The Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Republic of Kazakhstan, H.E. Erlan Idrissov, made a working visit to Indonesia last week, to participate in the 6th United Nations of Alliance of Civilisations (UNAOC) Global Forum, held on August 29-30th in Bali.
Focussing on the theme of “Unity in Diversity: Celebrating Diversity for Common and Shared Values”, the Forum brought together political, private sector and civil society leaders from around the world – including United Nations Secretary General H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon – for a productive two-day summit.
This year, the Forum gained special significance after the President of the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Sam Kutesa, highlighted the UNAOC as one of the priorities of his Presidency, noting in particular the importance of cultural and religious tolerance, understanding and interaction between the peoples of the world.
Since gaining Independence, Kazakhstan has prided itself on its history of tolerance and inclusion, as evidenced by the 120 nationalities and 3,400 religious organisations currently living together in peace in the country. The Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, held every 4 years in Kazakhstan’s capital city of Astana, has brought together representatives of various religions from more than 80 countries around the world, and is recognized by the UN as contributing to the preservation of peace and trust between people of different nationalities and religions.
In a statement to the Forum participants, Minister Idrissov spoke of Kazakhstan’s “active and visible position, offering the world its own visions and developments, aimed at strengthening interreligious and intercultural interaction. We create conditions to ensure that all can practice their religion freely, and speak and explore the language, culture and traditions of their ethnic group. The entire culture of Kazakhstan is constituted through the integration of the cultural layers of all its ethnic groups.”
The Kazakh delegation has also visited Singapore in late August, in the context of its bid to secure a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council between 2017/18. Minister Idrissov is also due to speak at the 3rd United Nations Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in Apia, Samoa between September 1-4th.