[the palaverist]

Thursday, December 14, 2006

[immaculate reception?]

Secretary-General-Designate Ban Ki-moon had his swearing-in ceremony (RealMedia) today before the United Nations General Assembly — on my way to lunch, I passed the president of the General Assembly, Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa, still in her frilly swearing-in blouse — and tonight, the South Korean Mission is throwing a bit of a party.

We initially invited a mere 1200 people to attend, and only 800 RSVPed right away. This may not sound like that many people, but keep in mind that we don't have anything like a ballroom. Most of our receptions that draw more than a hundred people feel crowded. To cope with the throngs expected tonight, they'll open up the second floor, which has some elegant conference rooms but a smaller total footprint than the first floor because of the soaring spaces below. There is also a party tent out in front, which unfortunately has the effect of blocking off a good chunk of the frontage space where people might otherwise have stood around.

Security is another concern. I have no idea what the plan is, or whether there's even a plan. There were some NYPD barriers stacked up out front, so it looks like local taxpayers will be helping to keep the evening orderly.

I will definitely be attending tonight — I wouldn't miss it — so watch this space for news on whether a grotesque fiasco is averted, who shows up for the crush, and whether the crowd is so dense that I can't get to the hors d'oeuvre table.

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