Chairman of Senate of the Parliament, Head of Secretariat of the Congress of leaders of world and traditional religions Kairat Mami:
- Just a few days left until the Congress of leaders of world and traditional religions. How is the preparative process to this forum going on and what will be the special feature of the upcoming meeting according to you?
- You are right, one and half months only left before the Congress of leaders of world and traditional religions. Currently, the preparation activities on arrangement of work of the forum are dynamically being carried out. You must have been aware of that the meeting on preparation and carrying out of the IV Congress of leaders of world and traditional religions was held recently by the State commission formed by Decree of Head of the state. Heads of number of ministries and agencies were a part of the meeting focused on elaboration of preparation works to the Congress, organizational issues were comprehensively discussed, performance responsibilities were defined and particular tasks were formulated. When it comes to the distinctive sides of the forthcoming event, in accordance with suggestion of the President Nursultan Nazarbayev and by instruction of the III Congress, the Council of religious leaders is planned to be established in this forum. The first session of this Council is to be held the day before the congress.
-It is common knowledge that concern of the global publicity in the Forum, its efficiency is related with involved relevant subjects. What will be the content feature of the future forum as compared to the previous ones?
-As you remember, after the terrorist attacks in USA of September 11, 2011, at a tough time for the whole mankind, when the world faced threat of interreligious conflicts and murderous acts, by calling the Congress of leaders of world and traditional religions, for the first time in history Kazakhstan managed to bring together the religious leaders. As it was required by that period, the I Congress raised the problems of prohibition of terrorism, extremism, unfair wars and nondiscrimination of religion.
At the II Congress, when the situation in the Middle East was harshly deteriorated and Iraq was facing a war, urge of world religious leaders gathering in Astana to support the integration of states, therefore, to take measures with a view to strengthen the Culture of peace and concord is a demonstrative example of position that considers all human challenges as common. And the III Congress paid its attention to the violation of God’s main testament by all people and massacres that take place in different parts of our planet, overall growth of terroristic act cases, raising aggravation of the situation in Afghanistan, escalation of extremist movements, undermining the stability of entire region and overall spread of drug, produced in this country. Also, the President of Kazakhstan proposed a new model of the world in this meeting.
The theme of the upcoming Congress is “Peace and concord as a choice of humankind”. In other words, at a current tough time discussion of peace and concord issues that take primary position in agenda on international relations may be considered as extension of subjects of past forum. As for the substantial part of the forum, this time we are planning to hold four working sessions. All of them: “The role of religious leaders in achieving sustainable development”, “Religion and multiculturalism”, “Religion and the woman: spiritual values and contemporary challenges”, “Religion and the youth” are of current interest for the nowadays community. In my opinion, religious heads participating in this forum, theologists, politicians will share their valuable advices and recommendations with the publicity.
-It is generally admitted that one of the factors promoting achievement of objectives and tasks of the Congress, is competent structure of participating religious leaders. Which of religious leaders we will be able to see at this session?
-Among the dignitaries of the Fourth congress will be the president of the World Islamic League Sheikh Abdallah Ben Muhsin at-Turki, representative of king of Saudi Arabia, Chairman of the Consultative Council of this country Abdallah al Ash-Sheikh, chief imam of Al-Azghar Sheikh Ahmad Muhammad at-Taiib, patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill, Secretary General of the World Lutheran federation Martin Junge and many other well-known religious leaders. Also, participation of heads of world religious confessions, states and governments, as well as of international organizations, outstanding scientists contributing to development of intercultural dialogue, experts, social activists and prominent politicians is planned at the forum. Along with them, king of Jordan Abdallah II, emir of Qatar
Sheikh Hamad ben Khalifa al-Tani, Director General of UNESCO Irina Bokova and etc.
-We have heard that there are initiators in other countries who strive to bring together the religious leaders. In comparative way, what is the effectuality of Astana congress?
-Attention and trust towards the congress of leaders of world and traditional religions is growing from year to year. Thus, if in 2003 the I Congress gathered representatives of 17 religious organizations from 13 countries, then 29 religious delegations from 26 countries of the world took part in the II Congress in 2006. And in 2009 the III Congress brought together 77 delegations of 35 countries. This time the number of participants is expected to be more than that. As for the other countries, looking to hold meetings of religious leaders, then it is worth to state that increasing of number of such structures calling for peace around the globe would be advantageous.
However, none of these initiators has been successful yet in uniting senior leaders of world and traditional religions with the same structure. This fact witnesses trust in efficiency of Kazakhstani idea to assemble religious leaders, compliance of stated words with taken actions. This is why today the congress is distinguished with its singularity on the international scene. After getting the international recognition, the congress continues to impact on process of intercultural dialogue. Our main target is to disroot to the utmost objectionable, negative phenomenons in the world by means of religion, opinions of prestigious, outstanding personalities.
(From interview to the republican newspaper “Aikyn”) (18.04.2012)