New York

24 March 2014

Deputy Secretary-General's Message for International Day of Nowruz [as prepared for delivery]

Happy Nowruz to you all!

Nowruz is a very special occasion.  It is a time for renewal and celebration.  It promotes values of peace and solidarity between generations and communities.  It contributes to cultural diversity and friendship among peoples.

Nowruz has traditionally been an opportunity to unite different ethnicities and cultures.  This is a mission more urgent than ever in today’s world.

This celebration of the New Year and first day of Spring is also a moment for every woman, man and child to rejoice in the re-birth of nature and to renew their commitment to living in harmony with the planet.  It is time for humanity to make Peace with Nature.

Nowruz touches and builds on many of the values and ideals of the United Nations.  It is no wonder that the General Assembly has called on Member States to raise awareness about Nowruz and to organise annual events in commemoration of this great festivity.

Nowruz is also inscribed on the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.  It reminds us of the hopes and aspirations we all share for peace through respect, justice and mutual understanding.  Nowruz embodies the power of culture to build bridges between people.  It celebrates diversity as a strength and as the foundation for a peaceful, just and sustainable world.

At this time of global change and interdependence, when all societies face new challenges and pressures, the need for solidarity within and between the peoples of the world has never been more essential.

Nowruz means “new day”, a new beginning.  It is a unique moment for us to reject violence and strengthen our resolve to promote peace, development and a Life of Dignity for All. 

On this International Day of Nowruz, let us work together for a new day of togetherness, unity and renewal. 

Again, Happy Nowruz to all!