|IV Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions May 30-31, 2012, Astana|
ANNOTATED AGENDA OF PANEL SESSIONS
Panel session ¹1. “The role of religious leaders in achieving sustainable development”
The role of religious leaders at the current stage of history is extremely important. Their personal contribution and tireless efforts facilitate peace and harmony in society and among people as well as progressive and sustainable development of the civilization.
There are different approaches to understanding and defining sustainable development. The discussion is about a process that ensures long-term, uninterrupted, and balanced social and economic development of current and future generations while having high-level security system “man-society-nature”.
Awareness of humanity about the new threats and challenges prompts a search for the reasons and principles that facilitate survival and further continuous development of humanity that aims at a shift to sustainable development.
The fundamental basis for sustainable development is ensuring comprehensive security encompassing preservation of biosphere, survival and continuous development of civilization, that are a common concern of all states and societies as well as the leaders of world and traditional religions.
The following issues will be discussed during panel sessions:
1. Religious leaders in the history of humanity;
2. Contribution of religious leaders to the world culture and universal human values;
3. Maintenance of dialogue by religious leaders with state and society;
4. The role of religious leaders in overcoming differences, dealing with interreligious disputes and contradictions;
5. The role of leaders of world and traditional religions in strengthening mutual understanding among different cultures and ethnic groups and spreading interreligious and interethnic tolerance;
6. The role of religious leaders in strengthening international security;
7. Contribution of religious leaders in addressing global economic and social issues at national and international levels;
8. The role of religious leaders in preventing conflicts in the contemporary world;
9. Responsibility of religious leaders for spiritual upbringing and guidance of young generation;
10. Contribution of religious leaders to spiritual improvement of society;
11. Cooperation of religious leaders is a factor for achieving sustainable development.
Panel session ¹2. “Religion and multiculturalism”
Multiculturalism is a policy that is aimed at developing and preserving cultural diversity in a particular country and in the world as a whole.
Processes of globalization and integration make many countries concern that these may dilute their cultural identity. In these circumstances there is a need to review the role and importance of multiculturalism since its main idea is to ensure a harmonious society.
Issues pertaining to existence in multiculturalism and dialogue are very important for the contemporary society since some countries have recently faced the crisis of multiculturalism.
In this connection, this issue needs a new consideration and comprehension by the leaders of world and traditional religions to work out constructive recommendations on how to preserve values of multiculturalism.
The following issues will be discussed during panel sessions:
1. Diversity of religious beliefs in a common social space;
2. Multiculturalism as a policy aimed at developing and preserving cultural diversity in the world;
3. Relationship between multiculturalism and globalization;
4. A tolerant society as the main idea of multiculturalism;
5. Parallel existence of cultures that leads to mutual enrichment and development of the mass culture in common human touch;
6. Religious multiculturalism: achievements and issues;
7. Review of the role and importance of multiculturalism;
8. Preserving cultural identity and way of life during the era of globalization and challenges;
9. Possible impact of the failure of the concept of multiculturalism.
Panel session ¹3. “Religion and woman: spiritual values and contemporary challenges”
The society is facing serious issues of preserving moral basis of a society and restoring family values and upbringing of the young generation. In these circumstances the issues pertaining to the role and place of woman acquires special significance in line with the crises of values in society.
Each woman and mother thinks of a happy and well-off family life and this is also something that a society aspires at. Contemporary woman is capable of making a huge contribution to spiritual and moral development of society and harmonization of public relations while actively participating in different aspects of life.
She keeps on fulfilling traditional functions of mother, guardian of family hearth, bearer of moral and ethical norms and rules which she emits to future generations.
Nowadays woman plays a more significant role in social and family spheres which is a necessary condition for further favourable and harmonious development of the contemporary society.
The following issues will be discussed on panel session:
1. The image of woman in world religions.
2. The role of woman in family.
3. The role of woman in society.
4. Woman and politics.
5. Spiritual and moral potential of contemporary woman.
6. Woman’s rights in the context of universal values.
7. Responsibility of woman for the future of a nation and the planet.
8. The role of woman and women’s organizations in ensuring intercultural and interreligious dialogue.
9. The role of woman in business development: problems, decisions and responsibility.
Panel session ¹4. “Religion and the youth”
The growing importance of the youth in the contemporary society and its impact on social, economic, political processes is a topical issue.
The youth is one of the active elements of society. The youth is the future of people, state and the world. The youth is a mirror that reflects the social reality in which it exists. The position and role of the youth in society are the indicators of society’s development and its capacity to progress.
The youth is a carrier of huge intellectual potential, special creative talents and, therefore, by its nature the youth is against any conservatism and stagnation.
Religious leaders are entrusted to bring up the young generation and impart to them deep understanding and respect for other religious principles and spiritual traditions. They help the young people choose their own path in life.
Due to its social and psychological features and strong perception of the surrounding developments, the youth is a segment of society which is susceptible to radical views and ideas. Spiritual leaders guide the young people in distinguishing between true and false beliefs.
In the near future the youth will assume a big responsibility for preserving spiritual harmony and mutual respect. This is particularly important when the contemporary world is split also on religious lines. Religion which has always been the source of universal human values plays a critical role in this noble cause.
The following issues will be discussed during panel session:
1. Value orientations and the needs of the modern youth;
2. Rights of the youth in the context of universal values;
3. Moral choice within the context of contemporary social preferences in the youth environment;
4. Religious values as a factor for the youth in engaging in social life;
5. Clergy and the youth: prospects for interaction;