«Под общей редакцией: М. Абусеитовой, К. Исак, Л. Ерекешевой. Составители: Л. Ерекешева, А. Асадова. Составление резюме статей на англ. языке: А. Асадовой. Перевод с ...»
Moderator: Rosa Guerreiro, Program Specialist, Division of Cultural Policies and Intercultural Dialogue (UNESCO Headquarters, Paris) A. Doron. UNESCO Chair on Intercultural Dialogue, University of Haifa (Israel) S. Shankman. UNESCO Chair on Transcultural Studies, Interreligious Dialogue and Peace, University of Oregon (USA) B. Sivertsen. Lessons Learnt: Preparing the Individual for Dialogue, Building the Right Framework for the Dialogue, and the Dialogue Itself. Some Examples from Oslo Coalition’s Work (United Kingdom/Norway) 12:30–13:00 Questions/ discussion 13:00–14:30 Lunch 14.30–16:00 Continuation of the session 16:00–16:15 Coffee/tea break 16:20–18:00 Working Session: Ways of strengthen ing the projects) and prepara tory work for the Moscow UNITWIN Chairs on Interreligious Dialogue for Inter cultural Understanding (September 2007) 18:00–18:30 Adoption of the Recommendations Seydumanov Serik (Opening Address) Deputy Mayor of Almaty (Kazakhstan) In his opening remarks entitled “Role of Education in Intercultural and Interreligious Dialogue in Central Asia”, Mr. Seidumanov raised the issue of sovereignty among Central Asian countries, which contributed to the division of a single cultural historical space leading to its mystification and ethnization.
In search of convergence in Central Asia, both scientists and intellectuals play a significant role along with politicians of the countries. The countries of Central Asia would be able to implement technological and intellectual achievements to reach human development only through political compromise, tolerance, which implies a balance between regional interests and interests of individual states. Therefore, Mr. Seidumanov proposed the following points to address this issue:
To coordinate efforts in order to develop mechanisms for positive relations among Central Asian countries; and To develop a joint comprehensive programme under the title “The spiritual and educational principles of intercultural and interreligious dialogue” with a broad representation of scientists, professors, graduate students and students of both the Central Asian region and neighbouring countries, which will discuss historical, regional security, cultural and educational problems.
The long-term goal of the project would be the creation of not only a better educated society, but also a spiritually mature one, less inclined towards conflict. In turn, this could become the basis for easing social tensions in the society and the formation of a culture of tolerance among neighboring countries.
Dyachenko Sergey (Opening Address) Vice-Chairman, Assembly of People of Kazakhstan; Vice-speaker, Majilis of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan; Chairman, Public Chamber at the Majilis of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan (Kazakhstan) According to Mr. Dyachenko, recent events in Kazakhstan where the Head of State, Nursultan Nazarbaev, approved the amendments to the Constitution elevating the country to a new socio-political level, made the participants of the Round Table witnesses of this historical moment. Moreover, the new constitutional status of the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan and its representation in the Parliament is a remarkable achievement, which would ensure equal representation of various ethnic groups in the public life and further promote peace and harmony in the country.
Mr. Dyachenko pointed out that the basis for the development of Kazakhstan and its neighboring Central Asian countries have been their long-standing traditional relations. However, in the last decade of the twentieth century, these relations have intensified with the emergence of independent states in Central Asia and geopolitical transformation of the entire Eurasian continent.
Therefore, cooperation between countries is a particularly relevant issue requiring special attention. He concluded with a belief that this Round Table would contribute to the strengthening of Intercultural Dialogue as well as political and cultural ties between the countries of the Central Asian region.
Abusseitova Meruet (Opening Address) Director, Institute of Oriental Studies named after Suleimenov;
Chairholder, UNESCO Chair on Science and Spirituality; Professor (Kazakhstan) Professor Abusseitova thanked the participants of the Round Table for their participation and partners, including Almaty Akimiat, UNESCO Headquaters, Oslo Coalition on Freedom of Religion or Belief, and the UNESCO Cluster Office in Almaty for Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, for their organizational and financial support in making today’s event possible.
Intercultural and Interreligious Dialogue in Central Asia has always had a special dimension. The evolution of the regional identity with the principle of coexistence between Turkic-Iranian groups, local and world religions, nomadic and sedentary populations led to an exciting socio-cultural development, forming the regional culture.
This historical cultural experience should be taken as an example to further regional cooperation, where countries and international organizations, especially UNESCO and its Chairs should play an important role. There is a need for long-term educational projects towards tolerable and cultural relations among cultures, people, and countries.
