Abu Dhabi, 3 February 2019 - Recognizing his high & distinguished position as the Chairman of the Pentecostal World Fellowship, Dr Prince Guneratnam was invited by Dr. Sultan Faisal Al Remeithi, Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Elders to attend the Global Conference of Human Fraternity held at the Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi under the patronage of the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Held over two-days, this historic conference gathered to discuss the critical importance of human fraternity and peaceful coexistence, was the largest and most diverse gathering of more than 700 religious leaders and faith representatives in the Middle East. The event, organised by the Muslim Council of Elders, an Abu Dhabi-based independent international organization aimed to reach a common framework of global cooperation based on the principles of peace and tolerance and to continue its support of religious leaders and their efforts towards achieving their noble and tolerant message.
The conference took place in conjunction with the first visit of the Head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State, Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar and Chairman of the Muslim Council of Elders Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayeb, to the United Arab Emirates.
The three main themes addressed were, ‘Principles of Human Fraternity’, ‘Major Challenges Facing Human Fraternity in the World’ and ‘Common Responsibility to Achieving Human Fraternity’. These themes were aimed at stimulating discussions on promoting a culture of peace as an alternative to violence and conflicts based on ideological and ethnic differences. The event will reinforce citizenship as an overarching concept, recognised by all religions and human charters that places the nation above all considerations while combating religious extremism that encourages isolation and hatred instead of peaceful coexistence and dialogue.
The conference also examined ways to strengthen cooperation between East and West to achieve global peace, as well as the responsibility of international humanitarian organisations to maintain harmony and security.
Headline speakers included His Excellency Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Secretary General of the Arab League, His Excellency Dr Yusuf bin Ahmed Al Uthaymeen, Secretary General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, His Beatitude Cardinal Bechara Rai, Maronite Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, His Beatitude Bishop Yulius, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church, Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, General Secretary of the World Council of Churches, and His Eminence Ali Al-Amin, Member of the Muslim Council of Elders.
The conference organiser, hoped that the gathering would also become a global landmark event in global relations between different communities and faiths. It was significant that the Pentecostals, represented by Dr Guneratnam were part of this historic event.