The Higher Committee of Human Fraternity announced that the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, and the French activist of Moroccan origins, Latifa Ibn Zayatine, both won the Zayed Prize for Human Fraternity 2021. The honoring ceremony was attended by His Eminence Prof. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, His Holiness Pope Francis, a number of figures representing members of the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity, and the Award Jury, who were authorized to decide the winners of the award in 2021. The Zayed Prize for Human Fraternity was established in 2019 in conjunction with the signing of the Human Fraternity Document in Abu Dhabi, as one of the most important initiatives for implementing the Human Fraternity Document. It aims to honor the people, or institutions, who work on consolidating peace and coexistence, building bridges of cultural and human communication, and putting forward successful and effective practical initiatives to bring societies closer in the long term. The Prize was awarded, upon the announcement of its founding, to His Eminence Prof. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, and His Holiness Pope Francis, Pope of the Catholic Church, in honor and appreciation of their efforts in bringing societies together and defending the issues of tolerance, fraternity and peace. The ceremony of this independent international award coincides with the celebration of the “International Day of Human Fraternity” in its first anniversary. It was declared unanimously by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2020, so it coincides with the anniversary of the signing of the Human Fraternity Document annually on February 4. The jury selected both the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and Latifa Ibn Zayatin, a French social and humanitarian activist of Moroccan origins, for their great efforts and initiatives that were influential and effective. Their efforts and initiatives came in harmony with the values and principles stipulated in the Human Fraternity Document, which are the main criteria for the Award.
Since assuming his position as Secretary-General of the United Nations in 2017, Antonio Guterres has worked on finding solutions to the problems afflicting the world, especially with regard to the global peace and security, in addition to his most important and influential initiative during the past year, called «War Prevention for combating Covid-19», which has received a wide-ranging response and praise from world leaders, including the Pope of the Vatican, the French President and a number of international organizations, in addition to the other humanitarian initiatives he launched. He has been keen to focus on the humanitarian aspects in all the UN works and initiatives. Latifa Ibn Zayatin is also one of the most active and influential figures in the field of combating fanaticism and extremism, as she devoted her life to raising awareness of religious intolerance, after the tragedy of losing her son Imad in a terrorist attack in 2012. Since then, Latifa has become a well-known civil rights activist in France and abroad, as she works with families and communities on protecting young people from falling into the trap of extremism, as well as spreading peace, the culture of dialogue, and mutual respect.
The Emerging Peacemakers had the opportunity to meet Mrs. Latifa Ibn Zayatin during the celebration of the first anniversary of the signing of the Document in Abu Dhabi last year.