Speech of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan - Elbasy N.Nazarbayev at the opening of the ІІ Congress


September 13, 2006

Dear Congress's participants,

Distinguished guests,

I am pleased to state that the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions is turning into a reputable international forum working on a constant basis. This means that the idea of inter-confessional dialogue is extremely required and is becoming a real factor of the international life.

Therefore, it is especially important that the Congress's participants have reached the unified under­standing of the Universal Principles of inter-religious dialogue and have approved them.

Taking into account their great significance, I suggest submitting them for consideration to the United Nations Organization.

Speeches of the respectable hierarchs and discus­sions, which were held during the Congress, demon­strated one more time the readiness of confessions' leaders for dialogue and their aspiration to hold the dialogue in a tolerant and mutually respectful way.

It is very important that respectable Congress's participants have directly announced about the harm and falsity of confrontation ideology concerning inter-religious relations. It plays on the side of those, who are interested in the propagation of religious extremism.

Today, religious extremism and terrorism are fed by the completely new system of extremist views, which is being turned into a non-traditional and irrational ideological weapon.

Five years ago the world was shocked with the tragedy of the 11th of September, 2001, when terrifying in their cruelty terrorist acts in the USA, demonstrated the danger of destructive forces practicing violence and terror. We were convinced one more time that our world is fragile and mutually linked.

Facing global threats, the whole world had united against that evil. Today the future of a human kind depends on us. We must make all efforts in order to eliminate the ideology of terrorism and to establish the values of humanism common to all mankind.

Therefore, it is necessary to oppose the ideology of tolerance, accord and dialogue to the destructive ideology of terrorism.

A very important idea, that we must avoid to use religious ideology for advocating ambiguous political goals, was released at our forum.

Religion served as the source of calming in human souls, as the factor of mutual attraction between nations and states for ages. I doubt that there is anything comparable to the potential of religion in the modern world.

The theme of developing inter-religious dialogue for preserving and strengthening values of the modern civili­zation was on the agenda of our forum. We are talking about such values as the humanity of religious conscious­ness, cultural heritage of religions, diversity, principal equity and respect of religious traditions, spiritual edu­cation and tutorship.

All these important statements were reflected in the adopted Declaration of the Second Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions. The global need for changing "confrontation ideology" into the "peace cul­ture" was deeply reflected in the document.

I am thankful to the Congress's participants, who very high appreciated Kazakhstan's efforts for maintain­ing culture and religion dialogue, our activities on fight against national, cultural, religious intolerance. This is always amongst the key priorities of Kazakhstan's internal and foreign policies.

In this regard I would like to announce today the initiative on the creation of the International Center for Cultures and Religions under the aegis of the Congress.

The Center could perform educational, scientific researches and humanitarian projects, study potential conflict aspects of the religious situation in the world.

The main tasks of such center might be-holding of international meetings and the promotion to contacts and mutual understanding between religious figures and political elites in different countries, publishing books.

Having your blessing, the Center could start its work in the nearest future and occupy the Peace and Accord Palace. I hope you will support this initiative.

In conclusion I would like to note one more time the fundamental role of religious leaders for the achieve­ment of our common aim - ensuring the prosperous and safe present and future.

I would Uke to express our gratefulness to the heads of the delegations and to all participants for your contribution to the noble mission of people's rappro­chement and for the effective support of our forum.

Thank you very much for your attention!