United Nations declares International Day of Human Fraternity

fraternityThe United Nations (UN) General Assembly decided unanimously on 21 December that the International Day of Human Fraternity is to be observed on 4 February each year, starting in 2021.

Adopting the resolution “International Day of Human Fraternity” (document A/75/L.52), the United Nations General Assembly invited Member States, the United Nations system and others to observe every 4 February in a manner they would each consider appropriate to promote interreligious and intercultural dialogue.

Introducing the resolution on behalf of several countries, the representative of the United Arab Emirates said “International Day of Human Fraternity” is a response to growing religious hatred amid the COVID‑19 pandemic. Germany’s representative, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said that while joining consensus, the bloc believes that the proliferation of international days must be avoided.

In adopting the resolution “Review of the United Nations peacebuilding architecture”, the Assembly welcomed progress in the implementation of relevant United Nations resolutions and called upon the Peacebuilding Commission to strengthen its efforts in countries and regions under its consideration. Calling for a further comprehensive review of United Nations peacebuilding in 2025, it requested the Secretary-General to present to the Assembly and the Security Council an interim report in 2022 and a second detailed report in 2024.

Introducing the resolution, Assembly President Volkan Bozkir (Turkey) said peacekeeping is an essential part of the work of the United Nations. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated conflicts and has had a devastating impact on human rights. The resolution would advance efforts to bring greater coherence to the Organization’s peacebuilding efforts and enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of its work, he said.

Denmark’s delegate, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said the “Review of the United Nations peacebuilding architecture” reflected an agreeable compromise among Member States. While commending its emphasis on including women in the peace process, the focus on preventing conflicts and the recognition of the links between human rights and peace, she said sustainable fundraising for peacekeeping efforts is essential, and viable options must be explored.

The representative of Bangladesh, speaking on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, underlined the resolution’s strong emphasis on peacebuilding and welcomed its reaffirmation of national ownership and its focus on the participation of women and youth in the peace process.


Cardinal Ayuso and Judge Muhammad Abd al-Salam with UN General Secretary, António Guterres

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