The Rumi Forum was proud to host His Excellency Ambassador of Slovenia to the United States, Roman Kirn, in an engaging discussion on diversity management and the lessons that can be applied from previous successes and failures in the future.


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Thursday, April 29th

Diversity management is a concept relevant to all actors in international community, in particular to multinational states. Basically it is about differences that are imminent to every human being, society, nation or community of nations and about instruments and politics how to deal with these differences. Diversity management embraces also a need for interfaith and intercultural dialogue. Ambassador Kirn will address this concept from the point of view of Slovenian experience in the past, living in different multinational states, and in the present, as an EU member state. Special emhasises shall be given to the interfaith and intercultural dialogue in the region of Western Balkans, which is still struggling with the consequences of violent dissolution of former Yugoslavia and at the some time striving to secure its euro-atlantic perspective.

Ambassador Roman Kirn began his professional diplomatic career at the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs of SFR Yugoslavia in 1977. He also served at the Committee on Foreign Relations of Slovenia in Ljubljana, from 1978 to 1980. He rejoined the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1980 and served as First Secretary at the Embassy of SFR Yugoslavia in Rangoon/Burma. He returned to Slovenia in 1984 where he worked at the Committee on Foreign Affairs of Slovenia until 1990, in charge of regional cooperation.

After Slovenia gained it´s independance in 19991 he was appointed a Director of Multilateral Relations Department in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia. From 1992 to 1996 he served as Minister Counsellor at the Embassy of Slovenia in Prague/Czech Republic. Mr. Kirn was appointed State Undersecretary in the Foreign Ministry in 1996, in charge for multilateral affairs. In this period he was engaged primarily with UN and NATO related issues. He was a member to a number of the Slovenian delegations at the UN General Assembly sessions, he was the head of delegation to the Ottawa process that negotiated the convention on prohibition of the anti-personnel landmines and he was a co-founder of a joint Slovenian-US project, International Trust Fund for demining and mine victims assistance (ITF) in South East Europe and served as its first Chairman of the Managing Board. He was also in charge for the candidacy of Slovenia to gain its first UN Security Council non-permanent seat in 1997.

In August 1996 he joined a week long VIP programme for NATO candidates in Norfolk, at the invitation of the US State department.

Prior to his appointment as Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Slovenia to the United Nations in New York, in July 2002, Mr. Kirn served two years (2000-2002) as Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Slovenia to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Vienna. He served as Ambassador to the UN until December 2006. During this tenure he held different positions and responsibilities: Vice Chairman of the UNICEF Executive Board, Vice President of the UN General Assembly, Vice President of the 2005 NPT Review Conference, Facilitator for Revitalisation of UN General Assembly, Facilitator for UN Reform.

In January 2007 he rejoined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where he was appointed the Director of Department for North and Latin America and the Caribbean. During Slovenian EU Presidency he was in charge of transatlantic relations and preparations of the EU-US Summit, held in Slovenia in June 2008.

Mr. Kirn holds a B.A. in International Relations from University of Ljubljana (1976), and speaks English, French, Czech and Serbian/Croatian.

Mr. Kirn was born in Trbovlje, Slovenia, on February 23,1952, is married to Jovana Kirn and has two children.

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