Sivertsen Barbara (Opening Address) Program Director, Oslo Coalition on Freedom of Religion or Belief; Chairman, Norwegian Peace Alliance Group on Education for Teachers (United Kingdom /Norway) While addressing the participants of the Round Table, Ms.
Sivertsen noted that the Central Asian region is in the promising, and yet potentially dangerous process that all newly liberated countries:
the process of trying to forge for themselves a unique and single identity. In turn, she poised questions such as “What does a single, unique identity entail? Does it involve language? Does it involve religion? What does that mean for those who speak a minority language, or belong to a minority religious community? Can we forge an identity on the basis of acceptance of differences?” Even though, the idea of forging unique single identity sounds simple, it is a highly complex issue. Oslo Coalition on Freedom of Religion or Belief, one of the sponsors of this event, is an organization that has taken upon itself to work with the most difficult area of differing: that of our basic beliefs. Therefore, she highlighted that today’s participants have a special responsibility for preventive action, particularly in relation to emerging nations, where intercultural dialogue should reach the highest levels of political leadership and the lowest levels of grassroots engagement with this message “Create an identity that celebrates our differences, welcomes diversity, includes and treats as equal all shades, all languages and all religions that are found within our borders”.
Guerreiro Rosa (Opening Address) Program Specialist, Division of Cultural Policies and Intercultural Dialogue (UNESCO Headquarters, Paris) In her opening remarks, Ms. Guerreiro on behalf of the Headquarters expressed gratitude to the organizers for their joint efforts in preparing together with UNESCO these meetings in the framework of the UNESCO Projects “Intercultural Dialogue in Central Asia”, and the Program for “Interreligious Dialogue”.
She encouraged all participants to join their efforts to ensure that the multi-faceted conference yields everlasting results with the exchange of good practices and experiences from the Central Asian countries and contribute in a most efficient way to enhance the commonalities among these countries which share a rich past of interactions and faces a common destiny of aspirations for the future. She noted that the participation of well known international experts present in the room enabled exchange and a lively debate inside and outside the region.
Whilst attempting to encourage peace in a region characterized by its strong cultural, ethnic and religious diversity, this conference also seeks to emphasize the importance of the relationships between cultural identities and pluralism as a fundamental dimension of intercultural and interreligious dialogue for a sustainable development and social cohesion. Within this context, the UNESCO Chairs on Interreligious Dialogue for Intercultural Understanding from Central Asia and abroad will have the opportunity to discuss on common programs, exchanges and most of all, methodologies.
Ms. Guerreiro concluded by thanking all participants for their contribution in furthering UNESCO’s goals to extend the “spirit of peace” through the promotion of human, ethical and cultural values in a holistic manner.
Kennedy Laura (Opening Address) Program Specialist, UNESCO Cluster Office in Almaty for Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan Ms. Kennedy welcomed the participants of the Round Table on behalf of Ms. Tarja Virtanen, Director of the UNESCO Cluster Office in Almaty. She expressed her gratitude to the Oslo Coalition on Freedom of Religion or Belief and the Akim of Almaty for their generous support and paid tribute to the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan and the Institute of Oriental Studies for their efforts to promote and consolidate dialogue among Kazakhstan’s communities.
She noted that Central Asia is an ideal location to discuss the contributions towards fostering and consolidating Intercultural Dialogue due to its historical location in the legendary Silk Road where different cultures and religions have always interacted. She stressed that the region should play a significant role in promoting Intercultural Dialogue because its citizens represent almost all of the world’s religions. In her view, the importance of today’s Round Table was shown by a number and diversity of gathered participants to discuss and analyze good practices and find new possible approaches and strategies conducive to Intercultural Dialogue and mutual comprehension. Ms. Kennedy ended on a confident note that this enriching intercultural experience would help participants to further increase common efforts to promote mutual respect and strengthen unity in diversity.
Akhmetova Laila Coordinator, Central Asian Cultural Women Network, Women Intellectual Union (NGO); Professor, Department of Journalism, AlFarabi Kazakh National University (Kazakhstan) Professor Akhmetova’s paper “Kazakhstan in Intercultural Dialogue: Initiatives, Individuals, and Best Practices” presented results of the country report conducted by the NGO “Women Intellectual Union” with support from UNESCO. The report included i) countrybased survey of 57 organizations working in the cultural sphere; ii) sociological analysis of public opinion “The intercultural dialogue and cultural diversity in the Republic of Kazakhstan” among 3, respondents; iii) round table entitled “Intercultural Dialogue in Kazakhstan: positive experience”; and iv) three case-studies of organizations as examples of best practices.