His Majesty King Abdullah II addressed a Plenary Session of the 65th General Assembly of the United Nations in New York on September 10, 2010 stating that the Jordanian delegation would present a draft plan to launch the World Interfaith Harmony Week. This plan was adopted by the United Nations on October 20, 2010, and the first week of February, every year, has been declared a UN World Interfaith Harmony Week. It was marked for the first time in 2011.
On its 10th anniversary, we must first be proud that this global week is a Jordanian brainchild of the pioneering Hashemite thought in the field of interfaith dialogue, as it goes hand-in-hand with the Jordanian stand in general which has always issued international initiatives that contributed to bringing people closer together. This initiative corroborated the Jordanian reality that religion was never an obstacle to understanding among human beings, and that the Jordanian model experienced daily is to be emulated in various parts of the world as there are no conflicts based on religious, sectarian or ethnic elements. This constitutes a model of normal life in Jordan with Karak and Ajloun as examples in northern and southern Jordan, where common tribal values have contributed to branding Jordan as a model to be emulated in all parts of the world.
After taking pride in this, we have to be able to shouldering the responsibility. As His Majesty the King said in his interview with the Jordanian News Agency a few days ago that we have to work hand-in-hand in this direction in the field of preserving this Jordanian and Hashemite heritage so that this bright image would continues. The week of interfaith harmony is a responsibility that we, in our capacity as the extended Jordanian family, have to preserve and present in schools and universities, through meetings or virtual ones in this epidemic year.
This week, specifically this year, coincides with Jordan's centenary celebrations, which corroborate the fact that we celebrate the centenary of common living which incorporates the various components of the Jordanian society. We must view this centenary in this context, whereby we must also develop it in order to launch studies on interfaith harmony in Jordan as a model to be emulated by the entire world.
We should not forget that harmony involves caring for those displaced, especially in the previous decade. Jordan welcomed them, particularly those from Iraq and Syria, and made sacrifices in this regards. This was manifested in providing them with vaccines like any other citizens.
In conclusion, this year we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the week of Interfaith Harmony, which comes in the wake of the announcement of the International Day of Human Fraternity--launched by fraternal United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain and set to be marked on February 4. We are proud in Jordan that this day is set to be marked within the Week of Interfaith Harmony and to coincide with the second anniversary of the signing of the historic “Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace” by His Holiness Pope Francis and Sheikh of Al-Azhar, Ahmad Tayeb, on Arab soil. This prompts us to think about the means to maintain joint Arab cooperation in order to spread the values of harmony, intimacy, and affection among all people.