23 February 2010
General Assembly
GA/10916

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-fourth General Assembly

Plenary

71st Meeting (PM)


General Assembly Recognizes 21 March as International Day of Nowruz,


Also Changes to 23-24 March Dialogue on Financing for Development


The General Assembly this afternoon recognized the International Day of Nowruz, a spring festival of Persian origin, and moved back the dates of the next high-level dialogue on Financing for Development, as it continued its sixty-fourth session.


According to the preamble of the resolution on the International Day (document A/64/L.30/Rev.2), Nowruz, which means new day, is celebrated on 21 March, the day of the vernal equinox, by more than 300 million people worldwide as the beginning of the new year.  It has been celebrated for over 3,000 years in the Balkans, the Black Sea Basin, the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Middle East and other regions. 


The Assembly called on Member States that celebrate the festival to study its history and traditions with a view to disseminating that knowledge among the international community and organizing annual commemoration events.


Welcoming the inclusion of Nowruz into the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on 30 September 2009, the text notes the festival’s “affirmation of life in harmony with nature, the awareness of the inseparable link between constructive labour and natural cycles of renewal and the solicitous and respectful attitude towards natural sources of life”.


The text was introduced by Azerbaijan’s representative, who said that, as a holiday celebrated in many parts of the world with themes important to all humanity, Nowruz encouraged intercultural dialogue and understanding.  Speaking after the Assembly took action on the draft, the representative of Iran marked its adoption by quoting lines of the Persian poet Jalaluddin Rumi that expressed the holiday’s theme of rebirth “on our planet and in our souls”.


In its decision on the follow-up to the outcome of the 2002 International Conference on Financing for Development and the 2008 Review Conference (as contained in document A/64/L.47), the Assembly changed the dates of the fourth high-level dialogue, which was to be held on 16 and 17 March 2010 at United Nations Headquarters, to 23 and 24 March 2010, in the same venue.  The original dates were set by resolution 64/194 of 21 December 2009.


Also this afternoon, the Assembly took note of the payment of dues by Kyrgyzstan, Paraguay, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Swaziland and Timor-Leste, through which they reduced their arrears below the amount specified in the United Nations Charter to be able to participate in votes and other Member State privileges.


Consideration of extending the terms of ad litem judges in the United Nations internal justice system, originally planned for this meeting, was postponed to a date to be announced.


The General Assembly will meet again at a time and place to be announced.


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For information media • not an official record