Op-ed: Embracing International Day of Human Fraternity: A Message of Unity and Cooperation

Rahma bin Abdulrahman Alshamsi, Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the Republic of Maldives.

The following is an op-ed by the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the Maldives H.E. Rahma bin Abdulrahman Alshamsi


As the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the Maldives, I am honored to witness the significance of International Human Fraternity Day, which underscores the importance of fostering peaceful coexistence and solidarity among diverse communities worldwide. The principles of Human Fraternity lie at the core of the UAE’s vision for both the present and future. The UAE, among the pioneering countries that have taken the initiative to observe this significant day, demonstrates its commitment to promoting understanding, tolerance, and mutual respect. A milestone for humanity and interreligious dialogue occurred on December 21, 2020, as the United Nations (UN) General Assembly unanimously proclaimed that the International Day of Human Fraternity would be observed annually on February 4, starting in 2021, a resolution which was co-sponsored by the UAE. Its purpose is to promote peace, tolerance, inclusion, understanding, and solidarity.

The International Day of Human Fraternity commemorates the historic signing of the Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together by 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. This historic document calls for dialogue and collaboration between people of different faiths and backgrounds, with the aim of building a more harmonious and interconnected world.

One of the key initiatives associated with this day is the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity, established to achieve the objectives of the Document on Human Fraternity. The Committee seeks to encourage interfaith dialogue, counteract extremism, and promote a culture of peace and tolerance globally. The UAE has been actively supporting the Committee's efforts, reflecting its dedication to fostering human fraternity beyond its borders.

The Higher Committee on Human Fraternity endeavors to embody the principles of human fraternity by implementing key initiatives, intending to present them as impactful and compelling examples. To begin with, The Abrahamic Family House, is a key initiative by the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity, which stands as a remarkable testament to the UAE's commitment to promoting interfaith dialogue and understanding. Located on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi, this visionary project encompasses a mosque, a church, and a synagogue in one complex, symbolizing the harmonious coexistence of the three Abrahamic religions. The Abrahamic Family House serves as a physical manifestation of the principles outlined in the Document on Human Fraternity, fostering an environment where people of various faiths can come together in mutual respect.

Another significant initiative associated with International Human Fraternity Day is the Zayed Award for Human Fraternity. Launched in 2019, named after the UAE's founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, this prestigious award honors individuals and entities that have made remarkable contributions to promoting human fraternity and peaceful coexistence around the world.

The importance of International Human Fraternity Day cannot be overstated, especially in today's world, where societies face numerous challenges that require collective efforts in addressing them. The day serves as a reminder that, despite our differences, we share a common humanity, and it is through unity and understanding that we can overcome the obstacles that divide us.

In the Maldives, a nation known for its cultural diversity and rich history, the observance of International Human Fraternity Day takes on special significance. As the UAE Ambassador, I am proud to witness the cultural exchange and cooperation between our two nations, where people from different backgrounds come together to celebrate their shared values and traditions.

The UAE has consistently demonstrated its dedication to fostering international human fraternity through various initiatives, including the establishment of the International Institute for Tolerance and the hosting of the World Tolerance Summit. These initiatives, along with the Abrahamic Family House and the Zayed Award for Human Fraternity, reflect the UAE's commitment to creating a world where people from all walks of life can live together in peace and prosperity.


As we commemorate International Human Fraternity Day, let us reflect on the shared values that connect us and recognize the power of dialogue and collaboration in building a better and bright future. My sincere hope is that the spirit of human fraternity will continue to guide our interactions, fostering unity and compassion not only within the UAE and the Maldives but also globally. Together, let us renew our commitment to nurturing understanding and cooperation, charting a course towards a world where unity and compassion prevail.