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Houston Public Library and UN Association Host Consulor Corps Reception

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On Thursday Nov 21 at the Julia Ideson Building, the Houston Public Library, partnering with the Houston Chapter of the United Nations Association hosted a reception for the 94 Consuls with offices in Houston. Houston's consular corps is the third largest in the USA.

The event was part of a series of programs during Houston's first Citizenship Month. First Lady Kathy Hubbard is honorary chair of the Citizenship Month committee.

About 100 guests attended the event, including leaders of international businesses, local organizations, schools. Roosevelt Weeks, Deputy Director of the Houston Public Library, greeted those in attendance and introduced Teta Banks, President of the Houston Chapter of the United Nations Association. The Houston Chapter is one of the oldest in the USA, founded in 1955 following a visit by former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. The organization promotes programs of dialog and understanding in support of the mission of the United Nations.

Several presentations saluted the work of the Consular Corps from the perspective of different sectors. Benito Suarez of the City of Houston Office of International Communities spoke of the ongoing ties of Houston to many nations through the presence of many different communities, languages, and cultures.

First Lady Kathy Hubbard spoke of Houston's diversity and its continuing effort to take initiatives welcoming all nations.

Dr. William Flores, President of the University of Houston Downtown Campus, a sponsor of Citizenship Month, explained how the University fosters discussions and learning in settings that resemble the UN. Dr. Flores is married to Dr. Noël Bezette-Flores, who is the Executive Director of the UHD Center of Public Service and Family Strengths. She is also the co-chair of the Citizenship Month committee. She joined him at the podium for brief remarks and a presentation of a plaque of appreciation to Fabrizio Naza, Consul General of Italy and the dean of the Houston Consular Corps. The title is awarded to the longest serving permanent (or “career”) Consul serving in the city.

Lisa Darling, Principal at the Awty International School, spoke on behalf of the educational sector. Quoting Milton Freemon, she emphasized the fact that “it is not that education will be international, it is international.”

Sam Merchant, representing the office of Congressman Al Green (D TX 9) presented a certificate of appreciation from the Congressman.

Val Thompson spoke on behalf of Wea H. Lee , CEO of the Houston International Trade Center. He explained the work of trade missions and a recent invitation from the City of Houston to Nigeria inviting the country to open a consular office in Houston.

Dr. Roopa Gir formerly of Schlumberge and president of iEducate USA, spoke on on behalf of Oil and Gas industry, expressing appreciation to the consular corps for its work in furthering trade and industry.

Fabrizio Nava, Consul of Italy presented a historical summary of modern consular functions in advocating for the interests of merchants and others from their countries with ongoing activities in commerce. In particular regions.

Justein Mykletun consul General of Norway spoke of relationship between Consular Corps and UNA. He emphasized how Norway and other Scandinavian Countries have always supported the concept of the UN in positions of leadership and in substantial voluntary contributions beyond mandatory fees and dues.

Ms Teta Banks, (who is also honorary consul of Liberia), then introduced all the consuls present and presented a plaque of appreciation from the UNA to Fabrizio Naza.



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