“…leadership everywhere must continuously work to ensure that pluralism, and all its benefits, become top global priorities. In this effort, civil society has a vital role. By its very nature, civil society is pluralist because it seeks to speak for the multiple interests not represented by the state. I refer, for example, to organisations which ensure best practices such as legal societies and associations of accountants, doctors and engineers. The meritocracy they represent is the very foundation of pluralism. And meritocracy is one of the principles of democracy itself.

Village organisations, women’s and student groups, micro-credit entities and agricultural co-operatives help give access and voice to those who often are disenfranchised. Journalist associations also play a key role, explaining the political process, guarding against corruption and keeping governments accountable. Responsible reporting and competent comment on critical issues, and the hard choices that society must address, are an essential element in the functioning of a democracy.”

Address by His Highness the Aga Khan
Nobel Institute
Oslo, Norway

April 7, 2005

Author: ismailimail

Independent, civil society media featuring Ismaili Muslim community, inter and intra faith endeavors, achievements and humanitarian works.

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