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Speech by H.H. The Aga Khan at the signing of the Protocol of Cooperation with Ontario 2015-05-25

Monday, 2015, May 25

Queens Park

H.H. The Aga Khan and Premier Wynne 2015-05-25.jpg
Aga Khan IV (H.H. Prince Karim)

May 25, 2015

Toronto, Canada

Speech by H. H. The Aga Khan at the signing ceremony of the Protocol of Cooperation in the fields of Education, Pluralism and Policy Development with the Government of Ontario

Madame Prime Minister,

I want to tell you how happy and grateful My community and I are for this Agreement that we have just signed. Our history, our interpretation of our faith is anchored in the intellect and we rejoice in investing in the human intellect. It is part of the ethics of what we believe in and it is part of what we believe distinguishes us obviously from the environment in which we live.

So the Agreement that we have is giving us new opportunities to widen our exposure to education in the industrialized world, but to widen that education within a context where our values are the same. And that is very important because it is clear that we are the global community, such as one of the Ismaili community.

We need to invest in global values, in values which can be applied to any society at any time in any part of the world.

And this is what we are finding in Canada, that we will have a partnership with you, and in investing in that partnership, we are investing in a profession which I have to say has difficulty in the developing world.

There are three professions in the developing world which are undervalued: the first is nursing, the second is education and the third is journalism; and yet all those professions are critical for the development of a quality civil society in the third world and the Partnership that you have allowed us to create is going to come in and assist us to reposition one of the greatest professions that we need in the third world. So I would ask you to think of this not only in terms of what we will be able achieve in terms of collaboration but in the much wider context of the teaching profession and its position in the developing world.

But then we were discussing something else: we were discussing dialogue; we were discussing policy, we were discussing what ideas we need to move forwards in various parts of the developing world. And sharing these ideas, talking about them, openly and freely but within the context of common values, shared values - is an absolutely wonderful opportunity and I thank you very much for making that possible.

Thank you

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