The Ismaili Imamat and the Province of Alberta ‘Agreement of Co-operation’ Signing Ceremony (Edmonton, Canada)
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[I]n the last decades I have come to an important conclusion about governance, about the fragility of governance in the developing world, and what people can do to protect themselves from governance which is not effective. And I think that history is beginning to show that civil society, in its complexity but also in its ability to impact the way people live, is probably the most important, single feature that I know. And building civil society is a complex exercise, needs multiple input and that multiple input, again, I hope we develop with your institutions in Alberta.
There are days in one’s life that mark an individual, that mark an institution and today is one of those days. What are those days? Those are days which, I think, open doors to the future, give you a sense of hope, a sense of confidence, a sense of not being alone in trying to achieve the goals that one has set oneself as an individual or as an institution. And that is what you have allowed, Premier, for me today and I thank you for that. (1)
My community has lived, obviously, for centuries in a large number of countries and therefore we have a permanent presence in these countries. That’s very different from being an occasional visitor. People live in these countries and they live in good and less good circumstances. They think, they analyse, they live in hope but also they live in sadness and in difficulty, and the last few years have not been happy in many of the countries we’re working in. So our duty is to try to convert these countries into countries of opportunity. We can’t do that alone. But we can do it with Canada and we can do with the Province of Alberta. So in that sense today is a day of magnificent opportunity and I thank you so much. (1)
I would add that in the last decades I have come to an important conclusion about governance, about the fragility of governance in the developing world, and what people can do to protect themselves from governance which is not effective. And I think that history is beginning to show that civil society, in its complexity but also in its ability to impact the way people live, is probably the most important, single feature that I know. And building civil society is a complex exercise, needs multiple input and that multiple input, again, I hope we develop with your institutions in Alberta. (1)
I would like to add also that this support that you are giving us should not be one one way …
I would like to add also that this support that you are giving us should not be one one way and I hope that we will be able to create new opportunity for Canadian institutions, Canadian enterprises, Canadian academic centres that need global knowledge to work with us to strengthen their ability to perform at home and to perform internationally. (1)
Today we’re looking at a number of case study situations. How do you build for the aged? And how do you make sure they don’t get isolated in society? And what can we learn from an initiative in Canada that can be replicated elsewhere in Canada but also in the industrialised world? How do you convince Western societies that Islam is a faith of civilisation, and not just a faith? Well I hope that the Islamic garden, when it comes into place [in the Devonian Gardens of the University of Alberta, Edmonton], will be able to show a different aspect of our faith. (2)
We have a big problem in the developing world. We don’t do research and because we don’t do research, we will constantly find ourselves running behind the capacities of the industrialised societies …
We have other initiatives here. The collaboration with the University of Alberta. We have a big problem in the developing world. We don’t do research and because we don’t do research, we will constantly find ourselves running behind the capacities of the industrialised societies to deal with the evolution of healthcare. And the fact is that today, non-communicable disease is becoming the dominant situation in many of the countries where we’re living. Our universities are not research universities so we have to work with universities that are the top of human knowledge to bring that knowledge to our communities and our populations. (2)
So these relationships that are being discussed today — and that will I hope be part of this agreement — are very, very important indeed for us. So when I say there are days that mark one’s own convictions and hope, now I hope you understand why that is such a day for me today. (1)
Thank you, Premier. (1)
Text of the agreement signed
AGREEMENT OF COOPERATION
THE GOVERNMENT OF ALBERTA
THE ISMAILI IMAMAT
This Agreement of Cooperation (this “Agreement”) is made this 24 th day of October 2012 by and between
(i) the Government of the Province of Alberta, represented by its Premier, The Honourable Alison Redford, Q.C. (such party being referred to herein as the “Government of Alberta”),
(ii) the Ismaili Imamat, represented by His Highness the Aga Khan, Forty-Ninth Hereditary Imam of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims (such party being referred to herein as the “Ismaili Imamat”).
The parties together being referred to herein as the “Parties”.
