On October 5, 2021, a meeting of the Working Group of the Secretariat of the Congress was held in Nur-Sultan under the chairmanship of the Commissioner for Promotion of the Goals and Objectives of the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, Chairman of the Management Board of N. Nazarbayev Center for Development of Interfaith and Intercivilization Dialogue B. Sarsenbayev.
The meeting was attended by Deputy Head of the Secretariat of the Congress, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan A. Rakhmetullin, Deputy Head of the Secretariat of the Congress, Vice Minister of Information and Social Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan S. Yegizbayev, as well as representatives of authoritative international organizations, religious associations of Kazakhstan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt, Iran, Russian Federation, Vatican, Great Britain, Korea, India and Israel.
Opening the meeting of the Working Group, the Commissioner for the Promotion of the Goals and Objectives of the Congress B. Sarsenbayev focused the participants' attention to the importance of the strategic initiative and foresight of the First President of Kazakhstan, Elbasy N. Nazarbayev in strengthening international security, as well as the consistent policy of the Head of State K. Tokayev in preserving interreligious harmony.
It was noted that the global world has entered a new stage of its development, in the light of the latest challenges caused by the pandemic, global socio-economic, natural and man-made disasters. In this regard, at present, especially, the role and mission of spiritual leaders, religious associations are expanding in order to bring different cultures, religions and civilizations closer together. «Today we must admit that in the modern world the demand for constructive dialogue between religions is growing significantly. In these conditions, the Congress, which has been firmly established for 18 years in the perception of the international community as a unique global interreligious dialogue platform, is intended to become a consolidating platform in addressing pressing issues. I am sure that the joint efforts of the spiritual hierarchs and their followers will give a new impetus and inspiration to the strengthening of interfaith and intercivilizational dialogue», - B. Sarsenbayev emphasized.
Informing the participants of the Working Group about the preparations for the VII Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions and the importance of the dialogue platform of the Congress in the post-pandemic development of the world, Deputy Head of the Secretariat of the Congress S. Yegizbayev in his speech dwelled on the work carried out by the Organizing Committee, including promoting goals and tasks of the Congress in the information space. In addition, a key place was given to proposals to improve the criteria for awarding the Astana International Prize for Contribution to Interreligious Dialogue and the Medal of Honor of the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, Kazakhstan's achievements in the interreligious sphere over 30 years of Independence.
In turn, Deputy Head of the Secretariat of the Congress S. Rakhmetullin noted the Kazakh model of interethnic and interfaith harmony, the role of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan – Elbasy N.A. Nazarbayev in promoting global intercivilizational and interreligious dialogue. In addition, he reported on the topics of the plenary and breakout sessions of the VII Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, revealing the role of leaders of world and traditional religions in the social and spiritual development of human civilization in the post-pandemic period, strengthening the spiritual and moral values of modern societies, the importance of religious education, the contribution of women in social well-being and sustainable development of society. At the end of his speech, A. Rakhmetullin drew the participants' attention to the format of the Final Document.
In general, it should be noted that during the meeting of the Working Group, the participants had a constructive exchange of views on the issues on the agenda, discussion of the topics of the VII Congress and the format of its holding.
Supporting the initiatives of Kazakhstan, the conceptual ideas and tasks of the Congress, the members of the Working Group confirmed, once again, their adherence to the principles of peace and tolerance, as well as their further readiness to contribute to a joint search for ways and solutions in ensuring dialogue between the leaders of world and traditional religions, in particular, in development and formation of common positions on the approved program documents of the upcoming XIX meeting of the Secretariat of the Congress.