Danilo Türk (1952) has a BA in Law from the University of Ljubljana (1975), a master’s degree from the University of Belgrade (1978), and a PhD from the University of Ljubljana (1982).
In 1983 he became Director of the Institute on International Law at the University of Ljubljana. He was a member of the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, a UN body of independent experts. In that capacity, he served, in 1986-1992, as the UN Special Rapporteur on the realization of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. In 1996-1997 he also served as a member of the Human Rights Committee. In 1990-1991 he took part in the drafting of the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia by preparing the draft chapter of the Constitution related to human rights and fundamental freedoms.
From 1992 to 2000, Türk was the first Slovene Permanent Representative to the UN, and between 1998-1999 he represented Slovenia on the UN Security Council. In 2000 he was invited by Kofi Annan, then Secretary-General of the UN, to serve as UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs (2000-2005).
In 2005 he returned to Slovenia as Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Law of the University of Ljubljana. In 2007 he was elected President of the Republic of Slovenia. He became a member of the Club de Madrid in 2013. In 2016 he was one of the candidates for the post of Secretary-General of the UN.
Between 2015 and 2017 he chaired the Global High-Level Panel on Water and Peace which published its report A Matter of Survival at the end of 2017.