H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, alongside Saqr Ghubash, Speaker of the Federal National Council, attended today a ceremony hosted by the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity to mark the one year anniversary of the historic Document of Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together.
The Document was signed by Pope Francis, Head of the Catholic Church and the Grand Imam of Al Azhar, Ahmed Al Tayeb, during the Papal visit to the UAE Capital in February last year.
Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al Azhar addressed the audience in video messages, in which they reiterated their commitment to the aspirations of the Human Fraternity Document.
They also expressed their gratitude and appreciation to the UAE for the great support provided to the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity’s efforts.
In his speech in the event, which was held in Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Abdullah said, "We were honoured to host the signing of the Document of Human Fraternity in the United Arab Emirate’s capital, Abu Dhabi, with the support of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
"This is a reflection of our commitment to its values which are well founded in our national and international strategy.
"The Document of Human Fraternity has also been included in our school curricula, and we will continue to support initiatives intended to spread the values of tolerance and understanding among all people, including the work of the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity.
"We are honoured to host the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity, and we encourage countries and international agencies to include the Document’s values and objectives in their development programmes and initiatives.
"I’m also honoured to announce the continuation of the Zayed Award for Human Fraternity, which was launched last year by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, and was bestowed on Grand Imam of Al Azhar Dr. Ahmed Al Tayeb and Pope Francis, in recognition of their efforts to empower communities and inspire individuals on issues of fraternity and peace.
"The annual award will recognise those who unite for the good of humanity and reach out to one another in service of promoting human fraternity across the world.
"The Document says, ‘This Declaration may constitute an invitation to reconciliation and fraternity among all believers, indeed among believers and non-believers, and among all people of good will.’ "This is an invitation to everybody, regardless of their race or religion, to rally around values of Human Fraternity.
"We encourage everybody to uphold and adopt these values, especially the younger generations that helped in the emergence of this event."
Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance was also present at the event as well as Sheikh Mohammed bin Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, Dr. Ahmad bin Abdullah Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills, and Hessa Essa Buhumaid, Minister of Community Development.
Jameela Al Muheiri, Minister of State for Public Education was also present alongside Dr. Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Chairman of the Department of Community Development, members of the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity, faith leaders, cultural leaders and students attending from around the world.
During the event, the Higher Committee members took part in a panel discussion, updating on their strategy to realise the aspirations of the Document on Human Fraternity, including an emphasis on engaging youth and educators.
The Committee also facilitated a forum, which took place in Abu Dhabi earlier in the day, bringing together over 150 students, religious leaders, and cultural leaders from around the world to engage in dialogue and hear from leaders of initiatives that exemplify human fraternity.
The Higher Committee of Human Fraternity includes nine members from the UAE, Spain, Italy, Egypt, the US, and Bulgaria.
The members are: Cardinal Miguel Àngel Ayuso Guixot, Chairman of the Higher Committee, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue of the Holy See, Judge Mohamed Mahmoud Abdel Salam, General Secretary of the Higher Committee and former Advisor to the Grand Imam of Al Azhar Ahmad Al Tayeb, Rabbi M. Bruce Lustig, Senior Rabbi at Washington Hebrew Congregation, Monsignor Yoannis Lahzi Gaid, Personal Secretary to Pope Francis, Professor Mohamed Hussein Mahrasawi, President of Al Azhar University, Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture – Abu Dhabi, Dr. Sultan Faisal Al Remeithi, Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Elders, Irina Bokova, former Director-General of UNESCO, and Yasser Hareb, an Emirati writer and TV presenter.
The Committee will encourage initiatives that serve humanitarian causes tailored to global leaders and to vulnerable populations in those communities.
With its global focus, the Committee aims to galvanise action on issues of peace and human fraternity across art and media, community, policy-making and education.
The Higher Committee’s core mission is to inspire the values of human fraternity among people of different faiths, backgrounds, and nationalities across the world.
It is acting on the aspirations outlined in the Document of Human Fraternity by holding meetings with religious leaders, heads of international organizations, and others to encourage actions that will create a more peaceful world for all humankind.
Most recently the Committee met the United Nations’ Secretary-General, António Guterres and other senior UN representatives, to present plans for the Abrahamic Family House, one of the first projects the Committee is advising on, and discuss the group’s future plans.
Following the meeting, the Secretary General agreed to share the Human Fraternity Document with the 194-member states of the UN so they can benefit from the principles and values it sets out.
In this context, members of the Higher Committee met last December with António Guterre Secretary-General of the United Nations and a group of VIPs in the international organisation to brief them about the Committee's initiative of the Abrahamic Family House and discuss the committee's long-term vision.