Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

03 February 2021

Secretary-General message upon receipt of the Human Fraternity Award

It is an honour to receive the Zayed Award for Human Fraternity.  I know this is also recognition of the work of the United Nations to advance peace and human dignity every day and everywhere.

I also congratulate this year’s other awardee, Latifa Ibn Ziaten of France.  Her dedicated efforts to support young people and promote mutual understanding, arising out of immense personal tragedy, have won admirers at home and beyond.

Discrimination, racism and extremist violence are surging across the globe.

As the world faces the COVID-19 pandemic, an economic crisis, a climate emergency and threats to peace, unity and solidarity are more important than ever. There must be no room for hatred in the future we are striving to build.

That is also very much the spirit of the pathbreaking efforts of His Holiness Pope Francis and His Eminence the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb to advance inter-faith dialogue and promote our common humanity. 

This award will inspire us as we continue that vital work.

In that spirit, I have decided to donate the prize money -- $500,000 -- to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to buttress its indispensable efforts to protect the most vulnerable members of the human family – the forcibly displaced.

Thank you again for this recognition.