Inter-cultural dialogue

Aug 24. Kazpravda

By Bektur Kadyrov, Gulyaim TULESHEVA, Aynur KEMBAEVA

Inter-cultural dialogueAstana Independence Palace is hosting the International Forum devoted to the launch of the International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures (IDRC) for 2013-2022, declared by the UN General Assembly in December 2012. The Forum is to stimulate the efforts of the international community to promote intercultural dialogue in the IDRC frames.

The main goal of the forum is the consolidation of political, academic, business and civil society and NGOs to discuss formation of a new global agenda — the further development of intercultural dialogue and cultural diversity for the peace.

The forum is attended by the heads of international organizations and prominent figures that are the members of the UNESCO High Level Group for Peace and Dialogue of cultures, experts of ethics and cross-cultural communication, education and cultural heritage from more than 30 countries. Among the honored guests are the UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, the UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations Nasser Abdulaziz al-Nasser, the UN General Rapporteur for the right to education Kishor Singh, general secretary of the Academy of Latin culture Candido Mendez, a Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka, as well as the RK MPs, members of Kazakhstan National Commission for UNESCO and ISESCO, prominent scientists, artists and workers of art.

Chairman of the National Commission for UNESCO and ISESCO, the Astana Mayor I. Tasmagambetov opened the forum. He noted that the current conditions require new solutions and strategies, aimed at building confidence, tolerance and mutual understanding. Today’s forum brings the idea of pluralism and cultural diversity, — said the moderator.

Then Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan Erlan Idrisov said that Kazakhstan is a multi-ethnic and multi-confessional country, having a considerable experience in interethnic communication. Besides, Kazakhstan has made an invaluable contribution to the anti-nuclear movement.  Another merit of the country is the organization of the Congresses of Leaders of World Religions.

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova focused on Kazakhstan’s care about the unique natural sites, in particular, the Alakol reserve, which was given the status of a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.

Alakol Reserve is the second reserve after Korgalzhyn, included in the World Network of Biosphere Reserves. I. Bokova offered all participants to visit Alakol with its unique flora.

The UN High Representative for Alliance of Civilizations Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser welcomed the forum and highlighted the achievements of our country in development of intercultural dialogue, which is very relevant under the current situation.

The plenary session was devoted to rapprochement and dialogue between cultures as the main instrument of peace-building and sustainable development. UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova stressed that 2010 was declared as the Year of Rapprochement of Cultures, and this Kazakhstan’s initiative meets the UNESCO strategy.

The UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations N. Al-Nasser thanked Kazakhstan Government and noted that the republic has assumed responsibilities to promote international relations on the basis of tolerance and trust. This is the first step towards creation of global harmony.

Minister of Culture and Information Mukhtar Kul-Muhammed said the unique experience of inter-ethnic, inter-religious and inter-cultural communication, accumulated by Kazakhstan, may be an example to many countries. Korean, Uighur, German, Uzbek theaters are successfully working in the republic.

Minister of Education and Science Bakytzhan Zhumagulov talked on development of education, science and culture in our country. The state policy is aimed at the full and priority development of education, science and culture and the country’s integration into the world educational space. UNESCO approaches, set in its key documents are the most important factors for development and implementation of policies in education and science areas. More than 100 schools in the country are implementing the program “Eco-schools”, UNESCO departments are functioning in leading universities and research centers in Kazakhstan. Many students have got the UNESCO scholarships.

Under the financial support of the UNESCO Cluster Office, information and communication technology will be introduced to improve the quality of education. With the support of UNESCO, Kazakhstan has established the first center of glaciology, which will focus on the water supply, — informed the minister.

TURKSOY Secretary General D. Kaseinov, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education K. Singh, Vice-President of Kazakhstan People’s Assembly E. Tugzhanov, as well as the general secretary of the Latin culture Academy C. Mendes, the Nigerian writer and laureate of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986 W. Soyinka and ISESCO Director for External Relations and Cooperation A. Ould Bah also made presentations there.

Interactive panel discussions «Promotion and strengthening of intercultural dialogue and understanding at international, regional and national levels», «Problems of multiculturalism in modern societies and major challenges of globalization», «The role of inter-religious harmony in rapprochement of cultures and nations» were held, attended by RK Senator Adil Akhmetov — personal representative of the OSCE on Combating Intolerance and Discrimination against Muslims.

The Senator praised the potential of international organizations in ensuring harmony and understanding at the international, regional and national levels.

Development of the UNESCO youth Clubs movement was raised by the Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan to UNESCO Olzhas Suleimenov.

– The UNESCO Clubs must be opened in every school, every university, because wars begin in schools, so, the peace must begin there, — said O. Suleimenov.

The second panel discussion was devoted to the role of education and the media in the dialogue and rapprochement of cultures, youth involvement in culture development. Multilateral cooperation for sustainable development and formation of new humanism and global ethics of twenty-first century were also taken up there. Director General of Japanese Federation of UNESCO Associations N. Noguchi, the Rector of Kazakhstan National University of Arts A. Musahadzhaeva and others attended the discussions.

Chairman of Kazakhstan National Commission for UNESCO and ISESCO I. Tasmagambetov and UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova took the floor at the closing ceremony of the international forum.

* * *

Yesterday in Astana, a memorandum was signed between the EurasianNationalUniversity named after L. Gumilev and the UNESCO.

The goal of the signing is the opening of the UNESCO Department for ethnic and religious tolerance in L. Gumilev ENU.

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova noted that the role of universities is becoming increasingly important today, when all countries are facing difficult challenges. UNESCO Department in the ENU will work on several projects.

L. Gumilev ENU is the first national university of the country, which opened the department of Kazakhstan People’s Assembly.

Currently, UNESCO departments are working in three universities of the country.

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