'Global Conference of Human Fraternity’ concludes in Abu Dhabi

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'Global Conference of Human Fraternity’ concludes in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi-en.abouna.org

The ‘Global Conference of Human Fraternity’ concluded following two days of inspirational discussions in Abu Dhabi with a call for renewed efforts to encourage human fraternity through mutual tolerance and interfaith dialogue.

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the conference was convened by the Muslim Council of Elders, an Abu Dhabi-based independent international organisation chaired by His Eminence Dr Ahmad At-Tayyeb, Grand Imam of Al Azhar Al Sharif. The event concluded with a historic meeting between the Grand Imam and His Holiness Pope Francis, Head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State.

Dr Sultan Faisal Al Remeithi, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Elders, said: “Honoured by the distinguished presence of leading figures representing diverse faiths, the rich and profound discussions we have held over the past two days represent real progress towards our common goal of promoting human fraternity, which stresses the need for reason, wisdom and mutual understanding between people of different cultures and faiths.”

Following opening speeches and a plenary session addressing the conference’s third key theme entitled ‘Human Fraternity: Challenges and Opportunities’, workshops were convened to further examine the interrelated subjects of tolerance, humanity and coexistence.

The ‘Tolerance Workshop’ emphasized the need for peace to allow human beings to form close ties with one another. For this to occur, people need to actively listen to gain clarity, develop understanding of contexts, and gain perspective to build trust and a collaborative spirit. Empathetic understanding is also crucial in securing rights for all while gaining greater insight into the challenges faced by others. Religious leaders must fight bigotry against all religions and teach inclusivity, not exclusivity. Ultimately, all people have the same hopes, hunger, fears, and failures - our similarities and common aspirations unite us as the children of God.

At the day’s ‘Humanity Workshop’, participants emphasized the importance of education as a key enabler for achieving coexistence and tolerance in societies. Participants pointed out that all who believed in God should treat one another equally given the fact that we were all created by God regardless of race, gender, ideology or religion. With the world currently faced with negative elements who use the name of God to justify violence and crime, they noted that action was needed to counter injustices that undermine human dignity, including promoting education and protecting the environment.

Delegates at the ‘Coexistence Workshop’ agreed on the need for a common human effort to encourage coexistence through peace, justice, dignity, cooperation and, most importantly, love. As these are shared traits among humankind, such coexistence needed to be built on attitudes encompassing respect for all races, cultures and religions. To this end, humankind must unite and recognise diversity as a natural phenomenon and a sign from God that we should accept others on the basis of tolerance, respect and fraternity.

The thematic workshops helped expand on the key ideas developed at the conference that successfully reinforced the message of the UAE’s ‘Year of Tolerance’ in 2019. This message emphasizes the value of fraternal understanding, mutual respect and citizenship as essential factors in countering divisiveness and the dangers of extremism and conflict.

The timing of Pope Francis’s historic visit to the UAE to coincide with that of His Eminence Dr Ahmad At-Tayyeb, reinforces the country’s position as a global hub for fraternity and humanitarianism and a meeting point for people from all over the world.

Mon, 02/04/2019 - 18:24
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