Closing speech of Nursultan Nazarbayev at the III Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions


July 2, 2009

Dear participants and guests of the Congress!

The III Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions has completed its work.

For two days, you discussed topical issues of preserving peace and strengthening harmony between religions. These meetings were held in a constructive atmosphere.

As a result, the participants of the Congress adopted an Appeal reflecting Your General position on expanding and continuing the dialogue of religions.

I thank all the heads of delegations who came to the Congress for their fruitful work. I express my boundless gratitude to representatives of the United Nations and other international organizations, politicians and public figures from different countries for accepting our invitation to the Congress.

Dear participants and guests of the Congress!

Ten years ago, UNESCO recognized Astana as the winner of the "Cities for peace" international competition. All these years, the young capital of Kazakhstan has carried this high title with dignity. And now, having gathered distinguished guests at a unique forum of spiritual leaders, it has once again confirmed its status as a City of Peace and Harmony.

The discussion at the Congress once again showed the readiness and high interest of all the spiritual leaders gathered in Astana for dialogue. During these days, various opinions were expressed under the arches of the Palace of Peace and Harmony and the Palace of Independence, and the approaches of representatives of all delegations were expressed on the issues put forward for discussion.

But all the speeches were united by a common concern for the fate of a diverse planet and a desire to find ways to strengthen harmony and understanding between countries and peoples, representatives of different religions.

The 3rd Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions was held, according to the Hijra, in one of the most blessed Muslim months – Rajab.

At this time, the mercy of the most high is boundlessly "poured out" on people, encouraging them to pious deeds and beginnings. Therefore, the decisions you have made here in Kazakhstan are gracious and pleasing to God. And let the wisdom of Your words addressed to the world be heard and find a warm response in the hearts of people!

The current situation on the planet is complex and contradictory. It is with pain in our hearts that we receive news of new victims of terrorism, wars and conflicts based on xenophobia and religious tolerance.

All participants of the forum noted the important role of religion in preserving peace and harmony, tolerance and mutual understanding, and strengthening the moral foundations of society. In the current difficult time of the global crisis, this role is being strengthened many times.

Therefore, spiritual principles should be elevated to the rank of one of the main mechanisms of post-crisis reconstruction of the world. I am sure that the results of the Congress will expand the circle of righteous people who call for peace and harmony between peoples!

Moreover, I believe that a far-sighted step would be to organize a permanent dialogue between politicians and spiritual leaders. Our common goal is to build a more secure, stable and just world based on mutual responsibility, interaction and cooperation of peoples.

As the Buddha instructed, "it is better if instead of a thousand words you find one, but one that instills PEACE!".

I am sure that the results of the third Congress will play a very important conceptual and practical role in promoting dialogue among civilizations, cultures and religions. They will certainly bring people closer together and strengthen interreligious understanding in the world.

I would like to emphasize that open intercultural and interreligious dialogue is one of the key issues of Kazakhstan's domestic and foreign policy.

We have followed this line and will continue to do so at all levels of ensuring global and regional security.

Dear participants and guests of the Congress!

The 3rd Congress concludes its work. The number of participants has increased, the discussions have become deeper and more meaningful, and the decisions made have become more detailed.

This means that this forum is needed by a world at a crossroads. Our Congress is one of the sources of light that can point the right way to an agreement between people.

I am deeply grateful to all heads of delegations and all guests for participating in the Congress! We do not say goodbye, we say – until we meet again here in the capital of Kazakhstan – Astana!

I wish you all Peace and Reconciliation, Inspiration and Wisdom, happiness and Kindness!