Best wishes from the Ambassador
Dear friends of France,
In a year that has been riddled by great uncertainty, I would like to look back on some local developments and the political involvement of our country around the world.
First of all, the end of 2008 marks the closure of the French presidency of the European Union (EU). All commentators agree that this presidency, marked by several international crises, was an opportunity for Europe to appear as a stable and coherent foundation in the midst of the turbulence affecting the world order. The conflict which, last August, threatened to set ablaze the Caucasus was quelled by the intervention of the EU. And it was at Europe’s initiative that the heads of states and governments of the G-20 convened on November 15 in Washington and decided to launch the reformation of the international financial system. The EU has also conceived an unprecedented and ambitious plan to fight global warming and reacted strongly against the outbreak of piracy off Somalia by setting up a large-scale naval operation.
In Singapore, where France held the presidency of the EU throughout 2008, the launch of Encore! The European Season in Singapore took centre stage. Encore! is a platform upon which European cultural events are organised. Large corporations, mainly French, provided their assistance in this project and ensured its success. We initially anticipated about fifty events over the eight-month duration of the season; today they number close to a hundred.
It appears that, in spite of the crisis that has weakened the financial muscle of corporations, Encore! will be able to sustain and grow in 2009. For information on events held during the first few months of the year, I invite you to consult the website of the season (www.europeanseason.com). The contribution of France to the energy of the cultural scene in Singapore will resume in 2009, with the height of our excellence and expertise in this field. The National Museum of Singapore will host, from March 20 to June 14, the exhibition “Christian Lacroix, Costumier”, featuring costumes created by the fashion designer for opera, theatre and ballet. Concurrently, the Singapore Lyric Opera will present Les Contes d’Hoffmann d’Offenbach, in co-production with the Opera of Nice, and the tenor Luca Lombardo in the title role.
This leaves me to wish you happy holidays, happiness, health and prosperity, for you, your families and loved ones. And it is to a costume designed by Christian Lacroix, in the form of a virtual greeting card, that I entrust the responsibility to convey these wishes.
Ambassador of France to Singapore