Welcome to Thailand
Chiang Mai, October 17, 2009 (SIGNIS) – The SIGNIS World Congress 2009 kicked off this evening with the wonderful welcome reception organized by the Diocese of Chiang Mai at the Sacred Heart College. The guests were entertained with music and enjoyed the legendary Thai hospitality.
Present at the reception were Archbishop Francis Xavier Kriengsak Kovithavanij, Bishop Francis Xavier Vira Arpondatrana, Bishop Silvio Siripong Charatsri and Bishop George Yod Phimpisan of Thailand and Bishop Felix Ajakaye of Nigeria alongside the Board of SIGNIS.
In his welcome speech, SIGNIS President Augy Loorthusamy warmly thanked the local organization team led by Prof. Chainarong Monthienvichenchai. For the Thai coordinator of the Congress, the event must link the past and the future.
"The year 2009 marks the 80th anniversary of our organization. It is the prime reason Thailand agreed to host the Congress. Indeed, it is important to understand the history of our organizations as this is what anchors our efforts as we address future challenges. The core purpose of our organization has not changed, but our methods must.
At our World Congress this week, we go where the future is going to be: the Children. This is the reason why you see a lot of children in our midst as we deliberate the theme of the congress, which is "Media for a Culture of Peace - Children’s Rights, Tomorrow’s Promise". These children will take an active part in the Congress by having their own workshops, and, together with a group of young journalists from several countries, will showcase their work for us – their promise of tomorrow.
Let us be open to new ideas, experiences, and directions; let us learn from the greatest in the field, from the best and the brightest."
It is with these intentions that the sessions of the Congress will open tomorrow.