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International Day of Nowruz
21 March

Secretary-General's Message 2012

For three thousand years of world history and for three hundred million people today, Nowruz unites regions and nationalities, religions and languages to share in the renewal of life on the first day of Spring.

Nowruz is a day for family and friends, for festive meals, for dancing and singing. It is a day to celebrate the value of mutual respect and the aspiration for harmony held by all societies. It is a moment for cleansing and rebirth, an opportunity to renew wishes of peace and goodwill.

Each Nowruz showcases the world’s diversity and offers an opportunity for deepening the ties that bind us all together. This is why Nowruz was recently added to UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The shared effort behind that step also led the United Nations General Assembly to declare 21 March as the International Day of Nowruz.

At a time of global change and uncertainty, including in many regions where Nowruz is celebrated, the message of peace that lies at the core of this observance is especially important. My thoughts are with those communities observing Nowruz under difficult circumstances. This holiday is a reminder that we share a common fate and must work for a better future for all.

Let us join forces to celebrate the rebirth of life and express our commitment to building a safer, more peaceful and just global community. This is the promise of Nowruz — and our task together throughout the year.

Ban Ki-moon

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