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. Canada has embraced pluralism as a foundation for strength and growth. Therefore, I am extremely pleased that the Government of Canada under Prime Minister Paul Martin’s leadership has joined us in this important global venture.

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His Highness the Aga Khan today welcomed the announcement by the Government of Canada of its intellectual, institutional and financial contribution to become a partner in the new Global Centre for Pluralism in co-operation with the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN)…. The Government of Canada said today it will contribute CAD$30 million to the Centre. The initial investment by the Aga Khan Development Network will be CAD$40 million.

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. Canada has embraced pluralism as a foundation for strength and growth. Therefore, I am extremely pleased that the Government of Canada under Prime Minister Paul Martin’s leadership has joined us in this important global venture.

Tolerance, openness and understanding towards other peoples’ cultures, social structures, values and faiths are now essential to the very survival of an interdependent world. Pluralism is no longer simply an asset or a prerequisite for progress and development, it is vital to our existence.

The Aga Khan has described Canada’s experience with pluralism as “a global asset which must be shared for the benefit of the world.”

His Highness the Aga Khan has observed:

Pluralist societies are not accidents of history. They are a product of enlightened education and continuous investment by governments and all of civil society in recognizing and celebrating the diversity of the world’s peoples.

The Global Centre for Pluralism will be a long-term, multifaceted and robust collaboration between Canada and the AKDN in support of these goals.

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