’s world is first of all crisis of spiritual and moral insufficiency which is regrettably our fault. The moral guides of modern life are questioned a lot as it was stated by one of the Russian business representative “Capitalism is a great and fundamental problem.  When money becomes a universal measure of success, the system becomes inadequate and lots of things suffer.  Moral aspects are significantly damaged”.

Young people in this relation are unprotected for extremist and terrorist ideas due to their age.  As a rule young people get into evident extremes fighting for fairness and kindness.  This danger should be prevented by outreach and awareness raising work.  It is necessary to speak and convince young people in harmfulness and faultiness of wrong ideas on the world.  Every adult can precisely remember the youth period when they had a lot of ideas that can change the world in their opinion. This sincere belief in fair and kind is somehow forgotten in everyday routine.   Abai Kunanbayev, great Kazakh thinker said in his edification words “a man is the son of his time.  If he is bad, his contemporaries are guilty in that as well”.  However despite the existing difficulties and problems people still believe in God - Saviour.  Abai mentioned on that that “evidence of sole and almighty God existence is that people speak about His existence for many centuries in many languages and no matter how many religions are, they all believe that God is love and justice”. God is one for all the religions.  There was a unique case in the South-Eastern Asia when the temples remained untouched by tsunami while the cities and towns gone away. This is like God wants us to understand that there are no differences among religions but there are differences between good and evil, justice and cruelty. Unity in humanity is the intangible core or bridge that will make us closer to each other.

Even taking into account all the today’s difficulties we can say that we live in a unique period.  The main difference of the current epoch is that ideas and thoughts can be implemented and change the picture of the world. The great contribution in that is from young people all around the world.  Even now our youth tries to make our world better, cleaner and warmer for everyone.  Young people do not limit themselves by their home or their country but starts to more actively participate in the world process for a nuclear weapons free world, environmental problems solving, poverty and saving people from starvation. There are many kind young people in this world and their voice becomes more important.  This very voice should be heard and considered at the World and Traditional Religions Leaders Congresses.  Young people need to be actively helped in their initiatives, we need to create launching platform for social initiatives. Congress creative spirit and clergy members’ blessing will only benefit advancing youth ideas irrespective of confessions.

Kazakh people have such an opinion that children should go beyond their parents and make much more than they.  The next generation has the chance to live better and be better; so it is necessary right now to make every effort for our young people to find their ways for further self-development.


Ibragim Kappassov


Political Analyst


Dina Aikenova



PhD candidate in Political Science  

L.N. Gumilev Eurasian National University


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