Earlier today, 12 November, Mawlana Hazar Imam joined over 30 world leaders for the opening session of the second Paris Peace Forum where he met with leaders and ministers from various countries.

Initiated by French President Emmanuel Macron, the Forum was founded on the principle that international cooperation is key to tackling global challenges and ensuring lasting peace. Speaking at the Opening Session of the 2019 Forum, President Macron spoke of the need for countries to work together to build peace in the world, in a form of multilateralism which “means accepting discussion, disagreements, mediations, to find common solutions,” he explained.

“In my experience, the vital conditions for stability in the world today include an emphasis on local participation, the promotion of pluralism, and a strengthening of Civil Society organisations," Mawlana Hazar Imam said. "I am pleased that the Aga Khan Development Network is once again partnering with the Paris Peace Forum and that the Global Centre for Pluralism is also hosting an event at this year’s Forum. Pluralism is certainly a central component for peace and progress.”

AKDN’s participation at the Forum included a discussion on how pluralism can strengthen peace, which was hosted by the Global Centre for Pluralism, and participation in panels on climate change and fragile states. 

Meredith Preston McGhie, Secretary General of the Global Centre for Pluralism, highlighted the urgent need for pluralism in peacebuilding efforts. She went on to moderate a discussion between two of the 2019 Global Pluralism Award winners: Aung Kyaw Moe, Executive Director, Center for Social Integrity (working in Myanmar); and Bojana Dujković-Blagojević, of Learning History that is Not Yet History Network (history educators who teach the history of conflict in their countries of the former Yugoslavia). The third Global Pluralism Award winner, Deborah Ahenkorah, will be at the Aga Khan Museum on 24 November for the Museum’s fifth annual lecture. Ahenkorah, CEO of Golden Boabab, a social enterprise that aims to promote African literature for children, will talk about her groundbreaking work making space for African stories to be told and read. For more information visit the Aga Khan Museum website

Last night, Mawlana Hazar Imam joined a gathering of world leaders for a dinner reception hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron at the Élysée Palace and on Sunday evening, Secretary General McGhie spoke at an institutional dinner attended by Jamati leaders and youth in France.