Address of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev at the Opening Session of the III Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions


July 1-2, 2009


Dear participants of the Congress!
Dear guests!

Welcome to hospitable Kazakh land!

On behalf of all Kazakhstan people I express my sincere gratitude to you for your participation at the Congress of leaders of world and traditional religions, which is being held for the third time in Astana.

Wishful thinking and noble aims to share opinion, to strengthen universal values and to establish a dialogue of civilizations have gathered you in Astana city.

I am confident, that your wise sermons, significant proposals, which will be made in Astana, will be spread to all countries and contribute to establish peace and mutual concord on the planet Earth.
The Astana city, erected at joint of Asia and Europe, West and East, today is being turned into the centre of interaction of various nations and religions.

We are proud of nobleness of people of Kazakhstan, which could preserve interconfessional concord and interethnic friendship. We make our efforts to pass our experience to world community.
We stand up against religious oppositions and interethnic conflicts in new millennium at different corners of the world.

Today's our meeting in Astana is another evidence of our position.
Therefore I consider, that the IIIrd Congress of leaders of world and traditional religions will play a significant role in the cause of development of interconfessional concord and interaction of civilizations.

Dear participants and guests of the Congress!

I am glad to see in good health the spiritual leaders from all over the world - friends of Kazakhstan, which responded to our invitation and gathered together to give their blessings and pastor's precept to people.
We appreciate, that Your spiritual concern for the world, Your dedication to the cause of consent on Earth for the third time bring you to Astana.
It is symbolic, that our young capital meets high guests on the eve of its birth day.

Astana is a city of interconfessional accord. Palace of peace and concord, minarets of mosques, domes of Christian temples and synagogues, religious homes of representatives of other religions are becoming organic part of architectural ensemble of city and its spiritual life.
Astana is a capital of the country, which for its whole history has been a centre of combination of historic and cultural heritage of great civilizations.
More religious, statesmen and public figures from all over the world lay emphasis on taking part in the work of Congress. If in 2006 29 delegations took part in our Forum, today 77 delegations from 35 countries of the world have gathered in this hall.

I am glad to greet the authorities of Islam. We greet you as "Assalam Aleikum".

It is a great honour for us to receive prominent figures of Christianity. May God protect you in Your pious deeds!

Addressing to leaders of Judaist community, we say "Sholom Aleihem".

We greet the representatives of ancient Eastern religions - Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Shinto and Zoroastrianism. Peace with You!
We are glad, that a number of prominent statesmen and public figures from all over the world responded to our invitation and take part in our Forum.
I appreciate that you could arrive to participate in our Congress.

Dear Friends!

The Kazakhstan experience of interethnic and interconfessional concord has been recognized as one of the most successful on the postsoviet space.

There are almost 3200 mosques, temples and meetinghouses in our country. Already the day before yesterday here in Astana I laid the foundation of the construction of new Mosque. Construction of one of the largest Orthodox Church of Assumption of Virgin Mary will be completed next year.

Palace of Peace and Concord, built for the Second Congress, within past three years has become as real spiritual centre of our country. Here different conferences and Forums are regularly being held.
As I promised at the past Congress, we established an International Centre of cultures and religions, which is located in this Palace.
The Islamic Culture and Education Fund is being created in Kazakhstan under the aegis of state.

Throughout many centuries unified people of Kazakhstan, enriched with spiritual heritage of various ethnos and religions, took up such qualities as tolerance, toleration and openness to grasp the new.
And we feel our commitment to carry down this cultivated imperative to the entire humanity.

One of significant initiatives of Kazakhstan, supported by the United Nations Organization is declaration of 2010 "International Year of rapprochement of cultures".

Also I am proud of the fact that Kazakhstan has given full credibility to preside over sessions of OSCE (Organization for security and Cooperation in Europe) and OIC (Organization of Islamic Conference).
We will inform our partners of OSCE and OIC decisions and the Congress recommendations, striving for realization of them within our chairmanship.

Congress of leaders of world and traditional religions, convened on the initiative of Kazakhstan has become an organic and effective global dialogue between religions of modern world. It plays a significant role, promoting improvement of mutual understanding among spiritual leaders, religions and nations.

In 2002 when after shocking terrorism on the 11th of September a world has been threatened with danger of notorious "clash of civilizations", we proposed an initiative of convocation of Congress. The first forum was held in 2003.

Its participants, authoritative religious figures of all over the world adopted a Declaration, in which interconfessional Dialogue was named as an important instrument of peacekeeping and concord between nations.
The second Congress we held in 2006. It was a difficult time, when the situation in Middle East has been escalated dramatically, there was a war in Iraqi. These events spread all over the world, strengthening mistrust between peoples of various religious belongings.

World religious leaders, gathered then in Astana, called states to be on the right track of dialogue and undertake measures on strengthening of culture of peace and concord.

