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Religions against Terrorism Conference to Bring Together Parliamentarians, Faith Leaders from Across the World

The Palace of Peace and Reconciliation in Astana, Kazakhstan, will host an international conference on Religions against Terrorism on May 31. The event is held under Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s initiative on countering international terrorism, which he announced at the UN General Assembly last September.

Kazakhstan’s Senate Speaker Kassym-Jomart Tokayev who heads the Secretariat of the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, said the conference had attracted a distinguished group of participants.

“Parliamentarians, religious leaders, heads of international organizations and experts will meet at the same table to discuss counter terrorism issues. The high level of representation underlines the importance of the forum,” the Speaker said.

The conference continues the dialogue of political and religious leaders, launched within the framework of the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions which last year was attended by the UN Secretary General for the first time.

According to Tokayev, the conference will also discuss how global security can be strengthened in line with the idea outlined by Kazakh President Nazarbayev in his “The World. The Twenty-First century” Manifesto presented earlier this year.

“The international community needs to strengthen the coordinating role of the United Nations, including in fighting against terrorism. At the forum we also plan to exchange opinions on the Kazakhstan President’s initiative to rid humanity from wars and conflicts,” he said.

The conference would seek to strengthen co-ordination of anti-terrorist efforts at a parliamentary level, he added.

Over 60 delegations from 41 countries are expected to attend the conference. They include delegations from Germany, Iran, Italy, China, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, France and the UK.

Among confirmed participants are

· the Secretary General of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Roberto Montella,

· the Chairman of the Federal National Council of the United Arab Emirates Amal Abdullah al-Qubaisi,

· Minister of Awqaf of Egypt Mukhtar Gomaa

· Representatives of the IPA CIS, the UN Alliance of Civilizations, the OSCE, ODIHR, the CICA and the King Abdullah International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue.

The conference will be attended by members of the Secretariat of the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions representing Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Taoism and Hinduism. Among those taking part are representatives of the Al-Azhar University, the Muslim World League, the Russian Orthodox Church’s Moscow Patriarchate, the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, the Lutheran World Federation, the Anglican Church, the Constantinople Patriarchate, the Armenian Apostolic Church, senior Sephardic and Ashkenazi Rabbis of Israel, the World community of Buddhists, Taoists Association, the Centre for Indian culture “Somalia Bharatiya Sanskriti Pitam”.

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