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Global flags add colour to Auckland sky

Aotea Square in the Central Business District of Auckland City looked like a mini United Nations as more than 67 flags of as many sovereign countries of the world were hoisted as a part of an annual ceremony last fortnight.

Auckland-based international Consuls General, Honorary Consuls and life members of the Consular Corps gathered to their country’s national flags on Friday, November 22, 2013 at the Aotea Square, which is one of the most places of visit for residents, visitors and tourists.

Sixty-seven flags were raised in all, each representing a nation with a consular presence in Auckland, an exercise undertaken every year as a mark of Auckland’s solidarity as a global city.

The flags will fly on the Town Hall throughout the summer months.

“This annual event and the flags are an acknowledgement of the work done by the Auckland Consular Corps to foster greater cultural, economic and political links between our countries,” Mr Brown said.

According to him, the flags highlighted the presence of international governments in Auckland, and symbolised the important role played by international communities in the day-to-day Auckland life.

“They also play an important part in recognising the cultural diversity of our city,” Mr Brown said in his speech.

Honouring diplomats

The Mayor of Auckland participates in the annual event followed by a civic lunch, expressing the City’s respect and honour for the consular officials of the countries concerned, highlighting the importance of maintaining and promoting bilateral relations and bringing together the people of various countries.

Countries that maintain a diplomatic presence in Auckland attend the annual ceremony to bring colour and cultural diversity to the consular corps flag raising event. A number of countries, including India, which do not have consular presence in Auckland (but a strong diplomatic mission in Wellington) were not present at the 32nd annual Flag Raising Ceremony.

The Honorary Consul of Fiji in Auckland Harish Lodhia attended the Ceremony on behalf of his government and people

“Cities have a strong part to play in fostering friendly relations between communities, and this event is a way for Auckland to say thank you to the Consular Corps for their contribution to Auckland,” Mr Brown said.

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