Address by His Highness the Aga Khan at the Commencement Ceremony of the American University in Cairo
15th June 2006
"Over these five decades, I have watched that world oscillate constantly, between hope and disappointment.Too often, disappointment has been the dominant story. And too often the dominant response to disappointment has been to embrace false hopes—from dogmatic socialism to romantic nationalism, from irrational tribalism to runaway individualism."
Address by His Highness the Aga Khan to the Tutzing Evangelical Academy Upon Receiving the "Tolerance" Award
20th May 2006
"In these times of misunderstanding and mistrust, I applaud the realistic outlook on international affairs that His Excellency Minister of Foreign Affairs brings to his work. I know that he views a constructive relationship between the West and the Muslim world as critical to global peace and stability, and I am grateful for his contributions to that goal."
Address by His Highness the Aga Khan to the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
15th May 2006
"For the developing world, the past half-century has been a time of recurring hope and frequent disappointment. Great waves of change have washed over the landscape – from the crumbling of colonial hegemonies in mid century to the recent collapse of communist empires. But too often, what rushed in to replace the old order were empty hopes—not only the false allure of state socialism, non-alignment, and single-party rule, but also the false glories of romantic nationalism and narrow tribalism, and the false dawn of runaway individualism."
Remarks by His Highness the Aga Khan at Evora University Symposium: “Cosmopolitan Society, Human Safety and Rights in Plural and Peaceful Societies”
12th February 2006
"Democracy and progress do not always go hand in hand—and the growing threat of "Failed States" can often be described as "the Failure of Democracy." Frequently, democratic failures grow out of sheer incompetence. Publics are asked to vote on issues that bewilder them. Candidates obscure their own views and distort their opponents’ positions. Journalists transmit superficial rhetoric and slight underlying realities. People are appointed to jobs they cannot do—but are rarely held accountable."
25th June 2004
"Fortunately, governments everywhere are now beginning to appreciate the contribution of not-for-profit private providers of social services to address the challenges of rising expectations that compound historically unmet needs. In this context, international partnerships in education are increasingly seen as vehicles for introducing best practices, tried and tested."
18th June 2004
"We are now emerging into an age when different civilisations will have to learn to live side by side in peaceful interchange, learning from each other, studying each other's history and ideals, art and culture, mutually enriching each other’s lives. The only alternative in this overcrowded little world, is misunderstanding, tension, clash, and catastrophe."
Keynote Address at the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference on Leadership and Diversity
19th May 2004
"Canada has an experience of governance of which much of the world stands in dire need. It is a world of increasing dissension and conflict in which a significant contribution is the failure of different ethnic, tribal, religious or social groups to search for, and agree upon, a common space for harmonious co-existence."
3rd February 2004
"At present there is a great deal of apprehension about the future of local and national cultures in most countries in the developing world. What can the cultural diplomacy of the United States do to address these anxieties and replace them with a sense of confidence through new and shared initiatives? If the cultures and value systems of the developing world are being challenged -- or are believed to be under threat - I think it valuable to try to identify the nature of the challenges. For the sake of discussion, I would put the major issues under the headings of language, institutions, people, communications, and funding."
13th December 2003
"In the Middle East and the Gulf region, the Aga Khan Development Network is active in the areas of urban development, conservation, restoration, education, healthcare, microfinance, higher education, culture and rural development. The future Ismaili Centre in Dubai will serve as a resource to support these activities. Architect Rami El Dahan has seized the challenge of designing the Centre in a manner that will permit these interactions even as it preserves and revives traditions of architecture and spirituality."
19th October 2003
"Does not the Qur’an challenge the artist, as much as the mystic, to go beyond the physical - the outward - so as to seek to unveil that which lies at the centre but gives life to the periphery? Is not a great work of art, like the ecstasy of the mystic, a gesture of the spirit, a stirring of the soul that comes from the attempt to experience a glimpse of, and an intimacy with, that which is ineffable and beyond being?"