Following an initiative by the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt at the United Nations, today marks an annual occasion to encourage solidarity and unity between peoples and promote the values of tolerance.
The occasion constitutes the United Nations’ recognition of the UAE’s efforts to promote the values of coexistence and tolerance among followers of different religions.
Over the past decade locally, the UAE has prioritised the establishment of institutions and authorities to promote the values of moderation, tolerance and respect for others and the values of peace and coexistence among citizens and residents, most notably the Ministry of Tolerance and Coexistence, which aims to establish a roadmap for establishing mechanisms to ingrain tolerance as a national value.
The International Day of Human Fraternity is the anniversary of the signing of the landmark Human Fraternity Document on 4th February, 2019, in Abu Dhabi, by His Holiness Pope Francis, Head of the Catholic Church, and His Eminence Dr. Ahmed el-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, and Chairman of the Muslim Council of Elders.
The document led to the launch of initiatives that promote tolerance and coexistence, most notably the Abrahamic Family House in Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi, including a church, a mosque and a synagogue.
The UAE also hosts the annual Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies, one of the key forums in the Islamic world, which discusses issues facing humanity in the modern era resulting from sectarian and ideological conflicts in Muslim societies.
The country has also hosted the Global Conference of Human Fraternity, which aimed to activate dialogue on coexistence and fraternity among communities, how to combat extremism and promote human relations. The conference resulted in the signing of the Human Fraternity Document.
One of the outcomes of the document, the Zayed Award for Human Fraternity, was launched in 2019 and aims to celebrate individuals and institutions that promote peace and coexistence.
Yesterday, the second edition of the Human Fraternity Festival began at Expo 2020 Dubai, organised by the Ministry of Tolerance and Coexistence, in collaboration with the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity, with a broad Arab and international participation. Al-Azhar and the Vatican are also participating in the four-day event.