In Memory of Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan

  • In Memory of Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan
l'Aga Khan

Secrétariat de Son Altesse Aiglemont 60270 Gouvieux, France


Gouvieux,
France, 13th May, 2003--Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, son of the late Sir
Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan and the late Princess Andrée Aga Khan,
died in Boston yesterday, aged 70 after a short illness.
Coincidentally, his half-brother, the late Prince Aly Khan died on
exactly the same day forty-three ago. The younger of Sir Sultan Mahomed
Shah’s two sons, Prince Sadruddin was the uncle of the present and 49th
hereditary Imam (spiritual leader) of the Ismaili Muslims, His Highness
the Aga Khan. The Aga Khan traces his lineage back to the Prophet
Muhammad (peace be upon him) and Prince Sadruddin’s grandmother was the
granddaughter of the Qajar Emperor Fath’Ali Shah.


Born
in Paris, France on 17th January, 1933, Prince Sadruddin received his
early education in Switzerland before graduating in 1954 from Harvard
University. After three years of post-graduate research at Harvard’s
Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Prince Sadruddin followed a family
tradition in international service established by his father who had
served two terms as President of the League of Nations.


In
1958, Prince Sadruddin joined UNESCO, becoming in 1961, Executive
Secretary to its International Action Committee for the Preservation of
Nubia, which brought together archaeologists from Eastern Europe and
the West at the height of the Cold War to save the ancient treasures of
Abu Simbel, the temples of Philae and Kalabsha and the Christian
churches of Nubia.


For twelve years, beginning in
1965, Prince Sadruddin was UN High Commissioner for Refugees,
coordinating the international response to crises in, amongst other
countries, Bangladesh, Uganda, Sudan, Chile and Cyprus. Widening the
UNHCR mandate well beyond its original focus on Eastern Europe, Prince
Sadruddin, during his tenure extended the organisation’s reach to
refugees from Palestine, Vietnam, Angola and Algeria.


Prince
Sadruddin had, since 1978, been variously: Special Consultant and
Chargé de Mission to the Secretary-General of the United Nations,
Special Rapporteur of the UN Human Rights Commission and Convenor and
Co-Chairman of the Independent Commission on International Humanitarian
Issues and of the Independent Working Group on the UN Financial
Emergency. He was, later, Coordinator for United Nations Humanitarian
and Economic Assistance Programmes Relating to the People of
Afghanistan, Personal Representative of the UN Secretary-General for
Humanitarian Assistance Relating to the Crisis between Iraq and Kuwait
and Executive Delegate of the Secretary-General for a United Nations
Inter-Agency Humanitarian Programme which dealt with problems of Iraq’s
border areas.


In 1977, Prince Sadruddin, together
with Denis de Rougemont and a few other friends, established in Geneva,
a think-tank, Group
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