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    Press Release No: UNIS/PI/216
    Release Date:  6 September 2000
     Secretary-General Announces Membership of Group of Eminent Persons 
    For Year of Dialogue among Civilizations

     NEW YORK, 5 September (UN Headquarters) -- This morning, Secretary-General Kofi Annan announced the establishment of a group of distinguished personalities to work with his personal representative for the United Nations Year of Dialogue among Civilizations (2001) , Mr. Giandomenico Picco. 

     The current members of the group are:

     H.R.H. Prince Hassan bin Talal, the Honourable Richard von Weizacker, the Honourable Jacques Delors, Dr. A. Kamal Aboulmagd, Dr. Hannan Ashrawi, Dr. Lourdes Arispe, Dr. Ruth Cardoso, Dr. Leslie Gelb, Dr. Nadine Gordimer, Prof. Sergey Kapitza, Dr. Hayao Kaway, Ambassador Tommy Koh, Dr. Hans Kung, Prof. Amartya Sen, Prof. Tu Wei-Ming , Prof. Javad Zarif and Mr. Giandomenico Picco. 

     It is envisioned that the Group will produce a report to be presented to the Secretary-General by late summer 2001, and he, in turn, will present it to the General Assembly.  Referring to the report this morning, the Secretary-General said, “Those reflections will start from the realization that we have to use diversity as an asset in an increasingly inter-connected world.  Indeed, the perception of diversity as a threat is the very seed of war.  Diversity is not only the basis for the dialogue among civilizations , but also the reality that makes dialogue necessary.”

     For additional information, please contact Bill Hass of the Department of Public Information at extension 3-0353.

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