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Aga Khan's Global Centre for Pluralism

 
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 3:05 pm    Post subject: Aga Khan's Global Centre for Pluralism Reply with quote

Centre for Pluralism finally ready to launch
By ALTHIA RAJ,
Parliamentary Bureau
Last Updated: September 23, 2010 7:25pm

OTTAWA — Four years after the federal government agreed to give the Aga Khan's Global Centre for Pluralism $30 million, the project is finally about to get off the ground.

The Aga Khan — a hereditary title applied to the imam of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims — is expected to be in Ottawa next month for the Centre's first board of directors meeting, of which he is the chair.

That meeting will give the green light for the centre's activities to finally begin.

Organizers had expected the centre to "become operational" in early 2008 but a lack of agreement over who to appoint to the Board of Directors kept the project at a standstill.

Documents obtained by researcher Ken Rubin through access to information requests show bureaucrats were concerned an audit, or media, would reveal a gap between the requirements of the funding agreement signed with Canada on Oct. 25, 2006, and the centre's lack of "actual activities" in the first two years.

The centre's first corporate plan was so deficient that then Heritage Minister Josee Verner agreed to keep it out of public view and did not table it in Parliament.

Staff at Aga Khan Foundation Canada (AKFC), who are shepherding the project, were aware of the problem.

"The Centre has an obligation to demonstrate progress," they wrote in their initial 2008-2009 corporate plan, promising to appoint a 12-member Board by the end of the fiscal year.

Every corporate plan since has made the same promise.

Without a Board of Directors, the centre was unable to recruit and appoint its executive team or rent temporary office space. It could not even begin to redevelop 330 Sussex Drive, the asbestos-plagued historic site where old national war museum stood that will serve as the Global Centre for Pluralism's world headquarters.

Canada had hoped the list of Board candidates would be finalized by the end of 2007.

Revisions were brought to include more Quebec candidates.
The shortlist was then bounced back and forth between the Government of Canada and six other members of the corporation. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney also suggested "several alternative candidates," according to documents.

"The Government of Canada [should] be given time to provide additional input before a final slate of candidates is agreed," members agreed at one meeting.

But officials at Heritage Canada and then Citizenship and Immigration blamed the "involvement of HH" for much of the time delay, saying it was "difficult to find time" to meet with the Aga Khan and he was responsible for "delays in approval" of Board members, according to documents.

AKFC's CEO Khalil Shariff said he doesn't believe the Aga Khan "was uniquely responsible for the delay" and neither was the government to blame for holding up the process.

"His Highness did take this seriously and did review the candidates and the suggestions seriously, and took time to do that. As did the other members," he said.

Shariff admitted getting the centre up and running took longer than he expected but said he was very happy with the members of Board of Directors who will be announced next month.
althia.raj@sunmedia.ca
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There was an announcement in JK today that MHI was in Canada last weekend to attend the board meeting. Mubarakis!
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2012 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Roza Otunbayeva to Visit Canada to Deliver an Inaugural Pluralism Lecture

Ottawa/Canada, 25 May 2012 – Roza Otunbayeva, former President of the Kyrgyz Republic, will deliver an inaugural lecture on the Prospects and Challenges of Pluralism in the Kyrgyz Republic and Central Asia on May 28th at the Global Centre for Pluralism in Ottawa. Her visit comes at the invitation of His Highness the Aga Khan, the Chairman of the Centre’s Board. During her visits to Ottawa and Montreal between May 26th and 29th, Ms. Otunbayeva will also hold meetings with high-level Canadian government officials, Members of Parliament, as well as representatives of the diplomatic community, private sector, and civil society organizations.

“As the first female head of state in Central Asia, Ms. Otunbayeva has demonstrated her commitment to the values of pluralism and democracy and proved to be a courageous and visionary leader,” says John McNee, the Secretary-General of the Global Centre for Pluralism. “I cannot think of a better speaker to launch our annual lecture series on pluralism.”

