2023 Golden Rule Message from Amb. Mussie Hailu

5 April 2023

April 5 is Golden Rule Day - a day when the URI community celebrates the Golden Rule, “Treat others and the planet as you would like to be treated.” This is a universal principle shared by nearly all cultural, spiritual, religious, and secular traditions on Earth.

Golden Rule

Following is a message from Ambassador Mussie Hailu

Dear Colleagues  

Greetings of peace and blessings. Hope this message finds you well

As you agree with me, it is high time to promote throughout the world the teaching of the Golden Rule, which says, “Treat others the way you want to be treated ” for right human relationship, peaceful co-existence, interfaith harmony, human dignity, social justice and compassion to prevail on Earth.  

It is also high time to introduce the teaching of the Golden Rule in the school curriculum as part of education for peace. It is my great pleasure to inform you that URI-Africa is launching this year a Golden Rule Club to be established in different Schools.

In this interconnected world, all nations are our close neighbors and our well-being increasingly depends on how well we interact and live together with others based on the teachings of the Golden Rule. Therefore, promoting the Golden Rule is the roadmap to build peaceful cohabitation, social cohesion, harmony, human rights and secure a better future for this generation and generations yet to come.

Among the many reasons why it is so important to highlight and celebrate the need of the teaching of the Golden Rule and pay due attentions for its core message and live and act on it on a daily basis is because:

·It calls us to extend our concern beyond ourselves and to embrace a greater understanding and respect for others

·It is the pathway for peaceful co-existence, harmony and promoting human rights, mutual respect, dignity, equality and compassion

·It is affirmed in many religions, traditions, indigenous cultures and secular philosophies as a fundamental principle of life and the foundation on which a global ethic is founded

·It is a universal message which is accepted and embraced throughout the world

·Its message is simple, universal and powerful

·It is the most prevalent and universal moral principle in human history

·It summarizes the basic teachings of compassion, non-violence, and honoring the dignity of all life forms

·It is a way to disarm fear, to open the world for better change and to lay the foundations for lasting peace

·It is a preventive mechanism and antidote to discrimination, disrespect, greed, violence, crime, hate speech and incitement, which lead to war and the violation of human rights

·It is the roadmap for inter-religious and inter-cultural harmony

·It can help to reverse the insane trends prevailing today in our world

·It is the best way to counter violent extremism and radicalization

·It transcends our differences and encourages us to consider the well-being of all humanity

·It helps us to recognize pluralism and respect diversity

It is with the above-mentioned reasons that, in 2007, URI-Africa & Interfaith Peace-building Initiative (IPI) a URI member organization based in Ethiopia, declared April 5 as “Golden Rule Day” and called upon all citizens of the world, religious and traditional leaders from around the world, mayors, heads of state, the United Nations, the African Union, the European Union, the League of Arab States, interfaith organizations, schools, higher learning institutions, the business community, civil society and all other stakeholders to join URI-Africa and IPI in proclaiming April 5th as Golden Rule Day and to live accordingly to make our world a better and peaceful place for all.

I am so happy to inform you that, since then, about 900 organizations in 180 countries have joined in proclaiming the Golden Rule Day. We also distributed more than 3 million Golden Rule posters throughout Africa and the rest of the world.

In addition to this, in 2007, we started the Golden Rule Goodwill Ambassador program to highlight and promote the Golden Rule. Since 2007, every year, we honor an individual or organization that sets a good example for the teaching of the Golden Rule as the Goodwill Ambassador of the Golden Rule.

Finally I want to say that as we celebrate the Golden Rule Day, I kindly call for all of us, as citizens of the world and in the spirit of UBUNTU which says “I am because of we are” to make a personal pledge and commitment to live and act according to the teaching of the Golden Rule and to uphold the dignity of all life forms.

Let us be grateful to the Creator of the Universe for the air we breathe, for the water we drink, for the beautiful nature around us, for the family, colleagues and friends we have. Let us start counting our blessings in life. Let us look after nature and protect Mother Earth in the spirit of the Green Rule which says “DO UNTO THE EARTH AS YOU WOULD HAVE IT DO UNTO YOU”.

Let us be the catalyst of positive change we want to see in the world.

May Peace, the Golden Rule, Unity, Justice, Harmony and Compassion Prevail on Earth.

Amb. Mussie Hailu 
Regional Director for Africa & Representative to 
African Union & United Nations office in Africa
United Religions Initiative