Over 50 countries invest 250+ honours to an individual that Canada’s 26th Governor General, Adrienne Clarkson, refers to as “the most magnificent human being – His Highness the Aga Khan”

Event summary: His Highness the Aga Khan receives the Adrienne Clarkson Prize for Global Citizenship
The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson with His Highness the Aga Khan after receiving the Prize for Global Citizenship. (Image credit: AKDN / Lisa Sakulensky)

“Here I am with the most magnificent human being – His Highness the Aga Khan.”

Her Excellency the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, former Governor General of Canada

Following the Adrienne Clarkson Prize for Global Citizenship presentation event

Toronto, Canada (September 23, 2016)


Over the past several months and at the recent Adrienne Clarkson Prize for Global Citizenship, Canadian leaders from across a broad spectrum of fields have shared profound sentiments about His Highness the Aga Khan’s leadership in global affairs, his work and its impact across the world to bring peace and prosperity.

It is with these sentiments from Canadian leaders in mind that we take the opportunity to update the matrix of Aga Khan’s Constellation of Accolades that was originally presented as an exclusive feature on Ismailimail about two and a half years ago.

This piece is a continuation of our Diamond Jubilee awareness and education series that we launched on July 8th, in a lead up to His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan’s Diamond Jubilee.

Follow Ismailimail as we bring you the Countdown to Diamond Jubilee & Road to Diamond Jubilee series throughout 2016-17.

His Excellency David Johnston, 28th Governor General of Canada

His Highness the Aga Khan meeting with the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, October 7, 2010. (Image credit: Governor General’s website)
His Highness the Aga Khan meeting with the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, October 7, 2010. (Image credit: Governor General’s website)

“Your belief in the value of working across physical and spiritual borders illuminates our world.

… I think your Global Centre for Pluralism best expresses your understanding of the value of working as widely as possible across physical boundaries and borders of mind to enhance people’s lives. ”

His Excellency David Johnston, current Governor General of Canada
In a letter to His Highness the Aga Khan on the subject of Diplomacy of Knowledge: Creating a smarter, more caring world from his recent book The Idea of Canada: Letters to a Nation

Ottawa, Canada (April 19, 2016)

The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, 23rd Prime Minister of Canada

The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada with His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan. (Image credit: Jean Marc Carisse)
The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada with His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan. (Image credit: Jean Marc Carisse)

“Over the years Canada has built a close relationship with His Highness the Aga Khan … Indeed the values  promoted by the Aga Khan are deeply held in Canada …

I am honoured to call him a dear friend and a mentor and could not imagine a more deserving recipient of the Adrienne Clarkson Prize for Global Citizenship. He has shown time and time again that […] we are equal members of this world.

… For half a century the Aga Khan has shown that about the world.

Thank you, Your Highness.

Canada and the world are stronger and richer because of your commitment to diversity and to finding common ground, to helping those most vulnerable and to believing in a better, closer, more inclusive world.”

The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

In a video message congratulating His Highness the Aga Khan during the Adrienne Clarkson Prize for Global Citizenship ceremony

Toronto, Canada (September 21, 2016)

Her Excellency the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, 26th Governor General of Canada

“Here I am with the most magnificent human being – His Highness the Aga Khan.”

Eleven years ago, the then sitting Governor General invested His Highness the Aga Khan with an honourary Companion, the Order of Canada, Canada’s highest formal civilian tribute, “in recognition of his life of generosity, of thoughtful stewardship, and of benevolent spiritual direction.” In her citation, she continued to elaborate by saying:

His Highness the Aga Khan invested Companion of the Order of Canada
The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, Governor General of Canada and Highness the Aga Khan after the investiture of the Order of Canada (Image credit: AKDN/Zahur Ramji)

“I have been deeply impressed that you have been able to bring to everything you do, a generosity, importantly, a curiosity, an intelligence and above all, a deep compassion for other human beings.

To do what you must with what you have is a lesson we must all learn.

He is part of a very tiny group of international figures to whom our country pays its highest respects.”

Her Excellency the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, former Governor General of Canada

Delivering the citation at the Order of Canada investiture ceremony for His Highness the Aga Khan

Ottawa, Canada (June 6, 2005)

Honourable Senator Peter Harder

AKDN Resident Representative Dr Mahmoud Eboo and his wife Karima, Chief Guest Senator Peter Harder, and Ismaili Council President Malik Talib at the Imamat Day reception. (Image credit: AKDN / Safiq Devji)
AKDN Resident Representative Dr Mahmoud Eboo and his wife Karima, Chief Guest Senator Peter Harder, and Ismaili Council President Malik Talib at the Imamat Day reception. (Image credit: AKDN / Safiq Devji)

” … as Canadians celebrate our country’s 150th anniversary,  we will also celebrate His Highness’ Diamond Jubilee.

… In marking those happy milestones together, let us find new opportunities to strengthen our friendship and advance our shared and deeply held values.”

Honourable Senator Peter Harder

In an address on behalf of the Canadian government, marking His Highness the Aga Khan’s 59 years of Imamat

Ottawa, Canada (July 7, 2016)

David Mulroney, President of the University of St Michael’s College and a former Canadian Ambassador to China

The convocation of the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies took place at St Basil’s Collegiate Church in Toronto. Mr. David Mulroney, President of the University of St. Michael's College and former Ambassador to the Republic of China delivered the citation. (Image credit: AKDN / Mo Govindji)
The convocation of the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies took place at St Basil’s Collegiate Church in Toronto. Mr. David Mulroney, President of the University of St. Michael’s College and former Ambassador to the Republic of China delivered the citation. (Image credit: AKDN / Mo Govindji)

“Given the energy and vigour with which His Highness pursues his calling, and the extent to which he has used it to benefit not only Ismaili Muslims but a broad range of communities around the world – with a particular attention to the most vulnerable – it is all the more impressive to recall that His Highness has been serving in this remarkable capacity since 1957.

His Highness is a great connector, a builder of bridges metaphorically and actually … a champion of pluralism, a transcender of borders and barriers … and a great, wise and benevolent connector.”

David Mulroney, President of the University of St Michael’s College and a former Canadian Ambassador to China

Delivering the Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies citation for His Highness the Aga Khan
Toronto, Canada (May 20,  2016)


Matrix of the Constellation of Honours

The matrix represents the various constellations – the awards, honorary degrees, honours and tributes His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan has been endowed with over the course of his 59 years Imamat.

The matrix in summary:

  • 29 Titles and state decorations;
  • 23 Honorary degrees from 11 countries – top regional universities representing the US Ivy League, Canadian Group of 13, UK’s Russell Group, and others;
  • 16 Civic honours including Honorary Citizenship of Canada and several “Key to the City” and “Freedom of the City” tributes;
  • 17 Fellowships and executive appointments representing 9 investitures as Foreign Member to several state academies (for the creation of new knowledge – promoting research and stimulating the enhancement of thought, literature, language and other forms of national culture) and 3 leadership posts at influential European institutions to promote diplomacy, culture and development;
  • 35 Awards spanning domains such as architecture and the built environment, restoration and the revival of culture, education, health, philanthropy, sports, business enterprise, diplomacy, peace  and global citizenship;
  • 111 Keynote/presidential addresses to various UN organizations, several government organizations including parliaments, and other international organizations; and
  • 55 Commemorative stamps issued by 19 different national philatelic societies to mark 25 different occasions of the Aga Khan’s significant events and milestones.

Road to Diamond Jubilee - Constellation of Honours - His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan IV


Research, Insight & Perspective by A. Maherali


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