Photo: Dr. Danilo Turk, President-elect of Slovenia, with students
When the International Debate Academy left its instructional home in the little town of Ormoz and made its way to Slovenia's capital, Ljubljana, it got the recognition of some of the most prominent politicians in the country.
Dr. Danilo Turk, President-elect of Slovenia, addressed the debaters and judges at the opening ceremonies. Dr. Turk won an overwhelming mandate for President. He served for years as Kofi Anan's assistant at the UN in New York. He cautioned the debaters to understand the audience and not just the opponents in the debate and to recognize, in debating about equal opportunities, the distinction between discrimination and rational difference. He also answered several questions from the debaters, including how to respond to lies spread against you in politics.
Photo: Zoran Jankovic with tournament top speaker, Anna Mojca England Kerr.
Zoran Jankovic is the newly elected mayor of Ljubljana. He encouraged the debaters about visiting Ljubljana and indicated future cooperation with ZIP. ZIP will be co-sponsoring a conference in April to take place in Ljubljana. For more information, see http://debate.uvm.edu/betterworld.htm
Both politicians recognized the importance of debate in Slovenia, with Dr. Turk indicating he had been following it for several years.