Athens: The Aga Khan has said improving the quality of life is the most important component of a successful democracy.
“I believe that the progress of democracy in our world is fundamentally linked to improving the quality of human life,” he said.
He cited the ability to understand constitutional systems, independent and pluralistic media, strong civil society and commitment to diversity and social dialogue as key elements in achieving the goal of improved quality of life
“Democracy can only survive if it demonstrates, across the years and across the planet, that it is the best way to achieve that goal,” he said.
The Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims and founder and chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network, made the remarks in a keynote address to the Athens Democracy Forum, an international gathering of diplomats, business leaders and opinion makers hosted by the International New York Times and the United Nations Democracy Fund.
The Aga Khan called for a renewed emphasis on civil society organisations, a sector that he felt was deeply undervalued and yet essential to democracy. He argued that key elements of civil society ranging from education, to healthcare, to the environment cannot thrive and grow unless governments themselves support a healthy enabling environment.
Posted Friday, September 18 2015 at 01:00
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