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UN Secretary General urged for interfaith harmony

New York, 4 February 2023 (GNP): UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres,  in his message on the International Day of Human Fraternity, asked for more strengthening compassion, religious understanding, and mutual respect, which are the most binding and strong glues of all humans through interfaith harmony.

He added that these values are the beacons of peace for the whole world, yet they are the most vulnerable ones right now, engulfed by the rising tides of hate speech, sectarianism, and strife.

The Secretary-General further added that religious extremism and intolerance exist in nearly all societies and among all belief systems, but religious leaders of these societies and belief systems now must calm down this rising threat to humanity and prevent the use of hatred and extremism for subduing those who do not follow their viewpoint.

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The Secretary-General pointed out that the ”Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together”, a model for interfaith harmony and solidarity among all human beings based on shared values of humanity, is the most functional model for peace in the world.  This joint declaration, also known as the Abu Dhabi declaration or Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together, was signed by the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Shaikh Ahmed El Tayeb, and Pope Francis on 4 February 2019, the two most influential personalities of Islam and Christianity.

All humans, irrespective of their race, religion, color, and country, should get a positive inspiration from the belief that we are all humans living on this Planet and we must strive for peace in the world by making an Alliance for Peace that would be rich in diversity, united in solidarity, equal in rights and dignity for all.

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In 2021, a resolution moved by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the UN General Assembly was passed to designate 4 February as the International Day of Human Fraternity to curb religious hatred and to recognize the positive values and contributions of people of different religions and beliefs to humanity in their capacity. This adoption of the resolution was specially designed in the wake of COVID-19 when the whole world was polarized.

Meanwhile, to commemorate the interfaith harmony week among all humans, the UN Mission of Sierra Leon organized a conference at UN headquarters to explore the possibility of harmony in crises ridden world.