Dr. Danilo Türk was the Representative of Slovenia to the Security Council and Head of the Delegation of Slovenia to the Security Council in the period 1998-1999. Dr. Türk, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Representative of Slovenia to the United Nations, presented his credentials to Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali on 11 September 1992. Dr. Türk left his post on 31 January 2000, as the longest-serving Slovenian ambassador abroad.
On 6 January 2000, following the successful completion of the Slovenian membership in the Security Council, Mr. Kofi Annan, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, appointed Dr. Danilo Türk as Assistant Secratary-General for Political Affairs. Dr. Türk assumed his current position on 1 February 2000.
Dr. Türk’s involvement with the United Nations began in 1981, when he was elected Vice-Chairman of the Working Group on the Right to Development, a post he held until 1984. He was also an alternate member (1984-1988) and member (1988-1992) of the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, an expert body of the Commission on Human Rights. In 1990 he was the Chairman of the Sub-Commission. As a member of the Sub-Commission he served as a Special Rapporteur and prepared a report on the right to freedom of opinion and expression and a series of reports on the realization of economic, social and cultural rights. Since 1989 he has been a member of the Institute of Human Rights, based in Strasbourg, France. He served as a member of the Human Rights Committee (1997-1998). In the 1988-1992 period he was a co-founder and Vice-Chairman of the Council for Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in Slovenia.
Much of Dr. Türk’s professional life has been devoted to research and teaching of international law. He began his academic career in 1978 teaching public international law at the University of Ljubljana where, in 1996, he became a tenured professor. From 1983 to 1992, he headed the university’s Institute of International Law and International Relations. In 1987, he was a visiting scholar at the Institute of Human Rights in Oslo (Norway), and in 1992, taught a specialized course on human rights and protection of minorities at the European Academy of Law in Florence (Italy). He has also lectured at a number of other academic institutions, including Université Panthéon-Assas, Paris II (France), University of Graz (Austria), and several American universities (Buffalo, Columbia, Iowa and Harvard). He has been active in the International Law Association.
Dr. Türk studied law in Ljubljana, graduating in 1975. Following post-graduate study in international law, he obtained his Master of Laws degree from Belgrade University, in 1978, and his Doctorate of Laws from the University of Ljubljana, in 1982. He has published over 100 articles in legal journals and other publications, and in 1984 wrote a book on the principle of non-intervention in international relations and international law.