Mawlana Hazar Imam joined over 60 world leaders for the opening session of the inaugural Paris Peace Forum on 11 November 2018. Leadership from the French Jamat and AKDN were also present at the Forum.

Initiated by French President Emmanuel Macron, the Forum is founded on the principle that international cooperation is key to tackling global challenges and ensuring durable peace. The Forum was launched on the 100th anniversary of the Armistice, marking the end of World War I.

“It is my conviction that one of the key conditions for peace in our world today is a greater respect for pluralism,” explained Mawlana Hazar Imam. “In a world challenged by globalisation, social fragmentation and conflict between peoples, pluralism and a well-anchored civil society are essential for human peace and progress. This is why the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) is delighted to be a partner of the Paris Peace Forum.”

Earlier in the day, Hazar Imam was the guest of the French President at a luncheon held at the Elysee Palace for all the visiting heads of state and government.

Hazar Imam has often spoken about the need to recognise pluralism as a fundamental value of human society, an essential ingredient in the development of a country and a necessity for the existence of a peaceful society. The promotion of pluralism has therefore been an aim of many AKDN programmes, from irrigation schemes bringing together diverse communities and cultures in Pakistan to inclusive reading programmes for children in Kenya, from a project to integrate immigrants in Lisbon to the reintroduction of midwifery schools in Afghanistan. AKDN’s ultimate aim is to nurture successful civil societies in which every citizen, irrespective of cultural, religious, or ethnic differences, can realise his or her full potential.

To learn more about the Paris Peace Forum, visit