The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I draw your attention to the presence in the gallery of Dr. Mahmoud Eboo, the Aga Khan Development Network’s Resident Representative to Canada. He is accompanied by his wife, Ms. Karima Eboo. They are guests of the Honourable Senator Jaffer.
On behalf of all senators, I welcome you to the Senate of Canada.
Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!
Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, Honourable senators, I rise today to recognize the appointment made in September 2014 by His Highness the Aga Khan of Dr. Mahmoud Eboo as the Aga Khan Development Network’s Resident Representative to Canada. This appointment follows the signing of a protocol of understanding between the Ismaili Imamat and the Government of Canada on February 27, 2014, immediately after His Highness’s address to Parliament.
I’m also very pleased to inform you that our government has appointed the former premier of British Columbia, my province, High Commissioner Campbell, as our Canadian representative to work with the Aga Khan Development Network. High Commissioner Campbell is very much aware of the work of His Highness the Aga Khan, and I can say with confidence that Dr. Eboo and High Commissioner Campbell will work hard to foster and advance our mutual interests.
Honourable senators, Dr. Eboo was born in Kenya and educated at Harrow School in England. He obtained a B.Sc. in materials technology in 1975 and subsequently, in 1979, a Ph.D. in laser engineering at Imperial College London.
He has been a member of the institutional leadership of the Ismaili Muslim community in the U.S. and internationally for the past 28 years. Today, he’s accompanied by his wife Karima Eboo.
Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: The Ismaili community first settled in Canada just over a half century ago, and this protocol seeks to strengthen and deepen, through a newly created Resident Representative’s office, the nearly 40 years of engagement the Ismaili Imamat has had with Canada, both domestically and abroad, on joint initiatives that include the promotion of human rights; socio-economic development; the promotion of culture, including the promotion of pluralism, inter-faith dialogue and religious freedom; the promotion of trade and economic objectives, including private sector development; the cooperation between the representatives abroad in select areas of mutual interest, particularly in the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa, south Asia and central Asia, including Afghanistan; lastly, the coordination and development of their priorities toward the building and strengthening of civil society institutions, leading to the improvement in the quality of lives of all peoples in stable, plural and democratic societies.
Honourable senators, I am very pleased to inform you that His Highness the Aga Khan is an honorary Canadian, and I know he carries that honour with great pride. His appointment of Dr. Eboo, a person of exceptional skills, is an indication to us all how much His Highness values his relationship with Canadians.
I would like to welcome Dr. Eboo and Karima Eboo to Canada, as they work hard to strengthen Canada’s relationship with the Aga Khan Development Network.
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Ismaili Imamat’s AKDN Resident Representatives
- Afghanistan: Nurjehan Mawani, Order of Canada
- Bangladesh: Munir M. Merali
- Canada: Dr. Mahmoud Eboo
- Kenya: Aziz Bhaloo
- Portugal, Mozambique and the Lusophone countries: Nazim Ahmad, Comendador da Ordem do Mérito (Commander of the Order of Merit)
- Syria: Mohamed Saifo
- Tajikistan: Ali Akbar Pesnani
- Tanzania: Amin Kurji, Légion d’Honneur (France’s Legion of Honour)
- Uganda: Mahmood Ahmed
AKDN Resident Representative is a position similar to an Ambassador. While AKDN is a non-denominational entity, it is supranational in the context of its reach and operations. AKDN is a contemporary endeavor of the Ismaili Imamat to realize the social conscious of Islam through institutional action and it is inspired by the ethics of Islam as interpreted by the Shia-Alid tradition. The diplomatic reciprocity AKDN enjoys in the global diplomacy arena speaks of the importance of the contribution, impact and relevance the Ismaili Imamat has in the community of nations in modern times.
According to Wikipedia, an ambassador is an official envoy, especially a highest ranking diplomat who represents a state and is usually accredited to another sovereign state, or to an international organization as the resident representative of their own government or sovereign or appointed for a special and often temporary diplomatic assignment. The “ambassadors” to the Commonwealth of Nations are known as High Commissioners and “ambassadors” of the Holy See are known as Papal or Apostolic Nuncios.