TODAY -

Human fraternity for peace and cooperation

Ranjan K Baruah *



We live in a society where there are many faiths and beliefs. Things have changed over the years in our society and in our world. We could see conflicts and wars in the name of resources, religion, etc.

What we need at present is to recognize the valuable contribution of people of all religions, or beliefs, to humanity and the contribution that dialogue among all religious groups can make towards an improved awareness and understanding of the common values shared by all humankind. This is possible when there is fraternity amongst human beings.

We also need to underline the importance of raising awareness about different cultures and religions, or beliefs, and the promotion of tolerance, which involves societal acceptance and respect for religious and cultural diversity, including with regard to religious expression.

We must acknowledge that tolerance, pluralistic tradition, mutual respect and the diversity of religions and beliefs promote human fraternity.

The United Nations General-Assembly took note of all international, regional, national and local initiatives, as appropriate, as well as efforts by religious leaders, to promote inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue, and in this regard took note also of the meeting between Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmad al-Tayyib, on 4 February 2019 in Abu Dhabi, which resulted in the signing of the document entitled “Human fraternity for world peace and living together”

In 1999, The UN General-Assembly adopted, by resolution 53/243, the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace, which serves as the universal mandate for the international community, particularly the United Nations system, to promote a culture of peace and non-violence that benefits all of humanity, including future generations.

On 20 October 2010, the General Assembly in resolution A/RES/65/5 pointed out that mutual understanding and interreligious dialogue constitute important dimensions of a culture of peace and established World Interfaith Harmony Week as a way to promote harmony between all people regardless of their faith. The UN General Assembly proclaimed 4th February as the International Day of Human Fraternity, with resolution 75/200.

The UN’s Secretary-General in his message on the occasion said that “it is the duty of religious leaders everywhere to prevent instrumentalization of hatred and defuse extremism amidst their followers”. He also said that “the declaration “Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together” – co-authored by His Holiness Pope Francis and His Eminence the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Sheikh Ahmed El Tayeb – is a model for interfaith harmony and human solidarity”.

Together, let us build an alliance of peace, rich in diversity, equal in dignity and rights, united in solidarity, he added.

A culture of peace is a set of values, attitudes, traditions and modes of behaviour and ways of life based on:
respect for life,
ending of violence and promotion and practice of non-violence through education,
dialogue and cooperation; full respect for the principles of sovereignty,
territorial integrity and political independence of States and
non-intervention in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any State,
in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and international law, etc .

Culture of peace means adherence to the principles of freedom, justice, democracy, tolerance, solidarity, cooperation, pluralism, cultural diversity, dialogue and understanding at all levels of society and among nations; and fostered by an enabling national and international environment conducive to peace.


(With inputs from UN publication )


* Ranjan K Baruah wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer can be reached at bkranjan(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on February 18 2023.



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