Former President of Latvia, Dr. Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, to speak at the International Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy

Tuesday, July 28th (19:00), Amerika Haus Berlin
The ICD is pleased to confirm that Dr. Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, President of Latvia from 1999 to 2007, will speak at the forthcoming International Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy (Berlin, July 27th - 31st, 2009). One of the early candidates for the position of UN Secretary General in the 2006 selection, Dr. Vīķe-Freiberga is notable for her active involvement in a range of councils and organisations.

Dr. Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga served as President of Latvia for two four-year terms, during which time she had an approval of between 70-85%. A graduate in Psychology from the University of Toronto (BA, MA) and in experimental psychology from McGill University in Montreal (Ph.D.), Dr. Vīķe-Freiberga emerged as a prominent spokesperson on politics and science whilst Professor of Psychology at the University of Montreal. Having not been a candidate in the initial ballot for the Latvian presidency in 1999, she was later drafted by the Latvian Parliament and elected on 20th June.

Dr. Vīķe-Freiberga has been praised for her active involvement in organisations including the Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies, the Science Council of Canada, and the Royal Society of Canada. She is also an expert on Latvian culture and folklore, having written academic articles and books on the subject, and having lectured extensively on the subject in North America.

Dr. Vīķe-Freiberga will be speaking on the role of the United Nations in promoting peaceful intercultural dialogue in the 21st Century. Her speech will be followed by a question and answer session with the participants that will allow them to raise issues they feel are important.