Ms. Otunbayeva became Central Asia’s first female head of state in April 2010, when she took up the interim presidency of the Kyrgyz Republic after a popular uprising in the country. Under her leadership, the Kyrgyz Republic drafted a new constitution, established a parliamentary system of government and held fair elections that set an important democratic precedent for the region. Ms. Otunbayeva’s term in office ended in December 2011, following presidential elections which she did not contest. That same year, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presented Ms. Otunbayeva with the prestigious US State Department International Women of Courage award, in recognition of her leadership at a very difficult transition period for the Kyrgyz Republic. Earlier in her career, Ms. Otunbayeva was the Ambassador of Kyrgyzstan to the United States and Canada.

Media availability

Ms. Otunbayeva will also be available for media interviews during her visit. Ms. Otunbayeva’s lecture is a by-invitation-only event. Members of the media may attend but they must register in advance in order to receive accreditation. Space is limited.

The lecture will take place at the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat, 199 Sussex Drive, Ottawa at 5:30 pm. A video will be posted after the event on the Global Centre for Pluralism website: www.pluralism.ca

For media accreditation or any media interview requests, please contact:

Marie-France MacKinnon
613-241-3512 x229
marie-france@blueksystrategygroup.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

About the Global Centre for Pluralism

The Global Centre for Pluralism was born out of a partnership between the Government of Canada and His Highness the Aga Khan and draws inspiration from the Canadian experience of pluralism. This new organization headquartered in Ottawa will serve the global community as a neutral space for dialogue and comparative exchange about the institutions, policies and practices that foster respect for diversity, cultivate shared citizenship, and ultimately build inclusive societies.

http://www.pluralism.ca/media/press-releases-new.html
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Temporary office .

.In 2007, the Government of Canada leased the heritage building at 330 Sussex Drive, in Ottawa, to the Global Centre for Pluralism to serve as the Centre’s international headquarters. Until that facility is ready to occupy, the Centre has opened a temporary office in the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat at 199 Sussex Drive, Ottawa.

A visitor program for the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat is managed by Aga Khan Foundation Canada.

http://www.pluralism.ca/location/temporary-office.html
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Former President of Kyrgyz Republic launches Pluralism Lecture series

Ottawa, 28 May 2012 – Over 150 guests listened as Her Excellency Roza Otunbayeva recounted the “darkest days and nights” of the 2010 uprising that precipitated Kyrgyzstan’s recent and remarkable democratic transition. “We allowed hate to take root in our hearts,” she said, adding that all citizens of Kyrgyzstan must accept blame for the country’s recent history of inter-ethnic violence.

Madame Otunbayeva delivered her remarks as the first speaker in the Global Centre for Pluralism’s Annual Pluralism Lecture series. Located in Ottawa, and founded by His Highness the Aga Khan in partnership with the Government of Canada, the Global Centre for Pluralism is a new international institution dedicated to helping divided societies value their diversity.

A distinguished audience joined His Highness and Secretary General John McNee in welcoming President Otunbayeva. In addition to members of the Centre’s Board of Directors, guests included The Rt. Hon. Beverley McLachlin, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, Ministers John Baird, Bev Oda, and Jason Kenney, and several Senators.

Speaking as Chairman of the Centre’s Board of Directors, His Highness said, “As a leader, President Otunbayeva understood the democratic aspirations of her people, guiding the country, in all its diversity, through Central Asia’s first peaceful and constitutional transition of power – a remarkable achievement for governance inside and outside of Kyrgyzstan.”

Madame Otunbayeva became Chair of the Interim Government and Kyrgyzstan’s first female head of state following Kyrgyzstan’s April 2010 uprising. Under her leadership, the country drafted a new constitution, established a parliamentary system of government, and held fair elections, setting an important democratic precedent for the region. President Otunbayeva's term in office ended in December 2011, following presidential elections that she did not contest. Although much progress has been made, in her remarks Madame Otunbayeva emphasized that
Kyrgyzstan is still struggling to navigate its ethnic diversity. She highlighted Canada’s bilingualism, noting that language policy remains contentious in her country. Corruption and the quality of the judiciary
are also problems. “Miracles do not happen overnight,” she said. Increased international investment and development will contribute, she hoped, to the country’s long-term prospects for peace, prosperity, and
pluralism.

