Statement by Askar Burybayev

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©UNESCO/ M. Ravassard

Statement by H.E Mr Askar Buribayev, Vice-Minister of Culture and Information of Kazakhstan


At the occasion of the International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures

UNESCO, 18 February 2010



Mr. Chairman,

Madam Director- General,

Distinguished members of the High Panel on Peace and Dialogue among Cultures,

Ladies and gentlemen,


First of all, let me express my gratitude to UNESCO for organization of today's event. It gives me a great pleasure to be present with you at the official Launch of the International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures based on the proposal of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev  and to participate at the debate on “The Dialogue of Cultures: New Avenues for Peace”.


The promotion of intercultural dialogue, in particularly between representatives  of different cultural and religious traditions is a great need and a great challenge for the international community and one of the key priorities of any State.


We are strongly convinced that many of the acute problems of the modern world can be solved only with collective efforts, and only on the basis of dialogue and mutual respect.


Let me briefly talk through the events we have planned to celebrate this Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures in Kazakhstan.


We will hold an International Conference  on “The Intercultural Relations in Kazakhstan in the Process of Globalization”; the 3rd International Theatre Festival of Central Asia; International Symposium on “Kazakhstan and OSCE: Cooperation for the Sake of Peace and Security”; The forum of national-cultural centres of different nations of CICA member states.


We will also will hold an International scientific and Practical conference with the representatives of the CIS countries on the topic of “Kazakhstan: Territory of Peace and Harmony” and many other activities.


Dear ladies and gentlemen,


Our policy on peace and tolerance is widely known. In this regard the idea of establishing the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA), presented by the President Nursultan Nazarbayev in 1992 was considered as a prominent step by the international community. The conference definitely plays an important role in the development of dialogue among civilizations, especially in interreligious dimension.


Since 2003, every 3 years Kazakhstan holds the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, which brings together the representatives of all worlds’ religions. The Congress has continued the best traditions of Assisi Forum in 1986 and 2002 and demonstrated to the world the possibility of a productive dialogue between different confessions.


Also the main line of Kazakhstan’s policy in the promotion of harmony between civilizations is the growing interaction with the Islamic world. This has been achieved both through bilateral relations with Muslim states, and through the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), including the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO). It is very important that Kazakhstan and other countries in the Muslim world stand as partners on many important issues of our time.


As a multinational and multi-confessional state, committed to the ideas of intercultural and inter-civilizational dialogue, therefore, we intend to use sufficiently the powerful potential of multilateral diplomacy to effectively overcome nationalism, religious intolerance, racism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism.


At the high position of Chairman of the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) in 2010 and at the OIC Foreign Ministers Meeting in 2011, our country will promote the dialogue between cultures, boost tolerance and continue the efforts taken by member-states to combat all forms of discrimination.


Kazakhstan being a secular state with predominantly Muslim population, as the chair of OSCE and as a member of OIC, works actively to bring together the Muslim and Christian cultures, to enhance better understanding between East and West.


In this regard, Kazakhstan’s experience which made unprecedented “conflict free” way in maintaining peace and consent is particularly valuable for the world community. Thus, we offer approaches, generated and established from our very own experience, in overcoming challenges of modern civilization. Therefore, ensuing the Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures undoubtedly will make its contributions in realization and reminding the most essential values of a mankind.


Dear ladies and gentlemen,

Kazakhstan once again reconfirms its sincere intentions to actively continue its contribution in preserving cultural and civilization diversity as a basis for a harmonious global development of cultural dialogue and reaffirms its support to the action of UNESCO in this field.


Thank you for your attention!