Special Event: New Year's Reception
At our traditional New Year's reception in the Europa Hall of the Federal Foreign Office on the 12th of January, 2016, we welcomed not only many of our members but a large number of ambassadors, as well as guests from the world of politics, business and culture. Tone Korssund-Eichinger, the President of "Willkommen in Berlin", thanked the Federal Foreign Office especially for its support, but also the embassies, federal state representations, ministries, companies and other institutions that had contributed to the club's successes. She also thanked club members for their active participation as well as the generous sponsors, without whom a reception on such a scale would not have been possible.
Guest speaker Dr Maria Böhmer, the State Minister in the Federal Foreign Office, thanked the chairmanship and active members for their voluntary commitment to "Willkommen in Berlin". She also thanked diplomats, whose active participation makes the club what it is: a place to meet and interact, an expression of diversity, a temporary home. The club has succeeded in establishing an exemplary form of welcoming culture. The State Minister informed the audience about Germany's new foreign policy challenges. In order to do justice to them, "we must position ourselves more purposefully and sustainably in crisis prevention and conflict resolution. That is one thing. Quite another, is that we will not be more purposeful and certainly not more sustainable, if we as women are not more actively involved in the execution of these duties and responsibilities."
A surprise performance of the song "The City of the Night" by Hayley und Taylor Emerson, the twin daughters of United States ambassador John B. Emerson and his spouse Kimberly, introduced the musical portion of the evening. The song is a sample from "Twins", the musical they composed as a declaration of love for Berlin. The twins were accompanied on the piano by Birgit Sen.
The brass quintet of the Deutsches Symphonieorchester (German Symphony Orchestra) brought the musical portion of the evening to an end, with a journey through time, from the Renaissance into the 21st century.
Invigorated by culinary delights, the evening ended with many stimulating conversations. The New Year's reception set the tone effectively for what will hopefully be a successful and exciting new club year in 2016.