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Advancing respect for diversity as a new global ethic and foundation for inclusive citizenship is the mission of the Global Centre for Pluralism.

To support this mission, the Centre:

  • fosters informed dialogue about the benefits of diversity as a global value proposition;
  • researches the drivers and impediments of civic cohesion to understand why some diverse societies thrive while others fracture or fragment; and
  • works in partnership with change leaders around the world to apply these place-based insights for practical effect.

Through these means, the Centre will serve the world community as a global destination for dialogue about the benefits and foundations of pluralism. In our increasingly interdependent world, respect for diversity and the practices that support it are not just desirable. They are vital building blocks of peace, prosperity and security for all.

Origin of the Centre

The idea for the Centre originated in the 1990s when His Highness the Aga Khan began asking Canadian leaders to explain the success of Canada’s approach to diversity. A Pluralism Initiative aimed at understanding the origins and architecture of Canadian pluralism followed. The decision to found an international institution dedicated to the advancement of pluralism worldwide emerged from this work.

In 2006, His Highness the Aga Khan and the Government of Canada formed a partnership to launch the Global Centre for Pluralism – a private, not-for-profit institution founded in Canada with a global mission to serve the world.


hishighness lafontainebaldwin2010In October 2010, His Highness the Aga Khan outlined his vision of pluralism at the LaFontaine-Baldwin Symposium in Toronto, an annual conversation on citizenship and the public good hosted by the Institute of Canadian Citizenship.

“The world we seek is not a world where difference is erased, but where difference can be a powerful force for good, helping us to fashion a new sense of cooperation and coherence in our world, and to build together a better life for all.”

His Highness the Aga Khan, 15 October 2010, Toronto

Read the speech | Listen to the podcast

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