«Под общей редакцией: М. Абусеитовой, К. Исак, Л. Ерекешевой. Составители: Л. Ерекешева, А. Асадова. Составление резюме статей на англ. языке: А. Асадовой. Перевод с ...»
The participating organizations of the country-based survey noted the significance of intercultural projects in the development of intercultural dialogue in Kazakhstan and Central Asian region due to shared historical roots, traditions, mentality, and languages. Intercultural projects also initiate interaction between the government and civil society. Among negative factors affecting the development of Intercultural Dialogue are negative stereotypes; inadequate view of globalization; insufficient media relations; and weak civil society institutions. Factors contributing to the positive development of intercultural dialogue include national policies aimed at strengthening inter-ethnic and inter-religious harmony; development of culture and languages of all ethnic groups; creation of favorable conditions for the existence and functioning of religious denominations; and involvement of civil society.
The respondents of the sociological analysis pointed out the following factors contributing to the promotion of Intercultural Dialogue: national policies (47.3%), historical traditions (42.1%), and geopolitical situation of Kazakhstan (30.2%). On the other hand, experts rated the same factors differently: socio-economic situation (70%), national policies (65%), and geopolitical situation and historical traditions (55%). All respondents agreed that media, which transmits programs on languages of ethnic populations, plays an important role in shaping the public opinion. Although the media is a major factor of stability in international relations, it could potentially play a negative role; among respondents only 41.4% were satisfied with the objectiveness of the information concerning inter-ethnic relation problems, 39.4% cited lack of information, while 12.2% believed that information on this issue is virtually non-existent.
The report identified best practice examples in Intercultural Dialogue among the following organizations: Assembly of People of Kazakhstan, State Program “Heritage”, and Congress of World and Traditional Religions. Additionally, individuals who contribute to the promotion of Intercultural Dialogue in Kazakhstan are President Nazarbayev, Mr. Tasmagambetov, Mr. Kul-Muhamevd, Mr. Derbisaliev, Mr. Valihanov, Mr. Shorokhov, and Mr. Nazarbayev. Successful programs included “Year of Kazakhstan in Russia” and “Year of Russian in Kazakhstan”, Congress of representatives of world religions and confessions in Astana, and celebratory years of creativities of beloved authors Pushkin and Abay.
Kazakhstan’s success formula benefits from the close involvement of the country’s leadership in the nation-building process, through modernization reforms and democratization policies while empowering citizens of different ethnic and religious backgrounds.
Nevertheless, the Government can further improve its performance in the cultural sphere by developing comprehensive national policies towards the development of culture in all areas, consolidating and coordinating forces in the promotion and development of cultural policies, and placing emphasis on the issues of socialization through education on all levels, especially at the secondary level.
Dyusekova Altinay Executive Secretary, National Commission of Kazakhstan for UNESCO and ISESCO (Kazakhstan) In her presentation “Activities of the National Commission of Kazakhstan for UNESCO in the Promotion of Intercultural and Interreligious Dialogue”, Ms. Dyusekova pointed out that the National Commission actively participates at UNESCO and UN conferences with dynamic initiatives and proposals.
Kazakhstan’s contribution toward strengthening and broadening of the dialogue between religions occurred during First and the Second Congress of World and Traditional Religions. Following the Second Congress, which was attended by representatives of all world religious denominations, as well as well-known policymakers, a declaration on enhancing the role and responsibility of religious leaders in strengthening international security was adopted. The Congress has made an important contribution to the strengthening of peace, harmony and dialogue of religions becoming a permanent authoritative International Forum. Another significant outcome of the Forum was the decision to establish an International Center for Cultures and Religions for realization of educational, research and humanitarian projects.
Kazakhstan’s initiative to launch the International Year of Global Consciousness and Ethics of Dialogue among People received a wide support from the international community. During the 33rd General Conference of UNESCO, another Kazakhstan’s proposal was unanimously received – to introduce an additional paragraph to the resolution towards improvement of humanitarian system of global consciousness through the development of global consciousness, free from racial, ethnic and social prejudices.
The National Commission participates in researching the issue to adopt the resolution to proclaim UNESCO International Year of Convergence of Cultures and Religions. At the plenary meeting of the UN General Assembly in November 2006, the Kazakh delegation proposed to proclaim one of the upcoming years, the Year of Dialogue among Religions and Cultures.
On behalf of the National Commission, Ms. Dyusekova pointed out that the development of Intercultural Dialogue must be promoted through education, training, improvement of progressive curricula and textbooks on the subject of inter-religious and inter-ethnic harmony.
