Tokayev highlights role of religious principles in building new international security system at Congress of World and Traditional Religions

NOUR-SULTAN – Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev proposed building a new international security system based on humanistic ideals using world religions as a model during his address to the Seventh Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions in Nur-Sultan on September 14.

President Tokayev (M) opening the Seventh Congress of World and Traditional Religions visited by Pope Francis (L). Photo credit: presidential press service

The two-day congress, first convened in 2003, brought together some of the world’s most prominent religious leaders, including Pope Francis and Grand Imam of al-Azhar Ahmed El-Tayeb, who together plan to try to pave the way for peace.

“Kazakh land has been a bridge between West and East for centuries,” the president said in his opening speech. Kazakhstan has been at the crossroads of the main religions of the world, confirmed by numerous ancient monuments – the legacy of the first Muslim, Christian and Buddhist communities.

“Strengthening dialogue and cooperation in our country and in the world is an important part of Kazakhstan’s policy. Today’s congress is a clear manifestation of that,” the president said.

President Tokayev attributed the increase in conflicts and tensions in different parts of the world to “the collapse of the previous international security system”.

“Unfortunately, tension, mutual mistrust and even hostility are returning to international relations. What can we rely on to counter today’s challenges? History provides only one answer – goodwill, dialogue and cooperation,” Tokayev said, emphasizing the importance of the fundamental ideas behind world religions.

He urged congress participants to establish the basic principles of traditional religions, such as the sacred value of human life, mutual support and the rejection of destructive rivalry and hostility as the basis for a new world system. .

The challenge for the world is to establish practical measures in societies to ensure peace and resolve any disputes through negotiation and dialogue, according to Tokayev.

“Threats, sanctions and the use of force do not solve the problems,” Tokayev said. “At times like these, we must turn to humanistic ideals. Their main guardians are, of course, the traditional religions.

Highlighting the crucial role of spiritual leaders, Tokayev said that “while politicians argue, spiritual leaders desire and seek to come together.”
“To build a new international security system, we all need a new global movement for peace. I believe the role of spiritual leaders in this matter is paramount,” he said.

The President briefed the conference audience on important political reforms in Kazakhstan. “Today, Kazakhstan has embarked on an ambitious reform agenda. Their success depends in large part on the solidarity of our multi-ethnic and multi-faith nation as well as peace and harmony in our land. We are building a fair Kazakhstan to make our state efficient and prosperous,” Tokayev said.

The congress will continue today and tomorrow with panel discussions focusing on a wide range of issues facing the world.