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President of the Republic conferred decorations

Brdo pri Kranju, 11/23/2006  |  press release, speech

Click to enlargeThe President of the Republic of Slovenia, Dr. Janez Drnovšek, today conferred decorations at a special ceremony held at Brdo Castle. The Golden Order for Services was conferred on Ladislav Lipič and Dr. Iztok Podbregar, the Order for Services was awarded to Stanko Čurin, Dr. Toshihiko Tsukamoto, Dr. Branko Palčič and Jože Hirnök, the Order for Services was received by Andrej Jurjevčič and the Order of Freedom of the Republic of Slovenia by Slavko Korenič, Miran Loparec, Stane Leskovšek and Bojan Šoper.

Click to enlargePresident Drnovšek conferred the Golden Order for Services in the military and security area on Ladislav Lipič in recognition of his exceptional services and personal contribution during the struggle for independence of the Republic of Slovenia, to the development of military defence and Slovenian Army, its professionalisation and integration of the Republic of Slovenia into Euro-Atlantic associations; Dr. Podbregar received the decoration in recognition of his exceptional merits in developing the country's military defence and Slovenian Army and promoting Slovenia's intelligence and security system in the area of preventing transnational threats in the Republic of Slovenia and within the framework of international security associations.

Click to enlargeThe Order for Services was conferred by the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Dr. Janez Drnovšek on: Mr. Čurin in recognition of services in the area of wine growing and wine production and in promoting the Republic of Slovenia and Slovenian wines at home and abroad; Dr. Tsukamoto in recognition of services and outstanding personal contribution to developing and strengthening economic ties between the Republic of Slovenia and Japan, particularly in wine production; Dr. Palčič in recognition of his acts to the benefit of the Republic of Slovenia, promotion of the visibility of Slovenia in Canada and in recognition of his contribution to strengthening cooperation between Slovenia and Canada; Mr. Hirnök in recognition of his services in preserving Slovene minority and his substantial contribution to the development of Slovenian culture in Porabje region in Hungary.

Click to enlargeThe President of the Republic of Slovenia, Dr. Janez Drnovšek, conferred on Mr. Jurjevčič the Order for Services in recognition of his services in the military and security field concerning defence and civil-military cooperation.

Honorary Badge of Freedom of the Republic of Slovenia for outstanding services in promoting and defending the independence and sovereignty of the Republic of Slovenia was awarded to Korenič, Loparec, Leskovšek and Šoper.

Upon conferring the decorations, the President of the Republic, Dr Janez Drnovšek, addressed the audience:

"Dear ladies and gentlemen, today I am very pleased to confer decorations on two Chiefs of General Staff of the Slovenian Army – Mr Lipič and Mr Podbregar. I am particularly gratified, as these decorations represent recognition of the work they have done, that the Slovenian Army has taken a major step forward and was transformed into a modern organisation able to cooperate with other, highly-trained armies of the world, even in the most complex crisis areas where we help maintain peace.

We confer decorations for service in various fields of activity and of our life together. All these fields are important, each in its own way, and I am happy today to be able to decorate Mr Čurin, who – as we all know – is one of the pioneers of successful wine production in Slovenia, and Mr Hirnök, representative of the Slovenian national community in Hungary. I have known Mr Hirnök for many years, and I know that he deserves recognition for his patient and tolerant work in strengthening the Slovenian community in Hungary, under sometimes difficult conditions and in a way that challenges no one, that is always constructive and that will in the end lead to the desired results.

I am also pleased to be able to decorate representatives of our armed and security forces who participated in the process of Slovenia gaining independence. Thus we complete this round of decorations on the 15th anniversary of our independence, and I hope that we managed to reward all those who may have been overlooked earlier. However, time has revealed many things and enabled us to be objective, so I believe we have made every effort to be as fair as possible in conferring these national honours. I would once more like to congratulate all the recipients of decorations, and I wish you every success in the future. Thank you."

Ladislav Lipič, recipient of the Golden Order for Service, thanked the President: "Dear Mr President and Commander-in-Chief, allow me to express my deepest thanks in the name of all those who received this important recognition for service in the defence and security field. We had the privilege and honour – and the courage – to take part in the process of the Republic of Slovenia gaining independence and in building up the Slovenian Army, the Slovenian Police and the entire national security system from the very beginning, and we were successful in our efforts. I believe that the results were just as you yourself described them – in the field of military defence as well as in the field of general defence and national security. I also believe that this decoration recognises the efforts of those with whom we cooperated during all these years – of our subordinate staff as well as our superior officers, who are present here today and whom I would also like to thank for their help; once again – I would like to express my sincere thanks in the name of all those who received honours in this field. Thank you! "

Dr Branko Palčič, recipient of the Order for Service, expressed his thanks: "Dear Mr President, dear guests, dear recipients of distinctions, I would first like to thank you personally for this extraordinary recognition. I must say that I travel a great deal, but it is very special to come to this country. Today I have the opportunity to thank you on behalf of Mr Stanko Čurin, who practically created the history of Slovenian wine production and whose wines are well-known, even in faraway Canada. I also thank you for this recognition on behalf of Jože Hirnök, President of the Union of Slovenes in Hungary, who is making an extraordinary effort for good relations between Slovenia and Hungary. Mr President, I would once more like to thank you on behalf of all of all of us, and I hope that these decorations will accelerate our endeavours in this field even further. Thank you very much."

Dr Toshihiko Tsukamoto, recipient of the Order for Service, also expressed his thanks: "Your Excellency, President of the Republic of Slovenia Dr Janez Drnovšek, Ambassador, ladies and gentlemen, and friends, please allow me to say a few words. I consider it a great honour that today the President has personally conferred this decoration on me, for which I am very grateful. I am also very happy that my good friend Stanko Čurin was also decorated today, along with me.

I have known your country since 1983 – for a quarter of a century. During this period Slovenia seceded from Yugoslavia, gained independence and was recognised by the United Nations. Japan recognised Slovenia in 1992. I am aware of the many problems you had to overcome on this journey, but even during those hard times you were always friendly towards me and my country. I know that your people are very diligent and trustworthy; in the wine-producing sector, many Slovenian experts, and I would particularly like to mention Mr Dušan Terčelj, have often visited Japan and helped in the development of the Japanese wine industry. For everything that you have done for us and for me, I thank you sincerely. What I have done for you seems humble and insignificant by comparison, but I nevertheless hope that in the future, with the help of my dear friends present here today, I will be able to do even more towards strengthening relations between Slovenia and Japan.

In the end I would once more like to express my deepest gratitude to the Republic of Slovenia, a country which I hold in very high esteem and which I hope will continue to develop as quickly and successfully as it has done to date. Finally, I would like to thank my wife, who has believed in me all these years, helped me with my work and stood by me. Thank you very much.”
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