December 2023

Dubai, December 8, 2023 - Zayed Award for Human Fraternity honorees and judging committee members shared personal experiences on the effects of climate change and urged collaboration on climate and humanitarian action during a panel attended by delegates at the UN climate conference.

The session featured Zayed Award for Human Fraternity 2023 co-honoree Ms. Shamsa Abubakar Fadhil (‘Mama Shamsa’) of Kenya; 2021 judging committee member Adama Dieng, former UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide; and Judge Mohamed Abdelsalam, Secretary-General of the Zayed Award for Human Fraternity.

In her remarks, Mama Shamsa said Kenya is “bearing the brunt of climate change” - as evidenced by this year’s severe flash floods and record droughts – and discussed how Zayed Micro-enterprise Seed Support Grant, enabled by the Zayed Award for Human Fraternity, is supporting local communities.

“Led by local youth and women, the initiatives engage in grassroots sustainability efforts including beach cleanups, mangrove planting, and nurturing trees to fruition as a simple step to addressing the vices of climate change,” she shared.

Mama Shamsa also called on delegates and other participants of the session to partner in the response to the climate change challenges.

“Let us recognize that climate change is not a challenge that respects borders or distinctions of nationality. It is a universal crisis that requires united unwavering commitment,” she said.

Adama Dieng added, “To mitigate challenges brought on by global warming we must build bridges to a greener future. The first order of business would be to substantially invest in education and awareness. We are all in this together and the seeds of tomorrow must be planted today.

” Secretary-General of the Zayed Award for Human Fraternity Judge Mohamed Abdelsalam said: “The Zayed Award for Human Fraternity has supported honorees in their grassroots climate efforts in countries like Kenya and Haiti, recognizing that humanity must work to reconcile with each other as brothers and sisters, while also reconciling with the environment around us. Climate change remains one of the greatest challenges to human fraternity in our world today with the historic Document on Human Fraternity calling for an end to environmental decay.”

About the Zayed Award for Human Fraternity

The Zayed Award for Human Fraternity is an annual independent and international award recognizing individuals or entities across the world making profound contributions to human progress and peaceful coexistence.

The award – which includes a USD $1 million prize - was established in 2019 following the signing of the historic Document on Human Fraternity by His Holiness Pope Francis and His Eminence the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed Al-Tayeb in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Since the award’s inception humanitarian organizations, activists, and leaders from around the world have been honored including: Pope Francis (honorary recipient); the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed Al-Tayeb (honorary recipient); UN Secretary-General António Guterres; activist against extremism Latifa Ibn Ziaten; His Majesty King Abdullah II bin Al Hussein and Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan; Haitian humanitarian organization the Foundation for Knowledge and Liberty (FOKAL); the Community of Sant’Egidio organization; and Kenyan peacebuilder Shamsa Abubakar Fadhil.