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Europe – Asia Center

Press release: Advancing Global Sustainable Development through promoting the values of Human Fraternity

Abu Dhabi -Brussels – 14th February 2024

On February 4th and 5th 2024, Europe-Asia Center hosted the landmark 2024 Summit on “Human Fraternity as a Catalyst for Global Sustainable Development,” held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Building upon the legacy of the esteemed Zayed Award for Human Fraternity, the summit convened on the UN International Day of Human Fraternity, underscoring the pivotal role of interconnected faith dynamics in driving sustainable progress worldwide.

Distinguished thought leaders, policymakers, and activists convened to engage in dynamic panel discussions and deliver illuminating keynote addresses. Among the esteemed speakers were H.E. Erik Solheim, Co-chair of the Europe-Asia Center and former UN Deputy Secretary-General, H.E. Violeta Bulc, Vice-Chair of the Europe-Asia Center and former EU Commissioner for Transport and Mobility, and Venerable Master Jijing, leader of faith and Cultural consultant of the Europe – Asia Center.

In addition, the summit welcomed esteemed guests including H.E. Madame Irina Bokova, former UNESCO Director-General, Ms. Shamsa Abubakar Fadhil (“Shamsa Mama”), peace mediator, community mobilizer and 2023 Lauret of the Zayed Award for Human Fraternity, H.E. Judge Mohamed Abdelsalam, General Secretary of Muslim Elders, and Honourable Nirmal Sethia, renowned businessman and philanthropist, who enriched the discourse with their invaluable insights.

Under the moderation of Matic Gajšek, Director for Europe at the Europe-Asia Center, and prof. Shen Wei, Vice-Chair of the Europe-Asia Center, discussions centered on the imperative of cross-cultural dialogue in fostering sustainable development on a global scale. Panellists reflected on the transcendental values that may serve as the foundation for constructive collaboration in an increasingly interconnected world, and emphasized the urgent need for increased collaborative efforts to unite diverse peoples, societies, and nations, and cultivate a sense of universal brotherhood.

Delving into the symbiotic relationship between faith traditions and sustainable development goals, panellists championed innovative approaches to address contemporary challenges. From ethical frameworks for environmental conservation to strategies for poverty eradication, inclusive societal growth, and climate action, the summit challenged conventional paradigms, advocating for holistic solutions rooted in faith, empathy and understanding.

Participants also offered actionable insights on fostering business cooperation to combat climate change, reflecting the summit’s commitment to driving real-world impact.

Inspired by the principles of the Human Fraternity document for ‘World Peace and Living Together’, participants cultivated a “friendly and fraternal atmosphere where [they] shared the joys, sorrows and problems of our contemporary world”, reflecting on actionable pathways towards “thriving together”, core ethos of the Europe-Asia Center.

About the Europe-Asia Center

The Europe-Asia Center is an independent, not-for-profit organization promoting Asia-Europe relations by connecting professionals, institutions, organizations and networks across all sectors. Through implementation of projects, including conferences, workshops, cultural events, publications, educational and research programs, the mission of the Europe- Asia Center is to connect people and knowledge across continents.

For press enquiries:

Matic Gajšek, Director for Europe, Europe – Asia Center


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