The Education Affairs Office of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court yesterday launched the ‘Zayed Tolerance Pledge’ at a gathering celebrating and reinforcing the value of tolerance espoused by the Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
The pledge is announced in anticipation of a historic visit to the UAE by His Holiness Pope Francis, Head of the Catholic Church, and His Eminence Dr. Ahmed el-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al Azhar Al Sharif in February.
Held at the Mubadala Arena in Zayed Sports City, in the presence of the Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance, more than 2,000 students from schools from around the emirates were invited to witness the unveiling of the pledge.
The Pledge of Tolerance itself lists nine statements, including, respecting others, and taking firm positions against violence and hatred. In addition, it calls on individuals to play their part in creating peace for all.
Last year, President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan declared 2019 as the ‘Year of Tolerance’ in the UAE. Following on from 2018’s ‘Year of Zayed’, held to reinforce the importance of the wisdom and values of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in building a sustainable and unified nation, this year’s theme is intended to solidify the UAE as the global capital for tolerance through a series of initiatives, projects, and cultural programmes that contribute to building tolerant communities.
The initiative also concentrates on developing legislative and policy-oriented objectives aimed at deepening the values of tolerance, dialogue, acceptance of others and openness to different cultures, especially among the younger generation, with a positive impact on society as a whole.
Pope Francis’ visit to Abu Dhabi from 3rd to 5th February, is the first such visit by a leader of the Roman Catholic Church to the UAE. It comes as the country seeks to promote a spirit of peace amongst nations, and pursue its continuous effort to promote dialogue between religions, deepen mutual respect, and promote peace among peoples.