Following the lecture Madame Otunbayeva answered several audience questions, ably assisted by Huguette Labelle of the Centre’s Board of Directors. The Rt. Hon. Adrienne Clarkson, another Board member, thanked President Otunbayeva on behalf of His Highness and the Centre, presenting her at the close of the evening with an inukshuk – an Inuit sculpture signifying “you are on the right path” – as a remembrance of the occasion

http://www.pluralism.ca/images/stories/home_page/GCP-Pluralism_lecture_1.pdf
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Statement in Parliament

Mr. Costas Menegakis (Richmond Hill, CPC):
Mr. Speaker, last night His Highness the Aga Khan hosted Her Excellency Roza Otunbayeva for a speech at the Global Centre for Pluralism.

Several Conservative ministers, including the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, were in attendance. They later joined Ms. Otunbayeva and the Aga Khan for dinner.

In her public lecture, Ms. Otunbayeva spoke eloquently about the challenges of promoting pluralism in the Kyrgyz Republic. Following unrest in 2010, Ms. Otunbayeva provided strong, stable leadership in challenging times. In many ways, Ms. Otunbayeva is the Margaret Thatcher of central Asia. She helped usher in parliamentary elections and a peaceful transition of power following her interim presidency. A video of her lecture will be posted on the Global Centre for Pluralism website, and I encourage all Canadians to watch her speech.

Our Conservative government has invested millions of dollars in the Global Centre for Pluralism and supports what His Highness is doing. Our Conservative government has also welcomed Ismaili refugees to Canada from central Asia, and our government looks forward to collaborating with His Highness the Aga Khan in the future.

http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Pub=hansard&Language=E&Mode=1&Parl=41&Ses=1&DocId=5616216&File=0#SOB-7606145
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Address by MHI at the Inaugural Pluralism Lecture, Global Centre for Pluralism (Ottawa, Canada)

Her Excellency Roza Otunbayeva,
Chief Justice McLachlin,
Ministers,
Excellencies,
Distinguished Guests:

Welcome to this launching by the Global Centre for Pluralism of its annual Pluralism Lecture Series. This is a significant milestone — and I cannot think of an inaugural speaker better suited than the remarkable leader whom it is my honour to introduce. Her Excellency Roza Otunbayeva is a woman of courage, and conviction, whom I have come to admire and respect greatly, over the many years that the Aga Khan Development Network and I have been engaged in Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia.

As a leader, President Otunbayeva understood and championed the democratic aspirations of her peoples, guiding the country, in all its diversity, through the region’s first peaceful and constitutional transfer of power — a remarkable achievement with tremendous implications for governance inside and outside Kyrgyzstan. Excellency, I am so very pleased that you have graciously accepted my invitation to launch this lecture series with an address to the distinguished group assembled here today.

In the course of my work over the past half-century, I have become convinced that finding ways for diverse societies to live peacefully together is one of the principal challenges of the contemporary world. It has led me to the conclusion that pluralism as an ethic of respect for diversity is an essential building block of successful and prosperous societies.

Canada is one of the best examples of a country that has embraced its diversity and cultivated a vision of nationhood based on shared and democratic citizenship. It should therefore come as no surprise that the Global Centre for Pluralism is headquartered in Ottawa. The Centre is founded on a strong and vital partnership with the Government of Canada, rooted in our common belief in respect for diversity and the importance of building inclusive societies. Excellency, as a former Kyrgyz Ambassador to Canada, you are no stranger to this country’s commitment to participatory democracy. And you have, through your own example, shown that an enlightened leadership recognises that, nothing less than this, is acceptable for any society.

It is my hope that the Global Centre for Pluralism will serve the global community as a neutral space for dialogue and comparative exchange about the institutions, policies and practices that foster respect for diversity, cultivate shared citizenship, and ultimately build inclusive societies.
It is my hope that the Global Centre for Pluralism will serve the global community as a neutral space for dialogue and comparative exchange about the institutions, policies and practices that foster respect for diversity, cultivate shared citizenship, and ultimately build inclusive societies.

