The newly formed judging committee of the Zayed Award for Human Fraternity 2023 held an introductory meeting on Wednesday, following the opening of nominations for the fourth cycle of the independent global award.
The six judging committee members – who hail from Central America, Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia - discussed how to continue the award’s empowerment of leaders and grassroot movements in driving transformative change to achieve one of the world’s greatest challenges: peaceful coexistence.
During the virtual meeting, Secretary-General Judge Mohamed Abdelsalam welcomed his fellow judging committee members, namely, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations H.E. Miguel Ángel Moratinos; former Vice President of Costa Rica H.E. Dr. Epsy Campbell Barr; Pro-Prefect of the Dicastery for Evangelization at the Holy See His Eminence Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle; 2014 Nobel Peace Laureate and child rights activist Kailash Satyarthi; and 2015 Nobel Peace Laureate and entrepreneur Dr. Ouided Bouchamaoui.
Judge Abdelsalam said the Zayed Award for Human Fraternity continues to inspire many people around the globe and has become a beacon of hope - particularly due to the extraordinary support of His Eminence the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Professor Ahmed Al-Tayeb, and His Holiness Pope Francis.
For his part, H.E. Miguel Ángel Moratinos expressed the United Nations’ continuous support for the Zayed Award for Human Fraternity. “More than ever, this human fraternity project has the responsibility to save humanity,” said H.E. Moratinos.
His Eminence Cardinal Tagle described the award as “a sign of hope” that should be promoted in all societies and expressed his anticipation for the review of nominations and the opportunity to become familiar with people and institutions making a difference around the world and promoting harmony and friendship.
Though the judging committee is a small group, said Kailash Satyarthi, it has the power to make a great impact by recognizing and supporting those individuals and entities fostering human fraternity at a time when multiple crises threaten different parts of the world.
Dr. Ouided Bouchamaoui said: “Our world is full of conflict, which makes the spreading of a culture of compassion and human fraternity, through initiatives like the Zayed Award for Human Fraternity, that much more urgent.”
“Guided by our knowledge and hearts, we will look for the most important people who are leading movements of human fraternity,” said Dr. Campbell Barr, adding that the award’s impressive history makes being a judging committee member very exciting.
The Zayed Award for Human Fraternity was launched in 2019 after His Holiness Pope Francis, head of the Catholic Church, and His Eminence Professor Ahmed Al-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, co-signed the historic Document on Human Fraternity in Abu Dhabi under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates.
Previous award honorees include Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Professor Ahmed Al-Tayeb (honorary recipients); United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres; Moroccan-French activist against extremism Latifa Ibn Ziaten; His Majesty King Abdullah II bin Al Hussein, King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and his wife, Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah; and Haitian humanitarian organization the Foundation for Knowledge and Liberty (FOKAL).
The nominations process for the 2023 award opened on July 1, 2022, and will close on October 31, 2022. The recipient(s) will be announced in February 2023.
Nominations can be made by qualified nominators through the official website of the Zayed Award of Human Fraternity: zayedaward.org
Qualified nominators include members of governments; current and former heads of states; members of parliaments; heads of supreme courts; senior executives of the United Nations; heads of international NGOs; university presidents; influencers, leaders, thinkers; and previous honorees of the Zayed Award for Human Fraternity.