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Danilo Türk

Slovenia: President Danilo Türk on freedom of expression...

Danilo Türk 48%

... and dialogue between civilisations


The 2nd Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, one of the most important global forums for advancing intercultural dialogue, opened today in Istanbul. This year’s Forum of the Alliance of Civilizations is the continuation of activities that began in January 2008, during the Slovenian EU Council Presidency. Intercultural dialogue was one of the priorities of the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. At the forum the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Dr Danilo Türk, is being accompanied by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia, Samuel bogar.


Dr Türk highlighted the importance of skilfully pursuing dialogue with different cultures at both the national and international levels. In so doing, the fundamental principle of freedom of expression should be respected, but at the same time, it should be understood that this freedom is not absolute. The constitutional order of a country, which must be respected by all its citizens, regardless of culture, religion or nationality, is of vital importance to its interpretation. We should bear in mind, however, that in the present-day globalised world, the freedom of expression exercised in one country may have diverse impacts in another country, added Dr Türk. He endorsed the Alliance of Civilizations as a forum where dialogue on sensitive issues of this kind can be appropriately developed, and which can contribute towards improving modern communication mechanisms in general.

In the afternoon, President Türk met UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who shared his assessment of the G-20 summit. Dr Türk and Mr Ban agreed that the summit was a step forward in tackling the crisis. It gave the United Nations specific new tasks with respect to guiding further action and monitoring the fulfilment of objectives agreed at the summit. They also touched on certain flashpoints around the world, including Haiti, Somalia and Kosovo. The UN Secretary-General also informed Dr Türk of his decision to convene a summit on issues related to global warming on 22 September 2009 in New York, and invited him to attend the summit; Dr Türk accepted.


Istanbul, 6. 4.2009



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