Statements and Remarks of CICA Secretary General Ambassador Kairat Sarybay

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Speech by CICA Secretary General K. Sarybay at the Ramadan Iftar Ceremony

Your Excellencies,

Dear colleagues, friends, distinguished guests,

Ramadan falls during the ninth month of the Muslim calendar, officially beginning and ending with the appearance of the crescent moon. It was the month in which the Muslims acquired the holy Quran. Annually this is a time of spiritual contemplation, fasting, prayer, and charitable giving for Muslims, who will gather with families and friends in the evening to break their day-long fast with iftar.

And I have a great pleasure now to welcome you here and to celebrate breaking the fast together with you, our dear friends.

In the contemporary time when the world is still faced with conflicts on ethnic, cultural, religious and racial grounds. Of serious concern are clashes in holy places, attempts to translate conflicts into an interreligious plane, and restrictions on the rights of believers. It is necessary to solve all such problems exclusively by political and diplomatic means.

Humanity is looking for a way to building peaceful and stable societies. And Islam as well as all world religions provides a valuable foundation for the culture of peace and tolerance.

The sacred ceremony of iftar, as an integral part of the fast, brings together and unites representatives of various religions and peoples at the same table. This wonderful tradition makes us remember one more time our common goal, our cause, which we serve all our lives - building, strengthening and maintaining peace, dialogue and mutual understanding between peoples. It is also a time to once again remind ourselves of social justice and the need to help people in need and protect the most vulnerable in our societies.

This month is filled with significant events for many peoples. Starting yesterday Jews are celebrating Passover. Soon the Christians will celebrate Easter. I would like to extend my warmest wishes to all those observing these important moments as well.

As a multilateral platform for dialogue and cooperation, uniting 28 Asian countries with diverse cultural backgrounds, CICA attaches great importance to ensuring peaceful and amicable relations among the different communities and nations across the CICA area. The human dimension occupies an important place in the Catalogue of Confidence Building Measures updated in October 2021 as one of the five main areas of interaction in CICA. Promotion of dialogue among civilizations, cultures and religions is at the core of the CICA activities.

These collaborations bring us closer to achieving our common goal through enhancing people-to-people contacts, through partnerships and connectivity based on respect for diversity.

We at CICA have planned for the coming months a number of interesting events aimed at strengthening partnership, interpersonal ties and contacts, friendship and mutual understanding. At the end of the Holy month of Ramadan, on the days of the celebration of the Feast of Breaking the Fast, Eid al-Fitr, on April 22, we invite you to plant trees on the CICA Alley in Astana.

At the beginning of June, we are also planning to organize a bike ride in one of the most picturesque places not only in the vicinity of Astana, but also in the whole of Kazakhstan - around Lake Burabay.

And finally, in July, it is planned to hike through the mountains from Kazakhstan to Kyrgyzstan to the beautiful high-altitude lake Issyk-Kul. I invite you to take part in these undoubtedly bright events.

In closing, I would like to reiterate my best wishes to you and your families and let us stay united in our prayers and reaffirm our strong commitment to dialogue and cooperation. This year, 2023, has been declared by the UN General Assembly as the International Year of Dialogue as a Guarantee of Peace. May dialogue always remain the main means of resolving all issues, and may peace always be with humanity.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh. Peace, mercy and blessings be upon you. Ramadan Mubarak.