Secretary-General Invokes Hope, ‘New Beginning’, Recommitment to Global Unity, at International Day of Nowruz Ceremony

Following are UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ remarks for the ceremony on the occasion of the International Day of Nowruz, observed on 21 March, in New York today:

I want to start by wishing everyone a happy and healthy Nowruz.

I am grateful, grateful to you, dear Ambassador, for bringing us together and for enabling the United Nations to be part of this auspicious ceremony.

Dear friends, Nowruz is a celebration of new beginnings.  For more than 300 million people, it marks a new day, a new year.  The arrival of spring.  The renewal of nature.  A chance to be with family and friends.

Nowruz is also a celebration of rich cultural heritage and diversity.  It unites communities, between generations and beyond borders.  It reminds us of everything we have in common — as one human family — and inspires us to learn more about one another.

It echoes the values of peace, human rights and solidarity that the United Nations promotes every day.

Today, these common values are challenged as never before.  Our world is facing an unprecedented storm of crises.  Conflict.  Climate change.  A global cost-of-living crisis.

Halfway through the 2030 Agenda [for Sustainable Development], we are backtracking on the Sustainable Development Goals.  Developing countries are facing unsustainable levels of debt.  Misinformation, disinformation and hate speech are also spreading like wildfire.

We can only move forward together, as one.  To overcome the scourge of war and build sustaining peace.  To promote mutual respect and understanding.  To reaffirm human rights and dignity.  To rescue the Sustainable Development Goals, reduce inequalities and ensure that global financial structures work for all.  To safeguard our planet, halt global warming and protect communities.

That spirit of renewal and cooperation also guides our work on Our Common Agenda and the efforts to revitalize multilateralism for today and tomorrow.  The SDG Summit in September and the Summit of the Future in 2024 will be key moments to come together around solutions.

The SDG summit will be the centrepiece of the high-level week and of all our work this year.

Let us look forward with hope and determination.  Let us mark this new beginning by renewing our pledge for a peaceful and sustainable world and our promise to leave no one behind.

May this celebration bring you joy, good health and prosperity.  The United Nations family celebrates with you.  Nowruz Mubarak.

For information media. Not an official record.