UN Secretary-General meets members of Higher Committee of Human Fraternity in New York

NEW YORK, Secretary-General of the United Nations António Guterres received on Monday a high-level delegation of members of the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity (HCHF), at the UN headquarters in New York, to discuss ways to enhance cooperation in promoting human fraternity.

At the beginning of the meeting, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue at the Holy See and HCHF Meeting Chair Cardinal Miguel Ayuso Guixot stated, “The work of the Higher Committee of Fraternity is to bring together and unite people of goodwill around the world, and today’s meeting is a reaffirmation of our commitment to continue to advance these efforts for the welfare of all humanity.”

Judge Mohamed Abdelsalam, HCHF Secretary-General, presented the committee’s initiatives and projects to promote human fraternity, namely the Zayed Award for Human Fraternity, which is granted to people and institutions that are making profound contributions to coexistence and human fraternity. Judge Abdelsalam also reviewed the Abrahamic Family House initiative, a first-of-its-kind interfaith complex hosting a mosque, church, synagogue, and cultural center in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Judge Abdelsalam also reviewed the Human Fraternity Youth Summit, which the committee intends to hold next year, with the aim of enabling young people to lead in the fields of interfaith and intercultural dialogue and empower them to be promoters of peace in their local communities.

For his part, Secretary-General António Guterres affirmed the full support of the United Nations for the initiatives of the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity, stressing his personal support for the Human Fraternity Youth Summit and the constant readiness of the United Nations to support the Document on Human Fraternity – a landmark document and the mission statement of the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity.

Judge Abdelsalam affirmed the readiness of the Higher Committee to explore possible collaboration with the UN official designated to represent the cooperation between the UN and HCHF – Miguel Ángel Moratinos – and look at collaboration in strengthening the values of peace and fraternity, while also seeking ways of garnering support from UN Member States in various fields. This integration can be harnessed to serve and benefit humanity, according to Judge Abdelsalam.

UN High-Representative for the Alliance of Civilisations Miguel Ángel Moratinos welcomed collaboration with the HCHF to cooperate in implementing its inspiring initiatives, stressing his confidence that this cooperation will soon bear fruit in various fields, particularly in the field of training young people for leadership and providing them with skills of dialogue and constructive communication.

For his part, Dr. Mohamed Al-Mahrasawi, President of Al-Azhar University and member of the HCHF, expressed his aspiration to see the fruits of cooperation between the Higher Committee of Fraternity and the United Nations, stressing that the Document on Human Fraternity requires everyone to join in working to transform its provisions into a tangible reality.

“We at Al-Azhar University have realised the necessity of spreading the Document and making it known among youth – this prompted us to include it in the curricula and in master’s and doctoral theses, as well as the university’s hosting of seminars and workshops that deal with aspects of the Document in detail,” he said.

Irina Bokova, member of the HCHF and former Director-General of UNESCO, said, “The United Nations and the Higher Committee for Human Fraternity share the same goals and vision in working for humanity. The Higher Committee of Fraternity believes that partnership between institutions will lead to everyone achieving these desired goals. It is time for us to unite and show the world what we can do for humanity.”

Rabbi Bruce Lustig, Senior Rabbi of Washington Hebrew Congregation and a member of the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity said: “We would like to thank the Secretary-General of the United Nations for this wonderful meeting, and the proposed plans and projects – to be executed as soon as possible. We believe that now is the time to bring our goals for humanity to fruition, especially after the difficult circumstances the world has witnessed due to the coronavirus pandemic.”

At the end of the meeting, a delegation from the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity presented the trophies of the Zayed Award for Human Fraternity 2021 to co-honorees Secretary-General Guterres and Moroccan-French activist Latifa ibn Ziaten for their efforts in furthering a culture of peace and their work promoting coexistence and human solidarity.

Source: Emirates News Agency