Friday October 17, 2003 02:32 PM



Bismilla Rakhman Rakhim,

Distinguished Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, Prime-Minister of Malaysia !

Distinguished participants of the Summit!

First of all I would like to congratulate Malaysia on its election as the Chair of the Organisation of Islamic Conference.

Malaysia under the wise leadership of His Excellency Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad has already made a great contribution into transforming the Organisation into competent and authoritive international structure. I hope that the current chairmanship of Malaysia will open up a new charter in multidimensional endeavours of the OIC. Let me also express my sincere and deep respect to H.E. Dr. Mahathir Mohamad for his outstanding qualities of a statesman and for what he has been doing for prosperity of his country.

Today, when the world faces global challenges and threats, it is extremely important to find ways of creative interaction of religions, states and governments.

Kazakhstan being a unique state in terms of religious tolerance and inter-ethnic harmony attaches big importance to promoting the dialogue between religions. We initiated and hosted the first Congress of World and Traditional Religions, held in Astana, September 2003. The Forum has brought together leaders of the world and traditional religions and become an outstanding international event. All the participants recognized this inter-religious dialogue to be instrumental in sustaining peace and accord between peoples, strengthening international security and stability.

In the Resolution and Declaration adopted by the Congress it has been pointed out that if political means do not work out, the role of religions based on high morality are extremely important and play critical role. The aphorism «there is no peace in the world without peace among religions as well as there is no harmony among religions without dialogue among them» is relevant today as never before.

Through mutual tolerance, assistance and partnership we can achieve success in combating international terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, drug trafficking and ecological pollutions.

Kazakhstan supports the OIC efforts to develop political, economic and cultural cooperation among all Member States. The Organisation has become very important in promoting spiritual and cultural values with the aim of providing peace throughout the world. We in Kazakhstan are in favour of enlightened Islam, that is the reason why we are insisting on enlightening ourselves, on developing our economics, on upgrading living standards of our peoples in order to protect the record of our common religion in the eyes of the international community.

We also hope that due to the appropriate efforts of all Member States of the OIC our Organisation will become more efficient in solving the most acute issues of the contemporary world. United we are strong enough to address all the problems which are on the agenda of the Islam Ummah.

I have the honour to wish the Summit of the OIC every success in pursuing its noble goals.

Nursultan Nazarbayev