By Sr Bernadette Mary Reis, fsp (Vatican News)
The Higher Committee for Human Fraternity launches a world-wide search for persons embodying the “values of humility, humanitarianism and respect”. December 1 is the deadline for submission of nominees and February 4, 2021 is the date on which the winner or winners will be announced and awarded a prize in the amount of $1 million.
Zayed Award for Human Fraternity
Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed el-Tayeb were the first receipients of this award in 2019. Sheik Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan announced that the Zayed Award for Human Fraternity would become an annual event during a ceremony marking the first anniversary of the signing of the Document on Human Fraternity. That event took place in Abu Dhabi on 4 February 2020, exactly one year to the date that the award’s first two recipients signed the historic Document on Human Fraternity and World Peace and Living Together.
Pope Francis encourages search for virtuous exemplars
In a video message released for the event, Pope Francis said he was “pleased to be able to participate in the presentation to the world of the International Human Fraternity Award, in hopes of encouraging all virtuous exemplars of men and women who in this world embody love through actions and sacrifices made for the good of others, no matter how different they may be in religion, or ethnic and cultural affiliation. And I ask Almighty God to bless every effort that benefits the good of humanity and helps us to move forward in fraternity”.
Award seeks people making breakthrough
A statement released by the Higher Committee says that the award was created in 2019 “to recognise outstanding work by individuals or entities in creating breakthroughs and driving human progress”.
The award recalls the heritage of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan. He is both the founder of the UAE and former ruler of Abu Dhabi. His “values of humility, humanitarianism and respect epitomise the enduring ideals it seeks to celebrate”, the statement says.
This is the first year that the Zayed Award for Human Fraternity is open for nominations who are welcome from government, UN and international NGO leaders, Supreme Court judges, prominent figures from the world of academia and culture and members of the Higher Committee itself. An “independent committee of experts” appointed by the Higher Committee will choose the 2021 award winner from among the nominees. December 1 is the deadline for submission of nominees and February 4, 2021 is the date on which the winner or winners will be announced and awarded a prize in the amount of $1 million.