World Interfaith Harmony Week and International Day of Human Fraternity Celebrated

16 February 2021, 7:07 PM

As you recall, the General Assembly of the United Nations in its resolution of A/RES/65/5 in 2010 proclaimed the first week of February every year to be celebrated as the World Interfaith Harmony Week between all religions, faiths and beliefs.

In December 2020, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution to declare 4 February as International Day of Human Fraternity.

International Day of Human Fraternity aims to underline the importance of raising awareness about different cultures and religions, or beliefs, and the promotion of tolerance. It also aims to educate people that tolerance, pluralistic tradition, mutual respect, and the diversity of religions and beliefs promote human fraternity.

Recognizing the imperative need of the World Interfaith Harmony Week and International Day of Human Fraternity to promote interreligious and intercultural dialogue in order to enhance peace, social stability, respect for diversity, mutual respect, harmony, understanding and cooperation among people of diverse religions, spiritual expressions and indigenous traditions to create at the local, national and global levels an environment conducive to peaceful cohabitation among people and Mother Earth.

In celebration of the 2021 World Interfaith harmony Week and International Day of Human Fraternity, United Religions Initiative - Africa, All African Conference of Churches (AACC), The Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM), and Baha’i International Committee of Addis Ababa Office (BIC) organized on February 5th an interfaith prayer for peace and healing to prevail in the world and reflected on how to work together in partnership in the spirit of Sustainable Development Goals Agenda 17.

The organizers of the event strongly believe that one practical action that will help to enhance and achieve the purpose of the UN General Assembly resolution on World Interfaith Harmony Week and International Day of Human Fraternity is the teaching of the Golden Rule, which says, “Treat others the way you want to be treated.” It is a fundamental moral principle and commonly shared value by different religions, traditions, Indigenous cultures and secular philosophies.

The Golden Rule is the pathway for peaceful co-existence, interfaith and intercultural harmony, and ensure respect for human dignity and to overcome hate speech, violent extremisms and contributes to building harmonious, inclusive and just societies the organizers of the event also agree to work in partnership to promote the teaching of the Golden Rule and also to celebrate together the upcoming Golden Rule Day, which is April 5th.  

In this interrelated and globalized world, the Golden Rule is needed very much more than ever as it is a fundamental human value and the basis for peaceful co-existence, respect, building trust and promoting human dignity and fraternity.

The Golden Rule, with roots in a wide range of world religions and cultures, is well suited to be the standard for World Interfaith Harmony to Prevail on Earth.

The organizers of the event also expressed their commitment to work together in partnership with the African Union Commission to forward the 2021 theme of the African Union Summit which is "Arts, Culture and Heritage: a lever for building the Africa we want."

May Peace Prevail on Earth.

Written By

URI Director of Global Partnerships, URI Representative at the UN and the African Union, URI-Africa Regional Director, Former Ambassador