And here again in our country the pastors from all over the planet have been gathered.

And again the situation in modern world is alarming.
In different regions of the planet people continue to kill each other, breaking the main Commandments. Thousands of innocent civilians fall victim to unreal aims and interests.

Unprecedented acts of terror of international dimension happened in Istanbul, Mumbai, Peshawar, Baghdad. Violence engenders violence, and there is no end to it.

The situation in Afghanistan is being escalated dramatically, where again extremists raise their heads, which threaten the stability of the whole region. The entire world is taken over with drugs, made in this country.
Nuclear threat continues to keep the world community in stress. International system of nuclear safety has malfunctioned and could not avert the process of "creeping" of weapons of mass destruction. Nuclear materials trade and attempts of a number of terrorist groups to acquire own nuclear weapon becomes a frightening reality.

Thus, menace to world stability have not diminished. Even new ones have arisen.

Today a mankind goes through large-scale global financial-economic crisis over the last decades, which caused great damage to world economy.

As a result of collapse, world economy lost trillions of dollars. According to data of IMF, about 50 states of world have found themselves on the verge of disaster. All industrially developed economies of the world - USA, Japan, European Union and Russia are in recession. For the first time over the last decades growth rates of economic development of China has been slowing down.

Economic, financial crisis aggravate all above problems in the world.
In these difficult conditions all countries are actively involved in rescue their economies. Volume of crisis management measures exceeded 10 trillions dollars. Monetary reserves are being exhausted, state debts are growing.
But at the same time the present crisis to a large extent is naturally determined.

Economic development of the world for the last decades, technological rapid progress could not solve such eternal problems, as poverty and hunger.

Attempts of improvements of life at the expense of other systems of crediting, "easy money" today turned out to be a real tragedy for hundreds of thousands of people. Illusion of "wealth without effort turned out to be a delusion.

And again a mankind is faced with problems, to which none one could give an answer.

Why all innumerable wealth of the world, which is presented by the Almighty to the mankind, serves for the benefit of small part of it?

The gap between the rich and the poor continues to increase in geometric sequence. At the same time more than a billion people spend less than 1 dollar a day.

In one countries about third products are dumped. In other corners of the planet the entire countries and regions are under threat of hunger.

Why with such striking successes of modern science, the world feels a shock of emerging threats of global epidemics, and millions of people have no access to medical aid?

Almost 10 millions of children below the age of 5 die of remediable diseases every year. In the world more than 30 millions of people are HIV-positive, and only 3 millions of them have an access to antiretroviral therapy. As if as punishment to mankind new epidemics arise, before which the science is helpless.

Why in madness of creature comforts race we became to forget morals of human life, and consumerism has become a sense of life of many people?

Necessity in constant spiritual self-perfection has taken a second place. Many people disregard of the fact that material values - money, cupidity and thoughtless rat race prevail over the world.
It is said in Upanishada: "Being in multiform of ignorance, the ignorant people suggest, that they achieved aim".

So, the progress of mankind at times is identified with the process of creation of comfortable conditions of life by mistake.

But is it a real sense of human life? May be the time has come to stop and think over, where we move to, what we expect in perspective in the future?

Unfortunately, those who states that the human society, which experiences regress of spirituality, are right in some degree. And this is underlying cause of all economic shocks of modern world.

Crisis repeatedly actualized a significance of morals in economy, in every day life of a man, in relationships, of both various economic structures and peoples of countries and nations.

I am confident, realization of the current situation and overcoming a crisis require a special approach. Old ways and stereotypes are not on. All this will be half measures.

The current global economic "earthquake" led tectonic layers of spiritual world to movement.

What will these shifts lead to? In this regard there are terrible forecasts of world wars, the current waves of violence and cruelty.
Or after all the mankind will acquire such a formula of existence, in which on equal basis and with good result will interact all cultures and nations.
Addressing appeal to all humanity, prophet Muhammad, May God bless him, clearly defined the main aim of his mission in this world: "I am envoyed only for improvement of nobleness of morals".

Jesus Christ said "what is the use of becoming owner of the entire world for man if it is injurious to his spirit?"

Today the morals should be on the first place. Without this significant instrument it is impossible to find the way out of the crisis to more higher way of development of the society. I am convinced of it.

Keepers of the values of morals at all times were and continue to become spiritual leaders - pastors of various religions. That is why in these difficult times hopes are pinned on religious figures.

Today ever more moral-humanistic imperative of religion is required.
The legend of Talmud says: ".. every man ought to remember, that for him and under his responsibility a world has been created".

Exactly you, religious leaders, might become bearer of revival of spirituality - the main condition of harmonic development of the world. In this we see high mission of our Congress.

Dear participants of the Congress!

As it is known, God does not give a burden above one's bend, and today the mankind has a chance yet to rectify misdeeds.

