XIX Session of the secretariat of the Congress of the Leaders of the World and Traditional Religions
High Representative’s Remarks (via video message)
Distinguished religious leaders,
It is an honor for me to address this preparatory meeting of the VII Congress of the Leaders of the World and Traditional Religions to be held in Kazakhstan in 2022.
I commend the Government of Kazakhstan for its leading role in the promotion of dialogue among civilizations and religions, including through the establishment of this important interfaith forum, convened every three years in Astana over the past eighteen years. I would also like to acknowledge the role of the Nazarbayev Centre for Development of Interfaith and Inter-civilization Dialogue in coordinating the organization of the VII Congress.
Since its inception in 2003, the successive gatherings of the Congress of the Leaders of the World and Traditional Religions have focused on key issues related to the role of religion in society, and on exploring how interfaith and intercultural dialogue can serve to build sustainable peace and a safer world for all.
The VII Congress will take place in a radically different scenario due to the profound impact of the Covid-19 on every society around the world. As such, the unique platform that this initiative provides will constitute a key opportunity for representatives of governments, religious leaders, international and regional organizations and other relevant stakeholders to reflect collectively about the challenges for interreligious dialogue and sustainable peace in an increasingly polarized world where respect, solidarity and standing up against hate speech, xenophobia, racism and all forms of discrimination have become more urgent than ever.
I wish you successful deliberations today and you can count on the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations’ readiness to play an active role during the VII Congress next year.
Thank you very much.