Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, was recognised with the Man of Humanity award by a Vatican foundation in a ceremony at Emirates Palace on Tuesday night.
Sheikh Shakhbout bin Nahyan, Minister of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Relations, accepted the award on behalf of Sheikh Mohamed.
The award was given by Vatican’s Pontifical Foundation Gravissimum Educationis, which supports global education and learning projects.
The audience was told of Sheikh Mohamed's many humanitarian efforts around the world, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic.
A video showed how 135 countries around the world were helped by the UAE over the past years. This included the most remote area of the world – the Amazon.
Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, president of Foundation Gravissimum Educationis, said the foundation signed a memorandum of understanding with the UAE Ministry of Education on Monday.
Cardinal Versaldi said education was the key to establish peace and development.
“In order to change the world, we must also change education,” he said, quoting Pope Francis.
"The MoU is the first official step of the journey we are taking together. It is not an agreement, it is a statement of common understanding.
“Our common principles and goals will help to develop new strategies and policies that will make the world a better place, especially during and after the Covid-19 pandemic."
In 2019, Pope Francis visited the UAE for the first visit by a pontiff to the Arabian Peninsula.
He called the UAE "a land that is trying to be a model of co-existence, of human brotherhood, and a meeting place among diverse civilisations and cultures".
At the end of that visit, plans were unveiled for the Abrahamic Family House, a multi-faith worship site on Saadiyat Island. The site will be home to a church, a mosque and a synagogue and seeks to put the spotlight on what unites, rather than divides, the world's religions today.
Images of the under-construction site were first revealed last month.