Secretariat de Son Altesse l'Aga Khan



Paris, 27th April, 1999 France's Minister for Foreign affairs, Hubert Vedrine, and His Highness
the Aga Khan, Imam (Spiritual Leader) of the Ismaili Muslims, today signed an Accord of Co-
operation between France and the Association Aga Khan, whose members include some of the
principal agencies and affiliates of the Aga Khan Development Network.

The Accord seeks to strengthen France's co-operation with the Aga Khan Development Network
in the social, cultural, economic and humanitarian fields wherever the Network operates. A joint
liaison committee comprising three representatives from each of the Foreign Ministry and the
Association Aga Khan will determine co-operation priorities and implementation.

The Ismaili Imamat the office of spiritual leadership of the Ismaili Muslims held by the Aga
Khan is independent of political allegiances, but committed to the Islamic ideal of respect for
dignity of the human being and peace among nations. In the Muslim tradition, the Imamat's
responsibilities extend beyond the spiritual leadership of the Ismailis to a concern for the quality
of life of not only Ismailis but also those amongst whom they live, regardless of origin or faith.

The Aga Khan Development Network is a group of private, non-denominational, international
development agencies established by the Aga Khan to improve living conditions and opportunities
in specific regions of the developing world. Its agencies have individual mandates that range from
health, education and culture to the enhancement of non-governmental agencies, rural
development, improved infrastructure and the promotion of private sector enterprise.

Direction and support for these various activities has come from the Aga Khan's office firstly in
Paris since the late 1950's and from his Secretariat, at Gouvieux, since 1978.

The Accord builds on collaboration between agencies and affiliates of the Aga Khan Development
Network, and national and international organisations, both private and public, including
PROPARCO, a member of the Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD), Electricite de France
(EdF), Universite de Paris-Sorbonne, Alcatel, Medecins sans Frontieres, l'Institute du Monde
Arabe, Paris, the European Union, UNESCO, the World Health Organisation and the World

The Aga Khan Development Network's more than fifty partners include governments, multilateral
agencies, non-governmental organisations, private sector institutions, communities and
individuals. Enabling agreements with governments or development agencies of Bangladesh,
Canada, the Cote d'Ivoire, India, Kenya, Mozambique, Pakistan, Uganda, Tajikistan, Tanzania,
the United Kingdom and the European Union permit optimal use of the Aga Khan Development
Network's resources, and in certain cases, authorise the establishment of diplomatic missions to
make its humanitarian and development endeavours more effective.

In recent years, the Aga Khan Development Network has disbursed an average of US$ 140
million annually on development and humanitarian activities. The Aga Khan Fund for Economic
Development and affiliated companies control assets in excess of US$ 1 billion.

For further information, please contact:
The Information department

Photos are available from AFP, Paris c/o Martina at the International Desk

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