Religios Leaders to Gather in Astana

28 May 2012

World Religious Leaders will discuss Peace and harmony as the choice of mankind in the capital of Kazakhstan at the IV Congress of World and Traditional Religions Leaders. The event will take place in Astana on 30-31 May, 2012.

UNESCO Director-General Ms. Irina Bokova plans to attend the Congress. She will arrive in the capital of Kazakhstan at the invitation of Mr. Imangali Tasmagambetov, Chairman of RK National Commission for UNESCO and ISESCO.

The following four thematic frameworks were specified for the working sessions:

  • The Role of Religious Leaders in Achieving Sustainable Development;
  • Religion and Multiculturalism;
  • Religion and Women: Spiritual Values and Contemporary Challenges;
  • Religion and Youth.

The I Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions was held in 2003 in Astana, and the next one took place three years later. The UN technically assisted and participated in the III Congress in 2009, when the year of 2010 was declared the "International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures". This proposal was subsequently endorsed by the UN General Assembly.

Conceptual problems and the humanitarian focus of the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, the demonstration of the beneficial effects of cultural diversity, as well as recognition of the importance of interaction and exchange between cultures and religions have greatly contributed to the preservation of cultural diversity around the world, which has been recognized as one of the main priorities of UNESCO.

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