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As COVID-19 Pandemic Tests Human Family, Nowruz Spirit of Unity, Compassion Needed More Than Ever, Secretary-General Says in International Observance Message

Following are UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ remarks to the virtual meeting on the occasion of the International Day of Nowruz, held today:

Thank you for bringing us together.  I am happy to join you and wish all of you a happy International Day of Nowruz.

Today, we mark a new year, a new beginning.  Nowruz unites us all.  It transcends national borders, religious divides and other differences.  It marks the richness of our diversity and reminds us of all we have in common.  It fosters trust, friendship and good neighbourliness.  Its values powerfully resonate with those that we promote together at the United Nations every day and everywhere.

Last year, unfortunately, the Nowruz celebration coincided with the early days of what became an unprecedented and devastating global pandemic.  In this context, we have also seen an unacceptable rise in xenophobia and racism.

Today, the Nowruz spirit is more necessary than ever.  As our human family is tested, we can only overcome this unprecedented crisis through solidarity and compassion.  Solidarity between communities, generations and countries.  We can only defeat this pandemic if we strengthen our resolve to leave no one behind.

As we commemorate the lives lost, we also start to see light at the end of the tunnel.  The arrival of spring marks a new hope.  As the world comes together to defeat COVID-19, Nowruz serves as an inspiration to reaffirm our commitment to peace and dignity; to nourish dialogue and cooperation; to rebuild our world together in a more just and durable way, in harmony with nature.

I wish all of you a happy, healthy and prosperous Nowruz.  May its spirit guide us and may this day advance happiness, health and harmony to all.

For information media. Not an official record.