Dr. Salim M. AlMalik, Director-General (DG) of the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO), reaffirmed that as we come closer to the end of the pandemic, we are more convinced of the need for more synergy and cooperation among individuals and groups regardless of their faith, skin color, language, and culture. “We are more aware of Allah’s wisdom behind the common origin of humanity despite their different paths in life. The leaders of world religions made great efforts during the pandemic. The Congress will surely outline new visions to develop a road map likely to address the pandemic’s repercussions,” he underscored.
This came in the DG’s address at the opening of the 7th Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, which kicked off on Wednesday, September 14, 2022, in the Kazakh capital, Nur-Sultan, under the chairmanship of His Excellency Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and in the presence of Pope Francis, Pope of the Vatican, and His Eminence The Grand Imam, Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, Sheikh of Al-Azhar Al-Sharif, and high-ranking world religious leaders, to support spiritual and social development in the post-Covid 19 period, based on the role of religions in promoting the values of tolerance and coexistence.
ICESCO DG stated that religious leaders made great efforts during the Covid-19 pandemic, which infected and resulted in the death of millions around the world, through initiatives that responded to humanity’s aspirations. He added that all post-pandemic challenges should be addressed through wisdom, tolerance, calmness, moderation, and acceptance of differences.
He said that historical moments are rare in the span of every generation. Thus, it is imperative to fully and firmly take advantage of the opportunities that similar moments offer such as our current stage, which is rich in experiences, evidence, and approaches that we have accumulated over the two years of this severe pandemic. “This experience should give us the courage and credibility to seize the unique opportunity before us to provide answers and solutions to major issues and challenges to be ready to usher in the post-pandemic era, which places the health sector in the right position, build educational systems that are more resilient to crises, recognize the importance of the family system, which will remain the viable nucleus for the growth of the tree of life and the transcendence and civilization of nations and build the capacity of young people to keep pace with tomorrow’s sciences, artificial intelligence technology, and live languages,” he stressed.
Moreover, Dr. AlMalik indicated that the Organization launched several promising initiatives, mainly the International Virtual Forum on the Role of Religious Leadership in the Face of Crises, which concluded with the adoption of a global document on moral solidarity in times of crisis.
At the close of his address, ICESCO DG noted the efforts made by the Republic of Kazakhstan to strengthen the values of coexistence, manage cultural diversity and represent civilizational awareness.
Following ICESCO DG, Mr. Maulen Ashimbayev, Chair of the Senate of Kazakhstan and moderator of the session, commended ICESCO’s roles and its new vision.