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Event - 1983-01-05
Wednesday, 1983, January 5
Aga Khan IV (H.H. Prince Karim)

Your Excellencies, Honourable Minister, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The welcome my wife and I have received here in Bangladesh has been heartwarming and I sincerely thank you, Mr, Minister, for the kindness of your remarks with regard to my family's work and ideals. Our ideals and those of Bangladesh are both inspired by the same faith, which lays such emphasis on the brotherhood of man. The improvement of the human condition must be a principal obligation of every Muslim, whether those he helps are of his own faith or not.

The objectives and work of Ismaili Imamat are directed towards this objective, in all areas of human endeavour.

You referred, Mr, Minister, to interdependability being a basic requirement for international co-operation. Such co-operation is crucial if we are to improve the lot of the poor, especially the rural poor, who form the majority of the population of the Third World.

Nor can the Third World depend wholly on aid programmes for its development, especially not in the present recession. We can appeal to the industrialised nations to maintain their levels of aid. But we must also seek for other "solutions."

Every individual can play a constructive role in the society to which he belongs, indeed it is his duty to do so. Developing countries must make this a primary objective. Even the smallest progress towards improving the quality of life has its effects and contributes to creating the environment in which further progress is possible. In other words "the enabling environment."

This is equally true on an international scale. A state which uses its resources in the way most beneficial to its people creates an example and in its foreign relationships influences other states, both its immediate neighbour and the greater powers.

In my experience, enabling environments interact with each other. By co-operation they build on each other's success. This is one area, where Bangladesh's example is so important; not simply ensuring that your constructive intentions are understood abroad, but in your efforts to translate good foreign relations into practical programmes for international progress.

Mr, Minister, my wife and I have been happy to be your guests this evening.

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