Trans Internet-Zeitschrift für Kulturwissenschaften 15. Nr. November 2003
  Plenum | Plenary Session | Séance plénière  DEUTSCH | ENGLISH | FRANCAIS

Welcoming Remarks

Thomas Klestil (+) (President of the Republic of Austria)


It is with great pleasure that I would like to extend a most cordial welcome to all the participants of this conference, "The Unifying Aspects of Cultures", here in Vienna.

I appreciate the initiative taken by the "Research Institute for Austrian and International Literature and Cultural Studies" aiming to promote awareness of this significant issue through this international encounter.

Austria is bound to its long and rich history, replete with traditions, and thus understands particularly well the importance of cultural diversity as a source of creative potential.

Throughout history, creative individuals have shrugged off the confines of national borders and accomplished great achievements in art and culture, science and research. This spiritual integration blazed the trail towards the evolution of civilisation.

Today, globalisation unites people economically as never before. It is in light of this very development, however, that remembering the common denominators in our cultural heritage is gaining in importance. Political and economic interconnections can only be sustained to the extent that scientists, artists and intellectuals continue to strengthen "the unifying aspects of cultures". Only then can the essential building blocks evolve as sine qua non components of a peaceful world: Knowledge and acknowledgement, tolerance, mutual respect and understanding.

It is in this spirit that I wish you a successful conference, stimulating contacts and discussions, and for our guests from 70 different countries, an interesting and pleasant stay in Vienna!

© Thomas Klestil (President of the Republic of Austria)

Plenum | Plenary Session | Séance plénière

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For quotation purposes:
Thomas Klestil (President of the Republic of Austria): Welcoming Remarks. In: TRANS. Internet-Zeitschrift für Kulturwissenschaften. No. 15/2003.

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