International Day of Human Fraternity (February 4): Celebrating Diversity and Fostering Dialogue across the World

The United Nations General Assembly, on December 21, 2020, endorsed a resolution that was jointly sponsored by the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, designating February 4 as the International Day of Human Fraternity. This resolution calls upon all Member States and international organizations to commemorate the International Day of Human Fraternity each year.

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H.E. Dr. Bader Almatrooshi, UAE Ambassador to Vietnam

The International Day of Human Fraternity was inspired by the global reaction to the historic signing of the Document on Human Fraternity by two of the world’s great religious leaders, His Holiness Pope Francis and His Eminence Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed Al-Tayeb, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on February 4, 2019.

The day is an annual celebration of interreligious and intercultural dialogue, tolerance and acceptance, as well as compassion and solidarity. It is also a call to action, urging individuals to put these values into practice in order to build a more peaceful world.

The Higher Committee of Human Fraternity (HCHF) was established on August 15, 2019. This distinguished committee is composed of religious, cultural, and education leaders from diverse backgrounds.

HCHF is an independent international committee dedicated to promoting human fraternity values worldwide and fulfilling the aspirations of the Document on Human Fraternity.

While the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity works towards advancing the values of human fraternity throughout the year, the International Day of Human Fraternity aims to raise public awareness of human fraternity on the anniversary of the historic signing of the Document on Human Fraternity.

International, regional, and local events are held on this UN-recognized international day, providing an opportunity to reflect on how people from all walks of life belong to the same human family and contribute significantly to the world.

Inspired by the meeting between His Holiness Pope Francis and Grand Imam Al-Tayeb, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the United Arab Emirates, has allocated a plot of land on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi to build an Abrahamic Family House—a tangible manifestation of the Document on Human Fraternity.

The Zayed Award for Human Fraternity is an independent global award granted by the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity. It includes a financial prize of $1 million and is awarded annually on February 4, the International Day for Human Fraternity. The purpose of the Zayed Award for Human Fraternity is to recognize individuals, organizations, and entities for their significant contributions to human fraternity. The winners are honored at a ceremony held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The award was established in February 2019 to commemorate the historic meeting between His Holiness Pope Francis, the head of the Catholic Church, and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, His Eminence Professor Ahmed Al-Tayeb, where the two eminent figures signed the Document on Human Fraternity. Pope Francis and Grand Imam Al-Tayeb were the first honorary recipients of the Zayed Award for Human Fraternity. The award is named in honor of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the late ruler of Abu Dhabi and founder of the United Arab Emirates. His values of humility, humanitarianism, and respect exemplify the enduring ideals that the award seeks to celebrate.

On this special occasion, I would like to inspire all individuals to embrace the values of human fraternity. We firmly believe that the values outlined in the Document on Human Fraternity are essential in promoting peace at all levels—between individuals, organizations, nations, and even between humanity and the environment. In our increasingly fragmented world, plagued by extremism and intolerance, our innovative initiatives aim to translate the principles of human fraternity into action by empowering leaders and inspiring youth, women, and vulnerable communities to work towards a more peaceful future.

His Excellency Dr. Bader Almatrooshi, Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam