Kazakhstan Participates in Fifth Forum of UN Alliance of Civilisations

ASTANA – A delegation from Kazakhstan, headed by Chairman of the Senate and Head of the Secretariat of the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions Kairat Mami, took part in the fifth Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilisations held in Vienna Feb. 27-28. The theme of this forum was “Promotion of Responsible Leadership in Diversity and Dialogue.”

The Alliance of Civilisations was created in 2004 by Spain and Turkey and is supported by the U.N. Secretary-General. Its goal is to unite the efforts of the international community to prevent the deepening of the split between the West and the Muslim world, to overcome religious prejudice and polarisation of civilizations and to encourage governments to take appropriate measures on a global scale.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, President of the U.N. General Assembly Vuk Jeremic, President of Austria Heinz Fischer, Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Jorge Sampaio, Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser and other prominent guests participated in the high-level forum.

The head of the Kazakhstani delegation visited the King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue, where he met with Faisal Bin Abdulrahman Bin Muaammar, the secretary-general of the organisation. He congratulated his interlocutor on the opening of the centre and told him about the activities of the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions. They also touched upon prospects for cooperation between the secretariat of the Congress and the centre.

Within the forum, Mami held bilateral meetings. During meetings with President Heinz Fischer of Austria and Vice Chancellor and Minister for European and International Affairs of Austria Michael Spindelegger, he discussed issues of bilateral cooperation and the implementation of agreements achieved during the official visit of Kazakhstan’s president to Vienna in October 2012.

At a meeting with the newly appointed High Representative of the U.N. Secretary-General for the Alliance of Civilisations Nassir Abdulaziz al-Nasser, Mami discussed issues of cooperation between the alliance and congress of leaders of world and traditional religions. Mami noted that as a member of the Group of Friends of the Alliance of Civilisations, Kazakhstan attaches great importance to its activities in the international arena and fully supports projects that contribute to overcoming intercultural, inter-ethnic and inter-religious conflicts.

Mami also held talks with Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, President of Macedonia George Ivanov and UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova.

During his visit to Vienna, Mami addressed the Austrian-Kazakh society, representatives of political, business and media in Austria. He spoke about the current stage of development in Kazakhstan, the main directions of the strategy Kazakhstan 2050 and promotion of the international initiatives of President Nursultan Nazarbayev. Mami discussed investment opportunities related to the modernisation of Kazakhstan’s economy, prospects for the development of alternative energy and the upcoming EXPO 2017 exhibition in Astana. He invited interested Austrian circles to actively participate in the online platform G-Global and in the ATOM Project. At the end of the meeting he replied to questions from the audience.

Senator Adil Akhmetov and Chairman of the Agency for Religious Affairs Kairat Lama Sharif participated in events at the forum. A photo exhibition dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions was also arranged within the event.