Initiatives and projects in the field of Intercultural Dialogue should be conducted on an ongoing basis without propagandistic nature.
Lastly, the involvement of all social groups, scientists, cultural leaders, and ethnic communities is especially important towards fruitful discussions related to Intercultural Dialogue.
In conclusion, Ms. Dyusekova expressed confidence that together people can overcome the growing mistrust and prejudice, establish genuine dialogue and cooperation among different cultures, and thereby ensure mutual understanding and stability in the world.
Zakieva Zhanat First Secretary, National Commission of Kazakhstan for UNESCO (Kazakhstan) Ms. Zakieva discussed the activities of the National Commission of Kazakhstan for UNESCO in her presentation “Intercultural Dialogue in the Context of International Development”. One of the key issues of internal and foreign policy of Kazakhstan is open intercultural dialogue and participation in international efforts to combat all forms of national, cultural, religious intolerance and extreme measures, including terrorism, extremism, and separatism.
In this context, the National Commission, as part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, involved in covering a wide range of political, economic and social issues beyond UNESCO, in which the idea of dialogue among civilizations, playing a crucial role, is intertwined with the issues of security, stability, peace, and development of multilateral cooperation.
The National Commission has the opportunity to be involved in research activities of a number of international and regional organizations in order to gain experience from the work of these organizations and carry out a comparative analysis of their activities.
This involvement certainly enriches and improves the work of the National Commission as a catalyst for new ideas and projects.
In previous years, the National Commission actively participated at various UNESCO and UN conferences, where the initiatives and proposals of the delegation received a wide support within the international community. The National Commission worked on the adoption of the resolution of the UNESCO International Year of Convergence of Cultures and Religions; moreover, it co-sponsored the draft of UN resolutions on “Promotion of inter-religious and intercultural dialogue, mutual understanding and cooperation for peace” and “International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence for the children of the world in 2001-2010.” Kazakhstan strongly supports the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity in all its aspects. Its involvement in the Convention on the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage and the promotion of intercultural dialogue offers a better opportunity to encourage the idea of dialogue among civilizations.
Kazakhstan shares the international measures aimed at condemning the destruction of cultural heritage during conflicts and local wars.
In this regard, the National Commission supports the Convention for Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, Declaration concerning the intentional destruction of cultural heritage, as well as the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of the Armed Conflict.
According to Ms. Zakieva, Kazakhstan, which has an extensive experience building tolerance, is ready to serve as a centre of intercultural and interreligious dialogue at the international level and to co-sponsor international initiatives aimed at bridging understanding between East and West on key issues of the modern world.
Musabai Gulnara Director, Public Association “Center of Arts and Culture” (Kyrgyzstan) Ms. Musabai presented the work of cultural organizations in today’s market economy though her presentation titled “Organizations of Kyrgyzstan Working in the Field of Culture and Promoting Intercultural Dialogue in the Country.” The work and economic characteristics of these organizations are diverse and they all differ in the extent and pace of their integration into the market economy. However, as Ms. Musabai pointed out, the assessment of cultural organizations can not be built only on the assessment of their economic and budgetary performance, as culture in general is not a profitable industry.
In the market economy, organizations are constantly seeking new solutions based on the interaction of public and private sectors.
These partnerships create a new entity – management of cultural development though a triad “economy-culture-state”, which focuses on the promotion of cultural products and services and stimulates creativity and cultural diversity. New perspectives in the development of international cooperation and dialogue would facilitate information flow and strengthen the positive image of Kyrgyzstan as a country open for cooperation and integration into the global cultural and information space.
The cultural process and promotion of the intercultural dialogue in Kyrgyzstan is done through creative individual initiatives, cultural organizations, and NGOs. The activities of these organizations focus on partnerships, exhibits, networking, seminar and training program;
moreover, they promote intercultural dialogue and cooperation in the field of modern and traditional arts, design and art-management, experimental and street theatres, art crafts and traditional crafts, museum and library initiatives, photo, film and video productions, youth and creativity, and education. In addition, the National Commission of Kyrgyzstan for UNESCO encourages cultural activities at universities through the efforts of its six chairs.
Ms. Musabai mentioned that special attention needs to be paid to the poor performance of a number of national cultural institutions due to an acute shortage of personnel. The departure of many professionals from the cultural sphere and a slow inflow of young people reduce productivity and quality of the cultural process resulting in the destruction of initiatives and slower development of the overall cultural field. As a result, cultural institutions and NGOs have to expand their activities in the social, cultural, and educational fields.