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GLOBAL CENTRE FOR PLURALISM

Encyclopaedia of Ismailism by Mumtaz Ali Tajddin

The Present Imam founded the Global Centre for Pluralism on April 18, 2005 in Ottawa. The Global Centre for Pluralism will be a non-denominational, not-for-profit, Canadian organization with global reach. The Government of Canada said it would contribute CAD$30 million to the Centre. The initial investment by the Aga Khan Development Network will be CAD$40 million. The mission of the Global Centre for Pluralism will be to promote pluralist values and practices in culturally diverse societies worldwide to ensure that every individual has the opportunity to realize his or her full potential as a citizen, irrespective of cultural, ethnic or religious differences.

The Global Centre for Pluralism will undertake research, deliver programs, facilitate dialogue, develop pedagogical materials and work with partners worldwide to build the capacity of individuals, groups, educational institutions and governments to promote indigenous approaches to pluralism in their own countries and communities. The mission of the Centre is consistent with several key Canadian international policy objectives, among them the promotion of democracy and good governance, a more equitable sharing of the world's resources between developed and developing countries, and the projection of Canadian values, such as the rule of law, human rights and respect for diversity. "Canada has for many years been a beacon to the rest of the world for its commitment to pluralism and for its support for the multicultural richness and diversity of its peoples," said the Imam. He has described Canada's experience with pluralism as "a global asset, which must be shared for the benefit of the world."

The decision to locate this permanent AKDN institutional capacity in Canada's capital city was therefore a natural one and was the result of consultations with and encouragement from Canadian Heritage, CIDA, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and several NGOs, community groups and religious organizations. The Global Centre for Pluralism will draw from Canada's successful record in constructing and sustaining pluralist civil society. Working closely with governments, with academia and with civil society around the world, the Centre will seek to foster legislation and policy to strengthen developing countries' capacity for enhancing pluralism in all spheres of modern life: including law, justice, the arts, the media, financial services, health and education.


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