Following is the text of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ video message for the International Day of Human Fraternity, observed today:
I am pleased to welcome the first International Day of Human Fraternity in World Interfaith Harmony Week. I applaud all Member States that co-sponsored the United Nations General Assembly resolution proclaiming 4 February as the International Day of Human Fraternity, especially the United Arab Emirates and Egypt for co-facilitating the process.
I also acknowledge the significance of the 2019 publication of “Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together”. Co-authored by His Holiness Pope Francis and His Eminence the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, this declaration is a model for interfaith harmony and human solidarity.
I thank both religious leaders for using their voice to promote interfaith dialogue, mutual respect and understanding across the faith spectrum. In these trying times, we need this spirit more than ever.
Around the world, deep-seated discrimination, acts of intolerance and hate crimes persist against people simply because of their religion or belief, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation. Such vile acts are an affront to internationally agreed human rights and the values of the United Nations.
Cultural diversity and freedom of belief are part of the rich tapestry of our civilizations. As we commemorate the International Day of Human Fraternity, let us commit to do more to promote cultural and religious tolerance, understanding and dialogue.