Pope Francis, Zayed Award Committee discuss global challenges


Pope Francis has urged the advancement of compassion and tolerance as a response to pressing global challenges, during a meeting with the Zayed Award for Human Fraternity 2024 judging committee at the Vatican.

He encouraged the judging committee members - who collectively represent Africa, Asia, Europe, and North and South America - to further the values of human fraternity, both through the award and through their respective fields.

An honorary recipient of the award, Pope Francis said, “Human fraternity is imperative for our contemporary world, especially in the midst of ongoing conflicts. In wars, everyone loses, and it is the innocent who pay the price.” 

The members expressed their gratitude to Pope Francis for his promotion of fraternal values - including solidarity, environmental protection, and equality.

They commended Pope Francis, as well as Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed Al-Tayeb, for coming together in 2019 to sign the historic Document on Human Fraternity, and reaffirmed that the values outlined in the Document on Human Fraternity serve as a compass in their selection process of the 2024 honoree(s).

On behalf of the committee, Secretary-General of the Zayed Award for Human Fraternity, Judge Mohamed Abdelsalam, said, “Ahead of the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar signing the historic Document on Human Fraternity, we truly appreciate today’s meeting and inspiring conversation with Pope Francis, who has strengthened our resolve to carry out the values of human fraternity in our work together and apart.”

The  Zayed Award for Human Fraternity – which includes a $1 million prize - was established in 2019 following the signing of the historic Document on Human Fraternity by Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed Al-Tayeb in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Since the award’s inception humanitarian organisations, activists, and leaders from around the world have been honoured, including UN Secretary-General António Guterres, His Majesty King Abdullah II bin Al Hussein and Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan and Kenyan peacebuilder Shamsa Abubakar Fadhil.

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