Much of the ongoing conflict we are witnessing in today’s world is linked to a rejection of pluralism. One of the most important ways for the Centre to better apprehend this challenge and contribute to enhancing pluralism is to learn from world figures who have directly experienced it, and addressed it successfully. Our inaugural speaker has shown that it can be done.

Roza Otunbaeva guided her country through the initial stages of its democratic journey, but as she herself has repeatedly stressed, Kyrgyzstan’s future as a democracy depends on the implementation of the rule of law, including respect for human rights and due process, judicial reform, and national reconciliation. These reforms will take time and will require continued leadership from the peoples and the Government of Kyrgyzstan as well as support from international partners, including Canada and the Global Centre for Pluralism.

Madam Otunbayeva, on behalf of the Board of the Global Centre for Pluralism it gives me great pleasure to welcome you here this evening to launch the Pluralism Lecture Series. We are extremely fortunate to have you with us to share your first-hand perspective on the prospects and challenges for democracy and pluralism in your increasingly important part of the world.

His Highness the Aga Khan IV

http://www.nanowisdoms.org/nwblog/10109/
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

More information about the Inaugural Pluralism Lecture including videos at:

http://pluralism.ca/roza-otunbayeva.html
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Canada, Development, and the Aga Khan

Excerpt:

This multipronged support for democracy, pluralism, civil society and ethical commitment has taken concrete form in the Ottawa-based Global Centre for Pluralism. By basing the centre in Canada, the Aga Khan is boldly proclaiming that Canadian society demonstrates the highest ideals of respect, openness and multiculturalism. Effectively, Canada can be a role model for developing societies seeking to benefit from its own history and experience of pluralism. This is not the traditional method or understanding of development, but it is a necessary component in building and sustaining peaceful, successful countries. After all, the goal of all development efforts, in the Aga Khan’s words, should be “to stimulate and facilitate change that is positive in character, significant in impact, long-lasting in consequence and sustainable into the future.” Other countries would do well to emulate Canada in this regard.

http://www.freedomwriters.ca/2012/09/03/canada-development-and-the-aga-khan/
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pluralism Forum .
.Pluralist societies are not accidents of history. They are products of decision and public investment characterized by good governance, strong civic institutions, and sound public policy choices. Pluralist societies foster the equal participation of all citizens in the political, economic and socio-cultural life of the nation – enabling individuals and groups to express their cultural, linguistic and religious identities within a framework of shared citizenship. Through these means, the ethic and practices of pluralism can foster a more equitable and peaceful human development.

Launched in April 2012, the PLURALISM FORUM is a new series of moderated Q & A discussions with leading international authorities on the policies and practices that support pluralism.

December 6, 2012 - Preventing pluralism breakdown: Lessons from African peace processes

April 4, 2012 - Retreat or Advance: Rethinking Europe’s “Multiculturalism” Debates

http://www.pluralism.ca/activities/pluralism-forum.html
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pluralism Forum
Preventing pluralism breakdown: Lessons from African peace processes


Ottawa, Canada - Intra-state conflict is the ultimate expression of state failure. Divisions, often blamed on ethnic or religious differences, spiral into violent upheaval. But most societies are diverse in some way. Why are some able to live peaceably with diversity while others fail? How can divided societies pull back from the brink?

On December 6, 2012, over 90 guests joined the Global Centre for Pluralism in Ottawa for its second annual Pluralism Forum, featuring Vasu Gounden, [left] founder and Executive Director of the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) from Durban, South Africa, in conversation with Rita Abrahamsen [right] and David Petrasek, [middle] of the University of Ottawa's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs.

