Today marks the anniversary of the co-signing of the Document on Human Fraternity by His Eminence Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar and Chairman of the Muslim Council of Elders and His Holiness Pope Francis, Pontiff of the Catholic Church under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates. Since its signing on the 4th of February 2019, the document served as a call for world peace and harmony as well as a recognition that we are all part of the same human family.
Since the document’s inception, it has received universal acclaim as a joint declaration by the two most prominent religious leaders in the world. On the 22nd of December 2020, the UN General Assembly adopted the 4th of February as the ‘International Day of Human Fraternity’ in recognition of the importance of the humane principles within the document while emphasizing that understanding and constructive dialogue constitute two important dimensions of achieving peace and harmony among people of all backgrounds.
On the 4th of February 2021, the world celebrated the first-ever ‘International Day of Human Fraternity’ which coincided with the Document receiving a Guinness World Record for its campaign ‘Human Fraternity Messages’ which garnered the most pledges received for a world peace campaign in a 24-hour span. On the same day in 2022, religious and world leaders such as His Eminence Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar and Chairman of the Muslim Council of Elders, His Holiness Pope Francis, Pontiff of the Catholic Church and the President of the United States of America Joe Biden celebrated the second International Day of Human Fraternity. Likewise, a number of initiatives and events were organized alongside the UAE’s Ministry of Tolerance and Coexistence as part of Expo 2020 Dubai to celebrate the historic ‘International Day of Human Fraternity’.
On the 19th of May 2022, the President of East Timor and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jose Ramos-Horta announced that the parliament of East Timor had adopted the Document as a national charter to be implemented in the country’s school curriculum. Also in 2022, the Document was adopted as a basis for promoting peace and dialogue by over 108 delegates at the 7th Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions held in Kazakhstan.
In October 2022, over 200 bishops from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops adopted the Document on Human Fraternity as a reference for national interfaith dialogue.
Additionally, many universities and schools in Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Italy, Bahrain and the United States of America promoted and applied the values of the Document on Human Fraternity within their educational curricula with a growing number of researchers around the world taking a great interest in the Document and its values.
In September 2022, Georgetown University hosted the ‘Building Interreligious Solidarity’ conference which included the participation of students from all around the world in workshops and discussions focused on improving Human Fraternity.
The ‘Zayed Award for Human Fraternity’, which is one of the fruits of the historic ‘Document on Human Fraternity’, recognizes individuals or entities across the world who lead by example in promoting peace and coexistence as well as collaborating selflessly and tirelessly to bridge divides and create real human fraternity.