INDEPENDENT NEWS

Wellingtonians celebrate Obama’s inauguration

Published: Tue 20 Jan 2009 10:09 AM
Wellingtonians celebrate Barack Obama’s inauguration at the ‘Whitehouse’
A group of Wellington residents will be celebrating the inauguration of US President-elect Barack Obama at a ‘Whitehouse dinner’ tomorrow night.
“The inauguration of Barack Obama on Jan 20 opens the door to a new international era,” said Alyn Ware, Director of the Peace Foundation Wellington Office which is hosting the dinner at the Whitehouse restaurant in Oriental Parade. “The official inauguration event in Washington is the hottest event on the calendar for 2009 – and almost impossible to get a ticket to attend. However, Wellington boasts its own ‘Whitehouse’ at which we will be celebrating the first time an African-American has risen to the office of US president.”
“Obama also enters the office as a man of peace,” says Mr Ware, who is also Vice-President of the International Peace Bureau, a Nobel Peace laureate organisation. “January 20 is the day that international change starts, hope blossoms and peace has a chance to break out again. The new US Presidency gives the people of the United States and the rest of the world the chance to work together, bridging national, ethnic, religious and political divides to build a more peaceful world.”
“The Peace Foundation is engaged in a number of international peace initiatives which have greater chance of success with the new US administration including the abolition of nuclear weapons, promotion of the United Nations and its conflict resolution mechanisms, the establishment of government departments/ministries for peace, and the promotion of peace and disarmament education in schools worldwide.”
“The Peace Foundation is non-partisan and ready to work with any government or world leader regardless of political persuasion,” says Mr Ware. “We are encouraged that President-elect Obama has reached out to people from across the political divide in the US to build his cabinet. Obama has also affirmed that he will lead an effort to re-engage the US in dialogue and collaboration with other countries to meet our common global problems together.”
“Wellington may be a long way from Washington,” says Mr Ware. “But the new US presidency offers us, and people all around the world, the opportunity to pursue initiatives for peace and the global good, the confidence that the US will seriously consider such initiatives, and the hope that such leadership will make a real difference.”
ENDS

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