The significance of economic exclusion, the politicization of ethnicity for partisan ends, the role of leaders, and the challenge of creating civic cohesion in “states-nations” were emphasized. Whether good governance is a prerequisite for inclusion or inclusion produces good governance emerged as the salient theme.

http://www.pluralism.ca/preventing-pluralism-breakdown-lessons-from-african-peace-processes.html
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Media advisory - Kofi Annan to Deliver Global Centre for Pluralism's Annual Lecture

Former Secretary-General of the United Nations and Nobel Peace Prize winner to speak in Ottawa on Thursday, May 23, 2013

OTTAWA, May 16, 2013 /CNW/ - Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations and Nobel Peace Prize winner will deliver the Global Centre for Pluralism's Annual Lecture in Ottawa, ON, on Thursday, May 23, 2013. The title of this year's lecture is "Pluralism: Key Challenge of the 21st Century?"

Mr. Annan is a member of the Global Centre for Pluralism's Board of Directors, a body of eminent Canadian and international figures, chaired by His Highness the Aga Khan.

The Annual Pluralism Lecture Series recognizes the leadership of compelling individuals whose work has made or is making a practical difference in the world. Pluralism implies respect for diversity. Leadership for pluralism takes many forms and crosses many sectors. It can be exercised on the global stage, in national parliaments, in newsrooms, or in local schools and meeting halls. Based on decades of work on peace, security and development issues, Mr. Annan identifies pluralism as a key challenge of the 21st century. In this lecture, he will outline the attributes of inclusive societies and argue that diversity is a source of strength not discord.

Kofi A. Annan was the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations, serving from 1997 to 2006. While at the UN Mr. Annan established the Peacebuilding Commission and played a central role in the creation of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. He championed responsibility of states to protect people from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.

Mr. Annan was awarded the 2001 Nobel Prize for Peace jointly with the United Nations. Since leaving the UN, Mr. Annan has continued to advocate for better policies to meet the needs of the poorest, particularly in Africa. Mr. Annan is the Chairman of the Kofi Annan Foundation

The 2013 Annual Pluralism Lecture will be live-streamed through the Globe and Mail website. John Stackhouse, the Editor-in-Chief of the Globe and Mail will moderate the discussion with Mr. Annan.

WHAT: GLOBAL CENTRE FOR PLURALISM - ANNUAL LECTURE SERIES
● Mr. Annan's lecture is a by-invitation-only event.
● Members of the media may attend, but must register in advance in order to receive accreditation. Space is limited.
WHEN: Thursday, May 23, 2013 at 6:30-7:30 PM (arrival 6:10 pm)
WHERE: Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat
199 Sussex Drive, Ottawa ON (please use Boteler street entrance)

About the Global Centre for Pluralism

The Global Centre for Pluralism is an initiative of His Highness the Aga Khan in partnership with the Government of Canada. Dedicated to the creation of successful societies, the Centre is founded on the premise that respect, openness and understanding towards the cultures, social structures, values and faiths of other peoples are essential to the very survival of an interdependent world. Pluralism is no longer simply an asset or a prerequisite for progress and development. It is vital to our existence.

SOURCE: Global Centre for Pluralism

http://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/media-advisory-kofi-annan-deliver-145900324.html
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PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/1167051/avis-aux-medias-kofi-annan-prononcera-une-allocution-lors-de-la-conference-annuelle-du-centre-mondial-du-pluralisme

May 16, 2013 10:59 AM


Avis aux médias - Kofi Annan prononcera une allocution lors de la conférence annuelle du Centre mondial du pluralisme

L'ancien Secrétaire général des Nations Unies et prix Nobel de la paix prononcera une allocution à Ottawa le jeudi 23 mai 2013

OTTAWA, le 16 mai 2013 /CNW/ - Kofi Annan, l'ancien Secrétaire général des Nations Unies et prix Nobel de la paix, prononcera une allocution à l'occasion de la conférence annuelle du Centre mondial sur le pluralisme, le jeudi 23 mai 2013 à Ottawa, qui aura pour thème « Le pluralisme : principal défi du 21e siècle ? ».

M. Annan est membre du Conseil d'administration du Centre mondial sur le pluralisme, un organe regroupant d'éminents Canadiens et personnages étrangers et présidé par Son Altesse l'Aga Khan.

