As­tana meet calls for peace and sta­bil­ity in world

Times of Oman - - WORLD -

Times News Ser­vice

MUS­CAT: Po­lit­i­cal and faith lead­ers gath­ered in Kaza­khstan’s cap­i­tal of As­tana to present a united call for peace and sta­bil­ity in the world.

The call was made dur­ing the 6th Congress of the Lead­ers of World and Tra­di­tional Reli­gions, an event held ev­ery three years in the Cen­tral Asian gi­ant.

Over 80 del­e­ga­tions from more than 46 coun­tries at­tended the congress, with se­nior politi­cians and faith lead­ers rep­re­sent­ing all the world’s ma­jor faiths on hand.

High­light­ing the chal­lenges fac­ing the world, Kaza­khstan’s Pres­i­dent Nur­sul­tan Nazarbayev opened the sum­mit, say­ing, “We have al­ready been liv­ing in the third mil­len­nium for 18 years, but peace, pros­per­ity and wealth have not be­come the main trend of hu­man de­vel­op­ment.

“The world com­mu­nity has not been able to get out of the sin­is­ter cir­cle of mu­tual dis­trust, hos­til­ity and con­flict.

“We see that the sit­u­a­tion has wors­ened. New walls, new “iron cur­tains” are be­ing built be­tween coun­tries and geopo­lit­i­cal blocks. But the most dan­ger­ous is­sue is that in the minds and hearts of peo­ple, a feel­ing of mu­tual es­trange­ment is in­creas­ing.”

He added, “De­spite the rapid tech­no­log­i­cal de­vel­op­ment and growth of global wealth, the scale of so­cial dis­as­ters con­tin­ues to ex­pand.

Ac­cord­ing to the UN, 14 per cent of the world’s pop­u­la­tion is per­sis­tently mal­nour­ished.

“The to­tal num­ber of un­em­ployed has ex­ceeded 190 mil­lion peo­ple. This re­in­forces so­cial inequal­ity as a breed­ing ground for rad­i­cal­ism. For this rea­son, the cen­tral is­sue is a safe, fair world.”

Guests at the event in­cluded the Grand Imam of Al Azhar Ahmed Tayyib, Pa­tri­arch Theophilus III of Jerusalem, Rabbi Ova­dia Yosef, Chief Sephardi Rabbi of Is­rael, and Ser­bian Pres­i­dent Alek­san­dar Vu­cic.

Vu­cic, echo­ing Nazarbayev’s sen­ti­ment, said, “Peace and se­cu­rity are the most im­por­tant com­mon val­ues of all na­tions in the world, and mes­sages of peace should be the ba­sis of the in­ter­na­tional or­der.”

Turkey’s Pres­i­dent of Re­li­gious Af­fairs Dr. Ali Er­bas, also com­mented, “Al­though con­cepts such as equal­ity, free­dom, and eq­ui­table shar­ing are prom­i­nent as charis­matic and promis­ing slo­gans of the new world, in an age where the world’s wealth re­sources are widely used, hu­man­ity has been left to a ter­ri­ble poverty and mis­ery, a cruel in­jus­tice.

“To­day, the great­est re­spon­si­bil­ity for all re­li­gious and thought mem­bers, and com­mu­nity lead­ers, is to de­fend the fun­da­men­tal rights of ev­ery hu­man be­ing on earth, re­gard­less of race, be­lief, colour, geog­ra­phy, or sta­tus; stay­ing on the side of jus­tice.”

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- Sup­plied photo

ONE FOR THE AL­BUM: Del­e­gates pose at the 6th Congress of the Lead­ers of World and Tra­di­tional Reli­gions at Kaza­khstan’s cap­i­tal As­tana.

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