Astana meet calls for peace and stability in world
October 13, 2018 | 3:40 PM
by 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% 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, color, geography, or status; staying on the side of justice."

Representatives of Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Buddhism and other faiths called on humanity to unite to ensure peace and harmony in a joint communique that stated, "We appeal to all people of faith and of good will to be united during this difficult time and to assume their responsibility in ensuring peace and harmony on our planet."

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