La série de conférences annuelles sur le pluralisme reconnaît le leadership d'éminentes personnalités dont les réalisations ont eu, ou ont encore, des effets pratiques marqués sur le monde. Le pluralisme signifie implicitement le respect de la diversité. Le leadership en matière de pluralisme prend plusieurs formes et couvre de nombreux secteurs. Il peut s'exercer sur la scène mondiale, dans des parlements nationaux, des salles de nouvelles, ou dans des écoles et salles de réunions locales. Se fondant sur ses décennies de travail pour la paix, la sécurité et le développement, M. Annan qualifie le pluralisme de défi essentiel du 21e siècle. Lors de son allocution, il décrira les attributs des sociétés inclusives et fera valoir que la diversité est une source de force plutôt que de mésentente.

Kofi A. Annan a été le septième secrétaire général de l'Organisation des Nations Unies qu'il a dirigée de 1997 à 2006. Lors de son mandat à l'ONU, M. Annan a établi la Commission de consolidation de la paix et a joué un rôle de premier plan dans l'établissement du Fonds mondial pour combattre le sida, la tuberculose et le paludisme. Il a également prôné la responsabilité des États en matière de protection des populations contre les génocides, les crimes de guerre, le nettoyage ethnique et les crimes contre l'humanité.

Mr. Annan a reçu le prix Nobel de la paix 2001 conjointement avec les Nations Unies. Depuis la fin de son mandat à l'ONU, M. Annan a continué à plaider pour de meilleures politiques pour répondre aux besoins des plus défavorisés, plus particulièrement en Afrique. M. Annan préside aux destinées de la Fondation Kofi Annan.

La conférence sur le pluralisme de 2013 sera accessible par webdiffusion par le biais du site du journal The Globe and Mail. John Stackhouse, le rédacteur en chef de ce journal animera la discussion avec M. Annan.

OBJET : CENTRE MONDIAL SUR LE PLURALISME - SÉRIE DE CONFÉRENCES ANNUELLES
● La conférence de M. Annan est sur invitation seulement.
● Les membres des médias peuvent y assister, mais doivent s'inscrire au préalable pour recevoir une accréditation, Les places sont limitées.
DATE : Jeudi 23 mai 2013 de 18 h 30 à 19 h 30 (arrivée à 18 h 10)
LIEU : Délégation de l'imamat ismaïli
199, promenade Sussex, Ottawa ON (s.v.p utiliser l'entrée sur la rue Boteler)

À propos du Centre mondial sur le pluralisme

Le Centre mondial sur le pluralisme est une initiative de son altesse l'Aga Khan en partenariat avec le gouvernement du Canada. Il se donne pour mission de créer des sociétés fructueuses et se fonde sur le respect, l'ouverture et la compréhension envers les cultures, structures sociales, valeurs et convictions d'autres peuples qui sont essentielles à la survie même d'un monde interdépendant. Le pluralisme n'est plus seulement qu'un avantage, il est devenu une exigence pour le progrès et le développement. Il est vital à notre existence.

SOURCE : Centre mondial sur le pluralisme
Renseignements :

Pour faire des demandes d'accréditation ou d'entrevue, les médias peuvent communiquer avec :

Codie Taylor
613-241-3512, poste 228
codie@blueksystrategygroup.com
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PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.pluralism.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=204&Itemid=786

Video of Hazar Imam's introduction of Kofi Annan on link below [scroll down]: [7 min 18 sec.]

http://www.pluralism.ca/images/videos/gm/gm_hh.flv

http://www.pluralism.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=204&Itemid=786

Kofi Annan's Lecture

http://kofiannanfoundation.org/newsroom/speeches/2013/05/%E2%80%9Cpluralism-key-challenge-21st-century%E2%80%9D
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PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2013 4:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Text of the Introduction of Kofi Annan by H.H. The Aga Khan on 23rd May 2013 in Ottawa, Canada

http://www.akdn.org/Content/1182

Remarks by His Highness the Aga Khan at the Global Centre for Pluralism while introducing Kofi Annan, who delivered the Pluralism Lecture

24 May 2013

Your Excellency the Governor General
Mrs Johnston
Ministers
Excellencies
Distinguished Guests
Ladies and Gentlemen:

I am delighted to welcome all of you to the Global Centre’s second annual Pluralism Lecture. And I am especially honored to introduce today’s lecturer - Kofi Annan - the former Secretary General of the United Nations, Nobel Laureate, and global peacemaker.