1. WHEREAS the Government of Alberta desires to promote sustainable development and specific support for the vulnerable within Alberta and abroad, in the economic, social, and cultural fields, and whereas it recognises the contributions made by the Ismaili Imamat to such endeavours through institutions appropriate to the circumstances of time and place, for which the Ismaili Imamat has entered into protocols and agreements with governments, states, and international organisations in order to optimise its contributions in this respect;
2. WHEREAS the Government of Alberta and the Ismaili Imamat desire to foster and strengthen their relationship and to enhance their joint and separate endeavours to improve the human condition in Alberta and in other parts of the world;
3. WHEREAS His Highness the Aga Khan, in his capacity as the forty-ninth hereditary Imam of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims (the “Ismailis”), has established, guides, and governs, under the Ismaili Constitution, Constitutional Bodies that endeavour to provide important elements of social governance for Ismailis in Canada, and whereas His Highness the Aga Khan has founded and chairs a group of private, non-denominational, international development agencies which together comprise the Aga Khan Development Network (“AKDN”), and which contribute towards social, cultural and economic development in Africa, the Middle East, and South and Central Asia;
4. WHEREAS the Ismaili Constitutional Bodies aim to serve the needs of the Ismaili Community to enable it to make a more effective contribution to the development of the societies in which it lives, and to secure continuing improvement in the quality of life of the Ismaili Community itself through the adoption of policies and implementation of programs in areas such as health, social welfare, education, economic enhancement, culture, habitat, sport, women’s issues and youth development; areas such as health, social welfare, education, economic enhancement, culture, habitat, sport, women’s issues and youth development;
5. WHEREAS AKDN’s programmes aim to help reduce human suffering, promote human development, and in general contribute towards, and collaborate with others in, efforts to achieve such objectives, with a view to creating a fraternal culture of enlightenment, peace, tolerance, and mutual respect, help and understanding;
6. WHEREAS the Government of Alberta and the Ismaili Imamat reaffirm their shared desire to confront persistent, varied and large-scale occurrences of material poverty that result in degradation and deprivation among its victims, recognising that such poverty is one of the great challenges facing the global community;
7. WHEREAS the Government of Alberta, based in Edmonton, Alberta, plays a leading role in
fields such as education, the environment, health sciences, sustainable natural resource
development, continuing care and affordable seniors housing, amongst others;
8. WHEREAS the AKDN has experience in diverse cultural and geographical environments, in the construction of permanent capacities, through multiple input programmes, to enable individuals and communities to respond to adversity and the challenges arising from social, economic and cultural change;
NOW THEREFORE the Parties enter this Agreement to explore opportunities for collaborating further and learning from each other in fields of mutual interest, such as, amongst others, the health sciences; education; environment, forestry and natural resources management; culture; and private sector and economic development, so as to further their common goal of equitable human advancement and social justice, based on the principles of mutual benefit and reciprocity.
1. Identifying Projects and Programs
The Parties shall endeavour to identify suitable projects or programs on which they may work together in furtherance of their shared objectives as set forth in the recitals above. Where the Parties choose to engage in projects or programs together, they may enter into agreements that provide details concerning the specific commitments to be made by each Party, as well as time-frames, budgets, funding sources and provisions related to project design, development and implementation, monitoring and reporting. Any binding obligations in respect of such projects or programs shall be subject to the terms and conditions as set forth in such agreements.
The Government of Alberta shall identify appropriate provincial agencies as well as institutions based in the Province of Alberta that may be suitable candidates for participation in projects in collaboration with the Ismaili Imamat, the Ismaili Constitutional Bodies and agencies of the AKDN in areas of mutual interest.
The Ismaili Imamat, the Ismaili Constitutional Bodies and the AKDN have experience in working in Canada. Asia, Africa, and other parts of the developing world, as well as institutional capacities on the ground in these regions, and human and material resources. These strengths, combined with those of the Government of Alberta, can enable the Parties to achieve their joint and separate undertakings in sectors of mutual interest.
3. Steering Committee
A joint Steering Committee shall be established consisting of senior members of both Parties, with the aim of reviewing progress under this Agreement. The Steering Committee shall also suggest areas of future action and opportunities for partnership between the Parties. The Steering Committee shall endeavour to meet at least once or twice a year, and more frequently if required. The Steering Committee shall be comprised of up to three members appointed by the Premier of the Province of Alberta, and up to three members appointed by His Highness the Aga Khan.
4. Representatives for the Purposes of this Agreement
The following persons are representatives of the Parties for the purposes of sending or receiving notices under this Agreement:
For the Government of Alberta:
Minister of International & Intergovernmental Relations
320 Legislature Building
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T5K 2B6
For the Ismaili Imamat:
Director of Diplomatic Affairs
Aga Khan Development Network Foundation
5. Settlement of Differences
Any differences between the Government of the Province of Alberta and the Ismaili Imamat arising out of the interpretation or application of the present Agreement shall be settled amicably by agreement.
6. Coming into effect. Renewal and Amendment of this Agreement
This Agreement shall come into effect immediately upon signature by the two Parties and shall remain in full force and effect for a period of five years, and can be renewed by common consent of the Parties. It may be amended at any time by mutual consent of the Parties. Each Party may decide to terminate this Agreement by notifying that decision to the other Party with twelve months written notice.
Signed in Edmonton, Alberta this 24th day of October 2012, in two original copies,
FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF ALBERTA
Original signed by:
Honourable Alison Redford, Q.C.
FOR THE ISMAILI IMAMAT
Original signed by:
His Highness the Aga Khan
Forty-Ninth Hereditary Imam
Of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims
- Audio from video at: http://www.akdn.org/videos_detail.asp?VideoId=176
Note: This video does not contain the Aga Khan’s full remarks.
- Excerpt of missing segment in the above video at akdn.org. The excerpt is from the official AKDN DVD of the ceremony which had the Aga Khan’s full remarks.
POSSIBLY RELATED READINGS (GENERATED AUTOMATICALLY)
- Aga Khan Development Network and Government of Norway ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ Signing Ceremony (Oslo, Norway) ·· (6 April 2005)
- Aga Khan Development Network, The Ismaili Imamat and Government of Mali ‘Agreement of Co-operation’ Signing Ceremony (Bamako, Mali) ·· (1 August 2005)
- Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development and Government of Kyrgyzstan ‘Agreement on Economic Co-operation’ Signing Ceremony (Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan) ·· (3 June 2003)
- Jamati Institutional Leaders Dinner (Lisbon, Portugal) ·· (13 July 2008)
- Aga Khan Development Network and State of California ‘Agreement of Co-operation’ Signing Ceremony (Sacramento, USA) ·· (2 November 2009)