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Speech made by Professor Manuel Braga da Cruz at the Signing of Memorandum of Understanding between the Aga Khan University and the Catholic University of Portugal (Lisbon, Portugal)

12 July 2008


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His Excellency, the Minister of Science Technology and High Education, His Excellency the Minister of Culture, His Highness Prince Aga Khan, His Eminence the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon, and High Chancellor of the Catholic University, Rector of the Aga Khan University, delegates of the two Universities, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.

On behalf of the Portuguese Catholic University, I would like to say how pleased we are today with the signature of this Agreement concluding the process of dialogue and mutual knowledge during the last years. This is the natural consequence of a common discovery of our Universities. We are both confessional universities with a religious perspective of the world and life, so we are both ideologically orientated Institutions. We have both international dimensions in perspectives, extended for more than one continent and country. From Asia until Europe as in the case of the Aga Khan University and from Europe to Asia as in the case of the Portuguese Catholic University and looking both for all the world.

We have the conditions but also the common wish to start a noteworthy cooperation not only in the inter religious dialogue so this is even important to the Peace building in the international relations frame, but also in the promotion of Human dignity in the development of our societies in which so committed and engaged so many Institutions belonging to our religious confessions, working in the field of Education, and promotion of health services. Our intention with this agreement is to establish the basis to a future cooperation.

First of all in the perspective of studies in a comparative perspective, not only about our faith but also about the influence of our Faith in our countries, in our histories, in our international relations, in our civil life, in our law.

It’s also our purpose to promote, together, academic initiatives in order to reinforce our intervention in the field of Education. Preparing the future actors in the development of our societies with a strong ethical perspective and preparation namely in the Life Sciences.

This is a general agreement in which we would like to see increased the number of concrete initiatives to fulfil our purposes. We will have representatives of both Universities charged to push the sectoral efforts to the ends here established.

I hope that the common way crossed until now could continue to carry on the future with same openness and determination. So God will help us.

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