The current crisis gives a unique chance to the world to be transformed, realize long-term dream of mankind of just world order. And it is unforgivable to miss this chance.

Though a new world order might be created not after next global war conflict, as it was in past, but in peace - by way of achieving a dialogue and development of mutually accepted positions.

What are the bases of the world order in our opinion?
First, it is just economic model.

It should be based on honest and just world financial, currency system, without deception and wastefulness. In which material wealth produced by mankind will be directed to creation and progress of each man, his spiritual growth and self-perfection.

Second, it is just political model of interaction between states.
The interests of the whole world, not of separate countries are regarded as of paramount. Updated system of international relations should not be divided into large and small countries, "good" and "bad" ones. This new world should become the world of universal trust and respect, partnership and dialogue.

We are encouraged by an attempt of USA leadership to establish mutual understanding with Muslim world. It is a sign of significant changes , which are going to take place in the world.

We also support a proposal of the King of Saudi Arabia of dialogue of cultures and religions.

Third, it is a new approach to providing global safety.
Decisive actions on development of new forms of international cooperation are required, which will stabilize the situation on the planet, to make it safety. More efficient antiterrorism and countermeasures to drug dealing are required.

It is especially important to join efforts of the entire mankind in global movement to denuclearized world.

Adopted almost 40 years ago the treaty on non-proliferation of nuclear weapon has not become a global mechanism of providing nuclear safety. It could not only prevent emergence of new nuclear states, but also did not impose ban on perfection of weapons of mass destruction by members of nuclear club.

Therefore an international community should proceed to immediate revision of nuclear non-proliferation mechanisms and create a new universal Treaty on global horizontal and vertical non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Realizing its responsibility before world community, our country voluntarily renounced the fourth nuclear potential in the world. Unfortunately, small number of countries followed our example. That is why Kazakhstan will continue a policy aimed at full annihilation nuclear threat on the planet.

We appealed to UNO with an initiative to declare the 29th of August, the date, when 18 years ago Semiplatinsk nuclear Test Site was closed by me, the World-wide non-proliferation Day .

Only within the framework of UNO the world community should work out countermeasures to modern challenges for the entire world.
Fourth, the new world order is incredible without high morals and spirituality.

Exactly they are should be the main machinery of the post crisis rearrangement of the world. All the best, which exist in the culture of each nation, should become the common property of the entire mankind. In such world mutual jealousy, religious and other kinds of discrimination should not exist. It will be a community, in which progress will be measured not only by qualitative material values, but also by high morals and responsibility of people.

Not only leading powers, but also other countries and international organizations should take part in creation of such world order .
Just on this evidence in my article "Keys from crisis" I offered to elaborate Radical renewal Plan. I am confident, that it should contain not only measures on creation of new currency system, transfer of nations, peoples and countries to new, more efficient economic and planning structure. I see radical innovations in spiritual sphere, getting its potential in boundless opportunities of mutual enrichment of cultures as its inevitable element.
Therefore it would be insufficient to consider crisis countermeasures only from the material point of view.

I am sure, that without change in mind, without observance of high principles it is impossible to overcome the crisis.
Only just world order might become the basis of prosperity of human society.

An activity of International Centre of culture and religions, created in Astana, should be aimed at it.

It is important under of its aegis to expand a dialogue of representatives of different cultures and religions. It is necessary to attract representatives of high and religious mass media and youth societies, scientific and creative intellectuals to it.

Centre should become an intellectual laboratory of the world, concord and justice, work out and put forward offers to global Agenda. It should become a working structure of the Congress, providing all the participants with new ideas of proposals.

Secretariat of our Congress jointly with a Centre might think of a question of creation of religious leaders Council for a dialogue and cooperation with other forums and international organizations, the activity of which is aimed at a dialogue of cultures and economic interaction.
I am confident, that participants of the IIIrd Congress of leaders of world and traditional religions will support such an approach.

Dear participants of the Congress!

In Your prayers, sermons, in communication with people You are preaching the word of God to humanity, you are keepers of imperishable values of this world.

I am sure , that You are fully realize how impacts you word to billions of people, to their deeds, views and valuable guiding lines.
I hope, that this appeal, which we together forward to the people from the land of Kazakhstan to follow high ideals of kindness, justice and charity, providing a basis of all religions, will be heard by them.

Dear guests!

There is a wisdom saying: "Not oceans divide the nations, and not ignorance and difference of languages, only discord does it.
When there is no friendship, there prevails hostility. That is why it is necessary to instill eternal qualities such as humanism, charity, spirituality in people. The time will be changed as a man will be changed for better. To change the society is a commitment of people.

So, today in this situation we have gathered to discuss the current and the future of mankind.

At the same time I am sure that this meeting will contribute to the current world political situation, people's friendship.

I wish success to you and the work of Congress.

Thank You for Your attention.