Nominations opened on Friday for a $1 million award that honours individuals, groups or organisations that have helped foster peaceful coexistence anywhere in the world.
The winner of the Zayed Award for Human Fraternity, in its fourth year, will be announced in a ceremony to coincide with the UN-recognised International Day for Human Fraternity, on February 4, 2023.
Potential winners can be nominated by a select group of people, including former winners, members of governments, university presidents, heads of research institutes or religious and cultural institutions, heads of international organisations or UN offices, and people well known for their humanitarian work.
Those they nominate must be an individual or collective that has made “outstanding contributions” in promoting the principles and values of human fraternity.
The winners will be selected by a panel of judges appointed by the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity.
This year's judges include Judge Mohamed Abdelsalam, secretary general of the Human Committee of Human Fraternity; Miguel Moratinos, UN undersecretary general and high representative for the Alliance of Civilisations; Dr Epsy Barr, former vice president of Costa Rica; Cardinal Louis Tagle; and Dr Ouided Bouchamaoui, the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.
“The committee looks forward to identifying the personalities and entities that have effectively contributed to finding pioneering solutions to contemporary challenges in the field of promoting human fraternity,” said Judge Abdelsalam.
The award was established on February 4, 2019, to mark the landmark meeting between Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al Azhar, Dr Ahmed Al Tayeb, in Abu Dhabi.
The first winners were Ahmed Al Tayeb and Pope Francis. The two religious leaders were presented with the award in Abu Dhabi after signing the Document on Human Fraternity, which calls for all people to put aside differences in pursuit of progress through understanding, reconciliation and peace.
To mark the signing of the document, sometimes called the Abu Dhabi Agreement, the United Nations designated February 4 the International Day of Human Fraternity.
Last year's winners included UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and Latifa Ibn Ziaten, a Moroccan-French activist against religious extremism and founder of the IMAD Association for youth and peace.
This year, the award was jointly presented to King Abdullah II and Queen Rania of Jordan and the Foundation for Knowledge and Liberty, a foundation in Haiti. The winners were selected from 200 nominations.
Nominations for next year's winners are open until October 31.