The North-South Centre of the Council of Europe announces its 2013 North-South Prize is awarded to His Highness Prince Aga Khan, Shah Karim al-Hussaini, and the Aga Khan Development Network, and Suzanne Jabbour.
The award ceremony, tomorrow (June 12, 2014) in Lisbon Portugal, will be presided over by Maria Assunção Esteves, President of the Assembly and with the presence of His Excellency Aníbal Cavaco Silva, President of the Republic, the President of the Delegation of the Parliament to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, the President of the Executive Council North-South Centre, diplomats and laureates.
His Highness the Aga Khan is globally recognized for his philanthropic work, as well as initiatives for peace and the promotion of development projects. Relevant part of this action is carried out by the Aga Khan Development Network, which is composed of institutions that aim to improve the living conditions of populations in the most deprived regions in the perspective of sustainable development, with particular focus in the areas of health, education, culture, rural development, institution-building and the promotion of economic development.
The AKDN has been actively engaged in Portugal for over two decades, mainly through the work of the Aga Khan Foundation, one of the nine agencies of the Network, which started its activities in 1983 and was officially recognized as a Portuguese Foundation in 1996. The Foundation’s activities in Portugal range from development in the areas of early childhood education, social exclusion and urban poverty. Focus Humanitarian Assistance has been active in Portugal since 1995, when it established its headquarters in Portugal.
The activities in the country operate within the framework of the agreements established between the Ismaili Imamat and Portugal, particularly the Protocol of Cooperation with the Portuguese Government signed in 2005, the Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2008, and the International Treaty established with the Portuguese Republic in 2009.
The Aga Khan has received numerous honorary degrees and awards in recognition of his work including, in Portugal, the Grand Cross of the Order of Infante D. Henrique, the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit and the Grand Cross of the Military Order of Christ. In 2006, the Évora University conferred an honorary Doctorate upon His Highness, and in 2009 His Highness became a Foreign Member of the Academy of Sciences of Lisbon.
The Council of Europe is the continent’s leading human rights organization. It includes 47 member states, 28 of which are members of the European Union. All Council of Europe member states have signed up to the European Convention on Human Rights, a treaty designed to protect human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
Created in November 1989, the North-South Centre was set up in Lisbon, Portugal, in May 1990 following the European public campaign on North-South interdependence and solidarity, organized in 1988 by the Council of Europe in co-operation with the European Community. It is an institution of the Council of Europe, the European organization entrusted with the defense and promotion of democracy, human rights and the rule of law and includes 17 member countries.
The main objective is to promote global citizenship based on human rights and citizen’s responsibility through dialogue and cooperation between Europe, the southern Mediterranean and Africa.
The North-South Prize has been awarded every year since 1995 to two candidates who have stood out for their exceptional commitment to promoting North-South solidarity. The candidates, preferably a man and a woman, must have distinguished themselves in the following areas: protection of human rights, defense of pluralist democracy, public awareness raising on issues of global interdependence and solidarity, and strengthening the North-South partnership.
The North-South Prize is personally awarded by the President of Portugal, in the premises of the Parliament, in Lisbon, in the presence of the President of the Portuguese Parliament and eminent personalities.
CENTRO ISMAILI, LISBOA: Center of Confluence
Centro Ismaili, Lisboa (Ismaili Center, Lisbon) has been the venue of the Lisbon Forum (North-South Centre of the Council of Europe, premiere annual event) for several years now.
The Centro Ismaili is the first high-profile Jamatkhana to be established in mainland Europe.
These two commemorative stamps were issued by Correios de Portugal (Portuguese Mail Services) during the Golden Jubilee of the Aga Khan in recognition of the contributions of the Aga Khan and the Ismaili community in Portugal.
- North-South Prize is the 124th honor received by the Aga Khan. See the complete timeline of his honors since 1957. A 57 year timeline of world-wide honours arising from the Aga Khan’s steadfast commitment to the ethics of Islam
- The North-South Centre of the Council of Europe Press Release
- His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan – Biography
- All related – Ismailimail – 2013 North-South Prize
- All related – Ismaili Center, Lisbon