Dubai: The United Arab Emirates has successfully concluded the International Human Fraternity Virtual Summit (IHFS), an initiative of the UAE Ministry of Tolerance & Coexistence, as it welcomed thousands of participants from every corner of the globe, in commemoration of the very first International Day of Human Fraternity by the United Nations.
The IHFS marked an important milestone in history as it underscored the importance of spreading the work of human fraternity and coexistence in order to achieve unity and cooperation around the world. The virtual summit also shed light on major issues such as battling the challenges of the pandemic, eliminating racism among societies, instilling culture of tolerance & peace, and promoting gender equality and women empowerment.
“Human Fraternity is deeply rooted into the UAE’s culture and heritage, a legacy of our founding Father, Sheikh Zayed, may his Soul Rest in Peace. Celebrating the International Human Fraternity for the first time is a reflection of our commitment to peaceful co-existence, tolerance and universal human fraternity and our future generations are key to this. It is up to us to ensure we instill these values and principles in their every step, and spread these messages through their thoughts and their actions as they lead the growth of our nation,” stated HE Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism-Abu Dhabi and a member of the Higher Committee for Human Fraternity.
Through its virtual venue, Events10x, the International Human Fraternity Summit welcomed the participation of high-level dignitaries, international community of intellectuals, government institutions, human rights and philanthropic institutions, religious institutions, as well as private organisations.
The IHFS powered through with the most anticipated Global Leaders Debate that delve into this year’s theme, “Human Fraternity for Working Together to Achieve a Better Future” which provided an in-depth discussion on the increased fragmentation around the world due to extremism and intolerance which plays a destructive role in achieving global happiness and prosperity. The debate brought together international leaders to discuss policies to curb these problems and explored the initiatives that would further boost human fraternity and tolerance.
Moderated by Becky Anderson, the Managing Editor of CNN Abu Dhabi, reputable officials such as H.E. María Fernanda Espinosa, the President of the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly; Corinne Momal-Vanian, the Executive Director of Kofi Annan Foundation and Dr. Chungwon Choue, the President of the World Taekwondo Foundation were present to deliver their intelligent insights.
The Conference session, “How Human Values Help Eliminate Racism Among Societies” examined how human values positively affect societies and how it paves the way to increase morals and integrity and eliminate racism and discrimination. This session was participated by H.E. Afra Mohamed Al Saabri, the General Director of Ministry of Tolerance & Coexistence; Dr. Mariwan Baker, PhD, the Founder and Chairman of Bring Hope Humanitarian Foundation; Suhail Ghazi Algosaibi; the Founder and Chairman of Board of Trustees of Bahrain Foundation for Dialogue, Kingdom of Bahrain; Prof. Azza Karam, the Secretary General of Religions for Peace; and Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca, the Interim General Secretary of World Council of Churches.
The event also hosted a fireside chat where the leading philanthropist Mo Ibrahim, the Founder and Chair of Mo Ibrahim Foundation in the United Kingdom was interviewed by Hadley Gamble, the CNBC News Anchor of CNBC Middle East. He provided great insights into his journey in doing philanthropic work during the COVID-19 crisis.
The session on “Instilling Culture of Tolerance and Peace” also gathered notable leaders and discussed the role of education in instilling culture of peace and tolerance, as well as the importance of cultural inclusiveness and its essence in the modern world. It was joined by Antonio Zappulla, the Chief Executive Officer of Thomson Reuters Foundation; Ambassador Khalid Fathalrahman, the Director of the Department of Dialogue and Cultural Diversity, Supervisor of the Partnerships and International Cooperation Sector, Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO); Youssef Aroog, the President of Mediterranean Youth Foundation for Development – Egypt; Dr. Eesa Mohammed Bastaki, the President of University of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Hani AlZubaidi, the Chief Executive Officer of Make a Wish Foundation, United Arab Emirates.
The Gender Equality and Women Empowerment session explored the efforts that private organizations and governments need to make to bridge the gap. Creating an inclusive environment for women and people of determination within the society were also discussed. It was participated by Elizabeth Vazquez, the CEO and Co-Founder of WEConnect International; H.E. Wedad Ahmed Bu Hamid, the Vice President of Emirates Human Rights Association, UAE; The Hon. Irina Bokova, Member of High Committee on Human Fraternity, President, Academy for Cultural Diplomacy and Former Director-General of United Nation Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); Simona Scarpaleggia, the Global CEO of EDGE Strategy; Noha Hefny, the Founder & CEO of People of Impact; and Dr. Ayesha Abdulla, the Vice President of Academic Affairs of Higher Colleges of Technology.
Moreover, IHFS also welcomed inspirational leaders, Peter Maurer, the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross and Leymah Gbowee, a peace activist and Nobel Peace Laureate, who both delivered their enthusing speeches about peace and ending violence that moved the global audience.
Furthermore, the event also hosted a digital exhibition where local governments, private institutions and organizations from respective countries unveiled their humanitarian efforts to its virtual attendees.
The Human Digital Library was another crucial feature that allowed visitors to access a large pool of humanitarian topics and resources related to cultural diversity, peace and coexistence. Through this, visitors were able to gain an in-depth understanding of issues around the world and read the works of leading academics.
The Art and Photography feature was also a remarkable activity that welcomed professionals from different countries to demonstrate the essence of human fraternity through their works. This was a major opportunity as the participants were able to gain great recognition through this global event.
Moreover, the audience was able to explore uplifting humanitarian stories that served as a catalyst for a better society and ignited the humanitarian efforts in respective countries. This also highlighted the positive impact that it had on the lives of people, thereby motivating the viewers to make a difference in any possible way.
“We are very honoured to organise this event under the Patronage of the UAE Ministry of Tolerance & Coexistence. It is our utmost pride and commitment to be able to share their noble aspirations and accomplish them successfully by bringing a historical and momentous virtual event to the whole world. We believe that building a better society has always been of utmost importance, especially during these challenging times. Thus, we continue to be one with the UAE in its efforts to achieve global peace and cooperation through promoting the principles of human fraternity so every human being can live a happy and fulfilled life regardless of belief, culture or colour,” stated Mr. Dawood Al Shezawi, the President of the Organising Committee of the International Human Fraternity Summit.
The International Human Fraternity Virtual Summit, would like to extend its appreciation to Etisalat, its Official Telecom Partner, as well as all its esteemed sponsors and partners that helped made this event a great success.
“We are delighted to be the official telecom partner of the International Human Fraternity Virtual Summit, which is in line with Etisalat’s overall strategy of ‘Driving the Digital Future to Empower Societies’. This event, under the theme ‘Human Fraternity for Working
Together to Achieve a Better Future, is closely aligned with our corporate social responsibility strategy to support the communities we serve. We at Etisalat join the UAE in its efforts to promote peace and spread the principles of fraternity and peaceful coexistence worldwide,” said Dr. Ahmed bin Ali, Group Senior Vice President of Etisalat.