Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus traveled to Rome on June 9th, 2023, to attend the Vatican Meeting on Human Fraternity at Vatican City, upon the invitation of Pope Francis. Thirty Nobel Peace Laureates, individuals, and organizations gathered in Vatican City to formulate ‘The Declaration of Human Fraternity.’ Yunus was involved in drafting the Declaration and chaired the committee in finalizing it.
On June 10th, the Declaration of Human Fraternity was announced at St. Peter’s Square in Rome in front of the general public. Pope Francis was scheduled to receive the Declaration from Professor Yunus after he had read it out in a public ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. Unfortunately, due to Pope Francis’s hospitalization, he could not attend the ceremony. Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State in charge of international affairs, substituted him in the ceremony.
Professor Yunus and Nobel Laureate Nadia Murad jointly read out the Declaration and signed it on live global television amidst huge applause from the crowd. The signed document will be presented to Pope Francis afterward when his health condition improves.
Nobel Laureates Maria Ressa, Former Costa Rican President Oscar Arias, Former Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, Leymah Gbowee, Tawakkol Karman, Denis Mukwege, Shirin Ebadi, UNHCR, IAEA, IPPNW, ICAN, AFSC, UNICEF, and other Nobel-winning organizations contributed to finalizing the Declaration.
The Declaration of Human Fraternity reflected some of Yunus’s key visions to achieve a world of three zeros: zero poverty, zero unemployment, and zero net carbon emissions. The declaration adopted Yunus’s concept of creating a Ministry of Peace to avoid promoting war and possible conflicts among nations.
The action calls to build an environmental fraternity to make peace with Nature, take care of creation, establish sustainable lifestyles. There was a focus on building a better social fraternity so that no man is left behind, there is dignity and equal opportunity for all, promotion of education, decent work and justice, hospitality, solidarity and cooperation, sustainable agriculture that ensures access to food for all, a just ecological transition, and a social solidarity economy. Ultimately, the fraternities necessarily call for something greater, which in turn enhances freedom and equality.