J'ai le privilège de connaître Kofi Annan depuis de nombreuses années et je considère que, dans le monde d'aujourd'hui, peu de personnalités ont eu une carrière diplomatique aussi brillante que la sienne.

Ce remarquable diplomate a su concevoir des principes de solutions négociées aux crises auxquelles il a été confronté, mais aussi, très souvent il est arrivé à convaincre les protagonistes à tous les niveaux politiques de les mettre en œuvre avec ses conseils. Il doit ces succès non seulement à la finesse de ses analyses mais aussi à la façon éminemment personnelle avec laquelle il sait toucher les coeurs et les intelligences.

Pour préciser mon propos, je dirai que, par sa réflexion et sa façon d'analyser les problèmes, par sa capacité à identifier les équilibres justes entre les positions de chacun et à marginaliser les faux arguments et les positions extrêmes inacceptables, il a porté dans de nombreux pays une nouvelle philosophie de la diplomatie.

Notre Centre Mondial du Pluralisme est donc particulièrement honoré de ce que Kofi Annan ait accepté de devenir l'un de ses administrateurs fondateurs. Je suis heureux de dire qu'au cours des deux années et demie qu'il siège à notre Conseil d'administration, il a largement contribué par ses sages conseils au développement du Centre et à son envol.

As you know, Kofi Annan retired from his official post six years ago. But he has in no way retired from his role as an active global statesman - tirelessly working to foster peaceful dialogue around the world.

I remember vividly - and I know you do also - the role he played when violence erupted in Kenya after the 2007 election. He led the way in bringing clashing voices together, and the result was a successful power-sharing arrangement which ended the crisis and paved the way for major constitutional reform.

Now, six years later, another election in Kenya has recently come and gone - this time without major violence. I think we all have recognized and remembered - as the Kenyan people do - how important have been the foundations that Kofi Annan did so much to build in 2007.

We also recall the political violence in Cote D’Ivoire in 2011, when Kofi Annan, in his capacity as an Elder, once again pressed for resolution. And these dramatic moments are only particular examples of his continuing efforts - day by day and year by year - in the service of global harmony.

Our honoree also leads the Kofi Annan Foundation in dealing with critical global issues such as food security, governance, climate change, drug-trafficking and HIV/AIDS. And you may know as well about his leadership role in chairing the Africa Progress Panel.

The Panel - just this month - issued a deeply stirring report. Its study testifies eloquently to Africa’s profound potential for development, but it also squarely identifies the scourge of corruption, and calls powerfully for a new strengthening of transparency and accountability, nationally and internationally, in the public and private sectors alike.

In welcoming Kofi Annan this evening, I want to emphasize what his personal example has meant to all of us. He has truly been an inspiration - demonstrating the power of patience and persistence - of a willingness always to listen - and a refusal to give up hope.

Our Global Centre for Pluralism was founded here in Ottawa in 2006 to address what I believe is the central challenge of our time - learning to live peacefully and constructively in a highly diversified - and rapidly shrinking world.

As Kofi Annan has taught us, pluralism requires constant dialogue, a readiness to compromise, and an understanding that pluralism is not an end in itself, but a continuous process.

The Global Centre for Pluralism was established in partnership with the Government of Canada, and was inspired in part by Canada’s experience as a highly diverse society. We want the Centre to be a place where we can all learn from one another about the challenges of diversity - and where we can share the lessons of successful pluralism.

And on evenings like this, we also help realize the Centre’s potential as a destination for dialogue, a place where we can exchange ideas with true champions of global pluralism, like Kofi Annan.

Ladies and Gentlemen, together with you, I eagerly look forward to hearing from the Centre’s honored Lecturer for 2013, Kofi Annan.

Thank you
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