Speech at the International Jubilee Conference “Spiritual Renewal is the Path to Prosperity and Harmony”, Astana, 17 October 2017.

Tolegen Mukhamejanov, President of the International Association "Peace through Culture"

         Dear participants of the Conference!

         On behalf of the International Public Fund "Congress of Spiritual Concord" and the international association "World through Culture", I thank all the organizers, participants and guests of this conference for supporting the tradition, established 25 years ago, to celebrate the Day of Spiritual Concord together.

         Exactly 25 years ago, on October 18, 1992, the first World Congress of Spiritual Concord was held in Almaty. For the first time in the history of humanity, representatives of all religions, spiritual public organizations, well-known scientists and cultural figures concerned with the problems of spirituality gathered at one table.

         The date of the Congress was chosen not by chance. A hundred years before, an attempt to convene such a congress was made in Chicago (USA), but, unfortunately, it did not find its continuation in the future.

         The main motto of the Congress in Almaty was the following words: "Space. Earth. Mankind" These capacious words briefly but broadly express the basic ideas of the Congress, and during the Congress, they were able to unite people of almost all continents on a wide range of perspectives and religions.

         A common prayer at the time of the opening of the Congress in the Palace of the Republic was the most unforgettable episode, when three thousand people under one dome, in one impulse addressed the Creator with the most sincere impulses of their hearts. They sounded in unison with the call to preserve peace on Earth, to give patience and wisdom to all people, regardless of their religion and worldview, to provide food and shelter to the destitute and orphans. It is difficult to express with words our inspiration  that was at that time of general meditation. At that time there emerged the aura that for all these 25 years gave life-giving energy to support that great undertaking, it gave strength and opportunities to continue the deeds and aspirations of those people who stood at the origins of our movement.

         The role of Nursultan Abishevich Nazarbayev, the Head of our state, is invaluable in holding the First Congress.  Without his support, this Congress would simply not be possible. Let's remember the time when it took place. Kazakhstan as an independent state has not yet turned a year. At a time when everyone was faced with the questions of the elementary physical survival of the country and each individual person, it was necessary to have the wisdom and vision of our President to understand that the main thing is the spiritual core within us, that social and spiritual harmony is our priceless asset and the most important condition of a dignified life. That is why in conditions when some countries did not consider it possible to host the Congress, Nursultan Nazarbayev took it under his patronage and invited delegates to Kazakhstan.

For the respect of faith! For differences without strife! For concelebration in charity! "- these principles have become fundamental for the work of the Congress of Spiritual Concord. In the adopted Manifesto, its participants called for announcing October 18 a moratorium on conflicts and clashes, a day of seeking reconciliation, establishing mutual understanding between people, a day of mercy and helping one's neighbor.

         Looking back over the past quarter of a century, we sum up the results and wonder what we managed to do from what was planned then and what remains to be done.

         On our initiative, a socially significant date, the Day of Spiritual Concord, is included in the Kazakhstan calendar. It is widely celebrated by the public of the country with the full support of state bodies.  The President himself repeatedly congratulated his compatriots on this day, hosted the delegates of the Congress of Spiritual Concord in his residence. There is no such a unique celebration yet in any other calendar of the world, but it is celebrated by our like-minded countries.

         With the observance of the Days of Spiritual Concord, we revived the traditions of charity after they were lost for many decades. And tomorrow, a thousand volunteers will bring food kits to socially vulnerable groups in Astana.  And this is going to take place all over the country. Charity events on October 18 are not just a beautiful gesture, but really the creation of good, a heart's impulse. And if it comes from the soul, then it gives rise to awe in the soul of the one who gratefully accepts it. Thus, a special spiritual connection is born among people.

         The International Public Fund "Congress of Spiritual Concord" and the Association "World through Culture" annually conduct meaningful international scientific and practical conferences focused on the spiritual and moral problems of human survival. Such topics as "The future of peace - in the consent of civilizations and religions", "Historical, cultural and religious traditions - the basis of spiritual consent of the peoples of Eurasia", "Through tolerance - to spiritual unity "," Spirituality and culture against extremism and terrorism " were among the most acute problems of our life and spirituality, which we discussed in recent years.

