K J Somaiya Institute of Dharma Studies hosts International Round-table Conference

Pune: The International Round-table Conference on the ‘Significance of the 7th Congress of the Leaders of World and Traditional Religions and the Congress’ Declaration’ was successfully held at Somaiya Vidyavihar University, Mumbai.The conference was organized by K J Somaiya Institute of Dharma Studies in collaboration with the Nursultan Nazarbayev Centre for the Development of Interfaith and Inter-civilizational Dialogue.

Eminent speakers and participants from various religious and cultural backgrounds shared their insights and highlighted the significance of the 7th Congress held in Astana, Kazakhstan in September 2022. The Congress played a pivotal role in searching for common human landmarks among diverse religious beliefs and provided a platform for constructive dialogue and decision-making on critical global issues. The delegates acknowledged that the Congress has had an enduring impact from its inception in 2003, as it included stakeholders from all sections of society: representatives of different religions and cultures, government bodies, academia and youth associations. The roundtable at Somaiya Vidyavihar was attended by more than a hundred students, from different faculties in the University.

Shri Samir S Somaiya, President – Somaiya Vidyavihar, Chancellor – Somaiya Vidyavihar University, and Leader of Hindu Delegation at Congress of World and Traditional Religions, Astana, Kazakhstan, said, “We are honoured to have participated in the 7th Congress of the Leaders of World and Traditional Religions in Astana, Kazakhstan. The conference emphasized the importance of interfaith dialogue in strengthening India-Kazakhstan relations and promoting peace and harmony worldwide. It is our collective responsibility to preserve and cherish the values of our diverse traditions for the betterment of humanity.”

H.E. Mr. Bulat Sarsenbayev, Chairman of the Management Board of the N. Nazarbayev Centre for the Development of Interfaith and Inter-civilization Dialogue, Kazakhstan, said, “The 7th Congress of the Leaders of World and Traditional Religions has brought nations together in pursuit of common human landmarks. This Round-table Conference further strengthens our commitment to interfaith dialogue and the promotion of tolerance and mutual respect among different cultures and religions. It is through constructive dialogue that we can build a more peaceful and inclusive world.” In addition, the Chairman of the Board of the Center acquainted with the preparations for the upcoming anniversary XXI Session of the Secretariat of the Congress under the leadership of Chairman of the Senate of the Parliament of Kazakhstan Maulen Ashimbayev, which will be held on October 10-11 this year in Astana.”

H. E. Mr. Azat Serikbossynuly, Deputy Head of the Mission of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the Republic of India, said, “”Kazakhstan’s commitment to fostering interfaith harmony and unity stands as a shining example for the world. With over 130 ethnic groups living peacefully, we prioritize the preservation of languages, cultures, and equal opportunities for all faiths. Our support for the search for universal reference points in world religions demonstrates the significance we place on global dialogue. As an open and welcoming nation, we have introduced a visa-free regime for Indian citizens, promoting a civilized exchange of cultures and beliefs. Kazakhstan remains dedicated to promoting peace and cooperation among civilizations, cultures, and religions worldwide. The Republic of Kazakhstan demonstrates a positive example of national and interfaith consensus, being a clear proof that everyone benefits from peace, but only a few from war and conflict.”

Supriya Rai, Director, K J Somaiya Institute of Dharma Studies, said, “At K J Somaiya Institute of Dharma Studies, we are dedicated to promoting interfaith dialogue as a means to foster global peace and understanding. This Round-table Conference has provided valuable insights and learnings on the significance of the 7th Congress and the need for continued efforts in promoting harmony and respect among all religions and cultures.”

The International Round-table Conference has further cemented the commitment of all stakeholders to continue their efforts in building a world based on peace, harmony, and mutual understanding. Participants expressed their resolve to collaborate and engage in future interfaith initiatives to promote global dialogue among civilizations, cultures, and religions.