President of the UN General Assembly welcomes Fijian cultural events during The Ocean Conference
UNITED NATIONS, New York, 4 June 2017 – The President of the United Nations General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Peter Thomson, welcomes the arrival of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces Brass Band (RFMF Band). The RFMF Band will participate in a number of activities relating to The Ocean Conference, which is taking place from 5 to 9 June at United Nations Headquarters, New York.
The RFMF Band will take part in a cultural welcome ceremony during the opening of The Ocean Conference on Monday June 5 at 09:00 EDT in the U.N. General Assembly Hall. The solemn ceremony is a sacred cultural tradition of the Fijian people that is accorded to high dignitaries to formally welcome and receive them into a community. The heart of a Fijian traditional welcome ceremony is called the Yaqona vakaturaga. It symbolizes the deep regard for communal ties and respect for the value of working together to achieve common goals or mutual benefit.
The cultural welcome ceremony will set the tone for the conference which will see the leaders from around the world – from government, the private sector, civil society, academia and beyond – gather for five days to chart a course for the realization of Sustainable Development Goal 14, the Ocean Goal.
Prior to the conference, the world-famous musicians, pride of the country and active members of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces that have served in U.N. peacekeeping missions including in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Timor-Leste, will be performing under band leader Captain Semi Gade in the free, family-friendly World Ocean Festival, that is hosted by the Office of the Mayor of New York City and will take place Sunday, June 4, on Governor’s Island. They will also participate in a number of activities during the conference with a view to maintaining a spirit of togetherness throughout the week.
The Ocean Conference, the first UN conference of its kind on the issue, is hosted by the Governments of Fiji and Sweden.
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The Ocean Conference: https://oceanconference.un.org/
World Ocean Festival: https://www.worldoceanfest.org/