• US President Joe Biden calls the International Day of Human Fraternity “an opportunity to see each other as equals”
• President Biden participates in celebrating the International Day that marks the anniversary of the signing of the Abu Dhabi Document on Human Fraternity by Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar
FEBRUARY 4, 2023: US President Joe Biden issued an official statement today in celebration of the third annual International Day of Human Fraternity, a day that President Biden described as “an opportunity to see each other as equals” and a moment “to celebrate the moral courage of faith leaders and others collaborating for the common good.”
President Biden said: “The International Day of Human Fraternity offers us an opportunity to see each other as equals…It is a chance to renew our efforts to care for others in need, to demand peace and justice, and to call for freedom for everyone everywhere. It is a moment to celebrate the moral courage of faith leaders and others who continue collaborating for the common good.”
President Biden also expressed the United States’ joining “in common cause with all people seeking peace and equality.”
“Today, on International Day of Human Fraternity, the United States joins in common cause with all people seeking peace and equality. We remain committed to building a better Nation and a better world for future generations,” President Biden said.
Also in the statement, President Biden urged all people to “sow the seeds of fraternity across all peoples, religions, and beliefs,” adding that “our pursuit of peace, justice, and human dignity is perennial: with every generation, we are called to combat the flames of hate that have been given too much oxygen for too long.”
President Biden’s statement comes as Pope Francis and Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Professor Ahmed Al-Tayeb shared their respective video remarks for the 2023 International Day of Human Fraternity. The full messages of the two religious leaders will be broadcasted as part of the 2023 Zayed Award for Human Fraternity ceremony on February 4th.
For his part, Pope Francis emphasized that humanity shares “not only a common origin and descent, but also a common destiny,” and the importance of human beings to unite for the sake of the common good.
“Men and women of different religions walk towards God along paths that increasingly intertwine. Each encounter can be an opportunity to stand against each other or, with God's help, to encourage each other to move forward as brothers and sisters,” said Pope Francis, adding that “Indeed, we share not only a common origin and descent, but also a common destiny, that of fragile and vulnerable creatures, as the era we are living shows us all too clearly.”
For his part, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar called the Abu Dhabi Document on Human Fraternity “a sign of hope to get out of the humanitarian crisis hitting our world today” and a reminder “of the need to resort to faith in God and religious teachings, which revolve around the meaning of tolerance, coexistence, and peace, and underline the importance of interfaith dialogue and openness of cultures to each other.” The Grand Imam urged for the Document to be incorporated into educational curricula and regional and international organization.
Secretary-General of the Zayed Award for Human Fraternity Judge Mohamed Abdelsalam thanked President Biden, His Holiness Pope Francis, and His Eminence the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar for their continued participation in the International Day of Human Fraternity.
“His Excellency President Biden, His Holiness Pope Francis, and His Eminence the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar have joined the world in celebrating the International Day of Human Fraternity and we are deeply appreciative for their calls for humanity to pursue peace, equality, dialogue, and human dignity,” said Judge Mohamed Abdelsalam.