Eminent Persons Group of the UN Year of Dialogue Among Civilisations Meets in Dublin
The Government is hosting a meeting in Dublin next week of the Eminent Persons Group of the United Nations Year of Dialogue Among Civilisations.
In 1998, the United Nations General Assembly designated 2001 as the United Nations Year of Dialogue among Civilisations and a number of eminent persons have accepted an invitation to work with the Personal Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Giandomenico Picco, to prepare a contribution on the issue of dialogue focusing on its core -- the perception of diversity. This contribution will be presented to Secretary-General Kofi Annan during the 2001 session of the United Nations General Assembly.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Brian Cowen, T.D., said that the Government was delighted to welcome this distinguished group to Dublin. The Minister noted that Ireland has been a supporter of the Dialogue Among Civilisations initiative since it was launched and looked forward to the outcome of the Eminent Persons Group's deliberations when it is presented to the UN General Assembly in the autumn. The Minister said that we in Ireland were beginning to find ways of cherishing diversity on our own island and that respect for the beliefs of others was central to a meaningful dialogue among civilisations.
The Department of Foreign Affairs, together with the Eminent Persons Group Secretariat based at Seton Hall University, New Jersey, has coordinated arrangements for this meeting which will take place at the Conrad Hotel, Dublin, on 30-31 May. A dinner in honour of the Group will be hosted by Mr Michael Smith, T.D., Minister for Defence, at 7:30 pm on Wednesday 30 May in Iveagh House and there will be a photocall on arrival.
The following members of the Group have confirmed attendance;
Dr. A. Kamal Aboulmagd (Egypt), Barrister & Professor of Public Law, Cairo University
Professor Ruth Cardoso (Brazil), Professor of Anthropology & wife of the President of Brazil
Professor Sergey Kapitza (Russia), Professor of Physics at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology
Dr. Hayao Kawai (Japan), Director General of the International Research Centre for Japanese Studies
Amb. Tommy Koh (Singapore), Singaporean Diplomat, former Permanent Representative to the United Nations
Professor Dr. Hans Küng (Switzerland), Theologian and Writer
Giandomenico Picco (Italy), Personal Representative of Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Under Secretary General of the UN
Dr. Song Jian (China), President of the Chinese Academy of Engineering
Dick Spring, TD (Ireland), Former Minister for Foreign Affairs,
Professor Tu Wei-Ming (China), Professor of Chinese History and Philosophy at Harvard University
Dr. Javad Zarif (Iran), Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal & International Affairs, former Permanent Representative to the UN