Reflection: French Minister of Culture pays tribute to Prince Sadruddin as he decorates His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan and Prince Amyn with honours

About 7 years ago, French Minister Frédéric Mitterrand paid an elaborate tribute to the Aga Khan family highlighting the contributions of Prince Sadruddin and members of the Noorani family, on what was a unique occasion where Minister Mitterrand, on behalf of the French government, conferred decorations on Prince Sadruddin’s nephews – His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan and his brother Prince Amyn Aga Khan.

Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan in Paris - 1994
Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan in Paris – 1994-11-02 (Image credit: Francis Apesteguy/Getty Images)

“I am also thinking of the much-missed Prince Sadruddin, your uncle, who was United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees at a key period in the history of this institution with its vitally important mission.”

 

– M. Frédéric Mitterrand,

French Minister of Culture and Communication,

November 9, 2010

 

 

Paris, France, 9 November 2010 – The French Minister for Culture and Communication, M. Frédéric Mitterrand, on behalf of the French government, conferred decorations on His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan and his brother Prince Amyn Aga Khan.

Recognizing their contributions to culture, both personally and through the various activities of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), the Minister noted that the promotion of culture had a privileged position amongst all of their multiple activities.

Minister Frédéric Mitterrand in this unique address, in addition to listing the accomplishments and contributions of His Highness Prince Karim, Aga Khan IV (49th Imam of the Ismailis) and Prince Amyn Mohammed Aga Khan, paid an elaborate tribute to the Aga Khan family and the Ismaili faith community, highlighting the contributions of His Highness Aga Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah, Aga Khan III (48th Imam of the Ismailis), Begum Mata Salamat, Prince Ali Khan and Prince Sadruddin.

Extracts from the speech follow after the picture below.

Prince Amyn Aga Khan, France’s Minister for Culture and Communication, Frédéric Mitterrand and His Highness the Aga Khan at the ceremony in Paris where the Aga Khan and his brother Prince Amyn were recognised for their contributions to culture. Photo: Farida Bréchemier / MCC
(L to R) Prince Amyn Aga Khan, France’s Minister for Culture and Communication, Frédéric Mitterrand and His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan at the ceremony in Paris where the Aga Khan and his brother Prince Amyn were recognised for their contributions to culture.

His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan received the insignia of Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters (Commandant de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres) and Prince Amyn Aga Khan received the insignia of Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters (Officier de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres).

Image credit: Farida Bréchemier / MCC

 

“Your Highness,
Dear Prince Amyn,

 

I have the very great honour of welcoming you here today as individuals who are cosmopolitan in essence, pluralist by religion, and outward-looking through education, and who have magnificently perpetuated a long family tradition of advocating pluralism and social and cultural engagement throughout the world.

 

In paying tribute to you this evening, we are reminded that the Ismaili faith, through its message of peace and bridge-building, is more than ever at the forefront of dialogue between the great monotheist religions.

 

Wherever Ismailis live, we find the particular combination of meditation, tolerance and solidarity that characterises your community.

 

Since the nineteenth century the Ismaili faith has masterfully demonstrated, through its international network of charitable organisations, that its spiritual beliefs are anchored in the secular world.

 

These values have been upheld and embodied by your family to the highest degree.

 

In welcoming you here this evening we also pay homage to the memory of your grandfather, His Highness the 48th Imam, who had the onerous task of being Secretary General of the League of Nations in 1937 and 1938, in a political climate requiring courage from all who were advocates for peace.

 

We also recall his French wife, Begum Mata Salamat, Mother of Peace, who will always be remembered, particularly by all those she helped, and who rests by her husband’s side on the banks of the Nile in Aswan.

 

I am also thinking of the much-missed Prince Sadruddin, your uncle, who was United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees at a key period in the history of this institution with its vitally important mission, and of course of your father Prince Ali Khan, beloved by all, whom fate did not permit to deploy his extraordinary culture and spirit of civilisation to their full extent.”

 

– M. Frédéric Mitterrand,

French Minister of Culture and Communication,

during the presentation of decorations to:

His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan

 insignia of Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters

(Commandant de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres)

and

Prince Amyn Aga Khan

 insignia of Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters

(Officier de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres)

Paris, France

November 9, 2010

Read the complete address of the French Minister of Culture and Communication, M. Frédéric Mitterrand at the presentation of decorations to His Highness the Aga Khan (Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters) and Prince Amyn Aga Khan (Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters)

Similar details and accounts of Prince Sadruddin’s lifelong contributions withing the UN system; in the institutions he built such as the Bellerive Foundation; in the initiatives that he undertook and lent his name to; and the world-wide honors and tributes he so deservedly received; are found in the newly published biography of Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan by Diana Miserez. The book has been published very recently, in January in Great Britain and in March in Switzerland. Both language versions are shortly to feature in a launch at the Palais des Nations, Geneva.

3 options to get a copy of Prince Sadruddin’s biography

 

Book Launch Event Details

Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan: Humanitarian and Visionary by Diana Miserez

 

 


Research, Insight & Perspective by A. Maherali


 

Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan’s Book Launch

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One thought

  1. The Late Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan was a Humanitarian. The world will always miss him. I also had the golden chance of meeting and conversing with him. His warmth is unexplainable with a twinkle in his eyes at all times. May Allah rest his soul in Eternal Peace. AMEEN.

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