CONGRESS OF THE LEADERS OF WORLD AND
TRADITIONAL RELIGIONS
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Image President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev

"Today, the ancient Kazakh land is honored to invite the leaders and high representatives of the world and traditional religions for dialogue between civilizations and religions".

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CONGRESS OF LEADERS OF WORLD AND TRADITIONAL RELIGIONS Brief information Print E-mail
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CONGRESS OF LEADERS OF

WORLD AND TRADITIONAL RELIGIONS 
Brief information
 

 

It was convened for the first time in 2003 at the initiative of President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev.

 

Purposes and tasks

- promoting global dialogue among religions and cultures;

- deepening and strengthening mutual understanding and respect among different religious communities;

- development of the culture of tolerance and mutual respect as opposed to the ideology of hatred and extremism;

- cooperation and interaction with all international organizations and structures that pursue the goals of promoting dialogue between religions, cultures and civilizations. 

 

Evolution of the Congress

 

In the deliberations of four congresses in Astana, leaders and prominent representatives of Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism and other religions have taken part. At the dialogue platform of the Congress full-fledged and substantial dialogue on spiritual rapprochement of religious communities has taken place and joint appeals to the citizens, peoples and governments have been adopted.

 

The First Congress of Leaders of world and traditional religions was held on September 23-24, 2003 in Astana. Leaders and eminent representatives of religions as well as honourable guests from 13 countries of Europe, Asia and Africa participated in the forum.

The participants of the First Congress adopted a decision to hold inter-religious summit on a regular basis and set up a working body – the Secretariat of the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions that comprises of representatives of leaders and eminent personalities of religions.

 

The Second Congress of leaders of world and traditional religions was held on September 12-13, 2006 in Astana under the title “Religion, society and international security”. The Congress was held at the new building called Palace of Peace and Harmony that was built specifically as the forum’s permanent venue. The forum brought together 43 delegations from 20 countries of Europe, Asia, Africa and Americas. 

The Forum adopted “The Principles of Inter-religious Dialogue”. As the result of the work of the Congress, an initiative on setting up an International Centre for Cultures and Religions under the auspices of the Congress was put forward.

 

The Third Congress of leaders of world and traditional religions was held on July 1-2, 2009 in Astana with the theme “The Role of Religious Leaders in Building a World of Tolerance, Mutual Respect and Cooperation”. The Third Congress brought together 77 delegations from 35 countries representing all major world religions.  

In accordance with the resolution of the UN General Assembly adopted on November 13, 2008, the Congress was held with the support and technical assistance of the United Nations.

President Nazarbayev put forward a proposal to create a Council of Religious Leaders that would coordinate the activities of the Congress, engage in interaction and cooperation with other forums and international organizations that pursue the goals of promoting dialogue among cultures and religions.

 

 The Fourth Congress of leaders of world and traditional religions, was held on May 30-31, 2012 in Astana with the theme “Peace and harmony as the choice of mankind”. The Forum brought together 87 delegations from 40 countries representing all the world and traditional religions as well as eminent religious and international organizations.   

         Within the framework of the Fourth Congress, the institutional evolution of the forum continued. In particular, the coordinating body – the Council of Religious Leaders – which brings together leaders and eminent representatives of world and traditional religions was set up.

         At the plenary session of the Fourth Congress, President Nursultan Nazarbayev proposed to create an internet-resource dedicated to the issues of forming and strengthening global tolerance and trust, which could become a part of a large e-portal G-Global.

The members of the Council have founded an alley called “Rukhani jarasym” (Spiritual harmony) in the capital city of Kazakhstan.    

 

Achievements

 

Author of the initiative on convening the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, President Nursultan Nazarbayev, while addressing the fourth forum noted that “the congresses have, to a certain extent, contributed to preventing the world from falling into the abyss of “the clash of civilizations””. 

Indeed, the four congresses, which have been held so far, have proven as inconsistent the idea of inevitability of the clash of civilizations and societies that are rooted in various religions and cultures. Spiritual leaders who participated in all the Astana inter-religious forums for a decade, since convening of the first congress, have vividly demonstrated that dialogue, mutual understanding and respect are strong forces on the planet that are capable of ensuring harmony and security, as well as well-being and peaceful coexistence of all cultural and religious communities and nations. Against the backdrop of globalization of contemporary challenges and threats, the Astana forum has been one of the pioneers who have undertaken the task of promoting dialogue among religions and civilizations and has made a significant contribution to creation of the culture of mutual understanding and respect in the world.

The UN resolution A/RES/59/23, adopted on November 11, 2004 and its other resolutions emphasized the contribution of the Congress towards promotion of global dialogue among religions and cultures.  

With the aim of implementing the initiatives of the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions upon the initiative of Kazakhstan, the 62nd session of the UN General Assembly adopted the resolution ¹ 62/90 on December 17, 2007 proclaiming 2010 as “International Year for the rapprochement of cultures”. 

 

Institutions of the Congress

 

The Council of Religious Leaders started its activities within the framework of the Fourth Congress. The Council brings together leaders and eminent representatives of world and traditional religions. Main tasks: coordination of the activities of the Congress, engagement in interaction and cooperation with other forums and international organizations that pursue the goals of promoting dialogue among cultures and religions.

 

The Secretariat of the Congress was set up following the decision of the First Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions which was held on September 23-24, 2003 in Astana. The current Head of the Secretariat is Chairman of the Senate of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Mr. Kairat Mami. The Secretariat comprises of the representatives of religious leaders and eminent religious personalities.  

During the period from 2003 to 2012, 11 sessions of the Secretariat were held (12th anniversary session will take place in September 2013) which considered the issues of the agenda of the Congress. There is also a working group within the Secretariat.

 

Interaction of the Congress with other international structures

 

The Astana forum interacts with a number of specialized institutions of the United Nations, international dialogue platforms including the Alliance of civilizations and others.

 

Additional information may be found on the websites:

http://www.religions-congress.org/

http://www.group-global.org/

 

the project was prepared by the Administration of the Senate, Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan

 
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  • Palace of Peace and Accord

 
The four sides of our Palace are oriented to the four sides of the world. In some sense this construction embodies independent Kazakhstan that friendly embraces all people of all nations and practicing different religions.

N.Nazarbayev

By the instrumentality of