On August 25, 2021, within the framework of the 30th anniversary of the Independence of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the upcoming XIX meeting of the Secretariat of the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, at the Somaya Vidyavikhar University in India, the first round table was held on the topic: «The role of the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions in strengthening peace, harmony and unity in societies and States in the context of pandemics».
The event was organized online by the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the Republic of India together with N. Nazarbayev Center for Development of Interfaith and Intercivilization Dialogue with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Ministry of Information and Social Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
Among the participants and guests of the round table are Second Secretary of the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the Republic of India Amangeldy Zakir, Chairman of the Managemnet Board of N. Nazarbayev Center for Development of Interfaith and Intercivilization Dialogue, Commissioner for promoting the goals and objectives of the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions B. Sarsenbayev, Naib Mufti of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Kazakhstan E. Ongarov, Metropolitan of the Archdiocese of St. Mary in Astana, Archbishop Tomash Peta, representatives of the leading universities of Kazakhstan – KazNU named after al-Farabi, Akhmet Yassawi International Kazakh-Turkish University. In turn, from the Indian side, the rector of the Somaya Vidyavigar University, the chairman of the Somaiya Trust and Godavari Bio-Refineries Ltd – Samir Somaya, the executive president of Sanskriti Samvardhan and Sanshodhan Pratishthan, Thane – Kala Dhanjaei Acharya, Director of the Akshardam Center research in the field of social harmony – Jayotindra Mukundrai Dave and other religious leaders, international experts, scientists, media.
The participants of the event discussed topical issues of interfaith and intercivilizational development, the role of the interfaith platform – the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions in strengthening peace and harmony in societies and countries in the post-pandemic period.
Speaking with a welcoming speech, Chairman of the Management Board of N. Nazarbayev Center B. Sarsenbayev noted the achievements of Kazakhstan in the interreligious sphere during the years of Independence, spoke about the goals and objectives of the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions in strengthening religious tolerance and the development of intercivilizational dialogue, emphasizing the exceptional role of the First President of the Republic Kazakhstan – Elbasy N. Nazarbayev and Head of State K. Tokayev in promoting an effective model of peace and harmony between different faiths at the global level.
In addition, Bulat Sarsenbayev shared the plans of N. Nazarbayev Center for organizing and holding international events on the eve of the XIX Secretariat of the Congress, which will be held on October 5-6 of this year in Nur-Sultan under the chairmanship of the Speaker of the Senate of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan – Head of the Secretariat of the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions M. Ashimbaev, as well as the upcoming VII Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions in 2022.
«Today we launched the first round table aimed at exchanging expert opinions on interfaith development, promoting Kazakhstani initiatives to preserve and ensure interreligious harmony, as well as popularizing conceptual ideas identified during the Congresses of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions. I am sure that our activities will contribute to the formation of a tolerant worldview and respectful attitude towards religions and cultures of different peoples of the world, contribute to the strengthening of joint responsibility in maintaining interfaith and intercivilizational dialogue», - B.Sarsenbayev noted.
At the end of his speech, the Head of the Center thanked Mr. Samir Somaya, as well as other participants of the Secretariat and the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, personally Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the Republic of India N. Zhalgasbayev for support and contribution to the development of interfaith dialogue at the international level.
In turn, the Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the Republic of India N. Zhalgasbayev noted that India was one of the first countries who supported the idea of the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, uniting representatives of different confessions and religions on its platform. «The noble ideas of the Congress found wide support in the international community, both in religious and political circles. They give the world a chance to overcome the existing stereotypes of interreligious relations, to develop an effective formula for global tolerance and mutual understanding in the 21st century. I am convinced that the work of the XIX Secretariat of the Congress and the VII Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions will help to take an important step towards this goal», - N. Zhalgasbayev said.
Continuing the speeches of the guests of the event, the participant of the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, the rector of Somaya Vidyavigar University – Samir Somaya noted the key role of Kazakhstan and the unique international platform of the Congress in conducting a dialogue between world and traditional religions. «The initiative of the First President of Kazakhstan, Elbasy – Nursultan Nazarbayev to hold the Congresses of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions is today considered by the international community as an effective mechanism for the development of a dialogue between cultures and civilizations. The congress is recognized by the entire world community, leading international organizations and authoritative leaders of world and traditional religions. I consider it important to jointly continue to work to promote the ideas of the Congress and their entry to a new level of dialogue. Only solidarity with each other will allow us to achieve our common goals in all integration processes to improve the well-being of the entire world community», - summed up Samir Somaya.
In general, the participants of the round table confirmed their further readiness to promote the ideas of the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, the principles of spiritual diplomacy at the international level. In particular, the event was widely covered by the largest international media in India, such as Asian News International, News mobile, etc.
Let us remind, that a series of international round tables dedicated to the XIX Secretariat of the Congress, popularization of key ideas, goals and objectives of the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions is planned in Pakistan, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Saudi Arabia, Armenia, Hungary, Germany, Iran, Canada, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Turkey.