On August 17, 2023 the N. Nazarbayev Center for the Development of Interfaith and Intercivilizational Dialogue, a meaningful discussion was held by representatives of government agencies and scientific and research circles of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey, Pakistan, as well as international organizations and foreign diplomatic missions within the framework of the online conference "Good Neighborliness of Cultures in the XXI century of the Central Asian countries Asia".
The main purpose of the conference is to consolidate the regional efforts of spiritual leaders - stakeholders in the interfaith sphere and the rapprochement of cultures, as well as to activate the fruitful partnership of the Central Asian countries.
Online conference was attended by following participants Chairman of the Managing Board B. Sarsenbayev , Deputy Chairman of Religious Affairs Committee of the Ministry of Information and Social Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan A. Khatiyev, IRCICA General Director Dr. Mahmud Erol Kilic, Mufti and Chairman of the Ulema Council of the Islamic Center of the Republic of Tajikistan S. Abdukodirzoda, Director General of the Islamic Research Institute at the International Islamic University of Islamabad Muhammad Zia Ul Haq, counsellor of the Embassy of the Republic of Tajikistan to the Republic of Kazakhstan S. Rajabov, Deputy Chairman of the Spiritual Board of Muslims of Uzbekistan U. Gafurov, Chairman of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Central Asia, Bishop Ordinarius of the Diocese of the Most Holy Trinity in Almaty, Bishop Jose Luis Mumbiela Sierra, Adviser of the Chairman of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Kazakhstan K. Duysenbai, Specialist in Social Sciences and Humanities of the UNESCO Cluster Office in Central Asia M. Baibekov, Head of the Center for Interreligious Dialogue of the Bulgarian Islamic Academy E. Sadykova and other experts.
In his welcoming speech, B. Sarsenbayev outlined the significant role of the Congress of the Leaders of World and Traditional Religions in strengthening religious tolerance and inter–civilizational dialogue, and also stressed that «today the conference participants have the main task - a common desire to contribute to the transformation of Central Asia into a prosperous region with the preservation of cultural heritage».
In addition, B. Sarsenbayev noted that this year the 20th anniversary of the Congress is being celebrated - a unique dialogue platform for achieving mutual respect between religions and nationalities. Currently, purposeful work is underway to prepare and organize the jubilee XXI meeting of the Congress Secretariat, which will be held on October 10-11 this year in Astana under the leadership of Chairman of the Senate of the Parliament of Kazakhstan – the Head of the Secretariat of the Congress of the Leaders of World and Traditional Religions M. Ashimbayev.
"Dialogue is the most reliable way to strengthen the atmosphere of friendship, mutual understanding and stability in the region. Whereas the rapprochement of cultures and peoples is possible by combining the efforts of our countries on the basis of the principle of common interest," said the Chairman of the Center N. Nazarbayev.
In turn, the Deputy Chairman of Religious Affairs Committee of the Ministry of Information and Social Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan A. Khatiyev noted that Kazakhstan devote great attention to the promotion of constructive policy in the field of culture, language, traditions, science and education, which is one of the key factors of socio-economic development.
In addition, he expressed confidence that in the future all the countries of Central Asia will also remain a cradle for peaceful coexistence of different ethnic groups and faiths.
In his video message, IRCICA General Director Dr. Mahmud Erol Kilic noted that "the member States of Central Asia make a joint important contribution to the cultural sphere of the OIC with their scientific, artistic and architectural heritage, which embodies the neighborhood of their cultures within the framework of world civilization. With such a heritage, the countries of Central Asia represent one of the most distinctive cultural regions of the world. We will continue to highlight the works of Islamic scholars and philosophers, collections of books and manuscripts, artistic and architectural heritage through joint projects with their institutes."
Continuing the idea of further development of the Central Asian countries in the cultural and humanitarian sphere, Director of the Center for Islamic Civilization under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan Sh. Minovarov, in his speech, stressed that «in recent years there has been a particularly dynamic and progressive development of good-neighborly, friendly and mutually beneficial relations between the countries of Central Asia. Bringing interregional multifaceted cooperation to a qualitatively new level meets the long-term interests of our fraternal peoples, and will also serve as an important factor in ensuring peace, stability, security and sustainable development in Central Asia».
In turn, Director General of the Islamic Research Institute at the International Islamic University of Islamabad Muhammad Zia Ul Haq, highly appreciated Kazakhstan's initiative to hold a Congress of the Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, and noted the historical significance of the Declaration of the VII Congress, stressing that "the forum, widely recognized by the international community, has become a visiting card of Kazakhstan and evidence of efforts to promote the ideals of peace and harmony. All these issues are extremely important and urgent for our world. The future of our society, peace and stability depends on their successful solution. The Congress is an interactive platform for representatives of world religions".
In his speech, Chairman of the Ulema Council of the Islamic Center of the Republic of Tajikistan S. Abdukodirzoda noted that «at the moment the main task is integration, creation, unification for the prosperity of all peoples and nations, and also expressed hope that the position of the conference participants on the protection, preservation and enhancement of spiritual and cultural heritage will contribute to the further development of international cooperation on an equal and mutually beneficial basis»
In general, it should be noted that the conference participants agreed on the importance of discussing topical issues of development in the field of interfaith dialogue, as well as multilateral interaction and strengthening cultural and humanitarian ties, including intraregional ones between the participating countries of the conference.