NEW YORK—World Jewish Congress (WJC) President Ronald S. Lauder and Jewish Council of the Emirates (JCE) President Ross Kriel join global leaders in marking the inaugural International Day of Human Fraternity, designated by the United Nations as February 4.
Commenting on the significance of the occasion, WJC President Ronald S. Lauder said, “The International Day of Human Fraternity embodies the hope for the future that lies ahead, where there is more love than hate, more peace than war, more brotherhood and sisterhood than sectarian strife. The Document on Human Fraternity, signed by Pope Francis and Grand Imam Ahmed al-Tayeb, under the patronage of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, sounded a courageous call for active coexistence.”
Lauder continued, “Relationships between peoples, especially faith communities, require bold gestures that foster trust over time. These relationships must be cultivated and nurtured by our leaders and institutions. International Day of Human Fraternity, prompted by brave steps taken in Abu Dhabi, is the latest stop on the present path to peace. The World Jewish Congress joins with all people celebrating this advancement.”
The Jewish Council of the Emirates, the recognized representative body approved by the Jews of the United Arab Emirates and affiliate community of the World Jewish Congress, added festive remarks from Dubai.
Ross Kriel, President of the JCE, stated that, “We make common cause with all faith communities that view the International Day of Human Fraternity as a call to action and who share the inspiration we feel as Jewish residents of the UAE in building a widely held conviction of our common humanity and mutual responsibility.”
Rabbi Elie Abadie, Senior Rabbi of the JCE, said, “I join all people of goodwill and the multicultural and multi-religious communities in the UAE in celebrating the International Day of Human Fraternity. All as children of God, we experience living with tolerance, peaceful coexistence and harmony here in the UAE. We are all bequeathing a more promising future to the next generations.”
The United Nations proclaimed February 4 as the International Day of Human Fraternity following a meeting between Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmad al-Tayeb, on February 4, 2019, in Abu Dhabi, which resulted in the signing of the document entitled “Human fraternity for world peace and living together.”
Lauder endorsed the Document on Human Fraternity in a keynote address in November 2019 at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, heralding it as a “defining international document” that deserves the respect of world Jewry. Calling for unity to fight hatred and racism, Lauder said, “human fraternity should always guide our actions. The concept of human fraternity has immediate implications for our world and our time.”