The Secretary-General's Remarks at Nowruz Celebration

21 Mar 2017

The Secretary-General's Remarks at Nowruz Celebration


President of the General Assembly,

Ambassadors, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Happy Nowruz to everyone!

I am grateful to the Ambassadors from a dozen countries celebrating Nowruz for bringing us together today.

Thank you for enabling the United Nations to be part of this timeless ceremony.

Nowruz is a new beginning. A new year. A chance to be with family and friends.

The United Nations family celebrates Nowruz because this holiday has meaning for the whole world.

Nowruz is a reminder of all that we have in common – and the richness of our diversity.

I understand that later a video will be shown featuring how different communities celebrate Nowruz. They each find their own beautiful way to express our shared values.

And the feasts of Nowruz have so many symbolic items, including sprouted wheat to symbolize Springtime.

About a millennium ago, the poet Nasir-i Khusraw – I believe he was born in Iran and lived [a] large part of his life in what’s today Tajikistan – wrote about this inspiring transition to a new season.

He said, “Spring has come – the air is cool and fresh and the aged world is young again.”

So we are all young on Nowruz!

And the poet points out that the grass and trees are revived thanks to their seeds. And he teaches that for man, “Knowledge is the seed.”

This is a profound lesson inspired by Nowruz: Knowledge renews us.

Nowruz is a time to learn about each other and our world.

It is a chance to renew our pledge for peace, friendship, human rights and human dignity.

I wish all families and communities that celebrate a prosperous, happy, healthy and peaceful Nowruz.

Let us mark this new beginning with fresh resolve for our world.

Thank you.

Nowruz Mubarak.