UN Mission of Singapore Celebrates Lunar New Year, FOSS 20-Year Anniversary
According to the Chinese calendar 2012 is the year of the Black Water Dragon. For those who enjoy the forecasts of Chinese astrology, this means that 2012 is a strong water year and the Dragon is associated with superiority, power and intelligence. With this occasion, the Mission of Singapore to the United Nations held a reception for the Forum of Small States (FOSS), marking its 20th anniversary while ringing in the Lunar New Year on Monday, January 23rd.
The UN Ambassador of Singapore, Albert Chua, welcomed special guests including U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, the President of the 66th Session of the U.N. General Assembly. Celebrations opened with a "good luck" tossing of traditional foods on platters filled a variety of ingredients, including sauces and spices, all symbolizing great gifts and blessings for the New Year. As instructed, the higher one could toss the mix of ingredients, the greater the good luck brought to each person.
Mr. Ban told guests at the reception, including many UN Ambassadors within the FOSS countries that the black dragon is a sign of power and dynamism. "This year should be one of the most auspicious years, he said as "the black dragon only comes once in every 60 years." Mr. Ban congratulated FOSS country representatives noting their strengths despite their small geographical sizes.
Mr. Nasser followed Mr. Ban's celebratory remarks, saying that," the dragon is a beautiful creature and a bundle of energy, but at the same time known to be unpredictable. So, we might see something unexpected – good or bad - happening in 2012." Let us all, therefore, work together and focus our energies, in this New Year of the Dragon, in order to produce something good for humanity."
During the evening, Singapore unveiled the new FOSS logo, where both the Secretary-General and the General Assembly President commended its 20 years of formation and congratulated member countries for reaching that milestone, while expressing their continued support.
"I believe FOSS has always been an open, interactive forum for dialogue and frank exchange. And I have personally joined in the past. My being with you for the third time since taking over as the President speaks for my special recognition of this important forum," said Nasser.
FOSS was established in New York in 1992, and was set up as a platform to allow small States to discuss and foster common positions on issues of mutual concern to give them a larger voice at the UN.