|Speech at the International Scientific Practical Conference “The Role of Astana Interreligious Forum in the Dialogue of Civilizations”.|
Distinguished guests and participants of the Conference!
Ladies and gentlemen!
Conduction of the International Scientific and Practical Conference is related to the significant event, the 10th anniversary of the convening the first Congress of leaders of world and traditional religions.
It has been ten years since that really difficult historical time when the leaders of different religions gathered in Astana for the first time to build a constructive inter-religious dialogue.
The work of this Conference is devoted to full disclosure of the role and historical significance of this event, as well as contribution of Kazakhstan and its leader to the dialogue of civilizations, religions and cultures.
In this connection I would like to share some thoughts about the results of decades of the Forum, its potential and prospects.
The President of the Republic of Kazakhstan is a consistent supporter of the dialogue between civilizations.
The culture of international dialogue promoted by our leader - whether in the field of nuclear disarmament and inter-religious relations - literally pained by the land and multi-ethnic people of Kazakhstan, to the share of which many challenges and tribulations fell in the 20th century.
Representatives of more than 140 ethnic groups and 17 religions co-exist peacefully and interact in our country.
Since gaining independence Kazakhstan President was able to draw such a variety of our country into its great advantage. Kazakhstan is a true native land for all its citizens. We are one nation - one nation - one destiny. It is due to this understanding of national unity Kazakhstan boldly embarks on a new development strategy until 2050.
Due to the internal unity, stability and creativity Kazakhstan is already among the top 50 most competitive countries in the world. Now we seek to enter in the “thirty” of developed countries. We, people of Kazakhstan, are confident that with the formula “unity in diversity” there are no tasks that would be unaffordable for our people.
Therefore, concord between civilizations and religions is no less important than internal harmony, without which well-being and development are impossible.
“East is East. West is West. And never the twain shall meet”,- these words of classic of world literature, Joseph Kipling, are familiar to many. However, the President of Kazakhstan showed to the whole world that East and West can come together...
The unity of the two poles can occur on the platform of solidarity, tolerance, friendliness and harmony.
Kazakhstan extends its expertise through the inter-faith and inter-religious dialogue. Kazakhstan stands for convergence of different cultures and civilizations in the world.
The global initiative of President, Nursultan Nazarbayev, to convene the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions actually contributes to achieving these goals.
On the background of inter-civilizational and inter-religious conflicts emerging all over the world this unique experience was in demand at the global level. It is natural that Astana exactly became a location for the meeting of present-day religious leaders.
Distinguished participants of the Conference!
Ties between members of different religions, faiths and civilizations were strengthened within four held Congresses. This contributed to the growth of trust and mutual respect between religious communities.
In its turn, it became natural that Kazakhstan, inspiring the global community to good and pious endeavors, has gain gratitude and favour in the hearts of people in different parts of the world.
Kazakhstan leader is making a huge and invaluable contribution to the creative processes on the planet. Thanks to its new initiatives, one of the brightest incarnations, such as the Congress, our country entered into a number of states - global political managers. Kazakhstan Chairmanship in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the 7th Summit of Heads of State of the OSCE, Chairmanship of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation - all of this is a testament to the success of the strategic foreign policy course of President, Nursultan Nazarbayev.
The “vector of tolerance, harmony and mutual understanding” is gaining momentum in the policy of our country. These values have become the main paradigm of national thinking. They are the organizing force and the basis of the state development of independent Kazakhstan.
Unfortunately, interstate contradictions, interests of definite countries and the ideological doctrines of today’s world often lead to interpersonal hostility and rejection.
Uniqueness and superiority of our Forum is concluded in that religious leaders in their dialogue always rise above the traditional political thinking.
People say: “Man to man is a friend”, “True greatness is in a respect”, “Wish for others what you wish for yourself”. These and hundreds of other tenets of folk wisdom contain the highest morality. It was honing in the long run of history. We need to think about how such moral and philosophical imperatives could be more cultivated in politics, among young people.
Welcoming the participants of the First Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, President, Nazarbayev, said: “Where political control methods become ineffective, the role of the Word of God is the only means of reconciliation and hope. The role of religious traditions, which are based on highest standards of ethics in our rapidly, sometimes chaotically changing world, that is impossible to overestimate”.
Thus, spiritual leaders from all over the world can greatly enrich international policy to bring in it more morality and wisdom.
The recent appeal of Pope Francis to Muslims from all around the world on the occasion of the feast of Oraza Ait deserves, in my opinion, high appreciation.
This is not just a greeting. In fact, it is an invitation to think together on the strengthening of mutual respect through education. But this is one of the pivots of our Congresses.
In general, I believe that members of the Congress should lead the charge. We still have a lot to do to in order to promote the inclusive and trustful dialogue. The Congress of Religions is charged with a great mission for the future.
So, in my opinion, we should strengthen the dialogue and in inter-congress period as well. Religious leaders, members of the Secretariat of the Congress, experts can and should actively introduce ideas and projects to promote harmony and understanding. Not necessarily on a global basis immediately, but, that may be more important, on the regional and local levels among young people. After all, inter-faith dialogue is not only a meeting of religious leaders, but first of all, a constant consistent work to establish mutual understanding and mutual perception of people in the daily life of our societies.