In honor of the International Day of Human Fraternity, the Ministry of Tolerance and Co-existence, UAE, in collaboration with the Council of Muslim Elders, organized The Global Tolerance and Human Fraternity Summit.
His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan Mubarak Al Nahyan officially launched the conference on 6 February with an inspiring speech that emphasized the importance of ‘human fraternity’ as a means of fostering understanding, cooperation, and resilience in the face of human diversity.
Thereafter, a panel of distinguished religious, spiritual, and business leaders offered their unique perspectives on four seminal topics: Faith, Diversity, Peace, and the Planet.
The summit delved into the crucial matter of formulating the ideas of the Global Tolerance Alliance into actionable initiatives and programs that can be adopted by nations and communities worldwide to foster relationships built on dialogue, coexistence, respect for differences, and belief in diversity.
Representing the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, Swami Brahmaviharidas illuminated the Planet panel discussion with his insightful initiative of ‘Pause for the Planet’ by highlighting the crucial role the planet plays in sustaining our existence. He emphasized that “without this planet, there would be no faith, no peace, and no diversity.” He said, “We have created a world where we are driven by industries. It's time for us to drive the industries,” and stressed the importance of raising awareness and creating solutions to realign our priorities to focus on what is truly essential. He proposed the novel idea of a Global Anthem for the planet, thus reflecting the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha’s unwavering commitment towards human fraternity and a sustainable planet.
As a shining example of sustainable events, Swami Brahmaviharidas spoke on the ‘use, reuse, and never abuse’ approach adopted during the Pramukh Swami Shatabdi Celebrations. This month-long celebration, held on 600 acres of land with 80,000 volunteers, created a self-sustaining system that included planting over 1,000,000 plants and reusing 10,000,000 pavers. He inspired the audience to create solutions that tackle environmental challenges, reminding them of the power of collective action to effect change.
In conclusion, Swami Brahmaviharidas showcased the environmentally conscious measures taken by the BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi. He highlighted the use of 55% fly ash in its construction, which significantly reduces its carbon footprint. He also mentioned that the temple will be fully powered by solar energy, demonstrating its commitment to sustainability. The temple thus serves as a shining example of how religious institutions can lead the way in protecting the planet and preserving its resources for future generations. The audience appreciated the innovative solutions employed by the temple.