The following letter was sent to Ethiopian Review today by Robert Hornsby, Director of Media Relations, Columbia University:
from: Robert Hornsby
to: Elias Kifle
The longstanding editorial policy of the World Leaders Forum website has been to provide only the basic factual information about the name of speakers, their bios, date of events and, if provided, the title of remarks. The background information that was posted by staff about the Forum involving the Prime Minister of Ethiopia was obtained from the government’s Mission and was not properly cited as such. We regret that error.
It is not the policy of the World Leaders Forum to take editorial positions of the type inadvertently suggested by this unattributed text and, as is the case with all guest speakers on Columbia’s campus, Prime Minister Zenawi’s invitation to speak at Columbia does not constitute endorsement of his views or his nation’s policies.
Prime Minister Zenawi’s remarks will be followed by an open question and answer period with students and members of our university community. Because we insist that such an open exchange be part of World Leaders Forum events, foreign leaders visiting the University often are confronted with probing questions that they may not face in their home countries. Providing such a forum for debate of controversial ideas and issues is central to the University’s free speech values, its educational mission, and its role as a global center of learning.
Director of Media Relations
Office of Communications and Public Affairs
Columbia University in the City of New York
Rm. 402 Low Library, Mail code 4321
535 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10027
p: 212-854-9752; f: 212-678-5573
e: [email protected]