         To promote our ideas, we used such forms of communication with the population as press conferences, regular appearances in the media and even telethons. I take this opportunity to thank the media for its continued support and solidarity.

It probably will not be an exaggeration to say that the Spiritual Concord Movement has largely prepared the ground for the further implementation of such a global project as holding congresses of world and traditional religions in the capital of Kazakhstan. Five such congresses have already been held in Astana with great success. Kazakhstan initiated the dialogue of civilizations in the format "Muslim World - West".

         Now, when the idea of achieving Spiritual Concord has become more clearly defined, it is understood that Spiritual Culture is the key link in achieving Spiritual Concord.

         The World Forum of Spiritual Culture, which was held in Astana on October 18- 20, 2010 was the most important stage of our activity. More than 600 delegates from 72 countries of the world attended it. For the first time in world practice, the Forum was called upon to connect two wings of spiritual culture: religious and secular spirituality, which implies all that is related to human activities outside material culture.         

         During the World Forum of Spiritual Culture, it was talked about the deep crisis of modern technocratic civilization and the need for a transition to a civilization of spiritual culture. The World Forum of Spiritual Culture drew the attention of the world community to the vital need to overcome the global crisis of spirit and morality. It called upon everybody to mobilize their internal forces and physical capabilities to restore harmonious relations between people, individuals, the Space and nature, states, the world community, peoples and the Upper World. Thus, the Forum on the new development cycle took the baton of the first World Congress of Spiritual Concord in Almaty with its motto, "Space." Earth. Mankind"

The work begun seven years ago at the World Forum of Spiritual Culture did not stop the whole past period. The Presidium of the Forum permanently operates, coordinated by three co-chairs - Iosif Kobzon (Russia), Tolegen Mukhamedzhanov (Kazakhstan) and Wilhelm Auguststat (Austria). There is a Forum website in three languages - Russian, Kazakh and English, which was visited by hundreds of thousands of people around the world. A solid volume of materials of the Forum held in 2010 was published. Famous Hollywood actor and director Armand Assante made a documentary about it. I was able to speak about the World Forum of Spiritual Culture at the International Round Table on Nuclear Disarmament in Geneva, the World Sufi Forum in New Delhi, the 5th St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum and other major international events. Similar work is being carried out by my colleagues, the co-chairmen of the Forum. Members of the Presidium of the Forum participate in the sessions of the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan, which is always our ally and partner.

         In 2016, the World Forum of Spiritual Culture and the International Association "World through Culture" put forward the idea of launching a global anti-nuclear campaign "Chain Reaction".  Contrary to the way in which the atomic bomb is being ravaged by the principle of a chain reaction of the fission of radioactive elements, the chain reaction must be the action of all people of good will. Our initiative has been supported by many influential international non-governmental organizations.

         In Kazakhstan, students and teachers of Shakarim University gave the start of the international action «For a Nuclear-Free World». It was held on September 30 on the Polkovnichij  Island at the monument "Stronger than death", erected in memory of victims of tests at the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site. After Semey, the action moved to Astana and went further throughout the country. From Kazakhstan, "The chain reaction" has spread throughout the world. Humanitarian community organizations from Europe, Asia, Africa and America conducted it in their own countries.

         Colleagues and like-minded people put interesting initiatives forward from Russia, the United States of America, Ukraine and other countries.

         This morning there was held a meeting of the Presidium of the General Council of the Eurasia Assembly. This international public movement, established in May this year in Moscow as an instrument of people's diplomacy in the development of ideas of Eurasian integration.    Its Presidium considered celebrating the Day of Spiritual Concord by all the peoples of Eurasia as the first issue on the agenda of today's meeting. In addition, this is the best evidence that the movement that we started 25 years ago lives, gathers strength and authority, and attracts all the new allies and supporters!